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“How Is College Different From High School?”

High school is mandatory and free: most things are either arranged for you or require permission from parents or from the office; your schedule fills your day; and parents/teachers remind you of your

College is voluntary and expensive: therefore, your responsibilities are much greater; you must set priorities and accept the consequences of bad decisions; you & your advisor choose your classes; you alone are responsible for your graduation.

High school learning: many students succeed by studying only 2 hours/week or not at all; you may or may not take or use notes in class; you will be reminded of what you need to accomplish; absence is easily made up; teachers and parents take a lot of the initiative in helping students do well.

College learning: college classes require 2 or 3 hours of work each day for each hour spent in class to be successful; lectures and class work are based on the assumption that you have completed homework and the assigned reading, even if it is not graded; absences may not be excused; student success is the student’s responsibility.

High school teachers: high school teachers are trained to teach; they present material to help you understand the text; they will write what they want you to know on the board; work is collected and graded; teachers are often available before and after class; they often take the initiative in reminding students about work, offering help, and reviewing material.

College Instructors: professors are experts in their field; they may lecture nonstop; they assume completion of assignments even if they don’t collect or grade them; they may be available only by appointment; they assume students will take the initiative if help is needed

High school grades: tests are frequent, announced, and can usually be made up; teachers make it clear what you need to know; mastery of material often means memorization; high school grades can be
helped with extra credit work, and you may get points for trying/good faith; in high school, just passing is enough.

College grades: tests are infrequent, may not be able to be made up, and students are expected to anticipate content; mastery of material means being able to go beyond memorization and what is said in class; college grades probably don’t include extra credit, and your good faith is assumed; in college, you will need a minimum C average or better to graduate, depending on your major.