Information for Parents

It’s never too early to help prepare your children to manage their finances
responsibly, but entering college can be an overwhelming experience: creating budgets, applying for their first credit card, or taking out student loans. This is a very important time to make sure that your undergraduate student is receiving support throughout this process and making informed decisions.

For your undergraduate student, college is a world of exciting freedom and opportunity. But most parents know it’s also a world where novices can easily get into trouble. And if that trouble shows up on an undergraduate student’s credit record, it may take a long time to go away.

To make sure your children know how to start their financial future on the right foot, you need to make sure they understand the fundamentals of personal finance. As a parent, you’re an important source of financial education for your children. It’s important to clarify and reinforce ideas about their finances with focused conversations while your undergraduate student is in college.

It may seem difficult to talk to your undergraduate student about finances, but you can bet your children will be interested. Young people view managing money as a symbol of maturity and independence. Discussing personal finance with them shows that you see them as responsible young adults.

To help ensure a successful conversation, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Approach the discussion with a positive attitude.
  2. Set a tone of confidence, openness and trust.
  3. Laughter always helps. Lighten the mood with a joke.
  4. Make it an equal exchange, not a lecture.
  5. Ask plenty of questions, and listen carefully to the answers.
  6. Don’t talk down.
  7. Don’t bring up old financial disagreements you may have had with your children. Think of college as an opportunity to start with a clean slate.
  8. Make sure your kids know they can always turn to you for financial advice, information or help.
  9. Help them understand other resources that are available for them online and on campus.

To begin talking about financial matters, it may be easiest to find out what financial questions they have by bringing up general topics such as budgeting, loans/financial aid, or credit. Giving your undergraduate student a responsible role in their personal finance will help them develop critical skills and be more committed to sticking to the goals you develop together.

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