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Are Ninth-Graders Ready for College Planning?

The traditional expectation is that you have to be an eleventh-grader to start contemplating about college, in a serious way. That is the time when teachers and parents remind you about what you need to do in order to get into a good college. You start browsing brochures and listing colleges and courses you are interested in. Nowadays though, some educators are advising that you start looking at ninth-grade. But is it too early? Here are some questions you should answer before deciding.

Is the ninth-grade college dream final?

At about fourteen years old, the ninth-grader may not yet be ready to make a decision that will impact the rest of his or her life. However, there are some ninth-graders that do display an unusually advanced interest in college.

Will preparing early ruin high school for the ninth-grader?

If a student focused too much on getting into college, the high school experience might be put aside. Instead of enjoying high school, the student may start idealizing college. There are students, however, who are able to multitask, understanding that by making the most of high school, they can do well in college.

Is there such a thing as too early?

Too early may actually depend on the student. Generally though, college planning in ninth grade is too early.

Ninth grade is generally too early to prepare for college. Perhaps it should not be a requirement but an option that individuals, prompted by the student’s own interest, could pursue.