HFC_six_keysStart early. Perhaps the best way to prepare for success in college is to get started as early as possible with processes such as applying for financial aid, completing admission applications and taking a placement test.

Plan ahead. To avoid stress and manage your workload, plan ahead for all of your assignments. Get a course syllabus (or outline) for each course and read it carefully. There you will find the instructor’s expectations as well as a schedule for assignments.

3 Connect with other students. Find a buddy in each class; join a student club or organization and get involved.

Choose classes carefully. Nothing can cause more problems than getting overwhelmed by a class for which you are not prepared. Pay close attention to course descriptions and consult an advisor or instructor before enrolling each term.

5 Seek help. If you need advice with academic or personal matters, talk with the support professionals who are available to help students. If you have trouble with a class, go to the instructor. Also, check out tutoring services or computerized study aids.

Do the work. It may sound simple, but an essential factor in college success is completing all assignments. Unfortunately, too many students try to get by without reading everything that has been assigned or otherwise scrimping on coursework. If you do everything that is asked of you, the odds of success are in your favor.

Attending a two-year school and then transferring to a four-year school saves money. It also increases the chance of getting into a “reach” school since transferring is typically less competitive than applying as a high school senior among the masses.

Another plus is that two-year colleges provide solid preparation for succeeding at the next level. With smaller classes taught by highly qualified professors, they provide students the chance to meet general education requirements while strengthening skills in key areas such as writing and math. A real advantage is that students can proceed at their own pace. While students typically complete two years of study before transferring to a four-year college, that’s not the only option. Some students move on after only a year. Others earn associate degrees, enter the workforce and then pursue bachelor’s degrees on a part-time basis. Since many employers will pay for their employees to take college classes, the part-time option can be especially cost-effective.

Two-year colleges really are a tremendous value that people sometimes overlook because they don’t know about these “secrets.” Whatever the goal, a college like HFC is a great place to learn more and do more.