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Freshman Year - Not Stellar

jazzymomof7jazzymomof7 251 replies24 threads Junior Member
edited March 18 in Parents Forum
So... Ds is a freshman on partial tuition scholarship. Requirements are 24 credit hours per yr and 3.0 gpa.

First semester ds had 12 credit hours and dropped down to 9, finishing with around a 2.5 gpa.

We suggested success coaching thru the tutoring office, which he did not pursue, and started skyping with him weekly for encouragement/accountability, which has not seemed to help.

Seems to dh and I that this is a time management/lack of focus/maturity issue more than one of academic ability.

He is home for the rest of the semester due to Corona virus and let us know he needs to drop a class (from 16 to 13 hours) and that his grades in the other classes likely won’t pull him up to 3.0.

So he will not meet scholarship requirements. We also asked him to get a part-time job for books/spending money, which he did not do. He admits that he has prioritized his social life over school.

We can technically afford to pay the difference, but it is not without sacrifice, and we also have 7 other kids to put thru college. (Had a baby last year.) Ds was aware before leaving for school that keeping his scholarship was a requirement for attending.

Dh and I are in agreement that ds should not return to college next semester but should stay home, take cc courses, and work. We’d be willing to pay half of college from here on out but no more free ride on our dime. Or, if he doesn’t want to continue with school, he can live here for a year, work, and save for his own place.

Wondering if there is anything we’re missing... Has anyone walked this road before? If so, any tips? Advice? How did it go?

Also, is there a process he needs to go thru with the school if he wants to take a year off to do CC, then return?
edited March 18
14 replies
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Replies to: Freshman Year - Not Stellar

  • oldlawoldlaw 102 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Most colleges have a formal withdrawal process-formal in the sense that it's best to notify them; doesn't take long. Contact the school to see what their process is.

    And regarding CC credits; it's not automatic that the school will accept the student back and give full value for the CC credits. I'd recommend you check on that beforehand. In similar cases, students have dropped out of school #1, attended Cc, then applied to and attended school #3 in order to get credit for both year 1 and the CC credits. But it's different everywhere, check with his current school as to what their policy is.

    Regarding your plan: seems sensible to me-but I would point out that you and your spouse know your son better than any of us. But seems like a reasonable and workable plan.
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  • happy1happy1 23498 replies2333 threads Senior Member
    Do you think he has matured enough to put academics first? If so he should talk to someone at his current school first. If his GPA is close to a 3.0 he could ask if they will let him keep his scholarship for one more semester/year. He should have a plan in place to improve his academic performance. If they won't renew his scholarship he should see if there is anything he can do which would allow the college to reinstate the scholarship.

    If he does withdraw from the college to attend a CC, be sure he completes the paperwork to do so properly.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80870 replies726 threads Senior Member
    edited March 18
    Also, is there a process he needs to go thru with the school if he wants to take a year off to do CC, then return?

    This is college-specific, but typically there is a formal withdrawal process that will preserve the possibility of readmission later that does not have as high standards as transfer admission by an applicant who has never attended the college. This assumes that he will complete the semester in good standing with the college (academic, financial, and otherwise).

    If he does withdraw and take courses at a different college, he should check whether the courses at the other college will be transferable to his first college if he wants to return there.

    He should be aware that 9 and 13 credits are short of the 15 credits per semester average needed to graduate in 8 semesters (normally 120 credits needed).
    edited March 18
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  • jazzymomof7jazzymomof7 251 replies24 threads Junior Member
    @happy1 I’m not sure whether he’s matured enough, yet. Taking courses online from home for the rest of the semester gives him an opportunity for a reset. We’ll see if he makes the most of it. Should he wait until the end of the semester to talk to the scholarship office?

    @ucbalumnus He thankfully has 19 hours already from dual credit, so he could still graduate in 4 years if he changes course quickly.
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  • sdl0625sdl0625 763 replies12 threads Member
    many schools waiving scholarship requirements and turning this semester to pass fail. May want to see what his school is doing
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  • compmomcompmom 11271 replies80 threads Senior Member
    1) See if the school is waiving requirements as suggested above, or if there is any flexibility in giving him one more chance on the school's part; if so, then clearly he needs support and you might want to hire a coach via phone or online, for time management and accountability

    2) Consider a leave versus withdrawal. Most colleges have requirements for reentry but reapplication would not be necessary. I would use that time to do some evaluations perhaps. Some kids have ADHD, for instance, that becomes apparent in freshman year.

    3) He could withdraw and come home and do CC and/or work. One of mine did a leave and then actually ended up withdrawing and goes to school one or two courses at a time while working. There are many degree completion, adult learner, continuing ed type programs that allow this. For some kids, work is kind of organizing and helps with focus. This aproach can work out fine but can take more years.

    You seem very cool-headed and not punitive, which I think is good. Relationships are important in situations like this.

    What does he want? Does he want to salvage things and stay? Does he want a break and reset? Does he want to be free of a connection to the school and start over? Does he want to work? How would he feel returning home, given the cost of renting in many areas? Etc.
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  • jazzymomof7jazzymomof7 251 replies24 threads Junior Member
    edited March 19
    I checked the school’s website and seems like there is no withdrawal process, but if he does not register for classes for fall semester, he will have to reapply for admission.

