Tip 2: Prepare For College Academically

Now is the prefect time to begin thinking about college and how you or your child can prepare academically.

Students & Parents: There are numerous ways you or your child can prepare early in high school. These include taking college-level courses and standardized tests as early as possible. It is best to begin planning for college in the seventh or eighth grade. There are also several courses that students will want to begin taking as early as possible in high school, including algebra and geometry. Algebra and geometry play a large role in many state standardized tests required of students as well as standardized tests required for college entrance, including the SAT and ACT. By taking these courses early, students will be prepared for more difficult courses, such as trigonometry, calculus, and science classes. Many of the most selective colleges that have the highest admissions standards prefer students who have already taken these courses.

If Advanced Placement courses are available at your high school, it is highly recommended that you take advantage of these courses. These are college-level courses that use college-level textbooks and prepare students for the academic challenges they will face in college. To date, there are over 30 AP courses currently available. You can learn more about these courses by asking your high school counselors or visiting the College Board online at www.collegeboard.com.

If you got low SAT scores or low ACT scores, or if you simply didn’t take the exam in time for application deadlines, realize that hundreds of test-optional colleges do not require entrance exams as part of their admissions applications. The link below is just a sampling of the roughly 850 four-year colleges that do not require the SAT or ACT. I have, however, included most of the highly selective schools that don’t require scores. To see a complete list, (About.com, College Admissions). http://collegeapps.about.com/od/standardizedtests/a/optionalscores.htm

Online and Adult Learners: There are several reasons for choosing to go back to college or for choosing to go to college for the first time. In this day and age, there is an increased focus placed on the importance of a college education. For many adults, this means that going to college for their first degree will improve the career opportunities that are available to them. For others, it may mean going back to college to get a graduate degree, such as an MBA or Ph.D.

Today there are so many options as it relates to college degree program for professional adults. There are 100% online programs, “Hybrid” or “Blended” programs (in which some traditional face-to-face “seat time” has been replaced by online learning activities), and on ground programs, where you would meet (depending on the program) once to twice a week.

The first step as an adult learner is to determine what environment you learn best in. For instance, going to school online works best for my lifestyle, given the fact that I travel a whole lot. However, I completely understand that an online program is not for everyone. A good indicator that you may enjoy going back to school online is:

Do you enjoy being on the computer for long periods of time?
Do you learn more independently?
Are you self motivated?

These are some things to think about when considering an online program. If you absolutely LOVE a classroom environment and you feel that you learn better with real time lectures and group discussions, then on ground may be the best choice for you.

Online and adult learner programs all have a slightly different admissions process and requirements. Some schools may ask you to take a placement exam, while others may ask you to write an extensive essay to determine your writing abilities and interest level in the program.

Whether you are a parent, high school student or adult learner, its important to prepare academically ahead of time, so that it increases your chances of being admitted into the college of your choice. Start with a top 5 list of schools and programs that fits your interest, PASSION and career goals. Then reach out to each of those schools to determine what their admissions requirements might be.

I hope this information helps. Tomorrow we will cover, Tip 3. Stay tuned… :-)

©2013 Tanya Knight International, Inc.

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"Education Coach and Mentor Tanya Knight help parents, students and adult learners successfully prepare, enter and graduate from the college of their choice. Get her FREE eBook "Top 10 Simple Secrets to Getting into the College of Your Choice" at www.TheEducationCoach.com

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