How to Help Your Child Choose a College, Part 2
Why do they want to go in the first place?
As my colleague Sam Mulberry and I have started to think through what we’d write in a guide to college for Christian families, two themes have stood out.
First, higher education is extraordinarily complicated. Just making sense of the thousands of options available is difficult; that’s why most of the first post in this series was about figuring out categories of institutions and criteria for evaluating them, and why the next post will examine different Christian approaches to higher ed. And once you get to college, there’s a long list of terms to understand and process after byzantine process to figure out. If the book does nothing else, I hope it makes higher education a bit less mystifying.
But second, we’ve got to admit that even if the process were perfectly clear, it would still be difficult because no student is the same. Everyone who goes to college has different abilities, interests, and passions; part of college, especially early on, is learning to recognize, nourish, and challenge those parts of oneself.
As importantly, everyone brings different expectations about what college is supposed to be and what it is supposed to do.
So if you’re a parent, grandparent, pastor, teacher, or other kind of adult counselor to a teenager considering college, maybe the most helpful thing you can do is help her ask and answer the first, most important question in the whole process:
Why do you want to go to college?
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