Parents & Families

High School vs. College

High school and college have many significant differences. We have outlined many of these differences below to help you further understand the transition your new Golden Eagle may be experiencing.

  High School College
Teacher/Student Interactions Contact is closer & more frequent. Teachers may follow-up with students to see how they're doing academically. Faculty members are available by office hours & appointment. Students must take initiative to seek assistance from faculty.
Competition/ Grades Academic competition is not as strong and good grades are often achieved with minimum effort. Academic competition is much stronger, and minimum effort may produce poor grades. Students must put in a greater effort to achieve.
Status Students establish a personal status in academic & social activities based on family & community factors. Students can build their status as they wish; status from high school can either be repeated or changed as the student wishes.
Counseling/ Dependence Students can rely on parents, teachers & counselors to help make decisions & give advice. Students must abide by parental boundaries & restrictions. Students rely on themselves; they see the results of making their own decisions. It is their responsibility to seek guidance as needed & set their own boundaries.
Motivation  Students receive stimulation to achieve or participate from parents, teachers & counselors. Students apply their own motivation to their work & activities as they wish.
Freedom Students' freedom is limited. Parents will often help students out of a crisis should one arise. Students have much more freedom and must begin to accept responsibility for their own actions.
Distractions There are distractions from school, but these are partially controlled by school & home. The opportunity for more distractions exists. Time management becomes more important.
Value Judgment Students often make value judgments based on parental values. Students have the opportunity to see the world through their own lens & begin to develop their own opinions & values.
Adopted from Mullendore, R.H. & Hatch C. (2000). Helping your first-year college student succeed: A guide for parents. Columbia, S.C.: OCM. and Texas A&M University (2000).
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