High School Issues

Learn more about issues specific to high school students. Get an overview of high school graduation rates, college readiness, career choice and social issues impacting teenagers in public schools.
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10 Ways to Use Summer to Boost Your College Application
Summer break is a time to kick back and relax but it is also a great time to do activities that will boost your college applications. Keep reading to see how to boost your application this summer.

When the final bell rings on the last day of school, you’re probably ready to rush home and throw your bookbag in the closet until fall. As a high school student, summer is a time to relax and to take a break from studying, but if you plan to apply for college, you might want to consider using some of your summer break to boost your college application.

You don’t necessarily need to jump right into summer school, but there are some simple things you can do this summer to improve your college application. Keep reading to find out what they are.

Why Is It Important to Stay Busy Over the Summer?

Though it may be tempting to spend the whole summer sleeping in and spending time with friends, it’s important to keep one eye on your future. Your brain can definitely use a break when it comes to studying and stress, but don’t shut it down entirely for the next two months.

Staying busy and productive over the summer is important for a number of reasons. When it comes to college applications, however, it will show admissions officers that you’re serious about your education and your future. Something as simple as taking a summer school course or volunteering with a local charity shows a commitment to academic excellence and depth of character. Everything you do is an opportunity to show college admissions who you really are.

In addition to making yourself look better on a college application, staying busy over the summer

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Choosing Between the SAT and ACT and How to Prepare
Taking the SAT or ACT is a major source of stress for high school students. Keep reading to learn how to choose the right test and how to prepare for it.

Choosing which colleges to apply to is a big decision and not one that should be made lightly. You have to consider factors such as class size, location, degree options, student-teacher ratios, and more. With so many options to choose from, things can get pretty stressful.

In all the flurry of trying to pick a college, you might forget about something even more important – college admissions exams. It doesn’t matter what schools you want to apply to if you don’t do well enough on your college admissions exams or, worse if you forget to take them entirely.

The SAT and the ACT are the two most popular college admissions exams, and both are universally accepted by colleges in the United States. If you’re like many high school students, you may be wondering what the difference is between these two tests and which one you should take, if not both of them. Keep reading to learn what every high schooler needs to know about these exams and how to prepare for them.

How Important Are Test Scores for College Admissions?

Most colleges and universities in the United States consider an applicant’s score on college admissions exams like the SAT and ACT. Many schools have a minimum score they will accept, though some schools weight these scores more heavily than others. Though each school is different, the fact remains – scoring well on college admissions exams is important.

Though you should definitely do your best on the SAT or ACT, it is important to remember

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Why Every High School Student Should Apply for Financial Aid
Each year, millions of students neglect to fill out the FAFSA and, in doing so, miss out on the chance to receive federal student aid. Keep reading to learn why every high school student should apply for financial aid, whether or not they qualify and regardless of their intention to use it.

The cost of college tuition rises each and every year. Though many students struggle to fund their college education, there are others who are lucky enough that they don’t need to borrow money for school. Even if a high school student doesn’t plan to borrow money to pay their tuition, however, it is still wise to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

According to a new report sent out by the National Center for Education Statistics, there are many reasons why high school students fail to fill out the FAFSA and some of them are due to misconceptions. Keep reading to learn why every high school student should apply for financial aid, whether or not they qualify and regardless of their intention to use it.

What is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?

According to recent data from College Board, the average annual cost to attend an in-state public college is about $25,000. For private colleges, that price doubles to over $50,000. While there are certainly students whose families are wealthy enough to pay for tuition without assistance, the great majority of incoming college students require financial aid to fund their higher education.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form colleges and universities use to determine a student’s eligibility for federal, state, and school-sponsored financial aid. This includes educational loans, grants, and work-study programs. Even if a student only plans to take advantage of state or college-sponsored financial aid, they are

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Surviving Public High School: Things Seniors Wish They Knew as Freshman
Entering high school is a big change and a big challenge. Take advice from high school teachers and fellow students to help you survive the transition.

Making the switch from middle school to high school is a nerve-wracking change for many students. For some reason, the idea of changing to a new school full of new teachers and new students can be very overwhelming. If your child is nervous about going to high school next year, talking to him about the change may be beneficial. It may also help your child to take some advice from graduating seniors as well as high school teachers. Keep reading to learn more.

Challenges in Transitioning from Middle to High School

Switching to a new school is always a difficult thing to do but it is something that most students go through several times throughout their academic careers. One of the biggest transitions is the one from middle school to high school because it also coincides with puberty for many students. Not only will students find themselves facing a new school with unfamiliar classes, new teachers, and a new schedule, but they also have to navigate the challenges of making new friends and finding their niche within the student body. These things are compounded by additional challenges like resisting peer pressure to drink or do drugs and entering into the world of sexual exploration.

Before you make the transition from middle to high school, there are some practical things you can do to make the switch a little easier. One simple but important thing you should make sure to do is to familiarize yourself with a map

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How Important Are Extra-Curricular Activities for College Applications?
It is never too early to start prepping for college by engaging in some extra-curricular activities that will help you to show a college admissions team who you are and what you believe in.

Every high school student in the country knows the word “extra-curricular” – it is a word that strikes fear into the heart of many. While extra-curricular activities may seem like a fun way to kill some time after school, for many students they are much more than that. They are a gold star on a college application – something that has real implications for the state of their future. But just how important are extra-curricular activities for your college application and are some better than others?

What Kind of Extra-Curricular Activities Are There?

When it comes to extra-curricular activities, the options are endless – but what really counts as an extra-curricular? Technically, it is an unpaid activity that doesn’t pertain to ordinary school classes. The activity itself may occur either in or out of school, though elective classes don’t count. For example, theater class is an elective because it takes place during school hours and it is an actual class – theater club is an extra-curricular if it takes place outside school hours and it isn’t technically a class. Volunteer work can also qualify as an extra-curricular activity.

Here are some examples of extra-curricular activities you might consider joining:

  • Special interest clubs (clubs for like-minded students, often focused around a particular subject, activity, or interest)
  • School service clubs (clubs where students engage in projects to improve the school)
  • Scholarship clubs (clubs that exist primarily for prestige, though they may also offer scholarship awards)
  • Community volunteering clubs (clubs where students engage in
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Summer break is a time to kick back and relax but it is also a great time to do activities that will boost your college applications. Keep reading to see how to boost your application this summer.
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