Many low to middle-income families are living from paycheck to paycheck. Even those that are able to put some money aside in savings still might not have money saved for their children’s future. Many have just set the money aside for regular life issues that could come up.
However, in order for their children to survive and thrive during their adult years, they must have a marketable skill. This does happen naturally for some, however, it’s best to ensure that employers can measure that skill by the education and experience that a job candidate has. Many employers won’t even hire someone without at least a bachelor’s degree. Unfortunately, many parents that dream about their child attending college haven’t been to school themselves; and they don’t know how to get their children there. As a community financial institution, you can help parents learn to plan.
Information to Share with Parents
Scholarships and Grants – This is the most common, go-to recommendation; but you usually have to combine it with other solutions. You may already offer scholarships; if so, just make sure your customers know how their teenager can apply for one. Help teach parents and teenagers how to research local community scholarships as well. It’s also best if students choose an industry before college because they have a better chance at getting both local scholarships and industry specific ones.
Small Community Colleges – Small community colleges are more personable and the staff will often go out of their way to help young people find funding for school. They also typically offer the same classes and degrees that larger, more expensive, colleges offer as well.
Distance Learning – Though a university education is quite desirable for most high school graduates, it’s not always a realistic option for many students in developing countries. In addition, it’s not the only path to success teenagers can take. There are quite a few distance learning programs where they can earn certificates or the equivalent of even higher degrees, in a wide variety of industries.
Some of these learning programs are cost very little (others provide bursaries for students from developing countries), and there are many industries that students can often find work in — if they can prove that they can do the job. To prove this, the young person must:
Have a certificate showing he completed the appropriate coursework,
Demonstrate professionalism, and
- Show some work experience in the field, (students can often find entry-level work in many industries if they’re willing to work for free while they’re studying).
These industries include:
Web and app design,
Accounting for small businesses,
Point parents toward the following online resources:
The Khan Academy – Free college courses
Edx.Org – Free college courses
Coursera – Free certificate, college courses
Alison.Com – Free certificate and diploma courses
Udemy – Some free and some paid certificate courses
Universal Class– Low price certificate courses
Families can combine these courses creatively to give their graduating teenagers the employable skills they need – Even one or two certificates can offer a teenager a gateway into a lucrative career. For example, a Certificate in Party Planning or Automotive Repair combined with Business Administrative Certificate can allow a high school graduate to start a thriving Event Planning or Car Maintenance business.
Teach parents how to teach their children about budgeting – All too often young people go out into the world without understanding the most important component to building a healthy financial future. They don’t know how to budget. Point parents to budgeting resources like Bank of America and BudgetWorksheets.Org.