Do your kids tell you their college grades?

<p>So.... do your kids tell you their college grades? Not semester GPA's, but on an exam, paper, etc.? </p>

<p>My dad just scared me tonight by saying that he wouldn't pay the college bills unless I told him the grade on my lit mid-term exam. All I told him was that the grade is good (for my college!!!), that I have the right to privacy to withhold grades from them, that I will only mention my semester GPA's, and for him not to be concerned because I'm striving for a 3.0 or better so I can go to graduate schools and study abroad (You have to have a 3.0 or better here to do it!). He kind of shut up on the last part.</p>

<p>But still, the comment made me upset.</p>

<p>Not that the grade would be horrible for him, but I just don't want to start another round of high pressure as we went through in high school (in which I suffered until the college applications went out in my senior year). I also think that he just wanted to hear some good news considering that my hs frosh brother isn't doing hot right now.</p>


<p>No, but we've never really much cared about grades in this family. I'm much more interested in hearing about the cool stuff they're learning and discovering, the fun they're having in working on challenging projects, etc. I assume they'd tell me if they ever felt they were in serious jeopardy of failing (which hasn't been an issue), but I see no need to hear about the details of grades on exams, papers, etc.</p>

<p>(And, when I was a kid in college, come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I didn't discuss my grades with my parents until the semester reports came in.)</p>

<p>This is a tough one and I feel for both you and your Dad. I only have a HS Sr, so can't offer real life help, but maybe some ideas?</p>

<p>First, I have to say that I would be devastated if my dd did not share this detailed info with me, because we have been so very close, just butting heads Sr. year and she, too, is sick of college talk. So, first understand his need and desire to know that you are doing well.</p>

<p>That said, his position is the worst possible. He is being alpha male and trying to get what he wants by threats. I've found that men usually like to get what they pay for from women, and this unfortunately extends to wives, daughters, and your college grades on papers. This seems to be universal when it comes to men (of course there are many exceptions.) So understand that.</p>

<p>You need to find a tactic to address his need for control over you. I think that you two may be butting heads--"I pay, so show me grades!" vs. "I have the right to privacy, MYOB!".</p>

<p>I think you can't change him, but you can be more constructive. You have been very reasonable in allowing end-of-semester grades to be reviewed. I'd urge being on the reasonable course, and not asking him to view it as a privledge. You can:</p>

<p>1) Have a heart to heart talk, where you explain that college kids are not successful when motivated by parents fear and control. That you personally are now taking care of business and he needs to trust you. You are not in HS any more an don't need to be micro-managed. If you are, you run the risk of not being sucessfully able to learn how to balance your work on your own.</p>

<p>2) Tell him that you can't possibly focus on school if you are going to be constantly threatened by your funding. It is a huge stressor and a source of turmoil that detracts from your doing the best with your schoolwork. Have it out, and ask to reach an agreement where you can have peace and the ability to study without threats, or ask if you need to seek financial aid to be self sufficient, or move to a less expensive school. Be very sure that you have researched this if you want to give an ultimatium.</p>

<p>Best way is to convince Dad that your goals are consistent with his, but his methods are detracting from success.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>Based upon this thread, I will not ask about grades! Thanks for sharing. (Come to think of it, I don't remember ever discussing my grades with my parents in college, either, nor do I remember them asking).</p>

<p>We are interested but do not press for exam scores. Generalities will suffice.</p>

<p>My son (at MIT) tells me--usually quite gleefully--how he's done on big tests IF he's done well ("I got two standard deviations above the average on the first test") but not if he's done what he thinks is poorly. In any case, with him I only ask if he was worried about the test, and then only in the most general terms: "did your test go well?"</p>

<p>My D is at Reed, which doesn't give grades on tests or papers, but does give extensive commentary. I usually get to hear the parts of the commentary she thinks are interestesting.</p>

<p>As for overall grades, our car insurance company requires a 3.0 GPA for the educational discount, so I do get a copy of their grade report at the end of each semester. In our D's case, that means a letter from her advisor with her current GPA (not individual courses), in our son's case, it means the actual grade report, which shows the semester and overal GPAs. The difference between the two schools amuse me.</p>

