Information for the parents of college students

Random header image... Refresh for more!

College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.


[Read more →]

January 31, 2016   2 Comments

Parents, Help Students Manage That Nasty Time Between Application and College Admission

The college applications have all been submitted.  Check.  It is the end of a long road leading to this point.  For students, and their parents, there may be a let-down.  As relieved as you are to have this process finished, you and your student have been so focused on the college application process for so long that you’re not sure what to do now.

Can you really be expected to just stop everything and wait for the admission letters to arrive?

This is a good opportunity for you to model some behavior and attitudes for your student as you both shift from the high gear of getting applications ready to waiting for responses.  Here are three behaviors that parents can model for students during this time.

[Read more →]

January 18, 2016   No Comments

Book Review: Straight A’s Are Not Enough

From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students.  There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years.  We’ve offered some lists of recommended reading, and there is something for everyone.  See our lists of books in our Reading List 1, Reading List 2, Reading List 3, Reading List 4 and Reading List 5.

This month we’re considering a book that is intended for your student, but we recommend it for parents to review first and then to pass on.  Parents should read Straight A’s Are Not Enough first because as parents, we, too, need to be reminded that getting an education is about more than grades.  We can’t expect our students to focus on education rather than grades if we don’t value the broader education as well.

But be sure to pass this book on to your student.  The book is intended to help students study better, and smarter, to be able to move beyond simply grades to a true education.  One of the strengths of this book is that, as the author discusses true learning, she fills the book with strategies that are bound to raise any student’s grades in the process.  Chapter after chapter is filled with exercises, review questions, techniques and strategies for better studying – what the author terms the ‘intentional approach’. The book has over 100 strategies for students to employ that cover everything from approaches to learning to notetaking to rediscovering the excitement of reading and mental processing.

[Read more →]

January 14, 2016   No Comments

Ready for Class Day One?

Whether your college student is beginning the first day of her first class in college or just beginning a new semester, she needs to be ready to succeed right from the start. One of the beautiful things about the college system is that students get a brand new start at least twice a year in a semester system (even more if the school has a trimester or quarterly system).  Students begin a new semester with new courses and new instructors.  A fresh start for everyone.

So your student has a fresh start and new classes.  She needs to show up and begin, right?  Well, maybe.  There’s a difference between students who just show up the first day (and we know just showing up for class is important) and those who show up just a little more prepared and ready to succeed right out of the gate.

What can your student do to make sure she’s one of those students with that beginning edge?  Here are a few suggestions that can make the difference.

[Read more →]

January 11, 2016   No Comments

A New Year Means . . . New Resolutions, Of Course: Nine Activities for You and Your College Student

It’s that time of year.  Reflections and looking back at the year that is ending, and Hopeful Beginnings as we look ahead and plan for the year to come.  Sometimes resolutions seem silly – we probably won’t keep them anyway.  But making a few New Year’s resolutions means thinking about the year to come – and what we’d like it (or us) to be like.

So as we begin 2016, we’d like to offer some suggestions for your college parenting year.  Take a few minutes to read our suggestions from previous years at the end of this post as well.  Our hope is to give you lots to think about – and then you choose what makes sense to you, or even better, make up your own.

This year, we’d like to suggest nine activities to undertake with your college student (or soon-to-be college student.)  We do a lot of talking here at College Parent Central about communicating with your student. But communicating can sometimes more easily occur while you are doing something together.  And doing something together often brings surprising discoveries (not to mention lots of fun) as you work or play together.

[Read more →]

January 4, 2016   No Comments

College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

[Read more →]

December 31, 2015   No Comments

The College Parent Central Year in Review – 2015

When you do something once, it is interesting.  When you do something twice, it suddenly becomes a tradition.  We’re now in the third year of sharing a look back at College Parent Central’s year.  Clearly a tradition. Reflection is always a good exercise.

It’s that time of year when we can’t quite decide whether to look backwards at the year that is just ending or to look ahead at the year about to begin.  We really need to do a little bit of both.  Looking back gives us some perspective to look ahead, and think about our goals and plans for the new year based on where we’ve come.

So before we look ahead, make plans, make resolutions we probably won’t keep, or set goals for 2016, we’d like to take a moment to look back at some of our articles for 2015.  These are the articles that, to us, speak most about the essence of the college parent role and/or speak to those ideas and issues that most affect the way we relate to our college sons and daughters.

This year we’ve decided to give some of our articles awards.  (If we don’t, who else will?)  See whether you agree with our choices.

We invite you to take a few minutes to review these articles, and to think about how you view your role as college parent.  How have you grown into the role over the past year?  Where might you and your college student go next year?

[Read more →]

December 28, 2015   No Comments

There is Life After Academic Dismissal! An Inspiring Story for the Holidays

As we approach what, for many of us, is the holiday season, we want to share an inspiring success story with you.  The story comes from one of our readers.

We often receive comments on posts or e-mails from both parents and students.  Many of these messages come at a time of difficulty – often around probation or dismissal or other crises.  It is often a time of struggle and uncertainty.  As often as we can, we offer a few words of encouragement or advice, and most of the time we never know what happens.

Here is a portion of one such comment, received in  the summer of 2013 on our post What to Do If Your Student is Academically Dismissed.

“Vicki,

First of all, I really appreciate your responses!  I have learned a lot just by reading them.  I do have a similar issue with being Academically Dismissed.  I was attending school and majoring in Gerontology.  I attained my Associate in Arts degree prior.  I did very well my first 2 semesters, but then some personal tragedies began to unravel my life. . . . Unfortunately, due to my living situation being turned upside down and also my car breaking down and having to buy a new one, school was not feasible.  I stopped attending class because I had to go to work.  I was a mere 20 credits away from my degree. 

[Read more →]

December 21, 2015   No Comments

14 Ways to Make Winter Break a “Get Ahead” Time for Your College Student

Winter Break is almost here. You had a taste of having your student home from college over Thanksgiving Break, but that was just an appetizer.  The full course is coming over Winter Break, which might be as long as a month or more. Hopefully, everything went well over Thanksgiving Break, but there may have been some adjustments and compromises along the way.

Thinking ahead to Winter Break, and doing some planning, means you and your student can work together to make it not only a pleasant, but a productive break as well.  Here are fourteen suggestions for ways that your student can use at least a portion of Winter Break to do more than just catch up on sleep and friends (but be sure to leave plenty of time for that as well).  Of course, he can’t do everything on this list, but help your student decide what will give him the most benefit.

[Read more →]

December 7, 2015   No Comments

College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

[Read more →]

November 30, 2015   No Comments