From birth to college is a shorter journey than you might imagine. It is never too soon to start planning for your child’s college education. Even before they are born, you can give them the gift of a college fund. Starting one’s post-university life without a mountain of debt is an incalculable advantage. With money in the bank, tuition is not a problem, your kid could go to any college they wanted. Even so, there are still a number of decisions you can help them make.
Before arriving at the point of filling out college applications, you have to instill in them the importance of a quality education. They have to do well in school because underwhelming grades will limit the schools they can attend. According to a report on the educational attainment in the United States from 2020, only 23% of people 25 and over attained a Bachelor’s degree. Just 4 years of college will give your child a competitive advantage for life. That advantage gets even wider when they attain a graduate degree. Keeping a young person’s interest in college for so many years can be a real challenge. So you have to consider a lot of factors. Here are the ones you might want to consider first:
Best in the Field of Study
It is impossible to say what the best college is. No set of criteria can handle that kind of pressure. But it is possible to identify the best programs for specific fields of study. If your child shows empathy and possesses a natural interest in helping people while also having a keen eye for detail, you may want to guide him or her into a program that specializes in medicine and therapy.
For instance, occupational therapy (OT) is a medical field of study that will practically guarantee your savvy son or daughter a long-term career that is both lucrative and satisfying. As such, you’ll want to take every precaution in enrolling your child into the school recognized for having one of the best occupational therapy graduate programs in the country. That is to say, a premium OT program is one that provides comprehensive curriculums that include rehabilitation courses, theory of occupational therapy, medical terminology, etc., all taught by leading educators.
It should be clear that selecting the best educational program for this or another field of study isn’t all about bragging rights. It’s also about following through to make the job application process as seamless as possible.
To explain, hiring companies and hospitals are familiar with the schools with the best graduate programs. Ergo, when hiring managers see your child has graduated from the best educational program in the nation for their field of study, it’s understood that he or she has retained high-quality education taught by superior teaching professionals. Enrolling in a reputable, accredited program ensures your child will land a better job as well as be in a position to get ahead faster once they retain that coveted job placement.
The best program in the world will not help fast-track your career if the placement rate is bad. Of course, you can’t really be considered the best program in the world without a good placement rate. Still, it is a statistic that is often overlooked in the college search.
Placement is where the rubber meets the road. It is about actually getting a job once you get your degree. The purpose of a degree program is not the degree, but the job. Some universities don’t value placement high enough. Look for universities that are proud of their placement numbers and aren’t afraid to talk about how they get those numbers. Good schools have relationships in the business world, especially in the fields where they excel. Students are often recruited by big companies with gaudy compensation packages before they even graduate. When schools have those types of relationships, you have probably found a winner.
There is something more than overall quality and great placement. If your child doesn’t graduate, the rest is meaningless. You have to consider the schools with high graduation rates. Those are schools with good counselors that can deal with student issues and help get students over the humps that stop students in other universities from achieving the prize. Some schools are much better at this than others. There is only so much you can do as a parent. And each individual is different. You want to work with a school that has seen it all and is good at keeping students on track.
When it comes to picking the right school, you have to know what to look for. Start with the schools that are leaders in a particular field of interest, have top placement programs, and excel at getting students to the finish line.