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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Going away to college involves moving to a new city, leaving friends and family members behind, entering a new and challenging environment, trying to make new friends, and dealing with coursework that is much more difficult than that of high school. It’s no wonder that many high school kids are apprehensive about going to college.

Your high school kids need to know that college allows them to broaden their interests, pursue their objectives, make great friendships, and experience a fun social life. They also experience the joy of 1:00 A.M pizza deliveries while cramming for exams!

Visit College Campuses
Visiting college campuses is a great way for high school kids to get a sense of the vibrant college atmosphere. If possible, take a walk through a few dorms. Visiting college campuses makes college seem like something tangible. Tour a campus and, if possible, attend sporting events or concerts on-campus. You can also take virtual college campus tours on the Web along with your teenager via Campus Tours.com.

Surf the Internet
Search the Internet for valuable college information. Find colleges and universities with degree programs covering subjects that interest your kids. Search for interesting degree programs your high school kids has never heard of, and send them links via email.

College Life
Let your kids know that the vast majority of college students, especially those living on-campus or in a nearby college town, have a great time. They have plenty of people to hang out with, parties to go to, and plenty of opportunities to meet the opposite sex. It’s hard to be lonely living in a college dorm.

Kids at college, especially those living in dorms, form strong personal bonds with other students, making life more fulfilling. Most colleges have a large number of student organizations and clubs to join.

Summer Programs
Some colleges have summer residential programs for high school students. While experiencing life on-campus, they bond with other students via on-campus social activities. They typically attend lectures, work on project-based assignments, perform individual and group work, and take field trips.

Students explore subjects not available in high school, and this may lead them to get excited about a major. Many colleges invite sophomores, juniors, and seniors to participate in their summer programs. Most programs last two weeks or longer.

Financial Benefits of a College Education
Kids that are reluctant to go to college simply need good reasons to attend college. They need to be convinced that college is the right path. Money might be a motivating factor. 2008 Census data shows that people 25 years of age and older with a only a high school diploma earned $33,801 whereas people with a bachelor’s degree earned $55,657 and individuals with a master’s degree earned $67,337. A report from the College Board Advocacy Policy Center shows that people with a college degree are less likely to experience unemployment.

College Versus a Job
Teenagers should realize that going to college is way more fun than sitting through a boring entry-level job for eight hours a day. Inform your teenager that life in a college dorm includes three meals a day prepared by other people slaving away in a kitchen! They don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to drive to work five days a week; they can schedule their classes so that they can get up at more preferable times in the morning. They don’t have a boss telling them what to do all day and they don’t have to perform the same boring work tasks over and over again. Teenagers need to know that a college education increases their chances of landing an interesting, rewarding job.

High school students that are reluctant to go to college should know that most college graduates say their college years were some of the best years of their life. Years after they graduate, they’ll likely look back at their college years with fond memories.

Brian Jenkins writes about a variety of topics related to careers and education, including careers in accounting and bookkeeping, for the Riley Guide.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their kids to go to college.