Many students and families are unaware of the possible consequences of students going away to college. There are many benefits to studying away from home, fewer distractions, becoming more independent, etc. There are also some negative factors to consider, more expense, lack of family support, etc. But one long term negative is rarely discussed.
Students often end up living where they went to college after they graduate. Local businesses set up job fairs on campus, and graduates are offered jobs. New graduates settle into life in the community where they spent four or five years studying and found a job. They don’t want to leave.
This can be heartbreaking and/or financially devastating for aging parents. Families with several children often see them living in different states, far from “home”. New graduates don’t have the funds to fly back to visit family on holidays. It is an expensive matter for parents to travel all over the country to see their scattered offspring and later grandchildren.
Grandkids are less likely to spend quality time with grandparents who don’t live nearby. This has a negative effect on grandparents and grandchildren alike. Distance may make the heart grow fonder, but it also keeps loved ones apart, which can be painful.
Although attending college where the cost is lowest or scholarships are offered is practical, after graduation plans should be discussed in advance of applying to colleges far away from home. I have advised my own grandchildren to make sure they like the area where they plan to attend college, because they may end up living there. Lucky for me, they want to go to colleges in my state. That’s not too lucky for their parents, however, since they don’t live here. And so it goes.
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