New Study: College Readiness Begins in Middle School

Posted by on July 8, 2005

[postsed from Public Education Network newsblast]


Many of America’s middle and high school students need more help from schools to effectively plan for the future, according to a recent study by ACT. The study suggests that many students don’t start thinking about their post-high school plans early enough, and that those who do may not be taking the right classes to prepare to meet their goals. The results of the study, a survey conducted among nearly 3,000 middle school and high school students in six different states, show that close to one-fourth (22%) of eighth and ninth grade respondents had not yet even thought about their post-high school plans, let alone planned a program of study to help them meet their goals. The ACT report recommends that school districts set up a formal program to help students develop a college readiness plan starting in middle school. It urges schools to work with all students and their parents, explaining to them the importance of taking a challenging curriculum and the effect it can have on their future educational, career and income options. It also recommends that schools work with families to calculate college costs and develop a plan to meet those costs. “Guidance counselors cannot do this on their own,” said Richard J. Noeth. “Quite simply, there are far too few counselors trying to serve far too many students. The solution has to come from the broader school system. A formal, school-wide program must be set up to inform students and their parents of their best options.”

Read the press release, including a link to the full study, at

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