How Parents Can Help Their Children
Get Into Grad School
A college degree just doesn't get people as far as it used to in the job market. Once a valuable asset, a college degree and relevant experience is now no longer enough to ensure a secure career. A master's and even a Ph.D. are now needed for many high-paying, prestigious positions. And so, under the current circumstances, going to graduate school may be one of the best decisions your son or daughter can make for his or her future.
A high undergraduate GPA isn't all that's required to get into graduate schools
Grades are of course an important aspect of the application, alone however, they do not guarantee acceptance into grad school. Your child will also need to write essays (aka personal statements), get letters of recommendations, apply for scholarships, and do well on their standardized tests. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help and support your son or daughter through the graduate school application process. Here are a few of the ways you can help your child get into grad school:
How you can help them prepare for the standardized tests
Whether you child plans on taking the GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, GRE or any number of others tests available, it's important to keep in mind that in order to do well on these tests, your child will need to spend a lot of time studying, trying a number of practice tests and becoming familiar with the type of questions that make up the standardized test. To prepare adequately, your child will need to be disciplined and spend many hours preparing if they are to succeed.
Prep books are the greatest tangible gifts you can give your child as he or she prepares to apply to graduate schools. Consider investing in the books offered by Kaplan and the Princeton Review. Make sure you know which of the tests he or she is planning on before purchasing the relevant review books.
Even with the right prep books, your child may still have a hard time staying motivated and focused throughout the preparation period. If you sense that your child is having a hard time preparing for the tests, you may want to suggest they enroll in a prep course. These courses are offered both in an in-class setting or online, and can help your child learn appropriate test-taking strategies and keep them on-track to meet their test date. Although these courses can be somewhat expensive, this may be the right option for your child. Also, keep in mind that all past and present scores obtained on standardized tests are sent to the graduate programs in question. So the scores really do matter and low scores can make a bad impression. So, if you're feeling generous and can afford it, you may want to help cover some of the cost associated with these prep courses.
Choosing the right graduate school program to apply to can be tough
Choosing the right graduate school and program is a difficult decision. Add link here: The process can be even more difficult if you - the parent- is also actively involved in the decision-making process. There are many factors to consider, many of which you and your child may not agree upon. It may be helpful if you and your child sit down and discuss your priorities. Together, you can consider factors like acceptance rates, financial costs, location, class sizes, strength of the research program, and other curriculum details. You and your child may have different views about what factors are most important when choosing the right graduate program, but try to keep in mind that it's most important that your son or daughter be happy with his or her decision, as they are the ones that will have to commit for the next 4 to 6 years of their life.
Your child's going to need your love and support during this exciting and challenging time. So, consider helping your kid get into grad school by trying out the strategies listed above!
Aniya Wells is a guest blogger who primarily writes about education and business for www.onlinedegreeprograms.com. She also regularly contributes to numerous blogs around the web, and loves writing about blogging, higher education, and freelancing.
image courtesy of Nutdanai / freedigitalphotos.net
Find lots more expert advice on getting into grad school in the newly released book: Graduate School: Winning Strategies For Getting In, 2nd edition, by Dave G. Mumby, Ph.D. It is the most comprehensive advisement handbook for College and University students who are considering graduate school. Whether you are still deciding if grad school is right for you, or are looking for ways to maximize your application, this book is for you. Paperback version available at Amazon & Barnes & Noble. eBook available on Kindle and for Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps. Get Your Copy Now!