Tips for Parents to Maximize a Kid’s College Experience

The four years (let’s hope no longer) that our adult children are college students are designed to be a time of education and exploration. Often we boomer parents also immerse ourselves in the college experience, perhaps because we are paying part of that annual tab, which can top $60,000 at private universities. Not only do we want to make sure our children are attending classes and getting good grades, we miss them and want them to feel loved. If the …

Advice to Help Your Kids Get the Most From College

A recent family party celebrated a first-born child heading off to college. As the evening wound down, relatives gathered around the picnic table and offered advice to the college freshman, ranging from “Study hard but have some fun” to “Call your mom occasionally.” These suggestions were especially interesting in light of the “Is college worth it?” debate that has developed post-recession. Last spring Gallup released the result of a survey of 30,000 college alumni that found six elements common to …

Why Millennials Need Helicopter Parents to Stop Hovering

The great college move-in begins this week. Getting the students there is the easy part. Getting the parents to leave — in both mind and spirit — is the challenge. Indeed, though some colleges have show-parents-the-exit programs, many parents still hover from home. The University of Oregon has a section about “helicopter parenting” on its counseling services page. Telltale signs range from texting or emailing more than once a day to completing assignments or pushing a particular major. The counseling …

Back to School? Parents, Be on Guard for Student ID Theft

With the kids returning to school, you’ve earned a sigh of relief. But don’t breathe too easy just yet. From elementary through high school, students are 51 times more likely than their parents to be victims of identity theft. College students are ideal (and common) targets — and when hit, they lose more money and take longer to discover their identity theft than any other age group. And with forms, dorms and other threats, a new school year is especially …

Students Turning to Grandparents to Help Pay for College

How are families paying for college? Grandparents. Or, at least, grandparents and other relatives are kicking in more for a student’s education. The amount of money from relatives — often grandparents — and friends rose to an average of $1,247 this year, a 40 percent increase over last year. That’s according to Sallie Mae’s annual report, “How America Pays for College,” which is based on a survey of 1,600 parents and students. Student loan giant Sallie Mae found that families …

How to Rid Your Home of Your Adult Children’s Stuff

I blame Star Wars for halting my annual cleaning spree. Confronted in the attic with boxes of 1980s-era toys, from Darth Vader figures to a Millennium Falcon spacecraft, I called my son to tell him I was going to throw them out. Stunned silence. He lives in a small New York City apartment, so he’s not able to store the toys — but he couldn’t imagine tossing them either. Those Star Wars figures are just one roadblock to my efforts …