    I did not see an option for leave? What kind of leave would I be looking for?

    I’ll make sure he talks to an advisor, as well. I haven’t heard mention of waiving requirements, but that’d be really helpful right now, and I’ll make sure he asks.

    No, we don’t want to punish him. Dh and I had great college experiences, and we’re actually sad to be faced with these kinds of decisions. We’d be especially sad if he was unable to gain readmission to his school.

    Ds wants to finish the semester, work this summer, and go back to school in the fall. I believe he wants to do well, but he seems to be lacking maturity to make good decisions and lacking motivation to pursue the help he needs in terms of organization/study skills.

    Also, he was planning to move off campus next semester. He feels that will make it easier for him to stop prioritizing his social life. However, I’m concerned it will cause further challenges with class attendance, study time, etc.
    edited March 19
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80870 replies726 threads Senior Member
    I checked the school’s website and seems like there is no withdrawal process, but if he does not register for classes for fall semester, he will have to reapply for admission.

    I did not see an option for leave? What kind of leave would I be looking for?

    Try searching for "readmission", since the process for former students to return may be more lenient than for new-to-the-college transfer students.
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  • compmomcompmom 11271 replies80 threads Senior Member
    Students can always withdraw from classes, but at this point there would be no refund (unless with insurance for a medical withdrawal) and there would be a W on the transcript. I was thinking of a leave of absence, so that he could return without reapplying. The office of the dean would have info on this. I would ask for a meeting with you, your son and a dean or whoever the appropriate person is. I think your involvement is appropriate given the financial consequences but your son would have to agree.

    Everything is so disrupted right now. Is he home?

    Have you considered getting him evaluated for ADHD, executive function issues or a learning disability at all? Particularly ADHD..... Any chance he is depressed? (Doesn't sound like it!!!)

    You could also look into summer programs to help him be more prepared. Try calling Landmark about resources for situations like this. Without a diagnosis he is not eligible for their programs (they have a summer program and a bridge program for kids attending college) but they can refer you to a knowledgeable coach.
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  • jazzymomof7jazzymomof7 251 replies24 threads Junior Member
    Yes, he’s home. Everything’s online for the rest of the semester.

    He is not depressed, but he definitely has executive functioning issues. We encouraged him to get a coach, but if he goes back, we will require it.

    I did some checking, and it looks like his school IS offering the students the option to change some of their classes to pass/fail. That might keep him from having to drop a class and save his scholarship.

    I think he’ll agree to have us sit in on a meeting with his advisor to discuss everything. Thanks so much for the advice!
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  • MassmommMassmomm 4135 replies84 threads Senior Member
    I think your plan for having him take a year off is a good one. Even if you can afford for him to lose his scholarship, do you really want to spend your money this way? But see how the rest of the semester goes.

    One benefit to this quarantine is that he won't be able to pursue his social life and you will get to see how well he spends his time when he doesn't have his friends to distract him. But even if this ends up a total bust (as in, he spends all day on the internet goofing off) and he is not able to return to college next year, remember that he is still a kid in many ways, and there are plenty of people who learn a few years later how to knuckle under and get their work done.
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14376 replies103 threads Forum Champion
    I think he should figure out what went wrong.

    Health, mental health, relationship issues?
    Too much sports/partying/Clubs/videogames?
    Working too many hours?
    Feeling like what happens if you try your best but still don't do well?
    Too much freedom/executive function issues?
    Not prepared?

    Check out these tips: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-life/1920853-college-is-a-step-up-from-hs-16-tips-on-doing-well-in-college.html

    After the first semester, he saw the results of what he did. He did not change his behavior and seems in the same situation.

    . I have a friend whose son started at Cornell. He obviously was very smart and was admitted. He was very into the robotics program, but not into his school work. I think he was doing too much gaming. After his first year, He was also told to take classes elsewhere for a year. After that year he continued at that 4 year college and finished there. He now works in robotics at Amazon.

    So is that college not right for him?
    Is this major not right for him?
    Does he need more maturity?
    Does he need more "skin in the game"?

    I definitely agree I would not continue to pour money into that school as he has not learned from his first semester.
    Do find out if he can take a leave of absence and/or take classes elsewhere.

    I have another friends son who is majoring in Cyber Security. He got in the program, but he was never a top STEM kid. He liked programming but he hadn't taken Calc in HS. He got through Calc 1 because of his daily visits to the Math Center. But he is on his 2nd (3rd?) try at Calc 2 and it isn't looking good.
    I dont' think this is the major for him...something else in CS perhaps but not something requiring Calculus.
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  • toomanyteenstoomanyteens 1084 replies67 threads Senior Member
    Also, he was planning to move off campus next semester. He feels that will make it easier for him to stop prioritizing his social life. However, I’m concerned it will cause further challenges with class attendance, study time, etc.

    I am with you -- it won't help at all and actually just add more 'to do' to his plate (food shopping, cleaning etc.)
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14376 replies103 threads Forum Champion
    Also off campus will not have any RA oversight.
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