College Preparation & Readiness
What Can Students and Parents do in Middle School to Prepare for College?
Here are a few ideas:
Talk about College. Parents/Guardians have a huge influence on their children's future plans. Talk about college around the dinner table. Learn about what is required together as a family. Work toward having higher education as a possibility and opportunity for your child. It is never too early to visit a college campus, and start getting a feel for being there.
Work on Good Study Skills. Time-management, organization, and good study skills are absolutely necessary to be successful in high school, college, and any career. Make sure that your child has a quiet place to study, and time set aside to do homework each night. Go over your child's agenda, and plan out what is necessary to complete assignments and projects. Establish good study skills for tests and quizzes. Check out, and utilize programs at school, ideas for studying, and community resources.
Explore Interests through Extracurriculars. The middle school years are great for exploring and figuring out what you most enjoy -- sports, music, drama, religious activities, business, design, programming, government, etc. Figuring out what you are passionate about in middle school helps you develop leadership skills and depth in areas that colleges look out for!
Plan out Classes. Did you know that you can start taking classes that count for high school credit and "a-g" requirements in middle school? Take a look at what is offered, and plan accordingly. Get in the habit of taking classes and electives that prepare you for high school.
Learn about College Costs and Start Saving. Start saving up for college early. There are plenty of scholarships that middle school students can apply to -- every penny adds up! Look into different money-saving options, such as community college, work-study, grants, and/or scholarships.
Read. Read. Read. The more you read, the stronger your verbal, writing, and critical thinking skills will be. Read beyond your homework to build vocabulary, learn new ideas, and as an expression of yourself. These skills come in handy for college-prep tests such as the SAT or ACT, but also help throughout middle school, high school, and beyond.
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Awards and Scholarships Available for Middle School Students:
Resources for African American and Black Students: Explore HBCU Opportunities
These are high school courses you need to take for college admission. These courses include: History, English, Math, Laboratory Science, Visual & Performing Arts, and Foreign Language. Know your "a-g" as you prepare for college opportunities:
a. HISTORY AND SOCIAL SCIENCE
2 years (1 year of U.S. History and 1 year of Social Science)
4 years required
3 years (4 years recommended)
d. LABORATORY SCIENCE
2 years with a lab class
e. LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH
(Foreign Language) 2 years of the same language
f. VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
g. COLLEGE PREPARATORY ELECTIVES
1 year of any college preparatory subject