The Minnesota Private College Council has released a tip sheet recommending students in middle school and their parents get a head start on preparing for college. The group suggests students learn organizational skills and enroll in challenging coursework, foreign-language classes and after-school activities. "Maybe it sounds intimidating to think about college preparation ... when you have a sixth- or seventh-grader," the group's marketing director John Manning said. "But in truth it doesn't have to be as daunting as it sounds."

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