Why You Should Start Thinking About College in 8th Grade

How early is too early to start preparing for the college admissions process? It’s important to let kids be kids, but in the selective admissions process, every move in high school counts – from the first day of freshman year to the last senior year exam. More and more families are beginning the college prep process in the eighth grade, aiming to set their students up for success at the start of high school. It’s a great decision and here is why!

Colleges look at all four years of high school grades, courses, activities, and more when evaluating applicants – not just records from junior and senior year like many families believe. By starting simple college preparation in eighth grade, students are poised to have a strong start to their high school careers – something that can set them apart from other applicants when it comes time for colleges to decide whom to admit. Why thinking about college early can help?

1. Creating study habits – Grades are the most important application elements that colleges consider when making admission decisions, and, as we mentioned before, they will look at grades from all four years of high school. It’s important to instill good study and work habits early, as highly selective colleges want to see strong academic performance from freshman year forward. Starting in eighth grade, help students learn how to manage their study schedules, homework deadlines, and other academic requirements.

2. Learning organizational skills – staying organized is key, and developing good study habits like taking handwritten notes, reviewing notes every day before homework, and limiting distractions will help students prepare for the rigors of a high school course load and beyond.

3. Identifying Interests – Having focused interests is very important when applying to college as institutions are looking to build a well-rounded class made up of specialists. Colleges want to see sustained and meaningful interest in just a few extracurriculars, so it’s critical to identify interests early on. Beginning in eighth grade, students should start identifying and exploring interests through reading, research, and other activities.

Get a head start at Stratford School, where beginning in preschool, students exhibit remarkable depth of character; respect for their classmates, teachers, and families; and the “sparkling intelligence” that is a hallmark of a balanced education. Stratford’s intentional approach to educating the whole child results in young adults who are gifted communicators, skilled and generous collaborators, and creative problem solvers.

The integration of science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) into all aspects of the curriculum allows students to explore and excel in areas requiring core knowledge, as well as their individual passions such as musical theatre, foreign language, and creative writing.

Visit Stratford School at 2046 Allen Avenue in Altadena. You can contact them directly at https://www.stratfordschools.com/contact-us or call them on (626) 794-1000. For more information visit their website at www.stratfordschools.com/altadena.




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