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Many Students Could Be Better Prepared for College



By Chris Hassan
Posted August 21, 2012 11:00 AM

Many high school students do not know what to expect from college.
Many high school students do not know what to expect from college.
No matter how much parents and teachers emphasize the importance of earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, students are the ones who determine how well they perform in college. While initiatives like the Common Core State Standards are designed to help future generations become better prepared for college, many of today’s high school students do not appear to be as ready for higher education as they believe they are.

This is the conclusion IQS Research reached after reviewing responses from students and their parents. The Kentucky-based market research firm’s findings appear in its new report, Preparing Students to Transition from High School to College.

What Students Expect is Not Always What They Get

After reviewing respondents’ feedback on how difficult they believed college would be, IQS Research found that only 11% of students felt their path to earning a degree would prove challenging, while 49% did not foresee a difficult college experience.

Because so many students expect an easy transition from high school to college, their mindset has the potential to negatively affect their academic success and leave them unprepared for many of the challenges that accompany the pursuit of a degree.

In the current economy, for example, many students and their families are worried as to how they will pay for four or more years of college. However, IQS Research found that only 41.3% of respondents were concerned about paying for college. Even fewer individuals - 29.4% and 18.6% - were concerned about finding a balance between school and life, and beginning college, respectively.

The Downside of Being Misinformed

While individuals who have graduated from college know there is a world of difference between postsecondary education and high school, it is not always easy to get this message across to teenagers. In fact, the report shows that views on college differ from one age group to another. IQS Research found that 81% of elementary school students felt college was "extremely important," compared to 69% of those in high school.

To ensure that college-bound students know exactly what they can expect to experience in college, IQS Research concluded the report by emphasizing that parents, teachers, school administrators and counselors can all play a role in helping students understand exactly what awaits them in the realm of higher education.

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