<p>So I'm in engineering at RPI and not doing well. Basically I have C's in everything. I am starting to figure out and work on where I've gone wrong, but it might be too late to change much this year (unless I pull all As on finals which seems impossible to me). My problem is that my parents have told me that if I finish this year with all Cs they won't spend any more money on RPI. (I should say they really wanted me to go to SUNY Buf). I guess I can't really blame them but I'm not sure what I will do instead. I don't think I can transfer to a SUNY in engineering because my grades are bad, right? (I haven't flunked anything.) I suppose I could work for awhile and then what. I could go to community college but I really want to be an engineer. Blah.</p>
<p>Are you studying hard, but still getting Cs? Or, have you been partying, or disorganized for other reasons, or just didn't figure out in time that you can't be a procrastinator and do well in engineering?</p>
<p>If the reason for the mediocre performance is the former, then perhaps engineering is not for you, after all. You might be happier with a different field, one in which success is more likely for you.</p>
<p>However, if the reason is found somewhere in the second question, I think perhaps it would be precipitous to pull you out and write off your experience as 'failure'. Many students pull out of not-so-hot freshman year and have a fine college experience after they regroup. I have a relative who partied his way through his freshman engineering year, and left college as a result. He is quite a smart guy, and I am convinced he would have made it if he had gone back and given it another shot, but he never did. His working life has not been very fulfilling or rewarding.</p>
<p>I suggest having a mature, relaxed talk with your parents about the reasons for your lackluster performance. I am sure they are disappointed; we parents have hopes and expectations and sometimes it takes a while to digest the unforeseen. Maybe if they realize you are serious about success and willing--and able--to change your pattern, they will be willing to give it another year.</p>
<p>Best of luck to you.</p>
<p>It's only March...I think it's too early to write off this semester as a lost cause. It's time for you to get to whatever academic support is available on campus. Are you attending all your classes? Have you talked with your professors? Do you have a sense of what you need to work on?
What your parents probably want to see is effort and they may be worried that the Cs are reflecting a lack of interest or work on your part.
With a first year student, the other question I always think about is whether you are in the right major for you. Your coursework should be mostly interesting to you, and if it's not, I would encourage you to think about what other subjects are more engaging to you.</p>
<p>If you and your parents decide that leaving RPI is the best choice for now, take a personal leave of absence if you are eligible for one. Do not withdraw.</p>
<p>This leaves open the possibility of returning to RPI if that turns out to be a good choice -- which it might be, if your grades are too low for you to successfully transfer to anything other than an open-admissions school.</p>
<p>Beyond that, you need to figure out exactly what caused you to not do as well this year as you hoped. Talking with your faculty advisor or some of the people in your college's advising office might help you to figure this out. Were you inadequately prepared academically? Did you have trouble planning your time and setting priorities? Did you party too much? Is engineering the wrong major for you?</p>
<p>Some of these problems might best be addressed by leaving RPI, at least temporarily. Others wouldn't be. Your situation is kind of like a medical problem. You have to diagnose it before you can treat it.</p>
<p>you say your parents want to pull you if you get All Cs. Follow the advice above and focus extra hard on the Cs that are the highest percent. Make you goal be to get a 2.whatever as long as it is above a 2.0. Seiously though if you are already working hard and getting Cs in frosh level eng. classes you may want to talk to a career counselor about going in another direction. It may not be ther right career for you. </p>
<p>OTOH if you haven't been able to take many eng classes yet and these are non-science related courses you are getting Cs in disregard that last bit. </p>
<p>Don't dispair, your post sounds like you are throwing up you hands. Work at pulling up one or two of those Cs but don't let the others fall any lower. It will likely be OK</p>
<p>Cs as a freshman at RPI used to be quite respectable. My husband's business partner now (roommate then) averaged right around that, and I notice he's doing just fine.</p>
<p>So the advice is:
*Stop drinking alcohol completely. You need every brain cell you've got at full readiness status.
*How can you bring your grades up? A talk with the tutoring center is in order. Develop a plan. Include study groups, scheduled study time, everything you can think of. Add in professors' office hours. Start following it fanatically. Make sure your plan includes Friday afternoon and Friday night off, then starts up again at noon Saturday.
*Talk to the person you know who finds tests easy and is sailing through the same courses you're struggling with. Ask this question: what method are you using to predict what's going to be on the tests? Discuss the idea analytically.
*Many of the RPI frats have exam files dating back years. Can you get access to those?
