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So many people talk hot air their whole life. They want to do this and they want to do that—but they never do anything. They don't count the cost, they don't prepare, and they don't build.

So many teens struggle with the decision of what college to go to.

"It seems as though I have too many options. With so many options, it is hard for me to choose."

"I wish we would have started planning for college or praying about it earlier. I feel like I don't know where God would want me to go or to do."

"I wish my parents would say, 'Let God be your guide; not money or your own mindset. God has a greater plan for you.'"

If your teen does have a direction or somewhat of a vision of what they want to do with their life, the first question to ask regarding a college would be, "Where is the best place for them to go to become an expert in this area?"

The first question should not be, "Can we afford a particular school?"

Finances come in a number of different ways, but the first thing to do is set up your young person for success. Do not consider schools because they are close to home or far from home, or where their brothers, sisters, or you went to school.

Begin researching various schools. Look at degree plans at the university your teen is considering.

What classes would your teen be required to take? Study those classes to see what they would actually learn by taking them, not just what the title of the classes are.

Don't count on a school just because it has a major in your teen's particular area—talk to the professors or to graduates who have gone through the program your teen is considering.

What did they really learn? What are they doing with what they learned? Just because a school has a program in a certain area does not mean it is preparing students for success.

Graduates of the program would be able to share what they got out of it, and what it is producing in their lives. Talk to some of the current students at the school as well.

College is like a greenhouse or an incubator in terms of attitude and probability for success. What is the environment of the campus?

Some might say, "Why go to college? Is everyone designed for college?" Jesus said in Luke 14:

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'
(Luke 14:28-30)
The same is true of your young person's vision. They have these great visions, dreams, and goals, yet they have not really thought about what it takes to fulfill them.

So many people talk hot air their whole life. They want to do this and they want to do that—but they never do anything. They don't count the cost, they don't prepare, and they don't build.

Finding the right college is like counting the cost in building a tower. It is doing the preparation work in order for that tower to stand for a long time. The tower your teen is building is their life.

If you want to help them achieve success, help them count the cost and know what it will take to build their life with success. What environment will thrust them to the front lines of excellence?

Young people who are considering doing something in the ministry face the choice of Bible school or college. A Bible school teaches you what to think and what to believe. Students take classes that train them in a particular way of thinking or a particular kind of theology.

A college teaches you how to think. It blasts you with a myriad of different options and theories so you learn how to process them and how to think through them.

As a result, you have not been programmed on a certain way of thinking or believing, but you have learned how to process and think through issues.

I believe a lot more young people are suited for college than most believe. God gave us a brain to use and to develop. If we do not develop ourselves, we are ripping ourselves off.

If we do not encourage our young people to develop themselves, they are getting ripped off. Their potential, and what they could accomplish with their life, is being compromised from the very beginning.

Source: Rescue Manual For Parents by Ron Luce.
Excerpt permission granted by Albury Publishing

Author Biography

Ron Luce
Web site: Ron Luce
Ron Luce was the co-founder and president of Teen Mania Ministries from 1986-2015. Ron and his wife Katie dreamed to raise young people who would change the world.

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