Book Review – Off to College

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 recommended reading, and there is something for everyone. See the Recommended Reading section of our Resources page for more suggestions.

There are many good books out there for college parents and we recommend several of them.  But Off to College: A Guide for Parents by Roger H. Martin is a bit different.  Dr. Martin has served as a professor and college president, but more important than his titles is the inside view he has taken of the freshman year.  For an earlier book, Dr. Martin spent some time as a college freshman (a good reading experience on its own), but for this book he spent time visiting several colleges – talking to professors, staff members, administrators and many college students. Off to College shares an insider’s look at how college works.

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Three Tools and Three Questions to Help Your College Student Graduate on Time

On-time graduation is important, but it is relative.  For many college students, “on time” means four years to complete their degree.  However, other students (a growing majority in this country) need five or even six years to graduate.  There are many factors that can affect your student’s possible need for extra time.  You and your student should decide together, what makes sense for him.

Three important tools for keeping track

One of the keys to graduating in whatever time-frame your student has planned is keeping track of his progress.  Unfortunately, many students randomly take courses, or blindly accept the advice of others, without any understanding of why they are taking certain courses or what they need to do to complete their degree. Your student should listen to the advice he receives, but should be able to weigh it based on his own understanding of requirements.

So how does your student find out what he needs to do? There are three tools available at most colleges that can help him.  Your student should learn early in his college career what is available and consult these tools often.

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