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Parents

I am: A Parent

One of the most common questions we get asked at Northwestern College is if we have any tips for parents of college students. After all, you’re experiencing this life transition right alongside your child. Attending college, choosing a career, moving out, planning for the future – all these things impact your new graduate’s life, yes, but they also affect yours.

That’s why we’re happy to provide advice for parents of college freshmen. We also welcome your questions and concerns, and invite you to tour our campus both online and in person. We never want parents to feel like they’re excluded from the college experience, especially since we know how important of a role you play in your child’s life.

Attending college is a decision that affects the whole family – and family is something we embrace here at Northwestern College.

College Advice for Parents

  • As you get ready to accompany your high school senior on college tours and admissions meetings, we suggest you come up with a list of questions to bring with you. Start jotting them down early, and keep a running list as you think of things. You’d be surprised how much you forget to ask in the excitement of finally going on a campus tour.
  • Look at the big picture – especially when your child doesn’t want to. In the heady days of newfound freedom, lots of graduates look to excitement rather than employment. Music majors, art history degrees, philosophy classes…these kinds of things appeal to a young audience, but they don’t always lend themselves to gainful employment. It’s your role to look beyond enjoying the college experience to include real-world skills development.
  • Consider financial aid offers. The dollar figure of a college’s tuition doesn’t provide the complete picture. Always figure in scholarships, grants, and loans into the total price, and don’t forget to look at post-graduation costs, as well. If there are no job placement services or student employment aids, you may end up having to pay more to support your new graduate as he or she enters the working world.
  • Look for personalized support and small class sizes. Having more one-on-one faculty time might not be your child’s idea of a great college experience, but you know better. Always trust your gut instinct when choosing a college. Look for a supportive environment, admissions representatives who are willing to be open with you, and a team of faculty members who won’t just treat your child like a number.
  • Ask area employers what they look for in a college graduate. Don’t take our word for it – seek answers from those who do the actual employing. A college is only as valuable as its reputation in the real working world, and it’s important to know that your money—and your child’s time – won’t be wasted.

Our most important advice for parents of college students is to try and enjoy this experience right alongside your child. So much of college recruiting and advertising is geared toward the students, but we know that your peace of mind and confidence in your child’s future is just as important.

You might not have as much influence as you’d like in your child’s life, but you’re still a major part of their decision-making process. Feel good about their educational options – and their future – at Northwestern College.


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