Top 10 Skills High School Students Need To Develop In Preparation For College

It’s never too early to start thinking about preparing for college. This Top 10 list has been developed through many years of attending conferences, listening to college admission professionals, and touring a variety of colleges and universities around the U.S.

  1. Study Skills: A student’s GPA for college admissions starts in the 9th grade (sometimes 8th for foreign language and math courses).
  2. Time Management and Organizational Skills: Since students’ schedules have been pre-planned for them by the demands of high school, they often haven’t had experience at setting priorities with choices in what to do with their time.
  3. Written and Communication Skills: Written and communication skills are often the top academic skills that educators say students today are lacking.
  4. Resiliency: An important trait for students to develop… the ability to bounce back from setbacks, disappointments, and failures.
  5. Self-Awareness: Many choose a college major based on what they have “learned” through media or heard about from friends, with little awareness about themselves and how a major or even a college could be a fit.
  6. Problem-solving Skills: College faculty and administration continue to report that many students are used to having answers and support on demand; that they aren’t able to solve basic problems without consulting someone else.
  7. Social Skills: As jobs in our nation continue to move toward the service industry sector, social skills will continue to become important for students finding life-long success in their careers and relationships.
  8. Independence: Students must learn, with increased opportunity in their high school years, that independence and freedom must be earned by showing respect and responsibility.
  9. Assertiveness: Students need to learn more about being assertive, rather than being passive or aggressive when resolving conflicts.
  10. Financial Management: It is important to discuss expectations and a budget before a student leaves home.