Some guiding questions to ask when your student is still in high school.
1. What careers interest your child?
2. What are your expectations for your child's future career choices?
3. How do they feel about school?
4. What supports have been given to get your child through high school and will these continue?
5. What concerns do you have that may impact your child's success in College?
Since a masters degree is the new undergraduate degree, there are some additional considerations that must be made as you support your child's 4-6 year higher learning track.
1. Do you plan to pay for college or whatever higher education is necessary to support your child's career ambitions?
2. How does your child's personality, values, and skills match his/her long term goals for employment, income and standard of living?
3. What is the chance that college will not work out and your investment in their higher learning is wasted?
Manage the risk of your college investment
If you look at college as an investment then you should also manage the risk of that investment.
1. Start taking college courses before high school ends. Don't wait to see how your child will handle the independence, course work, and other factors that can impact a successful investment. Senior year can be a wasted year for many high school student. It is seen as a time to sit back and wait to receive college acceptances or rejections.
2. Have a clear investment plan. Every college credit has a cost associated with it. Investigate all the credit options per career and then decide what makes the most sense. Don't be a fool and just throw your money into the college market without weighing the cost/credit options in relation to the career path. Furthermore, since most degrees require a masters (or two), there is a need to consider the long term financial investments in supporting your child's career plan.
3. Get your child involved as early as possible. If you are investing in their future then they should be accountable for the return on your investment. Many children go to college blind of the cost and parental commitments involved in such an experience. Given the overwhelming costs associated with such an investment, your young adult must be involved.