January 17, 2018

Parent participation without emptying a mother’s purse

I am absolutely in love with being the parent of a college student. Not only does it mean it puts me closer to the empty nest, but it’s a wonderful experience to watch my child mature and put into practice the life lessons and skills she’s been taught. So when Rick, the brains behind CampusTalkBlog, approached me about posting here I was all for it.

Amber, my 18-year-old daughter, began her college career at Georgia College and State University last summer. When we toured the college, I knew almost immediately that it would be the ideal location and institution for her. Amber eventually agreed after she got over how far it was from the main interstate.

One of the things I most look forward to during Amber’s time in college is making myself available for opportunities for families/parents to become involved. So there’s no wonder I felt a surge of excitement when I received notification about Family Day, which was in October.

My excitement slowly faded when I saw the cost, which I have since blocked outta my mind. (It was somewhere between $45 and $65 per person; of course Amber was free.) I quickly consulted my calendar hoping that my three younger children would be with their father that weekend. No such luck.

Even though the cost covered food, materials, festival tickets and a Georgia College gift, it was still outside of my budget. So, I’ve been thinking about a way that this could work a little better for families – especially large ones – that are already forking over enough in tuition.

1. Reduced participation prices for other children/siblings of the college student.

2. An event/activity, during the same day, that is only a couple of hours in length that’s free or for a very inexpensive price that the family can enjoy with their college student.

3. Breaking the day down with costs per activity and letting the family choose based on their budget and interests.

Those are just a few ideas to consider that will allow, I believe, for more participation from families as well as avoid any disappointment associated with finances. I’m sure I’m not the only parent who is footing the cost for college with a slew of children following. Always gotta pinch those pennies as I move closer to the freedom of the empty nest.

First-time college mom

About the Author: Petula Wright (23 Posts)

Petula Wright has about 17 years experience as an editor and writer who has written and provided editorial services for publications, organizations and individuals. Based in the Atlanta area, she continues to write web content and maintain her blog It’s a woman’s world at PetulaW.com. She says, “Writing is a joy and not a job.” If you need a writer or editor, she can be reached at petulawrites@comcast.net.


  1. Petula Wright says:

    Yup, gotta pinch that penny!

  2. Sounds like good suggestions!! Especially with the way finances are getting with all of us! Great post!!!

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