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College 101

Biggest Myths
Article Type: Quick and Dirty

The Legend of the Millionaire with the High-School Diploma

OK, we are sure this legend has some basis in truth. There are probably a handful of millionaires out there who graduated from high school and – through loads of hard work, a few brilliant ideas, and probably a bit of luck – became millionaires. This select few only make this legend all the more dangerous. The reality is that college graduates will earn an average of a million dollars more over a lifetime than high-school grads.

High School Prepares You for College…Somewhat

The idea is simple. Go to high school and you will be ready for college. Unfortunately, there are some weak links in this chain. First of all, just going to high school doesn’t cut the proverbial mustard. Why? Because almost 25% of high school students drop out before they earn a diploma. So that leaves 75% ready for college, right? Wrong again. Looking at college-readiness exams shows that 75% of those students aren’t equipped with the skills to succeed in college. What do all of these numbers add up to? The fact that you can’t count on learning by osmosis in high school. Get active! Talk to teachers, participate in class, read in your free time. That’s how to take hold of your high-school career and make the most of your learning.

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