Parents walking with a graduate

Parents: Ten Conversations to Have with Your Child About College


As a parent, you want to make sure you are preparing your child for the many challenges they face in their life. One of the biggest challenges they will face is finding the right college for them, with factors like cost, culture and careers all weighing in.

The thought of sending your child to college can be overwhelming. There are many decisions to make and you want to make sure you are setting your child up for a life of success.

Here are ten important conversations to have with your child before they make the life-changing decision of when and where they will pursue their education when they are done with high school.
1. College costs Money. But some cost way more than others.
Money in a wallet.

John Wood Community College is designed to be affordable, helping students avoid the overwhelming amounts of student loans found at other institutions. Even if your student plans on getting a four-year-degree (or more!), starting off at JWCC can help lower their overall college costs significantly.

2. Developing good study habits in high school will set your student up for success in college.

A student studying.  

Start the semester strong and finish strong. Taking advantages of the resources available to them will help your student achieve success in college. For example, John Wood Community College hosts a weekly Student Success Night, complete with study groups, tutors, childcare and more! Take a bigger look at the resources available to JWCC students HERE.

3. Time is Money.  Re-taking classes or not learning from each class not only wastes time, it wastes money.

Money next to a timer.

Taking class work seriously is an important mindset for success. A college education is so much more than just passing classes. It is about making connections, diving deep into subjects and adding to the conversation. Your student is setting off on a large undertaking when they enroll in college and the more seriously they take it, the more they benefit.


4. It’s okay if your student doesn’t know exactly what they want to do with their life right when they start college.

A row of doors.

When you pick an affordable institution, like JWCC, it’s okay to try out a few different paths before committing to a major. And even then you don’t know where you will end up. Many jobs lead to other jobs. Life is about building blocks, and college gives you more opportunities.

5. Staying close to home doesn’t mean your student won’t get the ‘real’ college experience.

JWCC Student Administrative Building

Some people aren’t quite ready to move far away from home and have found John Wood Community College to be a great stepping stone while they mentally prepare for their next chapter. JWCC’s active campus offers tons of great events, athletics and studying resources, like you would find at a much larger university.

6. Have fun. Take some classes just because. Develop passions.

Artist painting a mural.

College is a time to explore and learn about a student’s interests. Always wondered about graphic design? Try it out! Interested in business? Take an accounting class! The opportunities are endless, and sometimes the class someone takes just because they are interested can lead to a fulfilling career. Attending college at a liberal arts institution means that students take extracurriculars all while still working toward their degrees. So experimenting a little is worth the time!

7. It’s okay to break up a degree plan.

Taking one step.

Going all the way for a bachelor’s degree right out of the gate is not for everyone. Some choose to get an A.A. and then work for a few years. Your student may decide to pivot or you may go into your bachelor’s with a whole different perspective.  A college education is about the journey, and it is about developing endurance.

8. College is tough, but so is your student!

A man studying.

They can do it. College will push them, but they are capable. Keeping focused on goals will help motivate your student. Encouraging words and support from parents will also help set your student up for success. Be their biggest cheerleader!

9. Student loans take a long time to pay back and they add up quickly.

 A broken piggy bank

Student loans often just start as small sums, a couple of thousand dollars a semester. But those semesters (and interest charges) add up! Finding ways to save money on your college education can help prepare you for more success in your future. Look for scholarships, save money from a summer job, and consider starting out at JWCC to reduce your overall loan debt.







10. Skipping class is bad.

An empty classroom

Really bad. You are paying for college. Most of the time, attendance is not mandatory. But missing class means missing out- on lessons, on valuable class time and on preparing for the next steps.


Want more information? Reach out to our experienced admissions counselors to get your questions answered, set up a meeting and more by texting or calling 217.393.8400.