When Your Child Turns 18 and Goes to College: What Parents Need to Know
Oct25

When Your Child Turns 18 and Goes to College: What Parents Need to Know

Things to know when your child goes to college For some parents, it seems all that all they did was blink and their babies morphed overnight into young adults. In reality, the parents probably spent years preparing for that moment when their offspring would step through that opening that slams the door shut on childhood and swings open the door to adulthood. When your child goes to college, some important things change. So, what happens now that your baby is 18, a legal adult, and headed to college?  For starters, parents (and their student) need to talk about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The first exposure to FERPA will likely come during the college admissions application process. Students will be presented with a FERPA statement when applying to, or accepting an offer of admission from, any school that receives federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education — which they will be required to sign. Signing the FERPA statement is an acknowledgement by the student that he/she understands his/her right to review their academic record, control disclosure (grant who has permission to review the record), and request changes if an error is detected. According to Eric Stoller, Student Affairs and Technology blogger for Inside Higher Ed, FERPA can be the basis for some amazing conversations between students and their parents. “The biggest thing about FERPA is that most schools have clearly defined policies that are available for parents/families. The education about FERPA starts during the Admissions process and really takes hold during Orientation. Most people are okay with FERPA once they realize that it was designed to protect a student’s privacy.” Getting the bill vs. footing the tuition bill Another change that takes place when your child goes to college: once your child accepts an offer of admission, communication from the school with the parents pretty much disappears — if it has not already done so. Your child will receive the tuition bill and any information related to financial aid and/or scholarships. Many schools have moved to online payment of tuition and fees. Regardless of who is actually paying for college, it’s the student who gets the bill online, not the parent. Students who, as high schoolers, rarely checked their email now must do so in order to keep up with deadlines and notifications related to entering college. Stoller points out that some schools have systems in place that help parents out when it comes to keeping abreast of information available only online. “There have actually been some developments on the part of student online services providers to create access points for parents/families to be able to...

Read More