College is an expensive, time-consuming and a demanding challenge where success is not assured. Going to college is not for everyone. With that in mind, people thinking about college should consider the following questions:
1. Have I done the research necessary for selecting a career direction that is important to me?
2. Have I identified a clear career goal and a group of jobs that are of interest to me?
3. Have I previously demonstrated both an interest and competency in the career direction I have chosen?
4. Does my career goal require a college education?
5. Are my academic (reading, writing, speaking, logic, memory, math and science) skills and knowledge adequate for college?
6. Will I be accepted at a college that has a good reputation in my field of interest?
7. Is an online program or degree a realistic option for me?
8. Am I highly motivated to overcome the bumps in the road that I will encounter?
9. Do I know how I will pay for college?
10. Will the jobs I land after college enable me to pay back my loans?
11. Will I need to work (part-time or full-time) while I attend college?
12. Have I identified the steps I must take to reach my employment goal?
13. Have I identified the college activities and performance that will enhance my chances for employment success?
14. Do I know exactly what my target employers want, need and expect of candidates for employment?
As you can see from these questions, not every student is prepared to do their best in the college environment. The best students have a method to their madness.
When potential students have a complete understanding of the issues that must be resolved, they will make better decisions. Those better decisions can only help students do the things that will ensure greater success in college.
When college is a necessary step in achieving the student's career goals, they should go into it with their eyes open and a good plan for success. Developing a written plan that can be evaluated, revised and refined is a good first consideration.
Going to college should not be a default decision or the action of last resort. It is far too important for that. Who, in their right mind, would spend four years in college at a cost of more than $100,000 and have no plan, no career goal and little chance for success.