<p>Yes, I ask about grades. We are not obsessive about it. Sometimes I forget to ask; sometimes they forget to say. It has much less to do with being controlling than with being interested and caring. The grades are one small piece of factual information -- certainly not the only or most important piece, but still a piece. I have found that we all have a better relationship with each other when we know where each other is coming from. This is not a new thing for us, and therefore, our children don't balk at it. Our whole family has always been open and honest and matter-of-fact with the details of our lives. Many people comment on our closeness, and it comes partly with not playing games with each other. Our kids are comfortable asking us questions, too, knowing they'll get honest and forthright answers.</p>

<p>If one of my sons turns down a bunch of social activities, or is depressed, or discouraged, and I know that he is not happy with recent test or paper grades, my comments are much more on-topic when I am talking or writing to him. Instead of "Why are you being reclusive? You need to enjoy your college years!" I can say "That's great that you're setting priorities." It just allows me to be more supportive. </p>

<p>Both of our kids' schools do not release grades to parents without the student's permission. Our kids voluntarily, and without our asking, arranged for the grades to come to us.</p>

<p>The fact that we are generally "hands off" parents -- the fact that we are more than 4000 miles and one large creek away contributes to that -- means that sharing information does not equate with relinquishing control.</p>

<p>And again, our kids have been raised this way, so it is not unusual to them. They are still amazed when they see families who seem to work against each other rather than together.</p>

<p>Our son shares his grades with us for most things. At his university, he gets his grades online as soon as they are posted by the teachers for the semester. WE (parents of DS) get the mailed grade report. DS's issue is one of having significant merit aid. He would probably be unable to continue at his university without the merit aid he has....and he has a certain GPA to maintain to keep the aid.</p>

<p>My son told us that his grade report would not go to us and we have accepted it; along with the unwritten contract that he is responsible for his own future including choice of majors and direction in life. It is still hard not to wonder how he is doing. He does share his grade with us informally. He is going well so far as I can tell even with no grade inflation at his college (at least that's what I hear).</p>

<p>Emerald: I really like Reed's approach to grades (actually, I'd like it even better if they could dispense with letter grades altogether, but I understand that they are a necessary evil for students intererested in medical school or law school.)</p>

<p>dmd77: Out of curiosity, I'm wondering what your insurance company did with with the pass/no-record grades from first semester of freshman year at MIT? Was there some way to qualify for the discount, despite the lack of letter grades?</p>

<p>Sometimes you have a shake your head moment as our children are adults in every respect except for paying the tuition bill.</p>

<p>I feel you Tickleme that it should not be an all or nothing thing. I understand you having the need to get your vent off but in the end none of us will be writing your tuition check, and we can't tell your father how to parent you as we can only talk about this from how we handle things with our own kids.</p>

<p>However, my sister did take this same approach with her daughter as she was having a bad case of senioritis as a college freshman, I disagreed with her apprach and things were strained between us for a minute. Her thought was that if her D wasn't going to take care of her business at school she did not need to waste her time and their money. Guess what, it was what HER child needed although I would have not handled it that way.</p>

<p>I can understand with the high cost of college some parents don't want to feel that their kids are disrespecting their money so while they may not be pressuring for straight A's they want to know that they aren't paying for your to hang out. </p>

<p>My daughter tells me her grades her perception of the good, bad and ugly. Sometimes I have to tell her to take a step back and chill because she got a B+ on her midterm and thought she should have done better and thought it was unfair that one essay was worth 60 points. We talked last night because she wanted to bounce off of me courses she is considering for next semester.</p>

<p>I believe that we are going to be sent midterm grades as this is her first year so they should be coming anyday. </p>

<p>I have always operated from this mindset, if she is doing bad or struggling, I definitely want to know so that she can take ownership for her role in the situation and come up with a solution to recitfy the problem. By the same token, I want to know when things are going well also so that I can be happy for her. </p>

<p>To use a Dr Phil(ism) if you choose the behavior you chose the consequences. Most kids are coming to schools with plans in mind (professional / graduate school) so they know what it is going to take to get them from point A to point B.</p>

