Matt: Who should read this book and why? Obviously, it’s written specifically for parents. What kind of parents did you have in mind? What if we don’t think our teens will attend college? Should we still read it? Should our teens read it, too? What makes it different from other books out there about preparing for college?
Alex: I wrote this book for all kinds of parents—those whose children have near-perfect SAT (or ACT) scores and those who don’t know the SAT or ACT from ABC, NBC, and CBS. The truth is that all our teens face tremendous challenges when it comes to entering adulthood. Aside from the moral and spiritual challenges (which I also discuss), the link between higher education and professional success has never been stronger, and college has never been more expensive, yet too many of our children are starting but never finishing. About 45 percent of those who enter a four-year college will not graduate in six years. And about 70 percent of those who start out at a two-year college don’t complete a degree in three years.
Preparing Your Teens for College is about getting teens ready to leave the home and enter the adult world with the faith, character and maturity to be successful in whatever they do. It’s about training them not just for college, but for the totality of their lives. My aim was to cover the gamut of issues that parents need to consider with respect to their teens: Character, faith, relationships, finances, academics, and the college decision itself.
In addition to parents, I believe that youth pastors, senior pastors, guidance counselors, and anyone else involved in preparing teens or equipping parents will also find value in this book.