My Parents Won't Let Me Choose


You've chosen your college, but your parents threaten to pull financial support unless you go to a college they like. Learn how to approach and diffuse this conflict.

Q. My parents started saving for my education when I was a baby, and now my college fund is looking pretty good. But there's a problem: Mom and Dad won't let me touch it unless I go to a school they approve of. The thing is, I have my heart set on a school that's not on their very short list. If I don't go to a school of their choosing, I simply can't have the money. What should I do?

A. Keep talking to your parents. Good communication is extremely important during this time of decision-making and transition. You may want to schedule specific times when you can sit down with both of your parents and talk through this issue together.

Ask them why the school you like isn't on their "very short list." Perhaps they don't know enough about the college to make a fair judgment about it. You should be prepared to answer the same question from them. Why aren't their listed schools on your radar screen? Be ready with some solid reasons about why you think the college of your choice should be on their list, and why you think it would be a good place for you.

Encourage them to visit the school you like. Also be willing to visit schools that are on their list. Pray—with your parents, if they're open to it—that God will use your discussions and visits to reveal the best school for you.

If you can't agree, you'll have to decide whether or not you're willing to work hard to pay for the school of your choice without your parents' help. Perhaps your parents will change their minds if they see you thrive in a place they weren't so sure about. Whatever you and your parents decide, go through the process of deciding without alienating each other. Respect them and their opinions.

Whether your parents pay or you do, take responsibility for your choice and make the most of your college experience.

Written by Judy Moseman

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