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College Talk Blog

Reading and College Plans

Sometimes a student demonstrates a disconnect between what he does  (or does not do) and where he says he wants to attend college. When that happens, have a conversation with him about the divide to see whether what he does (or does not do) needs to change or whether college plans need to be adjusted.

My favorite example is the student who designs a college list of the most challenging colleges for both admission and rigor of academic program and says "I don't like to read." The disconnect is that the student is setting a goal to get into the most academically challenging colleges while confessing that he does not enjoy using the most basic skill that it will take to succeed at those colleges.

Disconnects like that are reasons only about half of college freshmen persist to graduation at four year colleges. Help your college-bound teen select colleges where he will succeed. Do what you can to help him read what is required for classes in school as well as for pleasure. Students who read regularly, whether they are taking a class or not, are more likely to read faster and have better comprehension. Reading also enhances writing skill. One tip parents have shared is that they found that their teens read more when they have an e-reader of some sort like a Kindle or a tablet. E-readers make reading more convenient and therefore more likely to occur.

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