For Parents

Parents’ Primer

We know that parents play an important role in helping their children select a college, and we want to provide the information to help you make the best decision for your family. On this page, you’ll find information and links on academics, scholarships, campus security, and the lifelong value of a Millsaps education.

At Millsaps, persistence in the pursuit of excellence creates a dynamic and transformative student experience through a unique combination of the humanities, sciences, and business education on a beautiful campus, enhanced by co-curricular opportunities across the street in the city of Jackson, MS, and in locations around the globe through international study programs and partnerships.

Superior Academics

The core of Millsaps College is a rigorous liberal arts and sciences curriculum and a fully accredited business school which underpin a campus culture that balances a broad education and career preparation. Our world-renowned faculty and staff are mentors who challenge and support students to their full potential through coursework, research, publication and internship opportunities, student organizations, and athletics. We deliver this education amidst a diverse interfaith community with Methodist roots, encouraging exploration of faith and intellectual curiosity in the Wesleyan tradition.

Academic Majors

Millsaps balances structure and freedom through broad exploration of the humanities, sciences, social sciences, and business, students pursue individualized academic programs, gaining exposure to new disciplines, new points of view, and new possibilities. While building a solid base of knowledge in one (or more) of our 32 majors, they learn to integrate ideas across disciplines.

At Millsaps, every course is taught at the Honors level.

Top Faculty

Professors expect students to actively participate in their education, and more than 80% of students participate in faculty-led research. As a result, students know and are known by their teachers—not as names on a list but as people with unique backgrounds and learning styles.

Our academic culture ensures that students receive plenty of individual attention from professors—such as extra help on a paper or an after-class conversation on a topic of shared interest. These relationships give students the courage to take intellectual risks, discover new passions, and dream of the possibilities that lie ahead.

“The experiences I’ve had at Millsaps are in many ways superior to what undergraduates at other colleges get—because our professors are so focused on us as individuals.” —Jordan, Millsaps College senior

Scholarships and Financial Aid

We demystify the scholarship awarding process with a transparent matrix showing you how we determine financial awards, and breakdown our costs.

Armed with this information, you’ll see how families afford the quality of a Millsaps degree. And most importantly, your investment in a Millsaps degree will pay dividends over your student’s lifetime.

Think about this: if a typical student at a large public institution takes more than five years to graduate, even though the per-year out-of-pocket cost may be less than at Millsaps, you need to consider the total cost-to-degree, PLUS the lost salary due to delayed graduation!

College in a Capital City

Millsaps’ location in Jackson matters to our students because they benefit from extensive professional and community partnerships in the capital city of Jackson, which provide internship opportunities for career preparation, leadership development, community outreach, and personal growth. More than 75% of Millsaps students have a for-credit internship or fieldwork experience.

Millsaps makes it possible for students to take their knowledge from the classroom to the neighborhoods of Jackson, from the lab to local hospitals, and from the drawing board to the Mississippi Delta. Our students are scholars and citizens. What they learn here is valuable to others.

Around the World

We’re educating students on our campus, across the street in the city of Jackson, and around the globe. Millsaps’ international study programs build cultural awareness and resourcefulness among students, enhancing their futures as global citizens and leaders. Faculty-led courses take place regularly in locations around the world. And, we provide extraordinarily unique experiences at our locations in Yucatán, including Millsaps’ 4,500 acre bio-cultural reserve for multidisciplinary study and research, including Mayan archaeological ruins.

Preparing for leadership in tomorrow’s world means getting a close look at how today’s world works. About half of Millsaps’ students study off campus – sharpening language skills, building cultural fluency, and making connections that literally span the globe.

Campus Safety

While on our campus, Millsaps is committed to ensuring the safety of its students and community members. The federal government requires all colleges to publish safety records, and Millsaps statistics compare favorably to other schools located in cities. Millsaps College believes that a multifaceted approach to safety is best. In addition to educating students, faculty, and staff about safety, and asking them to play active roles in their day-to-day safety, the Department of Campus Safety and Security also includes special services and physical and technological tools.

So please accept our invitation to visit Millsaps—you have to see Millsaps in motion to truly appreciate it!


Survival Guide

From a student’s perspective . . .

Don’t ask them if they’re homesick. The power of association can be a dangerous thing. A student once explained, “The idea of being homesick didn’t even occur to me, with all the new things that were going on, until my mom called one of the first weekends and asked, ‘Are you homesick?’ Then it hit me.” The first few weeks of school are activity-packed and friend-jammed, and the challenge of meeting new people and adjusting to new situations takes a majority of a freshman’s time and concentration. So, unless they’re reminded of it (by a well-meaning parent), they’ll probably be able to avoid the loneliness and frustration of homesickness. Even if they don’t tell you during those first few weeks, they do miss you.

Write (even if they don’t write back). Although freshmen are typically eager to experience all the away-from-home independence they can fit into those first weeks, most are still anxious for family ties and the security those ties bring. This surge of independence may be misinterpreted by sensitive parents as rejection, but most freshmen (although 99% won’t ever admit it) would give anything for some news of home and family, however mundane it may seem to you. There’s nothing more depressing than a week of empty mailboxes. (Warning: don’t expect a reply to every letter you write. The you-write-one, they-write-one sequence isn’t always followed by college students, so get set for some unanswered correspondence.)

