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Your student is driven, hardworking and ambitious. You watch them keep their commitments no matter what life brings their way. In your heart and mind, you can see them enrolling in and completing college. It might be one of the reasons why college drop-out stats are of no interest to you.

The stats tell an important story

As parents, we can gain wisdom and understanding on how to prepare your student (and ourselves) for collage as we look at college drop-out stats. The truth is, lack of commitment accounts for a very low percentage of college drop-out rates. How you support your student while he or she is in high school – as well as in college – will decide how they do and if they finish.

Did you know 41% of students who enter college in the U.S. this fall will drop out? Let’s look at the top four obstacles contributing to this dilemma and how as a parent, you can help your student prepare and overcome them.

Reason 1: College Is Expensive

The rising cost of college imposes a high burden on both students and their parents. Poor planning, low income, as well as changes in a parent’s work or health status make finances a reason why kids drop out of college.


  • Commit to build time to apply for scholarships and grants into your junior and senior high school student’s schedule. Don’t be afraid to ask for bigger amounts than received.

  • Colleges – like cars – come in all shapes, sizes and expenses. Apply for aid and weigh whether you can afford to pay what the aid doesn’t cover over four years.

  • Enroll in community college and transfer to your university of choice once your Gen Eds are completed. Investigate with the university to find out which credits are transferable.

  • Start a college savings account sooner than later.

  • When your student is in their junior year of high school, begin a dialogue about college and tuition. Share how you plan or don’t plan to support them financially. This gives them the motivation to find a job and save, take AP classes to reduce the time spent at college or find a university with a lower price tag.

  • Teach your high school student how to manage their money and give them opportunities to practice – and the space to fail – without feeling the need to rescue them. If you struggle with this, take a money management seminar together.

Reason 2: Not Prepared Academically

Studies show that 60% of American students are not ready for the rigorous schedule and academic demands college puts on them. New expectations on how to think and study, cause students to struggle. The drastic difference between high school and college performance has a lasting impact on your student’s self-confidence and esteem


  • Teach your student to recognize their natural aptitudes and help them lean into what comes naturally, rather than forcing them to strengthen what they’re weak at. Your kids are designed for a purpose and it’s tied to how they’re naturally wired. Contrary to popular belief, they are not designed to be whatever they want to be. Kids often turn a deaf ear to their parents and have a hard time believing that their parent can be objective about them. Consider the benefits to having your student spend time with a college career consultant who can help them recognize and own their natural aptitudes.

  • Help your child understand their personality traits as well as how they think and process. People don’t think and process information the same way. If we did, we wouldn’t have conflicts with each other! Your child can develop healthy study habits if they understood – rather than fought against – their unique personality and learning styles. A good college career consultant can help your student boost confidence and enjoy learning by helping them develop studying skills that align with their way of processing.

  • While your student is in high school, refrain from organizing his or her calendar and life. Rather, teach them how to manage their time effectively. Concentrate on the outcome not the process. Often parent-child time management styles are different, so it’s important to discover what your child needs to succeed rather than forcing them to think and manage their time the way you do.

  • Help them establish a good study schedule that reduces cramming and increases comprehension. The easiest way to do this is by not overcrowding their high school schedules with activities.

  • Provide tools and opportunities to practice taking better notes in high school so they can transfer those skills to the more demanding note-taking pace in college. Auditory processors would benefit from tape recordings, visual learners from taking pictures, and kinesthetic learners from typing. This way, their brain can easily access and recall material to shorten the learning curve.


To read more about other obstacles and how you can take proactive steps to prevent your student from becoming a college drop out, read about the top #3 and #4 reasons here.

Ready to take the next step in discovering your best college career path? Contact me today.