Due to our more than 25 years of experience working with college-bound students, we can offer some valuable suggestions for the preparation of your child for college.

Regardless on if your child is applying to an Ivy League or other highly selective university across the country or is planning on spending the first few years at a local community college, we believe that our recommendations can be useful for incoming college freshman and parents!
The process of searching for the right college is a hard task for a teenager and taking “pre-requirement” classes in high school will help students to make informed decisions that will benefit them for a lifetime goal: to prepare for the best college or university, search for and attend the right fit, and graduate with little or no educational debt.

When should I start preparing for college?

Students should begin thinking about college during their eighth-grade year. Many students find the transition to high school a difficult one, and without the knowledge of what their target college or university is looking for, they may not feel that their freshman year grades are important. However, the fact is that grades from freshman year make up 1/3 of the transcript that students will be sending to college, which means that they matter a lot.

What do we recommend?

We recommend that your child takes three years (four years recommended) of college-preparatory mathematics that includes the topics covered in elementary school and advanced algebra and two- and three-dimensional geometry in high school. Math courses taken in the seventh and eighth grade are the basics classes for the preparation of students for the high school placement test and are extremely important for high school freshman. Specifically, Algebra 1 & 2 and basic geometry classes taken in middle school will present a student the opportunity to enter high school with advanced or honor courses sequences in mathematics and science.
Unfortunately, not taking advanced math classes in 7-8th grade will lead incoming freshman to only take basic mathematics and science classes in high school.

What makes a student a desirable candidate for a college or university? College Math Course Requirement

Every college has a course requirement for different majors, especially technical majors, such as engineering, science (including medicine), economics, and mathematics. Even majors not related to mathematics and science such as history, language, art, philosophy, political science, or sports will generally require some form of course in mathematics and/or science.
This means that students interested in applying for college technical programs (engineering, science, health-related majors, technology, etc.) should make sure to take as many advanced high school classes (“AP” Advanced Placement Classes) in math and science as possible. This includes Calculus, Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics and yes, these classes will satisfy the “Minimum High School Course Requirements”.
Students taking and passing AP classes in high school could graduate college in 3 years or even earlier! And yes, this means a significantly smaller amount of student debt!

Colleges strongly encourage taking AP math and science classes throughout high school as students who exceed minimum course requirements generally are stronger candidates for admission and better prepared for success.
College admissions staff will take the necessary steps to determine the content of the course and evaluate whether it can be used to meet college math requirement. Parents or students may contact the College Office of Admissions and get more information about course requirements for the major your child chooses.
Schools look at many different aspects of a student’s application, and the importance placed on each part will vary slightly from school to school. Typically, schools will consider test scores and class grades, but there are often forgotten factors such as extracurricular activities, volunteering, and enrichment experiences. The bottom line here is that schools want students that challenge themselves. It is better to have a ‘B’ in an honors level class than an ‘A’ in a regular level class. Taking advanced classes in high school will significantly increase the chance of your child being accepted to college.

We want to emphasize that if your child plans to enter a major that is related to math, technology, or science, it is very important that your child take the following AP classes in high school: Calculus AB, BC & 3 and Physics B & C, Chemistry, Biology. Also, if your child is interested in a major related to finance or economics, it is essential that he or she take AP Statistics, AP Calculus and AP Micro-Macro Economics.