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How to keep your kid from moving back home after college

how to keep your college kid from returning home, helping your college student get a job,
Help your child to launch into a career after college.
If your child is headed to college sometime in the near future, you may worry that he'll return home to live with you after those four years are up. It's a valid concern—according to the New York Times, 40 percent of 20-somethings move back home at least once.

Back a few decades, most people didn't look at a young adult living at home in a favorable light. That's not necessarily the case today. These graduates either cannot find a job or do not want to work a job offering a wage that is too low to cover their living expenses. Another issue is that many of these graduates refuse to work jobs not related to their field of study. They graduate college with little or no savings, too, to help them get launched.

If you want to know how you can help your child succeed after graduation, read on. There's no foolproof formula, but there is hope.

Start early in the research and planning phase

If you start planning early, you may be able to assist your child in investigating and applying for scholarship programs. There are three questions college students need to answer. These answers are crucial in determining which programs are more likely to accept him.

You need to ask him:
  • What he wants to do
  • Where he wants to do it
  • Whom he wants to do it for
This early research and planning phase could eliminate his need for a large loan.

Debt accumulation takes away choices

Before your child starts his search for a college, he needs to create a personal financial pan. This plan is the platform he uses to decide budgeting and selecting his school. As a parent, you may want to assist him in paying for his college courses. That, of course, is up to you. However, according to Laura Hamilton,  sociology professor at the University of California in Merced, larger parent contributions to four-year students actually play a part in those students having lower grades.

Debt acquired through identity theft is a growing issue, particularly for young adults, who may give away a lot of their personal information via social media. Even if your child is smart with money, it's important he check his credit regularly and learn about the dangers of identity theft. The Balance shares useful articles about credit basics, avoiding identity theft, and debt management, as well as strategies to take when you can't make mortgage payments.

Stress the importance of attendance

Many college professors choose not to take attendance. While the importance of attendance may seem obvious to you, don't assume that's so with your child, who may be enamored with his new-found freedom. Attending his classes regularly not only helps him do better in his studies, it prepares him for the workforce. Once employed, he is unable to skip work—at least, not without severe consequences. 

Help him realize that college is a full-time job

The rule of thumb for college students is that for each hour of class they need to spend two hours working on their studies. If he follows this rule, he is probably already working a full-time, 40-hour a week job. This makes the transition from student to professional easier.

Deadlines need to be taken seriously

A deadline matters because once he becomes a member of the workforce, he is not likely to receive any extra time on a project. Consequently, keeping track of and abiding by deadlines is essential to his college career and future employment.

Guest blog by Christina Lee, a Boston-based financial adviser.

Readers: What are your thoughts about getting grads launched into their career? Share your comments!


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