How To Help Your Kids Choose the Right College | Blog

While they may not explicitly ask for help, your kids still look up to you for guidance. 

One of the biggest decisions that they will likely need help with is their decision about which college to attend. However, helping your kids choose the right college for them shouldn’t be a “my way or the highway” situation. Instead, it should instead be a collaborative time of communication and creative guidance.

In one of our latest episodes of Retirement Revealed with Jeremy Keil, Rich Mannisto, Vice President at Wisconsin Lutheran College (WLC), joined us to discuss how you can guide your kids, or even grandkids, with their college decision-making without crossing that fine line towards being overbearing.

Rich draws from his 8 years of experience working in higher education to share his expert advice on key questions you should ask while choosing a college, as well as the importance of aligning your values with the college you choose.

Apart from addressing how to guide your children, we’ll also take a look at:

  • How you can use your kids’ college decision to re-focus and advance your own career.
  • How you can partner with colleges and nonprofits to advance your own personal life mission

Read on to discover how identifying the right college can build your kids’ careers — and take yours to the next level!

Key questions to ask during your college search

We believe a great way to get your kids to start thinking about which college is right for them is to get them involved in the search process. 

Have them take a look at prospective colleges and let them do their own research online. See what they like and keep an open dialogue as they discover the pros and cons of each of their options.

After every college tour with his son, Rich also likes to have a thought-provoking conversation, in which he asks the following questions:

  • What did you like about that college?
  • What are your values?
  • Do your values match up with what you saw at the college?

There are several such factors that can influence your choice of college and these questions can help point your child in the right direction on their own.

Doing all of these things will allow you to provide guidance and support to your child during their college search without being overbearing.

Exploring your faith with your college decision

Everybody is different when it comes to their faith, how they believe it is going to mature during their college years, and how much support they want during that time. Despite this, your faith is still a significant factor that should be considered during the college search process.

Faith has a strong influence on someone’s core values, who they are, and what they believe in. Choosing a college that aligns with those values can have a highly positive impact on your children and their college experience. It can also allow them to meet their expectations of how they want their faith to mature over the years!

For instance, Rich’s son is a great Christian young man. As they take his faith into consideration, they have been considering several Christian college options, such as Wisconsin Lutheran College, which offers a Christian servant leadership program and matches his values.

How colleges can boost your own career

Not everyone turns 18 and goes straight off to college. For many, their journey through college isn’t always a linear one, either.

As you help your pre-college student explore their options this could be a great time to think about the next chapter in your own life.

Some people have their college interrupted or can’t get it started until later in life. But you shouldn’t let this keep you from advancing your career and getting the degree you desire! 

We believe that it’s never too late to learn new skills and we encourage anyone and everyone who wishes to go back to college and complete their degree to do so. 

In fact, it isn’t always as difficult as it might seem to pursue higher education as an adult. For example. WLC offers opportunities for adults to complete their degrees through its Adult Accelerated Degree Program. It offers the flexibility of allowing adult students to work on their degree during evenings or weekends, online or in-person. This makes it much easier for adults to balance their full-time jobs and families while simultaneously completing their degree.

So, if you didn’t get a chance to complete your college earlier, you can still do it now! 

Don’t hesitate in taking that step towards education. It can significantly boost your career later on!

How to partner with nonprofits to give back and pursue your passions

You may have several goals in life that you wish to accomplish. 

Have you ever considered that there could be several institutions that share the same mission as you? 

When you’re able to find that common ground with institutions and their values, and identify opportunities to work together, that’s where the magic happens! And you can spark that magic by donating your resources to help such institutions in advancing your common mission.

Your gift also doesn’t necessarily need to be a million dollars. It can be a small amount like a hundred or one thousand or ten thousand dollars, or, you can also make a commitment through your estate planning. Whatever amount is significant to you is certainly significant to the nonprofits you support.

If you really wish to be more engaged with nonprofits, be bold and ask questions! Take that first step and tell them that you wish to learn more about them, their values and their mission. Eventually, you’ll find something that interests you, and you can work on that together!

If you have any further questions about guiding your kids in their college decision or even pursuing a degree for your own career advancement, feel free to contact us!

If you wish to learn more about Wisconsin Lutheran College, visit their website. If you are interested in taking a tour of their campus or learning how to advance their mission, be sure to reach out to Rich Mannisto!


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