Information for the parents of college students
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Posts from — May 2014

Managing Time, Managing Self: College Freshman Challenge – Part 1

College students are often told that these years will be “the time of your life,” but they might also need to be reminded that there are still 168 hours in a week. Having the “time of your life” means using those hours wisely, yet some studies have suggested that as many as 48% of college students struggle with time management. Why this disconnect?

One of the major differences between the high school years and college years is the increased amount of “free time” that students experience. College students may lead much less structured lives than in high school and have more independence. “Free time” means time that students need to plan and define for themselves.

Students will spend less time in class and also be faced with longer term, independent assignments. Additionally, many students are working long hours to try to pay for college tuition and expenses. Students who are unprepared for the challenge of balancing school, work, social life and downtime may find themselves floundering.

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May 29, 2014   2 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.

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May 26, 2014   No Comments

What to Do This Summer to Be Ready for a Successful College Start

Once your student has been accepted to college, both you and she breathe a sigh of relief. The admissions ordeal is over. It’s time to relax a bit and enjoy the final part of senior year with all of the high school festivities taking place.

But once your student has walked across that high school graduation stage, the work of preparing for college begins. Although your student may very happily wait until the last minute to begin packing those boxes for the move to college, there are tasks that you and he should be undertaking now to be sure to be ready. These tasks may differ somewhat depending on your student and his school, but be sure to help him begin to focus on getting ready for the big move.

Take a look at some of our suggestions for getting started now – for college success in the fall.

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May 23, 2014   No Comments

Getting to Know You: 15 Ways to Learn About a College

College admission.  It looms over students  – often from an early age.  There’s so much anticipation, excitement – and pressure – around college admissions that sometimes parents and their students may not know where to begin.  How to you find just the right college?  How do you know whether the match is a perfect one?

The first thing that students and their parents need to recognize is that there probably is no perfect match.  Current research is suggesting that success in college, as well as after college, may have less to do with where a student attends and more to do with the student’s experiences and attitude while in school.  This is important information and may help to relieve pressure on some students around finding the “perfect” school.

As your student begins to explore colleges, a good place to begin is by thinking about what matters to him.  If he has an interest in a particular major, does that school have a good program in that area?  If he is an athlete, will he have an opportunity to play?  What extracurricular activities matter?  How important is location?  The hundreds of options will begin to narrow as your student begins to focus on the things that are important to him.

But how will your student get a real sense of each school?  There are many things that you and your student can do as part of the “getting acquainted” process of exploring a particular school.  Here are 15 possibilities.  Some are obvious and others may be approaches you haven’t considered.  Use any or all of them to get a true picture of a school.

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May 19, 2014   No Comments

Do You Have a Super Senior? Making the Most of the Fifth Year of College

To every parent his or her student is a “super” kid, whether a senior or not.  But the term “Super Senior” is not necessarily the term that parents hope to hear when referring to their college students.

What is a Super Senior?

Super Senior is the term sometimes used to refer to a student who is a college senior in his fifth, or sixth, year of college.  He has already been a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior – and is now a Super Senior – or fifth (or sixth) year college student. One study has suggested that only approximately 39% of students graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years.  The Department of Education actually calculates a six year graduation rate, which comes closer to 59%.

So the term Super Senior is becoming increasingly common. But whether the numbers are accurate or not, or whether five or even six years is becoming the national average for completing a degree, if your student finds that she will be spending a fifth year in college, both you and your student should discuss the situation.


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May 12, 2014   No Comments

Your New College Student’s Schedule of Classes

You have a new college student in the family.  Congratulations!  Now that the college decision is behind all of you, both you and your student may be starting to think specifically about next year.  Your student may be focused on finding a roommate and worrying about whether she will have friends, but you may be thinking more about your student’s classes.  What will she need to take?  How will it all come together?

As a parent, you want to make sure that your student makes the appropriate choice of classes, and you worry about what might happen if he doesn’t.  There are many factors that go into creating the best schedule for your student, and most colleges work very hard to help students understand their requirements and to put together their first schedule.  This may be something that your student will do at an Orientation session.  Some schools may even simply assign incoming first-year students their first schedule.

Although you need to remember as a college parent that you will need to take a back seat in this process and let the college guide your student in his choices, we’ve collected a number of posts that will help you talk to your student about scheduling issues.  Remember, though, that this is your student’s schedule.  He is the one who will be attending classes, working with his advisor, and ultimately making sure that he meets all requirements.  By all means, have conversations with him about his choice of classes, but then encourage him to work with the college to create and understand his schedule.

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May 1, 2014   No Comments