Research, and my personal experience working with children for 30 years, puts poor preparation at the top of the list. Why would this be? College-bound high school students are often “creamed off” to special programs, and those remaining are in blended classes where their progress is slowed by students who don’t have the interest in, or ability for, college.
We need to let the vast majority of students, who see career studies as more relevant than abstract academic work, participate in career work beginning in middle school and early high school. This would free up the smaller number of college-prep students who haven’t been creamed off to other special programs, to take accelerated classes with their peers.
Another real possibility is that college is not the best choice for your child. The majority of students don’t have the motivation or academic ability needed for true college work, but still strive for a college degree because of social pressure. Some people still think everyone should attend college, but this isn’t a good idea. It can be a very expensive venture without much to show for it at the end. Career education can yeild short term and long term financial and personal benefits.