8 Reasons to Support Your Child in Taking an Alternative Post-High School Route [Guest Post]

This article was provided by Brittany at SavvyStudent.com, a site that helps students discover ways to pay for their college education with private college loans and other resources. They also provide information regarding alternative ways to celebrate college, so students don’t have to thing about private student loans.

Life after high school has become a compulsory and repetitive routine in our culture, for students who have the opportunity to take advantage of a college education. And the life of a senior in high school can testify that the last year of free public education is preparation for college through the AP prep classes, the scholarship application processes, and so on. And college is indeed something that is considered necessary to continue on to a middle class job living a middle class lifestyle. But college is not the only route. Sometimes even putting it on the back burner for a while is what higher ed. professionals are encouraging. So why would this be a good idea for your soon-to-be high school grad? There are many reasons. Here are just eight.

  1. Getting a job, holding an internship or becoming part of an organization will give them real life experience where they will struggle and learn from their mistakes. This same process happens in college life but with different aspects such as finding the most effective way to study and how to deal with dorm life. Gaining the hands on skills that are learned only within the working world will be greatly acknowledged by employers in the future because of how early on they were learned. This is a ‘getting ahead of the game’ mentality that prepares young adults for their career in the future.
  2. By gaining skills in the working world through an alternative post-high school route, your son/daughter will be learning skills that one may only read in a textbook. Things like how to run a business, how to organize events to effectively reach certain groups of people, and how to work in different industries of business. If your child is a prospective college student but is highly interested in taking a year off, having these experiences will better enable them to learn about the sort of industry that they’ve already been immersed into.
  3. Going along a different route will provide an opportunity to save up money for whatever your child decides to do. This also gives more time to apply for scholarships, grants and contests to receive free money for college (and the more free money they receive, the less amount of loans they will need to take out).
  4. Gaining work experience through the tons of different routes one can choose to take will amplify their resume’s content. When an employer sees the skills attained through certain experiences it has the ability to outweigh factors that seem so vital, such as leadership positions in clubs and certain grade point averages. Taking a different route after high school can provide good credentials for future colleges or careers.
  5. Independence is a crucial point that young adults need to meet. Taking advantage of a unique opportunity in the working world will force them to become independent because their job is on the line. And once they experience what having a job is like with real duties, it will produce confidence in the skills that they have, allowing them to succeed and be good at what they do.
  6. Your child has most likely gone through about 18 years of life at this point and probably has a fairly high degree of knowledge in knowing what they want to do and in what environment they would work most effectively in. Being dedicated to this is a necessity, and if your child has it then it’s another reason to support them in their decision.
  7. For your child to take time off to figure out what they care about and what they want to do with their life will save time and money. Instead of going into college not knowing what they are interested in, time and money will be converted into learning valuable skills and training.
  8. When one takes time off of school to figure out what they are passionate about and good at it allows them to later be more dedicated and devoted to their studies, which will be applicable to what they want to spend their life doing.

And to summarize these points, know that it will not be a year that is wasted. They will have to work hard regardless. If your son or daughter is seriously considering taking a break, don’t feel bad about encouraging them. There is plenty to learn in the working world, outside of school. It’s also important to consider that you know what the working world can be like, and you have the ability to encourage or discourage what they decide to do. But they have the ability to choose. America provides plenty of opportunities to send students to college, despite the state of the economy. These are all considerations for post-high school planning.

This article was provided by Brittany at SavvyStudent.com, a site that helps students discover ways to pay for their college education with private college loans and other resources. They also provide information regarding alternative ways to celebrate college, so students don’t have to thing about private student loans.

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  • http://www.uncertainsteps.com Alan Bergquist

    As much as 18 years seems like a long period of time and we hope, as parents, that they know what they want to do with their life, it is likely that in many cases they don’t! Most live a fairly isolated existence for their first 16 or 17 years and yet we expect that will know enough about themselves and the world to make those decisions…and then convince them that they are “lifelong” decisions. Parents need to focus on helping their son/daughter experience as much as possible as they search for a direction or a career. Hopefully this occurs during high school as parents begin to recognize small areas of interests or passion, but sometimes it needs to continue on after high school graduation (hopefully it continues on for life.) Pushing them into college before they know that is the best route for them, or why that is the best route, is likely going to cause them to be sitting with a pile of debt from school loans and no degree to show for it.

  • Doreen Bourque

    I teach an alternative program where students study the Occupational Course of Study and receive a high school diploma. Students can still attend a technical college but its greared for independent living, job skills, and work ready skills. English may focus on resumes and applications where as math will focus on budgets and checkbooks. I would like to hear from other students that have pursued this course of study.