What are important things for a parent to consider when a child leaves for college?

What are important things for a parent to consider when a child leaves for college?

June 15, 2023

When a child leaves for college, parents are often faced with a range of considerations and emotions. Here are some important things to think about:

1. Financial Planning:

  • Understand the cost of tuition, room, board, books, and other fees.
  • Establish who is responsible for which expenses.
  • Discuss responsible credit card and money management.

2. Health Care:

  • Confirm health insurance coverage, especially if the college is out of state.
  • Consider a Health Care Power of Attorney. This allows parents to make medical decisions if the child is unable to do so.
  • Ensure your child has necessary medical records and understands any ongoing health needs.

3. Academic Expectations:

  • Discuss academic goals and how they fit into long-term plans.
  • Encourage time management skills for balancing coursework, extracurriculars, and personal time.

4. Emotional Support:

  • Talk about the changes and how they might impact both the student and the parent.
  • Be available for support but also respect their growing independence.

5. Safety:

  • Discuss basic safety considerations, such as not walking alone at night, securing personal belongings, and understanding the location's emergency response system.

6. Legal Documents:

  • Consider a Durable Power of Attorney. This allows parents to handle financial or legal matters on the child's behalf.
  • In case of an emergency, it may be helpful to have access to academic records through a FERPA release form.

7. Life Skills:

  • Make sure your child has basic life skills like doing laundry, cooking simple meals, and maintaining a clean living environment.

Every child and situation is unique, so these considerations may vary. The key is open and respectful communication between parents and their college-bound child.