*Put it out to your friends: you have to help me stay here.</p>
<p>Your parents won't pull you out mid-semester as long as you're actually passing. It just wastes too much money. So you have about 7 weeks to prove them wrong--midterms and finals. </p>
<p>I assume you are a freshman?
Lots of freshmen have trouble in college. Even those who breezed through high school. Look at it as a challenge. If you can get C's then you can get B-'s or B's, at least in some classes.</p>
<p>Getting off to a bad semester is discouraging but not the end of the world - the trick is to figure out what happened and how to fix it. You will not fix it doing more of the same.
How did you do first semester? Do you have C's in everything because you are putting all your energy into getting a C in physics?
Were you sick and missed class?<br>
You need to sit down with someone - an advisor and talk about your classes and your grades so far. Figure out a plan and follow through with it.<br>
Lots of kids in engineering have trouble - you are not the first and won't be the last.<br>
My nephew took 5 years to graduate in engineering because he failed DifEq and had to reatake it. He still had several job offers and is a very successful engineer looking at grad school 4 years out of college.
If you have the will then there is a way.</p>
<p>^^^^^I agree!! Back in my day - C's in engineering anywhere was respectable.</p>
<p>One more bit of advice - and I am a parent.
Stop talking to your parents about your grades.</p>
<p>As others have said, it is not uncommon for college students to receive lower grades than they were used to, especially during the first year. Students will often do much better once they get their prereq's out of the way and take more classes relating to their major. For some engineering students, co-op and internship opportunities can also make a huge difference in later academic performance. </p>
<p>S is also an engineering student; he is currently a soph but had a difficult time adjusting to college during his first yr. He also had a merit scholarship which made it financially possible for him to attend the school he's at over our state flagship - and which he, unfortunately, lost this semester (he must maintain a B average). In hindsight, perhaps it was not realistic to expect a strong B but less than stellar student in hs to continue to maintain a B average in college (especially in engineering)?</p>
<p>At the same time, he seems to have finally gotten his act together academically this year (still had one C last semester-calculus has been a killer for him) and is currently doing B/B+ work in all of his classes. Do I really expect him to do better than this? He will also be doing his first co-op next fall; the main reason he chose the school he's at (Northeastern) is for its strong co-op program since we both recognized that he might be do better with more hands-on learning. Do I take this opportunity away from him now that he is finally starting to meet my expectations for him?</p>
<p>Often, schools will give students a probation period to raise their grades before taking away merit scholarships. Unless finances do not allow this, it only seems fair for parents to do the same before permanently removing their student from a particular school. I would also recommend trying to improve the grades as best you can so that you can demonstrate to your folks that you are serious about your studies.</p>
<p>^^^ ditto with my niece at Penn State. She is in engineering and got some really bad grades freshman year (after all A s in high school). She still wanted to stick with engineering, and has done much better soph year. Still got a C or two, but hanging in there.<br>
I think you should stick with it. Engineering jobs are out there, and everything I read indicates that C s are not unexpected in engineering courses.</p>
<p>I have two bits of advice for you:</p>
<p>First, regarding your parents: They may hear you constantly complaining and depressed and think you need to be rescued. If you are where you want to be, you need to express that to them and be careful not to whine. That's a hard lesson that took me a long time to learn. </p>
<p>For your grades: <em>Talk</em> <em>To</em> <em>Your</em> <em>Professors</em>
They want you to succeed. Go to them and show them you care. Ask for extra credit work. Ask them questions. Show diligence. You will be surprised how much they will help you. Most kids who are struggling avoid their professors. This is a bad move. A professor will be perfectly at ease giving a low grade to someone who doesn't seem to care. If you show a desire to learn, they will be delighted and help you.</p>
<p>I hope things get better for you!!!!!!!</p>
<p>A C is an average grade. As the mother of an engineering major graduate, I can tell you that it will get better. (Not easier, but you understand the level of work required to succeed.) Sometimes the first year is just a little bit of a shock because you will have so much more work than some other majors. You state that you really want to be an engineer. Don't give up your dreams because of C's the first year!</p>
<p>Are either of your parents engineers? They may not be aware that grade inflation is a lot less prevalent at engineering schools than elsewhere. Maybe it would help to show them this thread. That said, I think it's not too late to get some of those grades to improve. I agree with all the advice here - try to figure out what the problem is and use the resources at RPI to get help. Don't worry about pulling all A's but see if you can avoid the D's and get some B's. That should be your goal.</p>
