The Influence of College Preparation Activities on a Young Woman’s College Decision

 Women who successfully graduate from college tend to follow a pattern of behavior that begins in middle and high school years.  The strongest predictors of commitment to both college attendance and graduation are saving money for college, visiting college campuses, and and/or receiving scholarships or grants.

What can you do to help encourage young women you know?

Taking an Active Role

Parents need to encourage and assist their children, early in life, to save money for college.

Influential individuals should provide opportunities for young women to visit college campuses throughout their high school years and even earlier.

Young women should be encouraged to take concurrent enrollment, advanced placement (AP) and other college preparation courses during high school.  The specific benefits for doing this should be clearly explained.  Encourage enrollment in courses that will meet specific college general education requirements.

Middle school administrators, counselors, and teachers can engage in college-focused discussion and experiences with female students.

The younger a female is when she decides to attend college, the more likely she is to 1) save money for college, 2) more actively prepare for college, 3) have a desire for a higher degree level, and 4) attend and graduate from college.

There are many things influencers can do to help young women be aware of their options and to prepare for college, making it easier for them to complete once they are there.