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Requirements For A College Degree

Jan 27, 2008
Today, more than ever, you need a college degree to be successful. Twenty-five years ago, a high school diploma was enough to earn enough to live a middle-class lifestyle with a decent job. Now, in order to do as well as you could then, you need an expensive and time-consuming college degree.

College graduates earn about twice as much money as high school graduates, on average. To get where you want in life, you need to be sure you qualify for college. Let's take a look at some of the requirements to attend a university and earn a degree for your long-term success.

Long before high school is over, you should be thinking about the value of your grades. Your GPA, or grade point average, tells your future college the overall average grade for your high school classes, so bear in mind that every class counts. Since colleges consider your grades from 9th to 11th grade, even your earliest class grades are important. Which subjects you take also matters because your transcript, which goes out to colleges, includes that information as well. Be sure not to select all the easiest classes - doing so doesn't leave a good impression. You are responsible to ensure your transcript is delivered to all the colleges in which you may have an interest in applying. Speak with administrators at your high school about this process.

Toward the end of your high school career, you will need to take the SAT or a similar standardized test for college qualification. Verify which tests your possible colleges require, and then take them all. Your scores on these tests will largely determine whether you are accepted into these schools, so don't take them lightly - come prepared. It is a good idea to take these tests as early as possible because, if your score is not satisfactory, you can sometimes take them again and receive credit for the highest score.

The most important preliminary goal is to actually graduate from high school. If you drop out of your senior year, you will not be able to attend college. No matter how much you may dislike high school or find it frustrating, just stick it out and graduate. You'll never regret it. Some schools accept diploma equivalents, such as the GED, but to qualify for college, you generally need a good excuse for not graduating, such as a health problem.

Outside of school hours and work, take the time to fill out your college applications. This effort should begin in the summer before your senior year of high school because the overall process can take a lengthy period of time. In addition to basic questions about yourself and your grades, applications will often require you to write an essay. That essay is probably the most important thing you will have written in your entire life to that point.

A great essay can help college administrators overlook even ugly grades and grease the skids for your acceptance to many college institutions. If an application doesn't require an essay, it is still a good idea to send one anyway, as long as your work is of excellent quality. Have your essay read by several others for feedback and editing; if possible, include a trusted English teacher at your high school for feedback as well.

After you send out your applications, you normally need to wait several months to see if you are accepted. This part can be more stressful than all the prior work, but you must be patient.
About the Author
For practical info concerning college & university options, such as the University of Phoenix online , psychology graduate schools , community colleges and many more, visit www.college-selections.com, offering great higher education insights!
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