Deliberating if you are ready to be a college student is a valid question to ask yourself before committing to enrollment. Many people question if college is even something they need these days. The reality is that a college degree can unlock many doors in your future. Studies show that people with a college degree make more money and have more financially secure futures than people who don’t have college degrees. Sure, it may be an uncertain time, where seemingly anyone with a knowledge of how the Internet works can get some kind of job, but if you want a job that you love – a job that offers a lifetime of security and hopefully a chance at a promotion – you want to attend college. So, are you ready to be a college student? Here are a few steps you should take before hitting the campus.

Consider what you want to study.

Before you actually sign up for a course load, you want to think about some of your career aspirations. If you don’t have a single career in mind, you may want to spend some time thinking about it. For instance, you may want to become a social worker. If that is the case, you will need to do the proper research to find the ideal program to acquire a degree in this field.

Inspect your high school records.

Many colleges require a student to have excellent high school records. Some colleges won’t accept individuals who have lower than a 4.0 average. Moreover, you want to be sure that your SAT scoremeets the minimum standards for the schools you wish to apply. If your numbers are not good, you may not be ready now and wish to retake your entrance exams in the future. In some cases, you may want to take a few extra high school courses to boost your GPA or you may want to appeal to retake the SAT.

Measure your proficiency.

Many colleges have a heavy workload and a very high-level workload. For instance, if you are enrolling in an English program, you want to be sure that your reading comprehension level is high. If you are taking a math program, you want to be sure that your math skills are incredibly sharp. If you are not proficient at a college level, you may not be ready to attend college yet. You can usually test your proficiency by taking standardized tests in the realm of math, language and the sciences. If you decide to bone up on basics before applying to college, then you can look into classes at your local community college first.

Devise a budget.

If you don’t have a big budget, it doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t ready for college. However, if you don’t have anything, you may not be able to cover some of the basic expenses, like meals and overhead. During your college years, you can expect to pay an average of 25k to 30k per year. Be sure to look into any student aid or loan programs that could help you close any gaps you have in your budget.

Evaluate your time. 

College requires a lot of time. If you are taking a standard course load at the University of Southern California, you may not have time to hold down a job. If you do have a full time job or children, you may want to take an online course load that affords you added flexibility. In the end, you must have a set allotment of time to devote to your college activities or you may not be ready.