Why it is important to start preparing for college early


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Rachel Fretz-Cianci

August 29, 2019

There are several reasons for students to start as early as 8th and 9th grade in preparation for college. According to the National Clearinghouse Research Center, 9th grade is a high predictor of a student graduating high school, going to college, and progressing past the freshman year of college.

The first reason to start early is to determine a student’s strengths and interests. What are you really interested in that you would want to study in college? Do your strengths complement your interests? If you have weaknesses in areas that are necessary for the major that you wish to study, then you have time to improve those areas. For example, if you are interested becoming an engineer but struggle in mathematics, which is essential to this major, then you will need to take measures to improve those skills, such as tutoring, shadowing, or even summer engineering teen camp.

Secondly, the sequence of courses throughout high school years is very important. If a student decides to eventually pursue a major within the health field or physical sciences there, are certain courses that he or she needs to complete in high school to be accepted into that college major. Therefore, the courses a 9th grader chooses are essential to completing the higher level math or sciences needed for a particular college major or for allowing room to take advanced courses that could go towards an accelerated college program.

The third reason to start preparing early for college is students will learn how to communicate effectively, be organized, and manage time. Students who start dedicating time and energy into college planning will need to develop a regimen, learn how to manage their schedules between school and social activities, and start interacting with professionals within their field of interest. If students start learning these soft skills early on, it will improve their academic success throughout high school and into their college years.

Students are more motivated to do well in their academics, extracurricular activities, and community involvement when they have figured out early on what is needed to be a strong college applicant that will allow them to pursue the major of their choice.

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