College life 101: What kids should know before starting college

Parents often neglect basic skills like how to clean, cook, grocery shop and do laundry

ORLANDO, Fla. – About 62 percent of high school graduates enroll in college. There’s more to prepare for than the SATs and many children are ready to live on their own.

Alicia Keaton, the director of financial aid at UCF, the largest college in the country, says it’s important to educate your teens about finances before they step foot on a college campus.

“So, you can learn how to create a budget. To learn, maybe I don’t need to eat out every single day. Maybe I need to pack a lunch,” Keaton said.

Some parents neglect to teach their teens basic skills, like how to cook, clean, grocery shop, and do laundry. Taking time to show them is crucial.

It’s also important to make sure they know how to navigate their own medical care. This includes making doctor appointments, understanding insurance coverage, and learning how to keep track of medications.

Another topic to discuss with your teens is the impact of social media. While it might be fun to post pictures of their active social life, they should remember that inappropriate posts could pose serious consequences for them later when they’re job hunting.

Also, emphasize that staying on top of schoolwork is essential.

“Procrastination is the death of a future and current college student,” Keaton said.

It’s also important to discuss credit cards with your college kids. It’s not unusual for college freshman to be inundated with credit card applications.

Before they get one, they should understand how to adhere to a budget and not the credit limit. They should understand the importance of paying off the balance every single month.

A good rule is to only use it for education expenses and not shopping sprees.

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