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Tips From Financial Advisers for Those Choosing a College – WSJ.com

March 14, 2011

Tips From Financial Advisers for Those Choosing a College – WSJ.com

via Tips From Financial Advisers for Those Choosing a College – WSJ.com.

1. THE ADVICE: Encourage your child to select a career first, and then a school.

THE REASON

Many parents and children approach college as a time to sort things out, to delve into a lot of areas and see which ones the child finds most inspiring. Greg Gilbert, an Atlanta-based financial adviser, sees it differently.

Lloyd Miller

College, he says, is preparation for a career. But children often first think about what school they want to attend and then determine what career they will pursue. That can result in wasted time and money.

Thinking first about career options “helps children focus their college experience instead of hopping around from school to school,” says Mr. Gilbert. It also may help cut down on costly extra classes in college and reduce or eliminate the need to retrain in the future, he says.

Of course, many high-school students have no idea what kind of work they want to do after college. Mr. Gilbert recommends that clients have their children work with a professional career counselor who can walk them through career options. In addition, he recommends that children shadow or at least visit with their parents’ friends or other professionals in their field of interest and try to get volunteer or paid experience in the given field as early as possible.

“The key is not just saying ‘Oh, I want to do this,’ but instead, really actively vetting out the [career] idea to see if it’s the right choice,” he says.

 

 

2. THE ADVICE: Don’t promise your child you’ll pay the entire tuition.

Read on . . .

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