What can parents do if they disagree with their child's college choice(s)?

Rhiannon Schade
Director of College Counseling
Collegewise of Millburn

It’s difficult to answer this question without having context. It depends on why the parent disagrees. What are their reasons? The best way to avoid a situation where the student wants to attend a different college than the parent would like is by opening up clear lines of communication before the student submits a single application. That being said, if you are in this situation, I recommend having a very honest conversation and being upfront about whose priorities matter more here. Things are not always as straightforward as they may seem.

Charlotte M. Klaar, Ph.D.Charlotte M. Klaar, Ph.D.
Klaar College Consulting LLC
Unless it is a financial consideration, the decision is the student’s. It is the student who has to live at the college, not the parent. Smile and congratulate her on a decision that was well thought out. If it is a financial issue, you should have discussed this earlier in the process but, if the student wasn’t listening, then you simply have to tell her that you cannot afford to jeopardize your retirement for her education. Compromise is key.

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