Continuing Your Education
Getting through high school as a new parent can be complicated enough on its own; the thought of going to college may seem impossible! Balancing class, affording tuition, a job, and parental responsibilities adds an extra layer of challenges. However, with lots of dedication and the right supports/resources in place, continuing your education is certainly within reach.
There are tons of options for continuing your education, such as 2-year, 4-year, or vocational programs.
Getting a secondary education offers a number of benefits, including:
- Access to better-paying jobs
- Less risk of poverty and lower stress levels
- Access to benefits at these jobs, including healthcare and savings for retirement
- Job satisfaction and security
In addition, research shows a parent’s higher level of education has been associated with positive outcomes for the child, including:
- Greater preparedness for school
- Academic and social success
- Less likely to abuse substances such as drugs or alcohol
Making the decision to go to college can be overwhelming; where do you even begin?! Chatting with your high school guidance counselor/academic advisor is a great first step— they can offer some great insight into your options and help you figure out what to do first.
Furthermore, here are some ideas to keep in mind when planning for the next step in your life:
- Talk with your guidance counselor to work on your FAFSA (financial aid)
- Learn about the differences between 2-year, 4-year, and vocational school and decide the best option for you
- Plan visits to the colleges you’re interested in on college visit days—many schools offer a couple of excused absences for this!
- Schedule solo visits for the schools you are super interested in
- Ask to sit in on a class
- Ask to meet another parenting student at the school
- Learn about any resources or supports the school provides, such as daycare or other facilities
- Ask about the housing options at the school
- Meet with the financial aid person at the schools you are interested in to see what options are available to you.