Steps to Help your Child Succeed in College

By: Bruce R. Gibbs

It is just around the corner. Your child is about to graduate from high school. For the past year you and your child have been filling out college applications, financial aid forms, consent forms, you name it. Your child is about the leave the world of high school behind and enter into the new world of higher education. Each year millions of students enter college but not all of them stay. How do you help your child prepare for college successfully? How do you give him or her a firm foundation that they can stand on when they are away from home at college? Here are some steps you can do to make sure that your college student has a great foundation for success.


Encouragement can go a long way in helping a student to be successfully in college. One thing you should encourage your child to do is to get to know their professors. This one step alone can help them tremendously throughout their collegiate career. Many instructors will not flunk someone that they know and that they know that student is trying their best. I encourage students to introduce themselves to their professors before the semester or quarter starts. This can be done via a short email or a quick visit to the professor's office to say hi and that he or she is looking forward to being in his or her class.

Let Go

As a parent, you have to be willing to let go. While your child has to be ready to go to college, you as a parent also have to be ready to let your child go. Your child needs to know that you will be okay so that she can concentrate on being a success in college. Yes, your child will miss you and may even wish she was back at home with you but you must reassure your child that while you will miss her that you are okay with her leaving and starting a new life. It is natural for children to leave the nest. And yes, it can hurt but we as parents have to let go.

Keep Communication Open

Sometimes when children leave home they forget that there's an invention call a telephone. Let your child know that want to hear from them. Reassure them that it's okay to call home not just when they get good grades or when they want money but also if they receive a disappointing grade and they need someone to talk to. College students sometimes try to shield their parents from a lot of things, thinking that they will only worry.

Get more steps from Bruce's book, Giving Away the Keys: A Professor Unlocks the Secrets to College Success. Mr. Gibbs has worked as a college instructor and wrote the book to help students succeed in college. Details about the book can be found at The book is available at

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