By: Gen & Kelly Tanabe authors of Get Into Any College: Secrets Of Harvard Students, Get Free Cash For College: Scholarship Secrets Of Harvard Students, and founders of SuperCollege.com where you'll find more tips, secrets, and strategies. Copyright 2000.
The thought of giving your child 100% freedom for anything is probably pretty frightening. Maybe it's more realistic to target 90% or even 85%. Nevertheless, when your child is accepted to colleges, you should give him or her as much freedom as your checkbook can handle in choosing where to attend. After all, it is your child, not you, who is going to be at the school for the next four years.
Obviously since you are probably the one who will foot a major part of the bills, you can express your preferences to your child; but for the most part, let him or her choose among the schools you can afford.
Both of my parents are University of Southern California alumni, and if you are familiar with USC, you know that there is something so powerfully inherent in being a USC alumnus that convinces you that your offspring, your offspring's offspring, and the next 17 generations of offspring must attend that college. Thus, when I earned a full tuition scholarship to USC and an additional scholarship that would have paid for my room and board plus given me a little extra for books, it was a very difficult offer to turn down.
Somehow, however, my mother and father combated their natural USC alumni instinct and allowed me to make my own decision about where to go. Now that they no longer have any tuition bills to pay, I think my parents finally agree that it was worth it for me to have no regrets about my decision to go to Harvard.
Be as supportive as possible about which school your child wants to attend, and emphasize that you are proud, whatever his or her ultimate decision may be. After all, as we all know, it really does not matter which college your child goes to as much as what he or she makes of the experience.
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