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Top Concerns Parents Have About Kids in College

by Michele Cooper

When you send children to college, you are letting them go to create their own independent lives, but you are also letting them go into unknown territory. Parents have many concerns about their children in college from living situations to extracurricular activities. Even though college students are adults, parents are still concerned about the safety and happiness of their children as they embark on the journey into their future.

Finances

Parents often worry about how their children will handle the financial aspects of being on their own. They question how much money they should give them, whether they should monitor expenses and whether their child should try to work during college or concentrate on his studies. This can be an even larger concern if the parent is on a tight budget to begin with. Parents often wonder whether they should give their child a credit card and whether a car is a necessary expense while away from school. Additionally, many parents are concerned about the debt their child incurs when taking out student loans.

Safety

Clearly, parents worry about the safety of their children when they are away from home and living on their own. Even for college students who commute from home, there are still concerns about campus safety. Studies suggest that only 35 percent of violent crimes are reported on college campuses, while a majority of crimes against college students happen off campus. Parents also worry about sexual assault and date-related crimes.

Drugs and Alcohol

Drugs and alcohol are a major concern for many parents of college students. Parents often wonder if their child will get swept away by college parties, personal freedom and peer pressure. Even students who did not abuse alcohol or drugs in high school can get caught up in their own independence and experimentation. In fact, according to a "USA Today," nearly half of all full-time college students binge drink or use drugs at least once a month.

Adjustment and Emotions

Many parents are concerned about their child's emotional well-being, adjustment to being alone and social changes while they are in college. When students do not make friends right away, are homesick or have separation anxiety, parents worry. Much of the time there is not much a parent can do to help with social awkwardness, which makes the situation even more stressful. Additionally, the heartache that can come from romantic relationships and dating in college can affect a student.

Academics

Parents are also concerned about their children getting low grades, failing classes or not doing well academically. Although there are a number of reasons a student could do poorly in a class or classes, the biggest worry arises from the student who risks dropping out of school. Parents worry that poor academics will affect the future for their children and send them into a downward spiral they may not be able to get out of.

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