Five ways parents can prepare students for college: covering expenses and teaching life lessons

Five ways parents can prepare students for college: covering expenses and teaching life lessons

Preparing for college can be an exciting yet costly journey for both parents and students. 

Alongside tuition and housing, ancillary items like laptops, printers, and mini-fridges can add to the financial burden. In this blog post, we'll explore the importance of parental support in shouldering these expenses, and how personal IOUs can teach valuable life lessons to students. Let's delve into the data and sources that shed light on the expenses involved in preparing for college.

1. Importance of essential tech for college success:

A reliable laptop and printer are essential tools for academic success in college. According to a 2022 report from the National Retail Federation (NRF), Since 2019, total expected spending on back-to-college has grown by $19 billion and consumers are spending $223 more on average than they were prior to the pandemic. These expenses can quickly add up, making parental support crucial in ensuring students have the necessary tools to excel in their studies.

2. The dorm life necessity: mini-fridges:

It’s a question every soon-to-be college student asks themselves – “Do I really need a mini fridge?”. Many will say that dorm life demands the convenience of mini-fridges to store leftovers, drinks, sandwich supplies and more. The College Board reports that during the 2021-2022 academic year, students spent an estimated average of $1,240 on books and supplies at public four-year institutions. A portion of this expense can be attributed to purchasing or renting mini-fridges, highlighting their significance in college life.

3. Personal IOUs: teaching financial responsibility:

While parents may be inclined to cover all expenses, using personal IOUs can impart valuable financial lessons to students. By agreeing to repay their parents over time, students learn financial responsibility, budgeting and accountability. This approach can foster a sense of ownership and teach students to value and take care of the items provided to them.

4. Encouraging delayed gratification:

In a world of instant gratification, personal IOUs teach students the value of patience and delayed rewards. By working towards a goal over time, students develop discipline and a sense of accomplishment. This mindset can extend beyond financial matters, benefiting their academic pursuits and future career goals.

5. Building trust and open communication:

Implementing personal IOUs fosters open communication between parents and students. Discussing the terms and conditions of repayment establishes mutual understanding and trust. Moreover, this paves the way for future financial discussions, equipping students with vital skills for independent financial management.

Sending a child to college entails significant financial commitments for parents and students. In addition to tuition and housing, expenses like laptops, printers, and mini-fridges can pose challenges. However, by offering support and employing personal IOUs, parents impart crucial life lessons to their students. Financial responsibility, delayed gratification, and effective communication are valuable skills that will serve your student well throughout their lives. 

With your guidance and unwavering support, your student embarks on their college journey fully equipped to succeed in and outside of the classroom.

Zirtue Team
August 4, 2023
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