What should you do if you took either test?
· If your scores have been published, get those sent to your colleges of choice.
· If you took the test and have not yet seen any scores published, contact your colleges. Most are flexing the application deadline to accommodate late score reporting. However, that is the only exception to their deadlines. Everything else required on the applications must be completed prior to the school's published deadline.
What are future plans for current high school juniors (11th grade) and younger?
"Test-optional" will most likely be dropped (with the exception of colleges that had been test-optional previous to the pandemic). That is, current high school students with college intentions, should plan on taking either the SAT, or ACT, or both (that is another article). Ohio State and University of Michigan have already made their intentions known test scores will be an application requirement.
Other important points:
· Regardless of anything written above, it is always a good idea to talk with your college admission contacts. Discuss what is going on in your world, and follow their guidance.
· Super-scoring has always been, and remains, the prerogative of the college. Most do, but none are required to do.
· SAT/ACT tests were developed in hopes they would be indicators of the likelihood of academic success in college. They are not perfect, but they are, for now, a key measure, along with GPA and the academic rigor of your high school transcript
Trends in test scores indicate that test-preparation prior to even the first test date proves worthwhile. There are free resources online (ACT.org; CollegeBoad.org). However, those tests have become very well integrated into college admissions decisions, and test-preparation companies have become very sophisticated at "teaching to the test." Professional tutoring will help in evaluating your high school transcript and GPA, and understanding the predictive value of PSAT/PACT scores. Seek help understanding your rung on the competitive academic ladder. Test-prep is pricey. You need information in order to determine if it is worth the price for your student.
Is Community College a good option after high school?
You're going to hate me for this answer, but it is, in fact, "Yes and no."
- For students who are borderline academically qualified for college-level academics. The academic rigor of college is harder than of high school. Most four-year colleges demand more academically than most community colleges.
- For students who desire expressly to earn a technical certification and enter the job market from there. No one should consider that choice as lesser than attending a four-year college. It is simply a different choice. Every adult knows, once in the work force, job performance determines career advancement.
- For families who think it will save them money. If any money is saved, and that is a proposition easily challenged from the data, the amount saved is modest compared to what is missed.
- For students who think a community college will help them figure out what they want to major in, and what career they want to pursue (with the exception of a technical certification, as mentioned).
The original question (Is community college a good option?) reveals an underlying issue that parents and students should address. Why go to college?
- To find direction for life as an adult? At $25,000 per year (or more) those are expensive directions. Instead, consider getting a job and learning what it takes to earn $25,000 in a year. Enlist for military service and be trained in a career-quality skill, mature as a young adult and, upon completion of active duty feel a sense of accomplishment.
- Because that's what others are doing? That is seldom, if ever, a good reason for doing anything. To reiterate, get a job instead. Find out how hard your parents work to provide for your family. Save most of the money for college. Pay taxes. That's an education, too.
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- Why do colleges "Wait List" some students and what to do if you're on the wait list
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