Study Shows Only 25% of Students are Ready for College

Chances are you’ve taken or at least heard of the ACT: a test most colleges expect high school students to take. ACT test scores can indicate whether a student is likely to earn a certain grade in first-year college courses. According to a study they published recently, only 25% of students who take the test are prepared for college.

That’s a bit frightening, no? What kind of nightmare is it for a student to go to college unprepared?

The good news, though, is that as parents we can take some action to help our kids get ready. Here are ACT’s suggestions:

  1. 1. Know the essential expectations of a core curriculum. Some states have adopted Common Core State Standards, but many colleges and universities expect incoming students to have taken more than the state’s requirements. Be certain that your student is working toward the requirements of his or her intended college, even if those differ from the requirements of the school or state. ACT recommends a minimum of four years of English, and three years each of mathematics, science, and social studies.
  2. 2. Encourage students to take challenging high school courses. A key determiner of college readiness is not just the number of courses taken in high school and grades earned, but the rigor and standards applied to performance in those classes.
  3. 3. Intervene early. Gaps in foundational skills and knowledge are best remediated in upper-elementary and middle school, so that students can undertake more advanced learning and effectively prepare for college in high school.
  4. 4. Pay attention not just to academic readiness, but to behavioral readiness and education and career planning – an emphasis on scores and test results alone cannot guarantee that a student will be well-prepared for college.

Here are the results of the study.

Earnest Parenting: helping parents get their kids prepared for college.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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  • Laarnie | Business Card Design September 20, 2011, 4:33 am

    It’s so sad that most students are unprepared for college. Their school lives will become a disaster when they go to college unprepared. Parents have a big role in teaching their kids the importance of education, helping them overcome the troubles, and encouraging them to do the best they can.

    Reply
  • Angela September 23, 2011, 11:34 am

    This is great information. I am concerned that many parents do not understand point #2, the importance of rigor in high school courses. Perhaps they are concerned about the time and effort demands of a strong academic schedule when their child is also balancing sports and other extracurriculars.

    Reply
    • Amy LeForge September 23, 2011, 1:34 pm

      Angela I think it’s a balancing act no matter what you do. And then there are children who just plain aren’t interested in a strong academic foundation (cough-my older boys-cough, cough). Sometimes we have to let them make some of those choices and live with the results. I’m living that experience right now.

      Reply
  • Debbie @ Happy Maker September 24, 2011, 11:53 am

    Great information Amy. As parents I do believe we have to stay ahead of the game when it comes to kids in school. It is very important to talk to our kids every day and ask how there day went. that way you can see any problems that maybe coming up. It is so important for parents to be involved with there kids schools.
    Blessing to you,
    Debbie
    Debbie @ Happy Maker´s last blog post ..How to Understand What Your Women Really Needs for Her Happiness in Your Relationship!

    Reply
    • Amy LeForge September 24, 2011, 10:56 pm

      Debbie I’m quickly learning how hard it is to keep up with that. Having them at home is easy in terms of knowing what’s going on. Much harder to know what is happening when he’s not right with me.

      Reply