Reasons Why Your College Student Might Not Graduate in Four Years

According to national statistics, the average for students graduating from college is now five years rather than four years.  Objectively, we may hear that statistic and find it moderately interesting.  However, when it is our college student who may take more than four years to complete his college education, we may become not only very interested, but alarmed.  We may have seen this coming or we may be taken by surprise.  We may understand the reasons or we may not.  We may consider the reasons sensible or we may find them ridiculous.  We may take the news in stride or we may be angry and upset.

If it becomes clear that your student will need more than the perceived “normal” four years to complete her college degree, you and she will probably need to have a conversation.  Whether the extra time is intentional or takes you both by surprise, you’ll need to make some plans that may include some strategizing and altering of financial or other considerations.  There are many factors that might cause a student to need extra time to complete a degree.  Understanding some of the factors may help you to realize what has happened, or may help you and your student anticipate or prevent a delay. Here are a few factors that might affect your student’s time to completion of her degree.

Read moreReasons Why Your College Student Might Not Graduate in Four Years


Keeping the Dialogue Open With Your College Student

Before your college student headed off to school, you may have had some good conversations about both her expectations and your expectations, and about both of your hopes – for grades, for money management, for behavior, or for other things important to both of you.  At the midpoint in the semester, or just a little past that point, both you and your student may be reevaluating how things are going.  Your student has settled in, more or less, has made some friends, has developed habits of behavior, and has likely received some midterm grades or indications of academic progress.

This is a good time to revisit some of your earlier conversations about hopes, dreams, and expectations.  Your college student has weathered tremendous transitions during the past few weeks.  He has had to adjust academically and socially, and he has had to create a place for himself in his new world.  You may have had lots of communication with your student in the past few weeks, and you may know exactly how things are going, or you may be wondering how the adjustment process has gone.  This is a good time to check in again with your student.

Read moreKeeping the Dialogue Open With Your College Student


College Parenting With the College Calendar

As a college parent, or pre-college parent, you probably used the calendar diligently to watch the deadlines for college fairs and open houses, college applications, financial aid forms, deposit deadlines, and housing deadlines. Now that your student is actually in college, you may be thinking largely in terms of first and last days and breaks when your student will be home.

Hopefully, your college student is paying attention to important dates on the college calendar, and on his class syllabi, to keep track of his own important deadlines.  For parents, however, keeping an eye on the college calendar will help gather a sense of the rhythm of the college semester and year.  Taking note of important dates will help spark important conversations with your college student and give you a snapshot of some of his activities.

Your student’s college may send a copy of the year’s calendar home, but it is also almost always posted on the college’s website.  Many colleges update the online calendar frequently and include all of the activities happening on campus.  Try to make it a habit to check the calendar, and to use the information there to help you understand your student’s world.  Here are a few suggestions of things to watch for and think about.

Read moreCollege Parenting With the College Calendar


When Your College Student Changes Majors

It may come during a phone call.  It may come through an e-mail.  Or it may come during a visit home.  Your college student lets you know that he is changing his major.  Although some parents may quietly celebrate, for many other parents this is disconcerting, if not frightening, news.  The most important thing to remember is – don’t panic!

A change of major may be a small step, or it may be a giant leap.  Your student may have chosen her original major for many reasons – some better than others – and she may be changing for many reasons – some better than others.  It also matters what the majors are and when the change is happening.  Obviously, a change of direction in the first or second year of college is different than a shift during senior year.

It may help if parents understand that most college students, some studies suggest a figure as high as 80%, change their major at least once.  The average may be as high as changing majors three times during the college years. It also helps to consider why students may choose their majors in the first place.  According to a study conducted by NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers), 66% of students choose their major based on a career in which they are interested, 12% say they “drifted” into a major, 9% say they were inspired by a particular teacher or professor, 7% chose a major based on earning potential, and 6% say they were influenced by friends and family.  Clearly many choices are being made for reasons other than following the student’s heart and mind.

Read moreWhen Your College Student Changes Majors


Book Review: Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens through the Twenties

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 created lists of recommended reading, and there is something for everyone.  See our Resources and Tools page for suggestions.

Emerging Adulthood by Jeffrey Arnett is slightly different from many of the other books we recommend for college parent reading.  This book was not written specifically for college parents, but is of value and interest to parents, students, and college faculty and administrators alike. Dr Arnett, a researcher at Clark University, has focused his research on adolescents and young adults.  His research has led him to propose a new phase of development for this age group – what he calls “Emerging Adulthood”.

According to Arnett, the years between approximately 18 to 25 mark a unique phase of development, as long or longer than any other stage of development in childhood or adolescence.  He advocates recognizing this phase as a distinct period.  Arnett recognizes that college students today often define criteria for adulthood differently than their parents’ generation did.  For today’s students the psychological markers of accepting responsibility for one’s actions, making independent decisions, and becoming financially independent become more important criteria than the sociological markers of finishing their education, entering the workforce, marrying or parenting.

