If you believe the time to start thinking about high school is near the end of 8th grade, think again.
Both the application process and the transition into 9th grade can be challenging for parents and students, so the earlier you start, the better.
“I started talking to [my kids] when they were in 6th or 7th grade,” said Autumne Hall, a Philadelphia parent who now lives in Mayfair and has a child in middle school, high school, and college.
I hope the issue on college access and success (Focus on a Broken Pipeline to College, Summer 2012) motivates high school and college staff to ramp up efforts to prepare high school students for college and ensure that colleges provide needed support to earn a degree.
With costs soaring, getting to and through college is more difficult now than ever, and that has many students skeptical about whether it’s even worth the effort.
The Notebook wanted to offer practical information and advice on how students can successfully navigate the college-going process. To do that, we talked to two local college placement experts, Thomas Butler and Karen Campbell, asking them questions that high school students may have.
I’m not sure college is really for me. Why do you think it is?
How do I get started?
Talk to the adults in your life, including teachers, counselors, and parents or guardians. Get a copy of the District’s middle school guide, which gives advice about making the most of the middle years and sorting out your interests. Then, read this guide and the District’s high school directory, and meet with your counselor. Seventh and 8th graders should attend the High School Expo, scheduled this year in October.
When should I start thinking about high school choices?
In 2005, when Meade School’s first 8th grade class moved up to high school, less than 10 percent of those students were accepted to schools other than their neighborhood high school. This was a disappointing result for the many students who had sought admission to special admission schools. It was also disappointing for our teachers. Our staff decided that this was not an acceptable outcome. We resolved to do better in future years.