Advancing College-Going Culture

Boy and girl using measuring tape in class

What reasons do students give for not wanting to attend college?

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Students often have beliefs and excuses for why they can’t attend college that keep them from having the opportunity to make this choice. Some typical examples are:

  • Nobody in my family has ever gone to college before
  • My grades are not good enough for college
  • I can’t afford it
  • I don’t know how to apply or where I want to go
  • College will be too difficult for me
  • I’m not sure that I’ll fit in
  • I don’t know what I want to do with my life anyway
  • I can’t go to college full time
  • I just want to get a good job and make lots of money


The 10 Most Common Excuses for Not Going to College...and Why They are All Wrong

Tennyson High School, Hayward, California, College Prep Class Teachers

Teacher-developed set of 10 excuses students give for not going to college, with an explanation as to why the excuses should not be a barrier to college-going. College_Excuses_(1_file).doc (1340.9KB)

Success Stories of Students

UC Berkeley, Center for Educational Partnerships

This is a series of “Fast Forward to College” newsletters, in which each has one or two success stories of students who come from underserved communities and faced barriers to college-going. These success stories can help motivate students and can be used in a variety of content classes, as well as in after-school contexts.

Student Lists of Reasons “to go” and “not to go” to college

Coliseum College Preparatory Academy, Oakland, California

A list from students of why they want to go to college, and why not. This resource would help motivate a conversation/dialog in a class or with a group of young people regarding college-going. Reasons_I_Want_to_go_to_College.doc (25.6KB)


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Last modified on 9/10/2009

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