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Students converse on campus at Regent University. Learn more about college readiness.

College Readiness: A Guide to Preparing for Higher Education

College readiness is about pushing yourself toward the highest possible standards and expanding your horizons. There’s no better time to start preparing than right now. We’ll take you through the most critical prerequisite skills for college success and career readiness. Then, you’ll be ready to get the most out of your college experience.

Why is College Readiness so Important?

Overall, only 37 percent of ACT-tested graduates in the class of 2019 met at least 3 of the 4 ACT College Readiness Benchmarks showing strong college readiness.1 High school parents, teachers, administrators, and students can challenge this statistic by encouraging improved academic rigor and preparedness. But that’s only half of the picture. Many aspects of college readiness involve soft skills and real-world skills that make the transition to independence much more manageable. Then, academics can become the main focus once the semester begins.

3 Top Moves for Academic College Readiness

Research the Degree Programs

College allows you to explore your interest in a career field. Many colleges have specialized degree programs built into robust academic communities. As you look into colleges, focus on the specific degree programs to see whether they match your interests. While colleges’ websites can be a tremendous resource, talk to a high school guidance counselor to further explore your options. You can also check out Regent’s wide range of degree programs with over 150 unique areas of study. If you’re still unsure, complete this form to receive valuable information about Regent’s award-winning degree programs and its SuccessPath Scholarship.

Work Toward College Credit Early

In high school, take the highest level classes you can reasonably manage. Good grades in honors classes and advanced placement classes look stellar on college applications. Not only that, a great score on an AP exam may award you college credit hours. Many colleges even offer dual enrollment in college courses while you’re still in high school. The Early College Program at Regent University helps you start college with credits under your belt. This will give you a strong advantage in your educational and professional career. Plus, you can enjoy a reduced tuition rate of $75 per credit hour.

Meet with Counselors and College Representatives

Some of the most-underused assets to high school students are individuals with more experience in higher education. A huge part of a high school counselor’s job is to prepare students for college and careers. Yes, they can help with prep for standardized testing like the SAT and ACT. But they can also help you determine which college best suits your interests, lifestyle and career goals.

College representatives and current students can also provide information about a school’s rich tapestry of programs, events, students and faculty. This doesn’t just pertain to academics but also to extracurricular activities, cultural events, and all the community offers. Regent has a vibrant student life that encourages students to build each other up intellectually and spiritually.

4 Personal Ways to Boost College Readiness

Most counselors and educators are tasked with preparing high school students for the academic challenges of higher education. However, true college readiness is much more well-rounded.

Develop practical skills

Once you enter college, you’ll likely be living on campus around entirely new people. Regent has flexible on-campus housing, a delicious dining facility with regular specials, and activities to help you develop a strong sense of community. However, no parent will be there to do laundry, wash dishes, buy groceries, or email your professor. As you dive into college preparation, work on cultivating practical life skills to take with you. That way, you’ll be able to focus more of your mental and physical energy on academics. It’ll also help with postsecondary success as you enter the workforce.

Expand critical thinking skills

One of the main goals of higher education is to equip the workforce and society with well-rounded, critical thinkers. As you prepare for college, take classes and engage in activities that challenge your problem-solving and critical thinking. You can also get involved in an extracurricular club where you practice problem-solving. Debate teams and public speaking courses are great ways to prepare for the mental rigor of a college course. They can also build confidence as students transition from small-class learning to engaging with large groups of students.

Take financial responsibility

The more financial literacy you can gain before college, the easier it will be later on.

In high school, some students accept part-time jobs for different reasons. One of the payoffs is learning a bit of financial responsibility before the big transition to college independence. A part-time job can help with building routines and responsibility. But it’s also an excellent way to start saving and practicing money management. Most colleges offer on-campus job opportunities, and Regent is no exception. The Office of Career Services maintains a job board as a service to its student body and community. It contains student-assistant postings as well as off-campus positions.

One of the best ways to gain financial literacy is researching scholarships, financial aid, and student loan management. Regent offers a wide variety of financial aid and scholarship opportunities that can help make college more affordable. Also, Regent University’s tuition is nearly $20,000 less than the average of all other private U.S. institutions combined, offering more than $42,000 in tuition savings compared to other notable Christian universities.

Flex your interpersonal skills

College isn’t just about learning, although that’s the primary goal. But interpersonal skills are one of the top attributes that hiring organizations look for. As you prepare for college, build a solid foundation of interpersonal skills that will travel with you. Skills like clear communication, listening, empathy, open-mindedness, and confidence will help you get the most out of a college education. Among many other benefits, they’ll help you network with college professors and individuals in your desired career field.

College Readiness: Your Best Tool for Success

It’s never too early to begin cultivating skills and knowledge that will benefit you in college. Regent’s academics and community will equip you to honor the past, change the future, and live for God’s glory. Contact a representative at 800-373-5504 or fill out an interest form to learn more about all Regent offers and how you can prepare to become a part of their Christ-centered mission.

1 Decline in College Readiness Continues Among US High School Grads, New ACT Report Finds