Making sure high school seniors are ready for college is a top priority for parents today. The motivation behind parents putting the extra effort to increase their child’s chances of college acceptance is to gain financial assistance to pay for college tuition. The best way to go about this is for a high school senior to score high on the ACT college entrance exam, which is what schools look at when deciding to award scholarships to students and is usually the determining factor for most four-year universities when deciding which students receive acceptance. Colleges also look for high school seniors who maintain cumulative grade point averages of 3.5 or better.
According to USA Today only 32 percent of seniors who graduated from the class of 2001 were anywhere close to being college ready in a study by the Manhattan Institute (Toppo, The USA Today, 9D). This article seems not to support the idea that students are being prepared well enough by educators and parents, but that was eight years ago. The statistics have changed since 2001. The Wall Street Journal reports during the 2008 and 2009 school academic year that only about a quarter of America’s 2009 graduating high school seniors who took the ACT admissions test had the skills to succeed in college (Tomsho, The Wall Street Journal).
Students are encouraged at a young age by parents and educators to plan well in advance for college and pressured to do great on a daily basis in school. Some high school students do not put forth enough effort to plan for college until their senior year. Some high school seniors think by making great grades they do not have to worry about getting into college, while others plan and prep as if it is the only thing that is important. This fact might contribute to the idea that students simply might not be able to handle the stress of standardized testing when taking the ACT. Students know how important the test affects the chance of college acceptance and unintentionally mess up and choke during the testing process.
“We’re not making the progress we need to be making,” says Bob Wise who is President of the Alliance for Excellent Education (Tomsho, The Wall Street Journal). He says the only way to improve seniors’ chances of college success is by improving the education standards of secondary schools (Tomsho, The Wall Street Journal). This in turn would help improve students’ academic and learning ability in schools, but how can school systems be improved when we cannot afford to fund the necessary improvements ourselves?
High school seniors’ scores for admission to college are disconcerting – to say the least. Many colleges are raising their academic...