A Mother’s Guide on Preparing Kids for College

Many parents begin preparing their kids for college even before they go to kindergarten! As unbelievable as that may sound, you might want to think about all the conversations you’ve had with your spouse during those early, formative years. “Oh yeah! That kid’s a natural for the Georgia Bulldogs football team,” says Dad when out on the lawn tossing a ball back and forth with his toddler son. “No,” says Mom, “He’s going to be a doctor. Don’t you see how he always goes for the antiseptic and Band-Aids every time anyone gets cut?” And, so it goes throughout that child’s entire academic career until high school.

This is where most parents get serious and begin giving ‘the talk’ on what it takes to get accepted to the major universities and it starts even earlier than ninth grade so make these years count, etc. etc. etc. But what happens mid-term during that senior year? Mom is already set to begin packing and hits the stores almost daily for things her child just ‘might’ need. Then there is the wisdom to be imparted on choosing the right school for your child’s career. This is where many moms are in the dark and so a brief guide on making the right choice is probably called for. Here are some bits of advice you may not have known.

How Far Do You Want to Go?

When preparing your son or daughter for college / university, the one thing you should always keep in mind is how far your child intends to go with his or her studies. Are they shooting for an associate’s degree, a master’s degree or even further up with a PhD? This is a vital consideration because not all undergrad programs will be accepted by the major universities. This brings up the next bit of wisdom you need to impart on your soon-to-be high school graduate.

How Universities Are Ranked

There are a number of ways in which universities are ranked and you will find some amount of disparity among those bodies doing the ranking. Some sites will rank according to academics while others will rank according to sports programs and others will rank for the special programs, amenities and programs for student life available at that school. If your son or daughter is going to shoot for graduate work and acceptance into a major university specializing in his or her major, then academics would be the ranking to rely on. However, if the school you are interested in isn’t listed at all in any of the leading ranking scores from year to year, there is a possibility that this particular college hasn’t been accredited by an acceptable association.

Accreditation Is Key – Especially for Graduate Studies

By the time your son or daughter has earned a Bachelor’s Degree, chances are he or she will be ready to let go of mom’s apron strings and make it on their own in the big, wide world. Many students get a job in their field with that degree in hand with the attention of studying a master’s program online. For example, when your son tells you he is thinking about attending the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland to pursue an MBA online, it is imperative that you research whether or not that particular graduate program is accredited. If you look, you will see that it is definitely accredited by the AACSB International and locally by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Pursuing an MBA degree online from this particular university will be worth its weight in gold.

When all these details are seen to Mom, you can finally do what you’ve been dying to do all along! Get out the Penny’s card and go shopping for all those clothes you know your child will need, the Sear’s card for that dorm size refrigerator and then go to Costco to buy cases of mac and cheese that will soon become a staple. (Don’t forget that box of Kleenex you know you’ll need come September!)

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