Early college preparedness beneficial to students

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Angela Yan

The early bird gets the worm. This common cliché is applied to every life situation, but what it really means is that if someone is the first to act, they will reap the rewards. The phrase also applies to college preparedness, as those who prepare for their educational future early are often rewarded with admission to the university of their choice.

The problem is that students do not receive enough help from their schools to prepare for college, and they are not taking the initiative to plan for college themselves.

According to Follow the Money Daily, four out of five college students pursuing a math or science degree feel that their kindergarten through twelfth grade education did not sufficiently prepare them for college. The site also says that three out of four college freshmen are not prepared for college.

Approximately a month and a half ago, high school acceptance letters were handed out to magnet schools across the county, and students were given their course selection sheets. Any well prepared students would use these course selection sheets to choose courses that will help them be accepted into their dream college or university like Advanced Placement (AP) classes, International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, etc.

However, preparing for college does not only fall onto the students’ shoulders, it also rests on their parents’, as financial planning for college is of extreme importance Although getting into a good college is getting more difficult, being able to pay for it is a whole other story.

Well-prepared parents will assist their child’s ability to pay by enrolling in programs like Florida Prepaid College Savings Plan, which is very flexible. Even if you decide to attend an out-of-state or private school, they transfer an amount equal to what would be paid to the Florida school the plan is designed for, and all that parents have to do is pay the difference in tuition.

Additionally, enrollment in programs like the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation will allow parents to rest easy, knowing that their child’s college is entirely or mostly paid for, and allow students to know that there is no limit to where they can receive a college degree.

Both students and parents are affected by the lack of preparedness, as unprepared students will have a much narrower selection of schools to choose from if they wait too long, and parents are affected by the financial burden of paying for college. Prepared students are also affected because they will be a leg up when it comes to choosing their college.

The good news is that the issue is an easy fix. If you have not begun any preparation for college, begin to do so by researching scholarships and payment options on the financial side, and begin preparing high school courses to help you get into good schools on the academic side. Also, take advantage of college counseling in high school so that you are not blind-sided by the prospect of college in your junior year.