Challenge yourselves! In school, wherever you are, whatever level you’re in, challenge yourselves! Now we’re getting research to back this up!

Read the whole thing at: How tougher classes in high school can help kids make it through college

What if high schools had a better recipe for preparing their students to stay in college? The National School Boards Association released a study Thursday afternoon highlighting some key ingredients: more advanced math courses, challenging courses such as Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB), and better academic advising.

If students are exposed to those factors – even if they don’t earn high scores on the course exams – they are more likely to continue college after their first year, a point at which many drop out, the study notes.

AP/IB courses: Participation in these courses increased four-year students’ college persistence by 7 to 17 percent, again with the higher figure for students who had lower academic achievement prior to taking AP or IB. The impact in two-year colleges was 17 to 30 percent higher. The more of these courses they took, the more their likelihood to persist in college increased. “There are still some people out there who believe that providing students with a course that might be over their head might be detrimental to their academic success,” Hull said. “However, this study provides one strong indicator … that providing all students with a rigorous curriculum helps students succeed.”