top of page

How to Stay in College

College is one of the biggest transitions a person will make. The startling reality is that 1 in 3 freshman won’t make it back for sophomore year.Many freshmen enter college over confident, under-prepared and lacking realistic expectations. We encourage our students and parents to begin discussing how to make a successful college transition, years before applying to college.

In particular, many students are not prepared for the academic rigor of college and enter as dependent learners.  College requires academic independence. There are considerable differences between high school and college academic environments. Do some research and understand the expectations your student will be facing in his/her preferred college.

A’s are often harder to earn in college and college instructors often give only a few A’s. For many colleges, the average (most awarded) grade is a B-. Parents and students should ask about grading scales during their college search. Entering college fully aware of how difficult it is earn an A puts your student at a distinct advantage.

Many freshman classes are large lecture style classes. The question we always ask our students is – where do you do your best learning? Again, a thorough college search puts you at a distinct advantage. Before putting a college on your list, attend a class to consider how the class styles works for you.

College courses move fast and a lot is covered in a short time. Unlike many high school classes, instructors offer no rubric. It is important to go to college with a solid note taking strategy.  One of the biggest transitions is that many classes will only have a mid-term and a final grade (ie no extra credit). The classes are often taught by TA’s or Teaching Assistants, and the professor may not be regularly available. Freshman will often work only with the TA’s on both content and grade questions.

Students often fail because they don’t know how to read for college. Reading for college is about efficiency. If you are a not strong reader, before entering college, we suggest finding resources to teach you how to do required reading quickly while still gaining the insight needed for class.

Many college students fail because they are afraid to ask for help.  Join a study group, seek out tutors, speak to your professor or T.A. We tell our students, this might be the most important part of their transition. Everyone will stumble in college; when you need help, get it immediately. Keep reaching out until you are on better footing.

Develop good study habits early. Be disciplined and make studying a habit. Learn to use a daily calendar. After reading the class syllabus, develop an individual study strategy for each class and stick to it. You will be very happy with your discipline when mid-terms and finals roll around.

The real key is preparation. If you carefully consider your transition to college and make a solid plan, you will greatly reduce your stress and not only stay, but succeed in college.

3 views0 comments


bottom of page