Parents are being urged to take an active interest in helping their children investigate university study.
Charles Sturt University (CSU) prospective student advisor, Ms Katy Fardell, believes that a parent helping their child to research their options, helps prepare them both for a successful transition to university life.
“Communicate, and don’t make assumptions on anything, be they your child’s intentions to go immediately into university studies or have a ‘gap’ year, what kind of course or career they’ll pursue, or even who’ll be picking up the cost of university. Being open and discussing intentions means no surprises for both of you,” said Ms Fardell.
“Next, do the research and encourage the prospective student to consider and compare courses, universities and accommodation options to see what’s right for them. Using the available resources means you can also be informed parents.”
The student adviser said making a successful transition to university study requires planning.
“Find out what the costs are to apply to university and what to expect in regard to paying for accommodation and books,” said Ms Fardell.
“Also find out the closing dates for various applications and organise to get those application forms filled in ahead of time. Don’t leave things to the last minute.”
Ms Fardell believes her next tip can be one of the most difficult for a parent.
“Let go. University is a great time for young adults to spread their wings and become more independent. Encourage and nurture this, and provide support when needed, especially just as university classes start.
“Living independently can also be a challenge for the new student. They need to be able to look after themselves: washing, cooking, budgeting skills, they all count.
“They also may need to have a driver’s licence, Medicare card, tax file number and bank accounts. It’s better to set these up before they leave home.”
Finally, Ms Fardell university scholarships can provide a useful buffer if financial situations get tough and recommends that students apply for all the scholarships for which they are eligible.
“Scholarships can not only provide an important source of income for students doing it tough, but also provide students with real world contacts through the donors who provide scholarships,” she said.
“You never know where these contacts can lead while the student attends university and after.”
CSU has nearly 500 scholarships available to new and continuing students every year to help make their study more affordable.
CSU is holding a number of parent information nights across the University’s footprint, starting in Griffith on Monday 15 August. For details on these events to help parents deal with prospective students and to book a place, go to the CSU Future Students website.
(Source: Charles Sturt University)