Readmission to College: Work With the School

If your student has been dismissed from college for poor academic performance (sometimes called Satisfactory Academic Progress), it can be a devastating blow. Both you and your student will need to come to terms with the reality, evaluate what happened, and decide how to move forward. We have several earlier posts that may help you with these stages of the process.

What To Do If Your Student Is Academically Dismissed from College

Academically Dismissed from College? Time for a Reset

Academically Dismissed from College? Ten Steps to Move On

However, once you and your student have evaluated the situation, and perhaps taken some time away from school, your student may be ready to get back on track – either at her former school or at a new school. She may have questions, but she may not be sure where to begin.

Let your student take ownership

It is important that your student, not you, do the work to prepare to return to school, but you may need to give her some guidance about necessary steps. All calls to the school, all e-mails to school offices, all visits to college offices, all application or appeal materials should be completed by your student and not you. The college is looking for responsibility on your student’s part. She should advocate for herself and make her own case. If you step in, you may actually hurt your student’s chances of being readmitted.

Read moreReadmission to College: Work With the School


Three Steps to Take If Your College Student Is Forced to Change Major

Statistics tell us that as many as 75% of college students will change their major during college. Some 10% of students may change their major as many as four times. That is a lot of shifting. However, when we think about students changing their major, we usually think about students changing their mind, discovering a new passion, finding a new field or career interest. What the statistics do not tell us is how many students may change their major – not through their choice: they are not opting out, the choice is being made for them.

Some majors at some colleges and universities have entrance requirements. Other majors have minimum GPA requirements in order to remain in that major. A student who has not done well in one or more courses required for a particular major may be blocked from the major, denied admission to the major, or dismissed from the major. Many departments institute these requirements because they know, from years of experience, that students who fall below these standards will ultimately not succeed. From the college’s viewpoint this makes sense for your student. However, you, and your student, wonder – what happens now? It can be a heartbreaking, and perhaps frightening, situation.

Read moreThree Steps to Take If Your College Student Is Forced to Change Major


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.

 

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


How to Tackle Tough Conversations with Your College Student

There are many reasons you might need to have a difficult conversation with your college student, and the middle or end of the year is often a time when that conversation needs to happen.  It might have to do with a poor semester academically, poor social decisions, financial issues, or many other possible situations.  Whatever the topic, chances are that you probably dread the conversation.  It’s important, it’s necessary, but you know that there are so many ways that it could go badly.

There is no getting around the fact that the conversation is probably going to be uncomfortable, but there are a few things that you can do to help it go more smoothly and to help both you and your student be more comfortable with the outcome.  Before you sit down to have that tough conversation with your student, consider a few things.

Read moreHow to Tackle Tough Conversations with Your College Student


Your College Student’s Senioritis: Recognizing and Addressing It

This is the second of two posts about the senioritis sometimes experienced by college seniors.  In our first post we looked at some of the roots or causes of your student’s feelings.  In this post, we’ll consider what this senioritis may look like and how you, as a parent, might help your student cope.

In many ways, although the causes may differ, college senioritis may look very similar to high school senioritis.  Your usually motivated student suddenly loses interest in his coursework, missing classes and deadlines for assignments.  He doesn’t seem to care about his work and only puts forth a partial effort.  His grades are in jeopardy of slipping and he doesn’t seem to care.

Although it is possible that this may be due to “school fatigue” after sixteen or more years of school, we discussed in our last post several other possible causes.  These causes may lead to other symptoms that indicate that your student is a victim of senioritis.

Read moreYour College Student’s Senioritis: Recognizing and Addressing It


Is Your College Senior Suffering from Senioritis? 13 Reasons Why It May Not Be What You Think

This is the first of two posts about the senioritis sometimes experienced by college seniors.  In this post we look at some of the roots or causes of your student’s feelings.  In our next post, we’ll consider what this senioritis may look like and how you, as a parent, might help your student cope.

We hear a lot about senioritis and high school seniors.  It’s that apathy and lack of motivation that hits in the latter part of their senior year when they’ve been accepted to college and they let their guard down and struggle to keep their grades up and stay focused on school.  Severe senioritis in that last year of high school could even result in having a college rescind a student’s admission, so it can be a serious ailment.

