Parents play a vital role in a student’s decision on where to attend college. And while your son or daughter may not admit it, they need their parents’ guidance and support throughout the entire process. Below is a list of “to do” items for you as a parent to familiarize yourself with Mississippi College and the college decision-making process.
Get to Know MC
There’s no better way to learn more about a university than to visit the campus. We encourage you to visit the top three of four schools your student is interested in to make an informed decision. There are two types of ways you can formally visit MC’s campus.
Preview Days are held three times a year and are a good, broad look at what our university has to offer. These typically occur on a home football or baseball game where you can find tailgating on our Quad. Students can sit in on a mock class, hear from a variety of speakers, meet current students, and more. Plus, there are sessions designed specifically for parents like you. We typically have 200-300 students attend these dates, so there is a lot of excitement on a Preview Day at MC!
Private Campus Visit
If you want a more personal, tailored look at MC, we encourage you to schedule a private campus visit. Here, you and your student can meet one-on-one with your student’s Admissions Counselor to discuss admission, scholarships, and financial aid, you can tour the campus with one of our Scouts, sit in on a class or meet individually with a professor, enjoy lunch at one of our campus eateries, and anything else you want to do, we will do our best to accommodate your interests.
Begin the Application Process
If your student is a senior, be sure they are aware of the requirements to be accepted to Mississippi College. There is no deadline for admission or scholarships, but the earlier your student begins the process, the smoother it will be and the more scholarships opportunities may be available.
Get to Know Your Student’s Admissions Counselor
Your student will be assigned an Admissions Counselor based on the high school they attend. Our Admissions Counselors are here to ensure you have as smooth, and enjoyable, of an admissions process as possible. They will be the one to get you and your student the answers you need to make an informed decision about where to attend college. They can connect you with other departments or offices on campus, will keep your student up to date on admission requirements, and, most importantly, will be the one to manage your student’s scholarship award offer. Our Admissions Counselors are all products of MC and are eager to share their experience and expertise with your family. Admissions Counselors do encounter thousands of students throughout the year, so encourage your student to introduce themselves by sending an email, making a call, or talking with a counselor during a college fair or high school visit.
Understand Scholarships and Financial Aid
The sooner your student begins preparing for the future financially, the better. Know that there is a difference between the “sticker price” of a university and the bottom line. Did you know that MC is one of the most affordable private universities in the nation at a cost approximately $10,000 less than the average private university? College is an investment that will pay dividends for a lifetime. Our bottom line is oftentimes comparable to that of state universities.
Net Price Calculator
Use our Net Price Calculator to determine an estimate of what your student’s bottom line could be at MC. We think you’ll be surprised at what you find.
Review our Scholarships to be aware of the many different kinds of scholarships MC offers – academic, stackable, need-based, and more.
File the FAFSA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the federal government’s way of helping students pay for school. The FAFSA opens on January 1 each year; MC will receive this info and will begin sending FAFSA award statements beginning in late February of each year. This is how you can qualify for loans, grants and work study. The FAFSA is not required for acceptance to MC.
About the FAFSA
Many people think they will not qualify for anything need-based, and that is sometimes true. However, we encourage everyone to file a FAFSA as there is one MC scholarship – the MC Grant – that requires the FAFSA. We take the estimated family contribution (EFC) figured determined by the FAFSA and put it into a formula to calculate your student’s level of MC Grant. About 90% of families qualify for this extra scholarship that ranges from an additional $500 to $2,000 per year.
Everyone qualifies for loans through the FAFSA, no matter what your income is. Loans can be customized in various ways to accommodate a student’s payment schedule.
The Net Price Calculator can calculate your MC scholarship award, as well as your federal aid estimate.
Federal Aid can be a complicated and stressful topic to navigate, especially for the first time. Your student’s Admissions Counselor can help field any questions you may have, or our Office of Financial Aid is also available to counsel you on a more in-depth level.
Encourage your student to study for and to continue to take the ACT/SAT
Let’s face it. The ACT and SAT are not fun tests, but they are important to every university. They not only determine admission, but also scholarship award amounts. At MC, the higher a student has on one of these standardized tests, the higher their academic scholarship will be. Encourage your student to take the test at least 3 or 4 times over the course of their high school years. We have a rolling admissions deadline (meaning we’ll accept new ACT scores up until the point of enrollment) and will scholarship your student based on their highest score, no matter when they take it.
We often see that scores increase after students study for the ACT or SAT. There are many review books, flash cards, prep courses, and professional tutors your son or daughter can take advantage of.