<p>Could you have done better? If you know why you did poorly and can correct this (go to every class, do homework, study) would you be willing to step up to the plate? Offer to repay your parents for all C grades in the future. Have a stake in the outcome.</p>
<p>If the work is truely beyond your ability then a change may be needed.</p>
<p>I understand how you are feeling. Oh man, do I understand. You can PM me if you are curious to find out why.</p>
<p>Here are some things that I would advise. Keep in mind that I am personally familiar with...this type of situation.</p>
<li><p>Talk to your counseling deans/student support/whatever RPIs equivalent is. They may be able to help you figure out what's going wrong with your academics, and they can provide emotional support as you deal with your parents.</p></li>
<li><p>If you really want to stay at RPI, start looking for ways to pay your own way NOW. Look for scholarships. Look for student loan programs. Look for part-time jobs. Read RPI's policies on what qualifies students to be considered financially independent. Talk to friends who have been in this sort of situation. It is SO STRESSFUL to be in that limbo where a parent might decide at any time to yank you from your home and community. The stress can seriously hurt your grades, by itself. It can turn every test into a waking nightmare, a make-or-break scenario, cause you to have breakdowns and panic attacks. If you know that you have some way to finance yourself, some of that stress will be relieved. Your parents will not be able to pull you out willy-nilly. You will have less to fear from them, and, in consequence, will be likely to deal with them more maturely (and not wreck your relationship with them).</p></li>
<li><p>Talk to your profs. It doesn't always help, but it does sometimes.</p></li>
<li><p>Figure out, to the best of your ability, what is actually going wrong. Is it bad time management? Test anxiety? Sleepiness or hunger (some students have problems remembering to sleep or eat when they get into what they are doing)? Depression? Not enough time studying? Plenty of time studying, but the studying isn't efficient at getting the material through to you? It is very difficult to correct a problem you don't understand.</p></li>
<li><p>Be open with your parents. It will come back to haunt you if you aren't.</p></li>
One more bit of advice - and I am a parent.
Stop talking to your parents about your grades.
<p>That fails when parents make disclosure and discussion of grades a condition of their paying. Which goes back to my previous point, about how anyone in this situation should seek out ways to fund themselves, should it prove necessary.</p>
One more bit of advice - and I am a parent.
Stop talking to your parents about your grades.
That fails when parents make disclosure and discussion of grades a condition of their paying. Which goes back to my previous point, about how anyone in this situation should seek out ways to fund themselves, should it prove necessary.
<p>The parents are paying. They have a right to know.</p>
<p>Jessiehl is right about being open with your parents. No one wants you to succeed more than they do! They are likely hoping that by telling you that they won't keep paying for C's, it will scare you enough that you'll do better. My guess is that they believe you are not giving it your all, and that's why they are rethinking putting out all this money.</p>
<p>Here is an idea of a plan you could offer your parents for next year. Tell them you will pay for next semester upfront. I am guessing that means you would have to take out student loans to do it. Then, if you make no more than 1 C or if you make X GPA next semester, they will reimburse you for the semester. If you don't meet the terms, then they haven't lost anything because the cost was all yours. That will show them you are dead serious about getting your grades up.</p>
<p>If you decide to do this, make the terms of the agreement reasonable. In other words, I wouldn't make the reimbursement contingent on you getting a 3.0. That's probably too big a leap to expect.</p>
<p>Another thing you can do regarding this semester (in addition to the excellent suggestions above) is to bring your grades up significantly on any tests you have left. While it might not bring any of your final grades up above a C, you can at least show your parents the improvement. I think they would respect that.</p>
<p>iamtim, you are in the infamous C-vortex.</p>
<p>The C Vortex
A word or two is in order concerning the nature of these things known as grades. Few numbers at RPI will be more arbitrary than these. It will seem that the values placed on test scores, computer projects and even class attendance are totally ridiculous. They will only become clear if you understand something very basic about grading at Rensselaer. </p>
<p>The Curve, or as we like to think of it, the ``C'' Vortex, is the root fault. In large classes, for example, the instructors will be attempting, whenever they make a test up, to insure that the grades achieved will fit nicely into a curve like this: 5% with F's, 10% with D's, 70% with C's, 10% with B's and 5% with A's. If this doesn't work out, then our friend the arbitrary constant will be added to the grades to bring them in line with these goals. In Math classes, there may also be multiplication by a different arbitrary constant, just to prove that the Math department can do arithmetic better than anybody else.
And of course the RPI grading system.
A fictional grade.
B Dean's List minimum. Keeps the financial aid just out of reach for most students ...
