A special report by Louisville based IQS Research, Preparing Students to Transition from High School to College, reviews prospective college students’ perceptions and skills, and finds deficiencies that undermine their success. Key findings include:

  • Almost half of prospective college students (49 percent) think college will not be difficult. Only 11 percent think it will be difficult. (p. 3)
  • Fewer than 1 in 5 students are concerned about how to begin their college experience. (p. 4)
  • Nearly 70 percent of students don't think that balancing school with their personal and work lives will be a real problem for them in college. (p. 4)
  • Many students believe college will be just a continuation of their high school experience. (p. 5)
  • Students are concerned about paying for college, but few know how to fill out federal loan forms, look for grants, or apply for scholarships. One-quarter of students put tuition on their credit cards, and 41 percent will carry a balance a year later. (p. 6)
  • Math and science skills are mandatory for success in college, but only 53 percent of parents believe math is important, and only 26 percent of parents believe science is important for college success. (p. 7)

“There is work to be done to change the college success rate.  However, contrary to popular belief, those changes need to occur earlier than originally thought and need to extend beyond academic preparedness” said Shawn Herbig, president of IQS Research.

Parents talking with their children about college sooner, identifying goals, and determining costs are integral to students’ planning for and succeeding in college and beyond.