Read moreBook Review: Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens through the Twenties


Fall Preparations for Your College Senior’s Transition Out of School

It probably seems like only yesterday that you and your college student were worrying about Freshman Orientation, Move-in Day, understanding the world of college, and getting started in the right direction.  Now your college student is approaching the end of their college career.  Hopefully, you’ve watched your student grow and blossom throughout the college years, and they’re now managing more on their own.  However, you likely still worry at times, and wonder how your student will fare in this new transition to come.

Although for many seniors graduation still seems a long way off, there are some important things that your student can and should do in the fall to prepare for a successful finale in the spring.  It may be helpful for you to have some conversations with your senior now to help them get on track.  Here are some things that you might suggest.

Read moreFall Preparations for Your College Senior’s Transition Out of School


Thinking About Your College Student’s Finances

 

College is expensive.  We all know it.  Parents and students alike think a lot about college finances.  Some parents and students need to work harder than others on making a college education possible.  There is a lot of thought given to, and a lot written about, how to finance a college education.  Parents and students work to understand the right choice of college, financial aid packages, scholarships, FAFSA forms, work-study jobs, grants, and loans.  But beyond these big financial concerns come the smaller day-to-day decisions that students make to help make ends meet as they navigate their way through college.

Read moreThinking About Your College Student’s Finances


Recognizing the Signs That Your College Student May Be in Trouble and How You Can Help

It is a natural thing for college parents to worry about the success of their students in college.  We all hope for the best, and then we worry.  If your college student is a long distance away, or may have had some difficulties in high school, you may worry even more.  You may be communicating with your student often (hopefully not too often!), and when you do communicate, you listen carefully to what your student is saying – both directly and between the lines – and you try to determine how they are doing.

There are some signs that you can watch and listen for that may indicate that your student is struggling with the college experience. You will need to listen and observe carefully and try to determine whether something is the result of a passing mood or phase, or something more serious.  Be alert, especially, for multiple signs – and for behaviors that persist.  Be careful not to jump to quick conclusions.

What signs of trouble can you watch for?

College students, for the most part, are resilient.  What is a crisis today can pass in a day or two.  As a college parent, you should expect to see/hear some of these behaviors at times, but notice whether you see several of the following indications that persist.

Read moreRecognizing the Signs That Your College Student May Be in Trouble and How You Can Help


Signs That Your College Student May Be in Trouble

It is a natural thing for college parents to worry about the success of their student in college.  We hope for the best, mostly assume the best, and then we worry.  If your college student is a long distance away, or may have had some difficulties in high school, you worry even more.  Depending on what you and your college student have agreed is appropriate, you may be communicating with your student often (hopefully not too often!), or more infrequently (maybe once a week?).  When you do communicate, you listen carefully to what your student is saying – both directly and between the lines – and you try to determine how she is doing.

Obviously, all students are different – and the same student may seem very different or communicate differently at different times.  But there are some signs that you can watch and listen for that may indicate that your student is struggling with his college experience.  Nothing is foolproof, and you know your student best.  You will need to listen and observe carefully and try to determine whether something is the result of a mood or passing phase, or something more serious.  Be alert, especially, for multiple signs – and for behaviors that persist.  Remember to be patient and not to jump to quick conclusions.  College students, for the most part, are resilient.  What is a crisis today passes and may be fine in a day or two.  As a college parent, you should expect to see/hear some of these behaviors at times, but do recognize symptoms of trouble if you see several of the following indications that last.

Read moreSigns That Your College Student May Be in Trouble


Book Review: Parenting College Freshmen: Consulting for Adulthood

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 created lists of recommended reading, and there is something for everyone. Check out our Resources and Tools page for suggestions.

From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students.

In this review, we look at Parenting College Freshmen: Consulting For Adulthood by Linda L. Bips, with her daughters Jessica and Kristina Wallitsch.  This volume provides a good, basic overview of many areas of interest to college parents.  Daughters Jessica and Kristina add their perspective as students to the topics discussed by their mother.

Although Parenting College Freshmen: Consulting for Adulthood was published in 2003, the basic information it provides to college parents remains current and important.  We like Bips’ metaphor of the college student as a young colt who remains close to the barn but then gradually explores the expanding corral and “challenges” ever expanding fences while still returning occasionally to the safety of home.  The image captures the “work” of the college student to explore and expand her world.

Read moreBook Review: Parenting College Freshmen: Consulting for Adulthood


Log In

or

Log In to Favorite articles and Post listings

Enter College Name to See Local Results

Log In

Contact Us

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Find Your School

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
OR
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Please enter First Name Please enter Last Name Please enter Phone
Please enter Email
Please enter Message

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

Please enter Email

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Success, your registration has been submitted

An email has been sent to you with a link to verify your registration
Image not available.
By clicking Get Started or Sign In you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service