Five Ways to Convince Your Child of the Importance of College

By Huntington Learning Center

The way you talk about college can have a tremendous influence on your child. Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center encourages parents to take the stance that college is an investment that’s not just a good idea, but essential. 

“Parents have probably heard it before and it is true: they are arguably the biggest influence in their children’s lives,” she says. “If you want your child to go to college, talk about it in a positive way. Avoid the ‘Do this because I say so,’ approach, which can backfire and robs your child of the opportunity to make his or her own decisions.” 

What is a better way to go about it? Share some of the most compelling benefits of college education. Here are a few facts to share with your child to convince him or her that college is an excellent idea:

  1. College exposes students to new ideas and people. There is a lot to be learned at college, both in and outside of the classroom. Huntington suggests that parents who went themselves talk fondly of college, the friendships they made, the life experiences they gained and the personal and academic discoveries gained. Parents who didn’t go to college can still make a convincing argument that their children should by sharing what led them not to and why they doing so would have benefitted them. 
  1. College graduates earn more over the long term. Parents should show their children data from a source such as the U.S. Census Bureau on the earning potential of people with college degrees. Their Current Population Survey (2018) figures speak for themselves, showing higher earnings for those with college education: 

Educational attainment

Median usual weekly earnings

Unemployment rate

Doctoral degree

 $                   1,825


Professional degree

 $                   1,884


Master's degree

 $                   1,434


Bachelor's degree

 $                   1,198


Associate degree

 $                      862


Some college, no degree

 $                      802


High school graduates, no college

 $                      730



  1. College graduates stand apart (and/or meet minimum requirements). While there are companies and organizations out there that do not require bachelor’s degrees, there are also many that consider a four-year degree the minimum job requirement. And even for companies that don’t outright say that college degrees are required to work there, having one will set an individual apart from others and open doors in the long run. 
  1. College helps young adults figure things out. It isn’t easy to choose a career and many people change careers at least a couple of times throughout their lives. The primary purpose of college, however, is to prepare people to make good decisions about their career paths. Huntington reminds parents that attending college is a great way for teens to mature and explore many options with the guidance of professors, career services staff and other mentors. 

Lastly, Huntington says that if you do all of these things and still find as your child nears college that the idea of continuing on after high school just isn’t appealing, call Huntington. 

“Sometimes children who struggle through elementary and middle school really hit the wall in high school and have no interest in discussions about the importance of a college degree,” says Huntington. “Huntington can help identify what’s really going on. Your teen could be missing skills that are preventing him or her from succeeding in most classes, therefore making school a frustrating and unenjoyable experience. The sooner you get help, the better for your child’s future.” 

Cal Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN to find out how to help your child be the best student possible and lay the groundwork for college.