I have officially entered what has to be one of the more surreal stages of parenthood, a stage marked by nearly daily letters from various prospective colleges, a stage with its own unique vocabulary comprised of words and acronyms like “ACT,” “GPA,” “dual enrollment,” and “AP.” Yes, you guessed it: in a short two years (far shorter than you moms of preschoolers could ever imagine), my boy, my number one son, will join the ranks of the college bound.
It’s a stage not easily navigated for newbies like ourselves. Happily, we’ve discovered 1) that we’re not alone and 2) there are some great resources available. Here are a few resources for students and parents wanting to make the best possible decision in regard to the maze that is the college application process:
Admission Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting into College is an informative look at, among other things, what selective colleges look for, how colleges make their decisions, how to find the college that fits your student, as well as advice concerning the SAT versus the ACT and financial aid (an all important consideration). Admission Matters gives the necessary information in a straightforward, easy to navigate manner, making it an essential introduction to the whole college deal. It is a resource we will be referring to often in our quest for the right school for our boy.
In A Is for Admission: The Insider’s Guide to Getting into the Ivy League and Other Top Colleges, author Michele Hernandez gives an inside view to the Ivy League admission process, herself a former admissions officer at Dartmouth College. Now, don’t misunderstand, we are not pushing our son toward the Ivy League but most of the information contained here is still relevant and valuable, particularly the chapter containing a step by step look at how an application is read. I also found the chapter on the importance of the SAT Subject Tests to be enlightening as there was no such thing “way back when” I was going through the college selection process! Though not nearly as broadly applicable as Admission Matters there is still a lot of good information in A Is for Admission.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, I want my son to conduct himself in a manner worthy of the Lord and I know the temptations to live otherwise that he will face upon leaving home. College 101: Campus Life for Christians seeks to prepare prospective college students for the challenges and opportunities they will face as believers on campus. Topics range from dorm life to the social scene (What social scene? Won’t he be studying his nights away?) to time management to finances, all given with Biblical counsel. Interspersed with anecdotes, Scripture, and practical tips, College 101 offers great advice for Christian students headed off to college.
The next couple of years will be interesting ones for us! Preparing your child to fly the nest so to speak can be a strange and scary experience. Good information is essential, don’t you agree? Any other moms getting ready for parenting in the college years? What advice would you give a newbie like me? Have you discovered any good resources? Let us know so we can all benefit!
Wife and mother, Bible teacher and blogger, Lisa loves Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate and, of course, books. Read more of her reflections at Lisa writes….