C Engineering average, otherwise known as the ``C'' Vortex. The typical grade of 70% of most students. Keeps you in through 8 semesters.
CD Calculator Died during final.
Passing. As the old adage says, ``D equals P.'' </p>
Foom. Your tuition money, that is. </p>
Faulty Administrators. Your grade is missing, probably because you were missing from your class all semester, so they give you this grade instead of admitting that they lost the drop card. </p>
Failed due to oversleeping on day of final (note: this isn't Final Overslept; it's short for Fool). </p>
Hockey Player --- automatic passing grade given only to Management majors. </p>
Retired to Happy Valley Country Club for semester. </p>
I really tried to finish the project but ... but ... I just didn't have time because I had to study for the final...which I failed because I was trying to finish the project...oh please, please don't fail me, etc. </p>
In Progress. Yes, we know you think you're still working on this course, but you better show us some results. Soon. </p>
(For knurds only): got above a 4.000 average by correcting professors, memorizing the CRC Chemical Handbook, completing several 600-level courses in Freshman year, rewriting MTS, etc. </p>
Never attended. </p>
Failed due to oversleeping every class. (Only given for 8AM lectures). </p>
Punted course. </p>
Satisfactory. This isn't worth any points; it means that you put the course on Pass-Punt, and then you passed it; or that it wasn't worth any points to start with. </p>
System Crash. Equivalent to F on CompSci courses. </p>
Tute-Screwed --- when everything imaginable and then some goes wrong and you have a -15 average in many of your classes and your roommate did nothing but annoy you all semester and life in general sucked for four months. A frightfully common RPI dilemma. </p>
Unsatisfactory. See <code>P' and</code>S'. </p>
Walkman Died. Given only on computer projects. Sitting in front of computer terminals without any contact with reality has been proven harmful to your health by the Surgeon General (of Albania). </p>
Grade delayed pending unpaid bills to Institute. </p>
We didn't know what to give you, we'll tell you next semester.</p>
<p>I agree with the others who have said that 'C's in the first semester of an engineering school is nothing to take drastic action about such as quitting. This is especially true at schools that actively practice 'grade deflation' in the weeder courses of the engineering department. </p>
<p>I think you need to find a way to educate your parents that what you're experiencing is the norm for that school (assuming it is), and that you're better off sticking with it assuming you still generally like the material and major. Maybe your parents just aren't familiar with the way many engineering departments work (brutal grading at times). You've now had a level-set and understand better what's required to get higher than a C and now you can adjust. As you adjust and realize the level of effort and resources you need to put into the classes your grades will likely improve.</p>
<p>I wish I had known some of this stuff earlier. I wonder if I would have better grades if I had done engineering somewhere else. Anyway I might show my parents this post and try to make them understand (even though I'm not sure I understand), but I was a pretty good student in high school and I think they just don't care Why I have poor grades, they just want them to be better. I have started going to advising, I know I should have gone earlier. I do not drink due to health condition, I go to classes, I do the homework, I think I know everything and then I get a bad grade. My midterms were bad. Classes resumed today. I'll work hard, but I'm plenty worried. Thanks parents!</p>
The parents are paying. They have a right to know.
not according to the federal government.</p>
<p>iamtim - I think you are going to be ok. Time to cut the apron strings. Don't call your parents with the result of every test/paper. Don't complain either, about how hard it is.</p>
<p>I have sent 3 kids off to college and went myself. Regardless of what you all read on CC from parents and their dean's list prodigies - college is HARD. Engineering is HARD. Many kids struggle the first year.
Most kid's grades improve. Tim - this doesn't mean you are dumb or can't succeed at RPI. If you are otherwise happy, work hard, see your profs, join study groups and stick it out.</p>
<p>I am not going to tell your parents how to parent or what rules to make. I will say I think it is absurd for a parent to pull a kid out for C's the first year in engineering.<br>
No way will my kid spend my money in school for failing and/or not progressing and I made a 4 year and you are out rule.
I have no idea what kinds of conversations are being had between parent and student here but many times parents call or kids call and the conversation turns to school. did you have any tests? what did you get? etc etc......
kid says it is hard and Mom or Dad want a summa cum laude. They equate their brilliant high school student to impecable grades in college OR worse they are using C's as a threat - do better or else.</p>
<p>So Tim - I stand by my advice - talk to mom and dad about the weather, roommates or that cool chem lab - for now. Ease off the grade discussion.</p>
<p>I think you are gonna be ok -