College Navigation 911 – My College
Student Wants to Drop Out!

      How to Help Your College Student in Trouble




    ...
Help! My College Student Wants to Drop Out!


As a parent of a college student, you may be taken completely
by surprise wh...
College Navigation 911

Breathe!

• First of all, take a deep breath. This was probably not an easy decision for
your stud...
College Navigation 911

Let’s Talk.

Once you’ve taken time to absorb your student’s announcement, it’s time to
talk. But ...
College Navigation 911

Help your student explore the reasons for this decision.

There are as many reasons for dropping o...
College Navigation 911

Consider alternatives.

Once your student begins to focus in on his reasons for wanting to leave
s...
College Navigation 911

    Have a Plan.
    If your student has decided, after careful consideration, that she needs the
...
College Navigation 911




Leaving college is a big move. Leaving college with a concrete
plan can be the difference betwe...
You have questions, we have answers!


          College Parents of America and get more tips and advice on:

  The Path t...
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Help! My College Student Wants to Drop Out!

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College Parents of America brings to you tips and advice on what to do if your college student wants to drop out of college.

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Help! My College Student Wants to Drop Out!

  1. 1. College Navigation 911 – My College Student Wants to Drop Out! How to Help Your College Student in Trouble Don’t go to College without us….
  2. 2. Help! My College Student Wants to Drop Out! As a parent of a college student, you may be taken completely by surprise when your student comes home to announce that he wants to drop out of college. So much effort and emotional energy went into the choice of college and the admissions process, that it doesn’t seem possible that your student could want to quit now. The reality is that, according to ACT (American College Testing) “nearly 25% of students leave college before finishing their sophomore year.”
  3. 3. College Navigation 911 Breathe! • First of all, take a deep breath. This was probably not an easy decision for your student and it was probably difficult for her to come to talk to you. She will be watching carefully for your response. • This may be one of those opportunities in your student’s life when you can strengthen or weaken your communication and relationship with her. • Don’t say anything right now that you may regret later or that will close a door.
  4. 4. College Navigation 911 Let’s Talk. Once you’ve taken time to absorb your student’s announcement, it’s time to talk. But what do you say? Remember what you ask your student may be as important as what you tell your student. This will ultimately need to be his decision, but you can help him think through some of his reasons, and the implications of his decision. Respecting his feelings and helping him process his thoughts is important. Listening carefully – not only to the words, but to what he is saying between the lines – is crucial. Perhaps you will insist on some things in the end – that he return to school for one semester, that he support himself, that he move back home – but you will have respected his feelings and heard him out.
  5. 5. College Navigation 911 Help your student explore the reasons for this decision. There are as many reasons for dropping out of college as there are students who drop out. Your student may have very good reasons, or she may not have thought carefully about why college doesn’t seem to be working for her. Help her try to honestly consider her situation. • Is she homesick? • Has she spent too much • Is she experiencing time/energy socializing a sophomore slump? • Is she missing friends (or a and feels that things are significant other) at home • Are there issues at home spinning out of control? or at another school? that are diverting her • Is she feeling burned out attention and energy from • Is she academically and in need of a break school? unprepared for college from school? • Is she unable to focus on level work? • Is she unfocused and school because she is • Is she unprepared for the unsure of what she wants trying to balance a full independence and to do with her life? time job and school at the responsibility that college same time? • Does she feel that her requires? college is not the right fit • Has she spent too much • Does she simply feel that for her? time/energy socializing the grass must be greener • Is she feeling somewhere else? and neglected her work? unconnected and isolated?
  6. 6. College Navigation 911 Consider alternatives. Once your student begins to focus in on his reasons for wanting to leave school, you can help him consider his alternatives. Dropping out of college involves not only ending one chapter, but also beginning another. Your student needs to consider what his options may be. • Give it one more • Can he reduce his course • Can he consider a leave- semester. load to help with of-absence rather than balance? Suggest that dropping out? Having a • If your student is going to your student investigate scheduled return date give school another reducing his credit hours or may help him stay focused chance, help him think declaring part-time status. while giving him a break. about what he can change next semester. • Should your student • Can your student move consider a transfer to home and attend a local • Many students drop out because they cannot another college rather college or take some on- than dropping out? Is the line courses? balance job and school at problem with school in the same time. Help your general or with this student think about particular school? whether he can afford to quit a job or reduce work hours so that he can focus on school.
  7. 7. College Navigation 911 Have a Plan. If your student has decided, after careful consideration, that she needs the break and is going to drop out, encourage her to think about realities and to create a plan of action. • Have a realistic discussion about money. Will she live home? Will she support herself? Will she pay you rent? Will you help her financially or expect her to do this 1 herself? Does she already have loans that she will need to begin to repay? Help her create a budget and think about realistic finances. • Should she consider a course or two at a local college to begin to explore new areas 2 or majors? Will she be able to stay on track that way? • Could she consider a volunteer or experiential program such as City Year that will give 3 her experience in the world? • What does she want most to do with her time? Does she just need a break or does 4 she want to be moving ahead professionally? Where does she see herself one year from now? Five years? • Will she spend a year or two working to save money so that she can return to school 5 without having to have a job at the same time? 6 • Make a plan to sit down together in six months to reevaluate and reconsider options.
  8. 8. College Navigation 911 Leaving college is a big move. Leaving college with a concrete plan can be the difference between feeling like a failure and feeling as though you are making a change of direction. Many students who leave college return eventually with a renewed sense of purpose and succeed. Helping your student stay focused on her ultimate goals will help you both feel more positive about a difficult decision. Author: Vicki Nelson, College Parent Central Read the complete article here at CollegeParents.org
  9. 9. You have questions, we have answers! College Parents of America and get more tips and advice on: The Path to Graduation: What’s your student’s timeline; What to do if your college student is on academic probation; How to help your student avoid “How to tell my parents” fears; and Much More… For more information, please contact us the following ways: www.CollegeParents.org 888-761-6702

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