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Factors That Influence a Student's Success in College

by Buffy Naillon, studioD

Although academic success means that a student has fulfilled the requirements for his course of study, more goes into doing well in college than just concentrating on grades. According to ACT.org, academic factors account for 68 percent of success in school; however, other things influence a person's academic success as well. Students who fully prepare for their upcoming tasks and who tap into the resources in their environment stand the best chance of doing well in college.

Family Influences

A student's family exerts a large influence on how well he or she does in school. Having parents and siblings who concern themselves with the student's academic well-being gives him or her the necessary support to handle the stress of college. Additionally, the family should have realistic expectations of how university life will affect the student. It's not unusual for parents to receive frequent texts and emails about homesickness and other difficulties. Knowing about some of these eventualities helps the family and the student cope with school, particularly if he or she is a first-generation student.

The Student's Role

College students' success rests just as much on themselves as it does on the support of their family. The ACT.org website explains that students with good self-discipline, emotional self-control and academic self-confidence stand the best chance of moving successfully into college life. These qualities allow students to involve themselves in the academic environment without becoming overwhelmed by the obstacles that arise from it. Aside from these intangible factors, a strong GPA in high school often represents the most accurate indicator of students' future success. If they didn't keep up on grades, attend class regularly and develop solid study habits in high school, their chances of succeeding at college are hampered considerably.

Academic Goals

College students' goals work in tandem with factors such as grades and self-discipline in determining how well they'll meet the challenges of college. Once students decide what their goals are, Purdue University suggests that they make friends with similarly minded people. Friends who have incompatible goals can knock a student off course. For example, a student serious about academic success who has very social, party-oriented friends may find it difficult to keep up a high GPA if he or she frequently attends social events.

On-Campus Help

An academic advisor can help guide students toward college success if they meet with the advisor regularly. This on-campus resource helps students stay on track by explaining the particulars of their degree and what classes they need to meet the academic requirements of their major. The advisor also provides the student with a more realistic understanding of how much work is required to succeed in college. They may offer pointers about seeking help from professors and other on-campus resources and amenities.

About the Author

Buffy Naillon has worked in the media industry since 1999, contributing to Germany's "Der Spiegel" magazine and various websites. She received a bachelor's degree in German from Boise State University. Naillon also attended New York University and participated in the foreign exchange program at Germany's Saarland University. She is completing her master's degree in educational technology at Boise State.

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