Further education isn’t for everyone but if your teen is academic, they should be looking at colleges and working out what they would like to study and where. Moving away to college is a really exciting opportunity but picking the right place is key.
Though you should definitely be thinking about what sort of grades your teen is likely to get and what your budget is, the location you choose is perhaps the most important thing that many people forget to consider. No matter whether you are studying for a teaching degree or you want to go to art school, the location is going to impact on your experience.
How Far are they Willing to Go?
Choosing the right location is absolutely vital and even the most independent teen will probably want to bring their laundry home from time to time. Considering how long it would take to get from dorm to home is a key thing to think about so do look at a map before you start applying!
Check out the routes from potential colleges to home and think about the logistics. For example, if your teen is considering flying from coast to coast, you will be limited by weight even on cheap flights. The cost of travel is also an important thing to consider. If your teen will want to come home regularly, they will need to pay for that travel cost.
City, Beach or Country?
The US is a land of great variety and whether your teen wants to hit the beach in Miami like Anthony Markofsky or live the city life in New York, the location you choose will have a big impact on the lifestyle your teen gets as a student. Of course, the where also has an impact on the cost of living. New York might sound exciting now but living beyond your means can become extremely stressful and fast.
Choosing between beach, country or city is a very personal choice and it’s likely that your teen will have an instinct about which will work best. You should definitely visit as many potential locations as possible before you start the application process to get a feel for the place. Though the beach might sound fun to start with, if your teen prefers the cold, a northern city might be better!
The Right Culture
Another slightly less tangible but just as important idea is that of culture. Each college comes with its own sort of vibe whether that is an artsy feel or a more intense academic atmosphere. Again, you do need to visit in order to get an idea of how your teen might fit in. This list will help narrow the results.
College is one of the places where you are likely to make friends for life and many people even find their future partner here. It’s about much more than getting a degree - this is about exploring who you are and finding your tribe. For a teen, this can feel quite overwhelming but in reality, they probably already know what they want.
Hey there! My name is Rachael and I have been a private tutor for over 10 years. I earned my undergraduate degree in 2 and a half years and earned my graduate degree by age 22. I have tutored dozens of high school students, college students, and graduate students. I offer support, encouragement, and resources to help parents learn how to best help their teen or child that is struggling in school.