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UTSA Alumni Association: The College Conversation Can Start Earlier Than You Think

UTSA Alumni Association

This post is written and sponsored by the UTSA Alumni Association. The UTSA Alumni Association is offering a membership promotion! Get an annual membership to both the Alumni Association and the San Antonio Zoo for just $45 for a single membership and $75 for a joint membership. Additional memberships can be purchased for $28 which is cheaper than going through the Zoo! This offer is available through December 1st. For questions, please email alumni@utsa.edu. Thank you for supporting the organizations and brands that support San Antonio Mom Blogs!

There is a natural order of learning for kids. It starts will learning sounds, then speech, then colors, numbers, letters…Parents have plenty to do in the early years of their children’s life. We do it because we want them to be prepared and feel confident and happy so going to school isn’t so scary.

The college talk is thought to be appropriate once students are in high school. But by then, it is only four years or less away. It can be overwhelming to try and have the conversation about college when the pressure is already high. But talking about college is just like saving for it – the earlier you start, the better! Here are some ways you can start the conversation with your child in an age appropriate way that will get them excited and feel confident about what they want to do when the time comes to make the college decision.

Make Learning Fun and Exciting

If we can show our children early on learning is fun, then school will be something positive for them. Every child is passionate about something; you just have to find what that is. If they love reading, then show them how to act out the character voices. If you see they are curious about how things work, help them take apart something and put it back together. You can introduce college by asking what do they want to be when they grow up, then see if there is an exhibit at a local college you could visit or talk to them about how college will help them become what they want to be. It’s not about getting them to decide what they want to do when they grow up, but making the connection that college helps them get there.

Introduce Them to a College

If you went to college or have family members who did, tell them about a college and their mascot. Watch a sports game with them and get a shirt of the team they want to root for. Even if you didn’t go to college, find a college you think they would get excited about just to start building a passion. Kids love to cheer on a team. Let them know why you think college is important even if you didn’t go to college. If you are an alumnus, take them to visit your college.

Read a Book or Watch a Movie about College

There are several children’s books about going to college that are age appropriate.
“Mahalia Mouse Goes to College”
“Oh, the Places You’ll Go”
“Judy Moody Goes to College”
“Monty Goes to College”

If they don’t enjoy reading, find an age appropriate movie or TV show that features a college or talks about college. “Rudy” is PG and would be good for an older elementary age or middle school student.

Summer Camp

Many colleges have summer camps for kids of all ages. Find a day camp or overnight camp in a subject or sport they enjoy. Sometimes they will offer scholarships to help with tuition. Walk around the campus with them and point out the different things you see.

Saving Money

Teach children early about the importance of saving money for college. Help them decorate a fun jar and savings jar. Talk to them about putting a little in the savings jar every time they get money. When the save jar has at least $25 in it, take them to the bank to open a 529 college savings plan. This reinforces that money is being put away for them to go to college someday.

Kids can get excited about college at any age. By making college a lifelong discussion with your children, you are better preparing them for the day they have to start making those big decisions.

This post is written and sponsored by the UTSA Alumni Association. The UTSA Alumni Association is offering a membership promotion! Get an annual membership to both the Alumni Association and the San Antonio Zoo for just $45 for a single membership and $75 for a joint membership. Additional memberships can be purchased for $28 which is cheaper than going through the Zoo! This offer is available through December 1st. For questions, please email alumni@utsa.edu. Thank you for supporting the organizations and brands that support San Antonio Mom Blogs!

UTSA Alumni Association

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