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How can I convince my son to go to college?

November 12, 2013

By YOU Program Facilitator

How can I convince my son to go to college?

Question: My son feels that college is too expensive and we don’t have the money to send him. Instead, he wants to go into construction like his father and uncles. He said that we're happy so why does he need more? How can I convince him education is important?

Answer: It’s wonderful that your son sees value in what his father and uncles do, and that he feels that you have a happy family. Be proud of the great job that you’ve done in raising a child who appreciates all you’ve given him!

As parents, though, we often shelter our children from the reality of family finances. He may not realize just what kinds of financial struggles and sacrifices you and his father make. Let him see those. Walk him through your family budget and how much independent living and caring for a family really cost. Then, show him how much a college education can improve his chances of earning a higher salary.

Finally, let him know that he can still go into the construction business, but by earning a degree, he will be better prepared for managing people and job sites, and perhaps even running his own business. This could someday put him in a position to help protect those he cares about by providing a safe and employee-focused work environment. Encourage his fathers and uncles to share how important it is to have a manager who understands his employees and supports them.

You can learn more about the issues addressed in this question in the YOU: Your Child's First Teacher book series. For information about merging a child’s interests with a future career and necessary schooling, see the Through High School and Beyond book starting on page 68. In the same book, find a chart of the average annual income for each level of education on page 29.

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