4 answers

Do you really need to take high school classes in preparation to college?

Asked Boise, Idaho

Do you need to take relevant high school classes to your major in college, or will college teach you everything you need to know?
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4 answers

G. Mark’s Answer

Updated

Most colleges will not accept you without a high school diploma in the first place. And even if they did, there will be courses in high school that prepare you for college and are not available in college. But here's the good part. Why would you want to postpone until college something you could have studied for free in high school and why would you want to miss that experience? I found that the classes I took in high school that I could have taken in college allowed me to learn more in college before graduation, since my classes in college could be that much more advanced.

Now, if you did find a situation where you could be admitted to college without having taken courses in high school, it seems you'd stand to lose more than you gained. So why bother? Get more prepared in high school!

Ryan’s Answer

Updated

Personally I didn't attend High School, I got my G.E.D. at 18 and didn't start college until I was in my late 20's. I don't feel that High School is something that you NeEd to prepare for college, per se, but the math classes do help you be on par with entry level classes in college. I've had a number of friends do running start (or Fast Forward in Idaho), which gave them free college from 16-18 or there Junior and senior years of High School which allowed them to graduate from a community college with an associates degree and they graduated from High School at the same time. I would recommend that to anyone, it will get you 2 years ahead in your college classes and you don't have to go to High School.

Going to a community college was good to me, it allowed for a more relaxed environment when learning many of the base for the fundamentals in math, physics and English. No matter what school you go to you are going to end up taking a LOT of courses that have no bearing what-so-ever on your major, but overall college will teach you most of what you need to know to graduate. As for what you need to know to get a job in the field, not much of that comes from college. At least that was my experience after graduating from college.

Ryan recommends the following next steps:

  • Look into Idaho's Fast Forward program https://nextsteps.idaho.gov/resources/fast-forward-program/
  • Look into classes required for your major.

Igal’s Answer

Updated California, California

I would tend to agree with G. Mark's answer. I know someone in California who exited high school early. She took a test that allowed them to leave at the age of 16, but I don't know if Idaho has the same kind of arrangement. She wanted to go to a 4-year university, but couldn't because she did not take the required classes in high school, and she had too few credits. So she's now paying to take classes at a community college to satisfy requirements that could have been met in high school for free. This does not seem ideal to me, but that's a route that works for some people. Also be aware that if you're admitted to a university, you might be required to take some basic courses that you would otherwise could have avoided had you taken the appropriate courses in high school.

Igal recommends the following next steps:

  • Find out what the universities you're interested in attending require from you in terms of classes taken and credits earned before they admit you.

Gordon’s Answer

Updated Sebastopol, California

Not really, BUT if you have a community college in your area, you will be OK for a four year institution. If you do NOT have a community college in your area, take the college prep classes offered at your high school. An option to consider is finding an internship or some work study credits allowed in your high school for your college interest subjects (auto repair, computer sale or repair, etc in your area).