Applying to and seeking grant aid for college can be especially difficult for divorced or separated parents in Texas. Regardless of the duration of your separation, there are ways that you can collaborate to encourage your child to pursue further education. There is no one right approach, so the initial step is to find what works well for your family. Ensure you set clear expectations and develop methods of communication, allowing both you and your ex to find the college that will best serve your child’s needs.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
While it may be difficult, it is important to set quarreling aside for the sake of your college destined child. At the same time, you must also enable them to consider their own future, and how they should be preparing for it. When it came time to begin looking at colleges, author and father Rodney Lacroix understood that to locate the best match, they had to focus on their child’s potential major. When it was decided that she would pursue criminology, the family was better ready to filter colleges based on which ones offered the program.
Begin Early, Especially With Financial Aid
Given the additional time it takes to complete some tasks, this can be especially important. This is why Kate Driver, chief of college guiding at Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter College in Marlborough, Massachusetts, suggests starting the college application process as early as a sophomore year.
Begin the process by reading about managing your money — this will give a solid foundation on which to establish financial stability. Get comfortable with the distinctive budgetary guide applications, and what is expected of each parent. It is only necessary for the custodial parent, the one the child lived with the most during the previous year, to report their pay. If the custodial parent is remarried, they should incorporate their spouses’ salary as well. The CSS Profile, on the other hand, is utilized principally by universities with a non-government budgetary guide to grant, therefore it requires more detail. For this, both of the child’s parents must report their earnings.
Build up a System
While the details of how you and your ex communicate will rely upon the particulars of your relationship, it may be helpful to set up an arrangement in advance. Lacroix is currently amidst the college application process with his oldest daughter and ex-wife. As reported by an online divorce company in Texas, he has found being on excellent terms with his ex to be invaluable, and he suggests “mending bridges” if possible. What’s more, since there will be a large amount of information to track, specialists recommend sorting it out in a mutual Google doc or spreadsheet. Travel dates for campus visits are especially important to share when joint authority is included, states Ashley Goldsmith, a licensed marriage and family therapist.
Put Your Child in the Driver’s Seat
To enable your child while making things less demanding with your ex, allow them to make the decisions. There’s a difference between enabling your kid and placing them in the center, so ensure that you understand where the distinction lies.
Focus on Staying Involved
This step is very important, as positive association can eliminate hatred and false impressions. When joint college visits are not doable, attempt to distribute them evenly, with the goal that the two parents can see potential opportunities. It may be tempting to skip out when the visits are logistically challenging, but physically going and seeing the colleges can have a significant effect.
Ask Professionals for Help
College advisers and high school counselors can be an invaluable resource, especially for parents who do not have an amicable relationship. They can help by overseeing communication and ensuring all interested parties have correct and up-to-date information. The college procedure can trigger unresolved feelings, and an impartial and educated professional can help streamline the process.
At the end of the day, it is vital that during this process, you are doing what is best for your child’s future. Applying to colleges is an exciting and stressful time, you may find that your ex can be a valuable partner amid the process.
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