If your kid doesn’t want to go to college, a former professor says you shouldn’t force them. Here’s what parents can do instead.

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Every student doesn’t need to go to college, a former teacher says.

Some high-school graduates don’t want to go to college, and that’s scary for parents.I’m a former college teacher, and I tell parents they shouldn’t force their kids into college.Instead, parents should do research and brainstorm alternatives.

While most high schoolers are expected to take the SAT, apply to colleges, and enroll in a two- or four-year school, some students just aren’t interested in the college experience.

In fact, between 2019 and 2022, the number of undergraduate students at colleges has dropped 8% around the country. Many cite high tuition costs, but others are turning to part-time work or trade schools.

For many parents, a child who is not interested in attending college can be scary. I’m a former college teacher, and during my nine years of teaching, countless students came through my classroom and said they wish they didn’t enroll.

Instead of forcing students into college, here’s what I recommend parents do instead.

First, you need to respect your child’s reasons for not wanting to go to college

As your high-school graduate moves from their teen to young-adult years, it’s time to place some boundaries — on yourself.

If your child is mature enough to come to you and express why they aren’t interested in attending college, listen to them. Their reasons might be problems you can solve together, and college may still be in their future.

But their concerns may be reasonable. No matter how ridiculous you feel your child is being, by offering them your support, you can build trust and respect.

Start by doing a lot of research

Through your research, you will likely learn a new reality: A four-year degree may earn your kid a diploma, but they’ll also likely earn a mountain of debt.

A diploma also doesn’t mean your adult child will automatically land a sustainable, fulfilling job in their trained field. To get anywhere in some fields, your child will have to go to grad school — which means more time and more money.

Insider recently reported that some college degrees are more likely to be deemed “useless,” including theater, history, communications, and psychology.

Through your research, you may learn that times have changed, and many younger adults are landing rewarding jobs without a college degree.

Make a list of pros for both skipping and attending college

As a parent, your mind probably drifted toward a few — or many — reasons why your child is wrong about not going to college. But there are also pros if your child decides that college isn’t for them right now.

By not going, they’d be saving a whole lot of money, conserving their intelligence and talents for a different path, and giving this major life decision more time.

Then lay out the pros of attending college. Seeing all of this spelled out on paper may help your confused student.

You can also brainstorm some alternatives to college with your student

Parents often joke that they don’t want their kids living in the basement and playing video games all day. That’s a valid concern. If college is no longer on the table, you may both wonder what’s next.

You can work together to come up with alternative options. Look into trade or technical schools. Your child might want to go straight into the workforce, picking up a part-time or full-time job that’s of interest to them. Sometimes young adults are intimidated by a university, but they might consider taking classes at a community college instead.

Don’t forget to enjoy the extra time you have together

Don’t be surprised if your child needs more time to grow into adulthood. Just because your kid graduated high school, it doesn’t mean your influence and guidance ends; it can shift into more of a teamwork approach.

If they’re not in college, don’t forget to relish the holidays, evenings, and weekends together — and use that time to strengthen your relationship, especially after those tumultuous teen years.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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