SEPTEMBER 26, 2013

Few Students Understand What Is Required to Be Truly Prepared For College, and Many Trust That a High School Diploma Is Enough

Educators in New York State have long known that a high school diploma alone (even the fancy-sounding "Regents diploma") is no guarantee that students have the higher-level writing, math and analytical skills required for college success. A Center for New York City Affairs survey of 10th graders revealed that almost 70 percent of students believe that a high school diploma is sufficient preparation for college--and most of the remaining students said they didn't know. In addition, only half of students knew that their freshman and sophomore year grades would be seen and reviewed on their college applications.

These survey results point to the fact that teachers and guidance counselors must start talking to students early about the demands of college, making sure students know that the rigor and effort required in their high school courses will be crucially important in college.

The Center also asked students, "What kinds of grades do you need to get into the college?" More than 60 percent said they believed they would need an average grade of 80 or higher to get into the college of their choice. However, many admitted they weren't meeting this mark. When asked about their grades at the end of their sophomore year, only 46 percent said they had grade point averages of 80 or above.

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