Ask questions (but not too many). College freshmen are “cool” (or so they think) and have a tendency to resent interference with their newfound lifestyle, but most still desire the security of knowing that someone is interested in them. Parental curiosity can be obnoxious and alienating or relief-giving and supporting, depending on the attitudes of the persons involved. “I-have-a-right-to-know”-tinged questions with ulterior motives should be avoided. However, honest inquiries and other “between friends” communication and discussion will do much to further the relationship of parent and freshman.

Expect change (but not too much). Your son or daughter will change (either drastically within the first few months, slowly over the years, or somewhere in between). It’s natural, inevitable, and it can be inspiring and beautiful. Often, though, it’s a pain in the neck. College, and the experiences associated with it, can affect changes in social, vocational, and personal behavior and choices. An up-to-now wallflower may become a fraternity member; a pre-med student may discover that biology is not his or her thing after all; or a high school radical may become a college egghead. You can’t stop change. You may not ever understand it, but it is within your power (and to you and your son’s or daughter’s advantage) to accept it. Remember that your freshman will be basically the same person you sent away to school, aside from such interest changes and personality revisions. Don’t expect too much too soon. Maturation is not an instantaneous or overnight process, and you might well discover your freshman returning home with some of the habits and hang-ups, however unsophisticated, that you thought he/she had “grown out of.” Be patient.

Don’t worry (too much) about depressing phone calls or letters. Parenting can be a thankless job, especially during the college years. It’s a lot of give and only a little take. Often when troubles become too much for a freshman to handle (a flunked test, ended relationship, and shrunken T-shirt all in one day), the only place to turn, write, or dial is home. Often, unfortunately, this is the only time that the urge to communicate is felt so strongly, so you never get to hear about the “A” paper, the new boyfriend, or the domestic triumph. In these “crisis” times, your son or daughter can unload troubles or tears and, after the catharsis, return to routine, relieved and lightened, while you inherit the burden of worry. Be patient with these nothing-is-going-right-I-hate-this-place phone calls or letters. You’re providing a real service as an advice dispenser, sympathetic ear, or punching bag. Granted, it’s a service that makes you feel lousy, but it works wonders for a frustrated student. Again, parenting can be a thankless job.

Visit (but not too often). Visits by parents (especially when accompanied by shopping sprees and/or dinners out) are another part of the first-year events that freshmen are reluctant to admit liking but appreciate greatly. Pretended disdain for those visits is just another part of the first-year syndrome. These visits give the student a chance to introduce some of the important people in both of his/her important worlds (home and school) to each other. Additionally, it’s a way for parents to become familiar with (and more understanding of) their student’s new activities, commitments and friends. Spur-of-the-moment “surprises” are usually not appreciated (pre-emptions of a planned weekend of studying or other activities have disastrous results). It’s usually best to wait for Spring Family Weekend to see your student and the school; that way, you may even get to see a clean room.

Don’t tell them that “These are the best years of your life.” Freshman year (and the other three as well) can be full of indecision, insecurities, disappointments, and most of all, mistakes. They’re also full of discovery, inspiration, good times, and people; but, except in retrospect, it’s not the good that stands out. One student notes, “It took a while (and the help of some good friends) for me to realize that I was normal and that my afternoon movie/paperback novel perceptions of what college was all about were inaccurate. It took a while for me to accept that being unhappy, afraid, confused, disliking people, and making mistakes (in other words, accepting ‘me’) were all part of the show, all part of this new reality, all part of growing up. It took a while for my parents to accept it.”

Trust them. Finding oneself is a difficult enough process without feeling that the people whose opinions you respect most are second-guessing your own second-guessing. An alum noted, “One of the most important things my mom ever wrote me in my four years at college was this: ‘I love you and want for you all the things that make you the happiest; and I guess you, not I, are the one who knows best what those things are.’ She wrote that during my senior year. If you’re smart you’ll believe it, mean it, and say it now.”


Recommended Reading

Shop for these titles on using this link and the links below,
and Millsaps College will be donated  .5% of your purchase costs!

Naked Roommate: For Parents Only
by Harlan Cohen

Naked Roommate: For Parents Only gives parents everything they need to know about the experience they’ll have as their child leaves for college, and what they can do to ensure that their child has an incredible and meaningful college experience.

The Happiest Kid on Campus
by Harlan Cohen

If your child is beginning life in college, there’s a surprise around every corner . . . But that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared! The Happiest Kid on Campus is a witty and wise guide to everything you need to know about the college experience.

Don’t Tell Me What To Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Yearsby Helen E. Johnson & Christine Schelhas-Miller

Brimming with humorous case examples and realistic dialogues, this comprehensive guide covers the fundamental college issues.

Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Yearsby Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger

Based on real-life experiences, Letting Go offers compassionate, practical, and up-to-the-minute information to help parents with the emotional and social changes of the college years.

You’re On Your Own (But I’m Here If You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years
by Marjorie Savage

You’re On Your Own helps parents identify the boundaries between necessary involvement and respect for their child’s independence. Savage, a parent herself, empathizes with moms and dads and offers advice on wide-ranging issues.

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