Mom in Training: Sneaky Ways to Encourage Reluctant Kids to Go to College

December 5, 2012

Sneaky Ways to Encourage Reluctant Kids to Go to College

While some parents are fine if their children decide to pursue a vocational career, others really want their youngsters to head to college after four years of high school. Essentially, no one can really be forced into attending college. But still, many ways exist for sneakily encouraging your teenagers to attend college. If you feel out of options, it'd be best to read on!

Point Out Specific Jobs
Often, teens simply need to realize the realities that face those without a four year degree out on the job market. Ask your kid where they want to be in 4 years, and they likely won't reply that they'd like to be working at McDonalds or Subway. You can also go big with this - if your kid is a fan of a certain celebrity or artist, look into their background and see if they went to college. The vast majority of respected artists, journalists and actors have a college degree (tip - the older the star, the more likely this is true). Point out that they likely wouldn't have achieved their success without it!

Paying Their Bills
One of the reasons why your teenagers might be reluctant to go to college is because you have been paying all of their bills for quite some time now. Cut off the funds, and require them to make car payments, insurance and their cell phone bill. If they're already 18, this is only fair anyway. After just a few months, or maybe even weeks, they will see how difficult it is to support themselves with income that comes only from a job at the local pizza parlor or deli. Through realizing how expensive it is to function as an adult, they may wish to go to college.

College Preparatory School

If you suspect that your child might be a bit reluctant to go to college before he or she even enters high school, look into sending your teen to a college preparatory school as opposed to a public school. In these types of schools, the rate of students who attend college is generally higher than in public schools. These types of schools are generally religious and/or private. Students might be more influenced to attend college if they notice that everyone around them is doing it. Finally, a positive type of peer pressure comes into play! In addition to having this positive influence, students can generally take college level courses that make them interested in what higher education has to offer them. If finances are an issue, look into funding opportunities - more exist than most would expect.

Visiting Colleges
It's likely that one of your teenager's siblings, friends or cousins attends college somewhere. Before your teen gets to their senior year of high school, allow them to spend a night or a weekend with this person at college. Simply seeing the college vibe may be enough to motivate your youngster to apply. Of course, you don't want your child thinking that college is one big party. Therefore, it would be best if you made sure that he or she attends at least one college class while there, and consider even going with friends or taking part in a large visit day where they can meet other people - this is often a huge pull for students on the fence.

See? It's not that difficult to encourage your children to go to college. Remember though, some of them might just not be the right fit for the undergraduate scene. Everyone has talents and skills, but not everyone has to develop those talents and skills in colleges. If your child does not choose college, encourage him or her to attend a technical or trade school instead - the more education they have, the more successful they'll be. Who knows - they might do the 2 year thing and then transfer to a 4 year institution someday.

Rachel Jenkins writes about parenting, education and more. She especially likes to help her readers find affordable online bachelors degree programs.


  1. Interesting post...I never even considered NOT going to college. I guess I should think about what my parents did to encourage that thought process!

  2. Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great ideas!! I am definitely one of the moms who says their children ARE going to college! :)

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