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Habits of College-Focused Teens

A new report from the National School Boards Association examines information about the 12 percent of high school graduates who don’t enroll in college by age 26. By looking at the habits of individuals who didn’t go enroll in college, parents are able to focus on which behaviors to encourage and which to avoid in order to get their teen on track for college attendance.

Here are a few of their key findings of the report:


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What Parents can Do


Offer a set time for homework. Non-enrollees spent 1 hour per week on homework compared to those enrolling in college who spent at least 7 hours each week. Setting a fixed time to do homework gives more structure to your teen’s day and they are more likely to stick to it if the expectation is set. Be available to help them and be an active participant in projects they are working on.

Oversee course selection. Non-enrollees took more vocational courses in high school and fewer academic courses compared to their college going counterparts. When your child is selecting classes for the year work with them to choose the best schedule; one that will both prepare them for college courses and other vocational classes that will allow them to pursue individual interests.

Be active in the enrollment process. Know what entrance exams are needed and what the application deadlines are for schools your child wishes to attend. Help them with the application or remind them of important dates coming up. Your child’s education shouldn’t be up in the air because of small things like missed application deadlines.

Lead by example. Parental education has long been a telling factor in whether or not a child will attend college or even earn a diploma. By showing you children that education is a life-long pursuit and practicing what you preach by obtaining an education yourself, children will learn to see not only the value of having a degree, but the value of an education.

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