We hear less about senioritis during the last year of college, but it exists.  Often, it looks much like high school senioritis.  Your student has been in school now for sixteen or more years, and he is tired of being a student, loses focus and motivation, skips classes, does poorly on assignments, and generally appears unengaged.

Read moreIs Your College Senior Suffering from Senioritis? 13 Reasons Why It May Not Be What You Think


When Your College Student Is Struggling Or In Trouble

You send your college student off to college with high hopes.  It was a long road of applications, SATs, essays, and finally decision making.  You and your college student have survived and now you are ready to sit back and watch him thrive in the environment that he chose.

Suddenly, things are not going as planned.  Your student is struggling and having difficulty.  Your student may or may not be sharing details with you, but you sense that something is wrong.  You feel completely helpless, and you want to help.  This is every college parent’s nightmare.

Your student may be struggling for any number of reasons – from lack of preparedness, lack of motivation, lack of perseverance, too much partying, mental or emotional difficulties, or just plain homesickness.  Whatever the reason, you’re at a loss for where to turn.

Here at College Parent Central, we want to help you navigate all of the phases of college parenting, and for many families that includes navigating the dark waters of a student in trouble.

Read moreWhen Your College Student Is Struggling Or In Trouble


Three Essential Elements of College Parental Support

As college parents, we want to support our college students.  However, defining that support is sometimes more difficult than it seems.  Each school is different.  Each parent is different. Each student is different and may take a different path.  Some students need more support than others at different times during their college career.  As a parent, how do you know how best to help your student?

You will, of course, need to find your own way, but there are three essential elements that might provide the foundation of any plan to help your student.  Start with these.  Think about what they look like for you – and for your family.  Then let your plan build from there.

Insist on honesty

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you expect your college student to share every detail of his daily life with you.  There are probably some things you’d rather not know.  It does mean, however, that you expect your student to be honest – with himself and with you – about the reality of his progress in all of its potentially ugly details. If he’s failing a class, he needs to let you know.  If he’s on probation, he needs to tell you.  If he’s gotten into some kind of trouble, he needs to share that with you.  If his credit card is maxed out, he might ask for advice about how to deal with it.

Read moreThree Essential Elements of College Parental Support


How to Support Your Student Who May Be Taking a Break from College

Fewer students than ever are taking the direct path from high school into college with graduation in four years from the same institution.  Students defer enrollment, take a gap year before starting, take a gap year during college, transfer, stop out, or simply do not finish.  Some college officials refer to this process of student movement as “swirling.”

Although the majority of students still enter college and remain until they graduate in four or five years, some students decide to take a break from school at some point.  For some students, this is a thoughtful decision.  Other students may not have a choice as they do not succeed and are dismissed, or have health, financial, or family issues that force them to stop out for a while.

If your student is one of those who may be taking some time away from school, you may have questions and concerns.  You and your student will need to discuss these concerns, as well as his reasons and his plans for using this time away.

Read moreHow to Support Your Student Who May Be Taking a Break from College


Academically Dismissed from College? Time for a Reset

Your student headed off to college with a bit of trepidation, but with high hopes.  You were excited and had visions of Commencement down the road.  Neither of you anticipated your student struggling and ultimately being dismissed.  But it happens.  It happens more often than most parents imagine.  Our most popular post is our earlier What to Do If Your Student Is Academically Dismissed from College.  This post has also received more comments than any other post on College Parent Central.  That means academic dismissal is on the minds and hearts of a lot of parents and students.

This is the first of two additional posts about academic dismissal.  We recommend our earlier post as well.  In this post we’ll address some of the causes and concerns that students and parents have around dismissal.  In our next post, we suggest some things to consider as you and your student move forward.

Feeling Lost

There is a common theme to comments on our earlier dismissal post.  Students and their parents feel lost, helpless, and overwhelmed.  One student said, “This whole thing has been giving me nightmares.”  Still another desperately said, “Would someone please help me?” Students and parents may or may not have seen this coming, but the final word feels like a virtual punch in the stomach.

Read moreAcademically Dismissed from College? Time for a Reset


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