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    6 Tips for Parents of College Students

    Current students and recent graduates of Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California, offer their best advice for parents.

    put some alt copy hereWhen my mom and I visited colleges, I was able to see how they were similar or different from the images I had in my mind. I'd encourage parents to visit schools with your student, eat at the cafeteria, go to chapel and attend a class. Your teen also can find out a lot about the school by talking to students. Encourage your son or daughter to ask current students about what campus life is really like.

    —Stephanie Herrick, senior

    Let your student know they have the power to decide where they are going. When a student feels like their parents are trying to make the decision for them, they may close their minds to their parents' insights. They may even start doing the opposite of the advice. If parents don't pressure their student, the student is more likely to take good advice to heart.

    —Jackson Stava, senior

    Learn as much as you can. Information about most colleges is easily accessible on the Internet, and if you're not online, check with your student's high school—it should have an index of Christian schools with contact information. When your student is gathering information about colleges, encourage them to consider their desired major, if they have one. Because of my major, it was important for me to find out how the Bible departments at schools approached theology. If this is a consideration, you and your student can arrange to sit in on a class or talk to a professor.

    —Justin Hall, graduate

    Choosing a college is a transition point: From this point on, your student is going to be making their own life decisions. The best thing a parent can do during this time of transition is to be supportive and help their student make the decision, without making it for them.

    —Daniel Cotoi, graduate

    If your child is really doubting the value of studying at a Christian college, encourage them to ask current students how their choice has affected their lives. Tell them my story: My college helped me find out who I am. I was raised in a Christian home and was always surrounded by people with the same beliefs. At my college, there's so much diversity in terms of Christian denominations that it allowed me to ask myself questions about my beliefs, like: "Is this really what I believe in? Am I going to base my whole education, my career, my life, on this?" I think Christian colleges give students a safe environment to question their faith, because you are allowed to challenge yourself within your Christian worldview.

    —Kristyn Mannoia, senior

    If you experience the college atmosphere together, you'll understand what your student likes about a college. It's very exciting when you walk on a campus and you can just feel it's the right place. Pray together about the decision, and trust that God will work things out.

    —Amy Stevens, senior

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