Is Preparing for College Really Necessary?

posted by Chris Valentine

It is estimated that nearly 47% of students leaving high school never complete a college or career-ready course to prepare them for the next stage of life.

To make matter worse, studies continue to find that a quarter of those that are college bound fall short of the college readiness benchmarks tested in popular tests like the ACT, which are English, math, science, and reading.

That said, there are plenty of high school students that have these issues and go on to college and succeed. But if there was a more natural way, say preparing for college long before the problem of not being prepared got in the way, wouldn’t you encourage your child to do it?

Our guess is yes.

Let’s take a look at the most compelling reasons why helping your student prepare for college is necessary for their future success in college and beyond.

1. Students Need Time to Find the Right School

It’s not enough to be prepared in primary subjects such as math and science. Your child needs time to research and find the college that suits their individual needs.

It is not unusual for students to apply to many colleges at the end of their high school career. But without time to identify the schools they can afford, research the courses, visit the campus, and apply within the deadline, your child ends up picking a random number of colleges that may or may not be what they need for their future career.

2. Good Grades Take Time

To get into a good college, your child is going to need stellar grades, participation in extracurricular activities, and high test scores. But leaving all of this to their senior year is not going to help.

By preparing your child as a freshman to focus on the things that matter to them, you help them prepare for college years before the thought of college even enters their mind.

This is why you might consider enrolling your child in a reputable college prep school. In a good college prep school, your child will be challenged academically, will prepare for college and beyond, and participate in mandatory extracurricular activities of their choice, so they have a solid resume when it comes time to apply to the colleges their guidance counselor has helped them decide on.

3. It’s Just Less Stressful

Any time you make a significant life change, there is bound to be some stress. Why not help your child by reducing the pressure on them come senior year by helping prepare for college before it’s too late.

Don’t wait until the last minute to have them take college entrance exams such as the ACT or SAT. Have them prepare their college essays months before the deadlines so they can practice and feel confident about what they turn in.

Lastly, help them with the financials of college, whether that mean giving them money or helping them fill out loan paperwork, well in advance, so your child feels okay about being able to pay for college.

We all want our children to take responsibility as adults. And, as a college student, your child is considered an adult. But helping them get to that point is okay, so long as you do it together and not for them.

You don’t want your kid feeling frazzled on the first day of college. Help them get to where they need to be so that when it comes time for them to transition from high school kid to college adult, they are excited about the future, not drowning in worry.

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