Parents are highly involved with their kids’ education, particularly when it comes down to picking colleges for a number of reasons.
Reason #1 – Economic instability. In ye olde days, a nice, hard working kid from a suburban town would go to University of Pennsylvania and get a liberal arts degree and would end up just fine. Career, car, kids, house, vacations, whatever. In that comfort zone. It was all very predictable.
Now, people have no idea how they should steer their kids. What careers are off the table now? Law and journalism, for sure. How about medicine? Is that still considered a “good” career? What happens to kids with a English degree? Do they end up with suitable jobs down the line? Is pharmacy okay or is that being taken over by robots? What jobs aren’t being outsourced to Eastern Europe?
There are new good jobs around. I guess someone has to sell all those pop-up ads on my dumb cellphone games. But I don’t know enough to advise my kid on those matters. He’s going to have to figure out the job market stuff entirely on his own.
That’s scary for folks, especially because we all know families that are still supporting their 20-something kids. People are losing by making the wrong choices.
Reason #2 – There are options. For people who have never shopped for schools before, it’s a whole new experience. For those who have full stocked 520’s, I guess it’s like going to Burdoff Goodman for the first time with someone else’s credit card. Even for us, it’s fun to make decisions and to get wooed. Some parents are probably reliving their youths.
Reason #3 – There’s a reason that first generation kids have a hard time staying in college and making good choices. It’s hard. Parents have to be involved.