Yes, as goodly parents you have been pushing the grammar and geometry, history and science, art and drama (and everything in between) in the hopes that your older kids will be prepared and able to get into the University of their dreams – or at least your dreams! It’s some of the hardest work a mother and father can do. Here’s a little secret that will aid in motivating them without you having to say a word! Take them to College! Here they will be wowed by the older students whom they pass in the the halls. They will get excited about the many clubs and activities available. They will find out how much tuition costs as well as housing and food. They will see the inside of college dorms with their tiny bedrooms, community ping pong tables and kitchenettes and chess boards and work out rooms and social hang outs.
It’s best to tour two or three different kinds of campuses: a large campus (over 20,000 students) a medium sized campus (around 10,000 students) and a small campus (less than 5000 students). You and your kids will begin to see which size is right for your students! In addition to size, be sure you visit a trade school, a University and a two-year college.
Make arrangements with the enrollment office before you go so they can be ready to take you around campus and answer questions. Be sure to ask for the housing tour as well. This is an opportunity to see inside a college dorm room which is always different than students expect.
We recently returned from just such an adventure. We walked through hallways and libraries and peered in the windows of classes currently in session. The art department, the music department, the science department and many others received high praise from our students as they realized the budgets here on campus were significantly higher than what we have been working under!
I had one student who was sure she was not going to college, but after our tour she decided this was the place for her – the sooner the better! It had a lot to do with the smaller size of the campus which felt very friendly and even a bit cozy. While this appeals to some, I had others who decided they definitely wanted a larger campus experience. It’s hard to understand this without spending an afternoon wandering around the grounds.
We talked about A.C.T. scores and applications and deadlines and scholarships. It was quite the education for one day and oh, so much more than they could have ever understood by simply talking about college while sitting in a classroom! I encourage you to make the call and schedule a couple of tours in the upcoming weeks. You’ll be glad you did!