Even if you don’t have kids yourself, you probably have heard children wonder why they must go to school or study various subjects that seem useless to them. You may even remember these questions from your own childhood. You don’t have to be a parent to be a great influence on a child’s life when it comes to promoting a love of learning or helping an older teen get ready for college. Whether you’re a mentor, an aunt or uncle, or you spend a lot of time with the children of friends, there is plenty you can do to support the role of education in their life.
Cosign on a Student Loan
This is a big one, but practically speaking, it can also be one of the biggest sources of assistance you can offer. If you know a college-bound older teen who doesn’t have a parent who can help them out by cosigning on student loans, you can step into this role. When it comes to getting private loans to pay for school, students may struggle to get approval because they lack a credit history. However, federal aid, scholarships and savings are often not enough to cover all the costs of a college education. Private loans can make the difference between going and not going. As an Earnest student loan cosigner, you may make it possible for the person to get the money need they need to attend college.
Help with Preparing for College
Cosigning on a student loan is a big step. There are plenty of other things you can do to help and encourage college-bound teens, including helping them research schools and better understand the application process. In addition, they may need help finding other sources of funding, such as looking for scholarships. You can help advise them on things to look for in choosing a college, such as identifying one with a strong program in the area that interests them or considering what the overall campus culture is like.
Talk to Them About Education
When it comes to younger children, just discussing education in a positive way and talking to them about their schoolwork can be important, particularly if there are no other adults in their life who do this. Ask them about what classes they like and what they don’t like and why. Talk about college as a natural progression after graduating from high school.
You can also let the young person in your life know that you’re available to answer questions. Sometimes, it can be helpful for kids to have someone who isn’t a parent or teacher to talk about things such as struggles they might be having in school or what kind of a career path they might eventually follow. Even if you aren’t in a formal mentoring position, you can act as one by offering your own perspective when you faced similar issues. Of course, you should speak to parents, teachers, or other responsible adults if the child is having any serious issues, but as long as this not the case, simply offering your own perspective can be valuable in many situations.