Did you know that over a quarter of all freshmen drop out or don't return for their second year of college because they're not prepared to handle the workload? Preparing for college ahead of time is not only key to getting into a good college, but being ready to tackle college level academics, increasing your chance of success in college, and having an all around enjoyable experience.
Many high school students see college as a continuation of high school and make the mistake of waiting to the last minute to prepare for and select a college. Not only do colleges have application deadlines, they also have admission requirements–many of which must be met months in advance. Waiting until senior year in high school to start preparing for college, while all too common, is unwise and puts you at a distinct disadvantage to those students who have thoughtfully and thoroughly prepared for college throughout their high school career.
So what are the benefits of preparing for college? Here are just a few.
- Getting into a good college
- Early admission
- Qualifying for scholarships
- Passing college courses in high school
- Ability to handle the college workload
- Less stress your senior year
- Better chance of making it through college
- Better all around college experience
Developing good habits during high school is also key to meeting the demands of college life. In addition to developing good study habits, it's important to consider how other habits developed during high school will affect lifestyle and education progress during college. Let's review a few recommendations that will help prepare you to have a successful transition to college life.
- Develop a habit of going to bed and getting up at a regular time. Yeah, it may seem silly, but it really helps. College life starts early each morning, and you need to be accustomed to getting up early and ready to work.
- Get a part-time job and start learning how to manage money. College is expensive and most students are broke. If you want to live on more than ramen noodles, be able to pay your bills and have a little left over for the occasional date, you have to be able to budget.
- Make saving money for college a priority. We highly recommend setting up a 529 college savings plan as soon as you can for the tax breaks they provide and to start accruing interest.
Attending college is a realistic goal, well within reach of any student who starts preparing early. The benefits of going to college and earning a degree extend far beyond getting a good career and earning an income. College helps to prepare students for life in many intangible ways. It helps them gain love of learning, develop new relationships, build character and live a generally happier, healthier life. Parents, students and educators should work as a team to make attending college a reality.
Below you'll find information and resources that will help you develop a clear college preparation plan early and position you to get into the school of your choice and have a productive, fulfilling college experience.