Start College Off Like College

by Kathryn Knight
Start College Off Like College

Nothing makes you question the validity of your hard-earned high school diploma like collegiate remedial courses. Although the thought is a total bummer in and of itself, the reality is far more depressing: 1/3 of college freshmen are enrolled in remedial classes.

When enrolling in college credit classes, 43% of students at community colleges and 29% at public four-year institutions must take a slight step back before wiping their feet on the collegiate “Welcome” mat. The cost isn’t just a delayed education either. Each year, community colleges and universities spend between $2.3 and $2.9 billion to pull kids from high school to college mode.

Though there is a gap between the expectations of high school teachers and college professors, the blame falls mostly on the student. So what can YOU do to better prepare yourself?

Enroll in harder classes.
Most high school students choose classes under the assumption that a 4.0 is the only prerequisite for getting into a good school. Unfortunately, this mentality encourages academic underperformance.

Admissions committees are looking for struggle and tenacity on the transcript—not an average course load. Harder classes means that students have taken a risk and pushed themselves to a higher expectation; thereby, closing the “gap” that exists between a high school and college education.

Focus on…
Time management. Freshmen in college often say that they aren’t necessarily lacking in knowledge but time management skills. Courses are spread throughout the day and typically meet two or three times a week. Students must learn how to balance a sporadic schedule with a hefty homework load.

Personal accountability. Unfortunately, college professors don’t remind students of the midterm date. And regrettably, your mother isn’t in your dorm room to reprimand you for watching television when you have a paper to write. Colleges don’t just teach sciences and humanities, they teach life lessons. One of the most important is learning to be accountable to the work that is required.

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