<p>For the moment, my D wants to go to Medical School, if she doesn't get the grades she needs,then she has to rethink her plan. If she spins totally out of control and has a GPA that falls through the floor, then the school is going to give her a break (academic probation/dismissal). In the end it will all take care of itself.</p>

<p>Homeschoolmom: since we deal with an agent we've dealt with for many years, I asked her how she would handle the P/F grades at MIT (it's actually Pass/No record). She said: "I called them and pointed out that any kid 3000 miles away, at one of the hardest schools in the country, and passing all his freshman courses was not a problem." Apparently, Safeco agreed. We also get a distant student discount for him.</p>

<p>My friend's S lived at home first year of CC, and was able to get parental support for papers, etc. When he insisted on moving away, he kept saying school was going OK, he didn't need to email papers, etc. Turns out he flunked everything but gym. His choice of classes, poor study habits, etc, disregard for cost of college, did suggest a need for more parental intervention.
Many posters have motivated bright children, who strive to do their best, regardless of parental input. I think many others fail first semester, whether adjustment issues, partying, etc, it would be helpful for parents to know by midterms if student veering off track.
My point is, my S lets me know casually "got all A's", so I feel satisfied that I don't need to ask questions or probe. So many others I know have kids do poorly, and they wish they had kept on top of things.</p>

<p>If your midterm grade is "good" why do you feel the need to be secretive about it? Why not share the news good, bad or otherwise with the people who are not only funding your education but are sincerely interested in how you are doing?</p>

<p>"If your midterm grade is "good" why do you feel the need to be secretive about it?" </p>

<p>I guess that is the whole thing in a nutshell! There is always 3 sides to the story; yours, mine and the truth</p>

<p>My financial contribution to my children’s education is conditional on a number of things. Being informed about grades is at the top of the list. Not negotiable.</p>



<p>Same here...but it is also tied to DS attaining the GPA necessary to maintain his merit aid. In my mind these things are very linked.</p>

<p>My parents were completely unconvinced that I could survive at the school I attended as an undergrad. I was not so sure myself and some of my first semester quiz grades only reaffirmed my worry. It would have reaffirmed theirs, but I never told them. Never had to, grading on the report was P/F and my P looked every bit as good as it would have had my quiz grades been considerably better. By the 2nd year, when there were actual letter grades, my grades were consistent with what I had come to expect of myself.</p>

<p>At the beginning of the year the President of my son's college warned us to expect a drop off of a full grade for our children in the first semester. Keeping that in mind, coupled with my own experience, I ask, but I don't push. Son cheerfully shared his very nice mid term Calculus II grade, and tells us the others are "fine." He has a lot to adjust to this year, and if his grades are not as stellar as they could be- hopefully they will be adequate and we will just go on from there. No drama.</p>

<p>Well Reeds' approach to grades is great, except when you have both the parent and the student with ADD who tend not to remember to follow up on important details.
Even though sophomore year my daughter had an "academic" warning which meant that she needed to bring her grades up, she still was getting pretty good grades in most of her classes, and we considered a C at Reed to be equiv to a B at some other schools.( the problem with that reasoning is, you are graduating or not, with the grades Reed gives you, NOT what you would have gotten someplace else)
I was permitted to see her grades, but I had to request them, and I never got around to figuring out who I would request them from.
Junior year, fall semester she didn't improve from sophomore year, but her schedule was really tough ( O chem & microbio among others) and I thought that she was doing well, even until end of year when she admitted that she didn't do as well as she liked on the Ochem exam but she was sure she passed.
Until we found out a few weeks later when grades were mailed home that she didn't.
So while she is taking a year off to retake OChem, and to work in her field, ( science teaching), and although she really does think she needed to take time off regardless, it was very difficult and stressful and it is hard to know that she won't be graduating with her friends.
( She is getting A's in Ochem now however- too bad no classes outside of Reed apply to GPA)</p>

<p>I guess at some point, parents will have to place some trust in the children that they've raised...although, not all children are the same. Our D has shared some test/paper grades with us...just as she did in high school. But, the first semester is always a period of adjustment---as I recall MANY years ago! She knows only too well that she worked hard to be where she is at...and 4 years go by so very fast! Besides, at the end of that time, she has those Stafford loans waiting...</p>