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In Middle School

College seems a million miles away when you're in middle school. But believe it or not, middle school is the midway point to college. Which means it's the perfect time to start planning your college education—even if there's only the slightest chance you want to attend. The choices you make now will make it easier to attend college later.

The good news is, costs shouldn't keep you from attending college. If you make a step-by-step plan starting now, you can make it happen! Here are a few tips to get you on the right track:

Develop Good Study Habits

It's important to get the hang of studying early, because in college, you're on your own. Get the basics and the right habits under your belt now, and you'll have a much easier time in college classes. Talk to one of your teachers or a counselor if you need help in improving your study habits.

Think of 8th Grade as Pre-High School

The decisions you make in eighth grade may affect your college applications. Think about it: Right now, you're deciding which courses you'll take in high school, right? Well, your high school courses will go directly onto your college application.  

That's why the State of Texas has a Recommended High School Program (RHSP) that shows which courses you should take to be ready for college in Texas. Take a close look at it, and talk with your parents, teachers and counselors. That way, they can help you choose the middle school courses that will prepare you for high school. The RHSP is currently the "default curriculum." That's a fancy way of saying it will automatically be chosen for you unless you get approval from your parents and counselors to choose other courses.

Interested in a community college technical program? Then take a look at the Tech-Prep Articulated Programs along with the Recommended High School Program. Tech-prep programs focus on courses that are required for associate's degree programs and may transfer to state universities.

So be sure you understand high school coursework and develop good study habits. Both will really pay off later.

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