Here are some scenarios to discuss together as a family. The more you can talk about these things either in advance, or along the way, the more prepared you will be when challenges arise…and they will. Of course, there are no right or wrong answers for any of these situations, but we hope we’ve provided some helpful guidance.
Also, you might find this article about parenting a college student useful (PDF).
You opened a checking account for your daughter before she came to Augsburg. You put in what you thought would be an adequate amount of money for her entire first semester. However, with several weeks left in the semester, she sends you an e-mail asking for more money. She claims she hasn’t been spending foolishly; that the little things she had to buy added up to more than she had planned. What should you say and do?
While there are suggested dollar amounts available through the Enrollment Center, there is no budget amount for individual families. Communication is key. While you’ll have to decide what to do in the moment, it might be worth the time and relative tension to sit down and develop a budget with your student. Helping your student to differentiate between needs and wants, and set realistic projections of day-to-day expenses is part of the developmental process. I found a book that a lot folks have found helpful in explaining money matters to kids and teens. It’s called “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children.” by Neale S. Godrey and Carolina Edwards. You may want to check it out, too.
Making further assessments about whether and where to seek employment to help with some of the expenses is also encouraged. There are jobs available on and off campus for students. Encourage your student to check with the Human Resources office (or check their web site) for more information.
Your daughter has completed her first semester at Augsburg and has a 2.0 GPA. She was a straight A student in high school. She has gotten very involved in many activities and is having a great time socially and extra-curricularly. What should you say and do?
Grades are a reflection of a lot of factors, and a number rarely tells the whole story. Taking time to listen without jumping to conclusions could go a long way. Once you and your student have a good sense of what a 2.0 means in the long run, you can help your student decide what is best in looking to the next semester.
Learning how to manage time is big. For help with this and for academic assistance, your student may wish to meet with an Academic Advisor. (612)330-1025 will get you there.
Starting off with a rough semester is not the end of the world, but being able to reflect on what happened and asking for help could be essential to turning things around. Just ask. The College aims to both challenge and support each student, parents can do the same.
Your son calls home after a few weeks at Augsburg and reports that the food is awful, he has no social life, the academic work is too demanding, and that he’s planning to transfer “somewhere else” second semester. What should you say or do?
Similar to some of the other situations listed here, you may be dealing with a student who just needs someone to listen. Just because your student is in college does not mean that the anxiety is gone. It’s often remarkable how just acknowledging someone’s feelings can offer comfort. Some key phrase might sound something like: ” Sounds like you’re dealing with a lot right now. ” Lots of parents tell us that repeating back the basic feelings of their student can result in a sense of relief on the other end of the phone. ” Do you think you might like to talk with someone about your concerns? ” might be another non-aggressive way to help your student fine the resources to sort out his or her feelings in order to decide how to take steps to resolve them.
For assistance with personal matters, the Center for Counseling and Health Promotions is staffed with professional counselors. Their number is (612)330-1707.
You and your child have always been close; talked about everything. Now what should you expect?
Make sure that you and your son or daughter agrees about how you will stay in touch when they are at Augsburg. Decide the best ways to stay in touch (E-mail, phone, visits?) as well as how often feels comfortable (daily, weekly, monthly?). Remember to check periodically to make sure you are both comfortable with the way things are going.
Your child is getting ready to graduate, what about insurance coverage? What about job placement?
With health insurance, it is still the case in some states that a child’s health insurance coverage is dropped from the parents’ policy after the student leaves college. In the State of Minnesota, a new law took that allows unmarried dependents to remain on their parents’ health insurance until the age of 25. This provision does not apply to self-insured plans, however, so Minnesota parents are urged to check with their policy holder. It also does not apply to young adults who are financially independent, nor to families outside Minnesota.
We have an awesome career planning and placement office here at Augsburg. Our professional staff is ready to help students in every way as they begin their job search. Their website iswww.augsburg.edu/cswl. I also highly recommend the following website and it’s resources for parents: www.The4realities.com
Your child is either moving to a new residence hall on campus with a kitchen, or graduating and getting his/her first place. Shopping for healthy foods? Cooking for the first time? Help!
With the fast pace of college life, it may seem that cooking healthy meals is not a realistic option, but it actually can be. First Kitchen, a one-hour interactive DVD and website, developed by two recent college grads, Allison Rufsvold and Mollie Schields, http://www.firstkitchencooks.com is a great resource for those finding themselves in a kitchen for the first time. It features step-by-step techniques for easy, good-tasting, healthy recipes that can increase your young adult’s self-sufficiency, protect their health, save them money and have fun doing it!