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Old 02-08-2019, 01:14 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,060 posts, read 22,426,382 times
Reputation: 46590

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hokypoky View Post
My 17.5 year old son is a senior whose grades have been slipping for the second half of high school. He has ADHD and has always been a B student until lately he's been bordering C/D. Applying to colleges he had a 2.6 and got a 28 on the ACT. He got into U of Arizona where they have world-class disability services. We've visited, he likes it and wants to go there. It will be out of state for us so will be expensive. Luckily we do have the money saved for his tuition.

He got into the wrong crowd for a while at high school and was smoking/vaping pot, was suspended once for possession, pushed the limits by breaking curfew many times but is overall fairly respectful at home and with authority. He has distanced himself from some of the problem kids at school but I can tell he is a bit lonely and unhappy. He is constantly turning in homework late and is usually tardy to most of his classes and doesn't seem to care. This year he is only taking 4 academic classes and barely got a 2.0. He is very active in a sport that keeps him somewhat busy but when he's not at practice he plays video games all the time. Doesn't do the homework on time. Has horrible study skills (though he did take a college level Psychology course at the local community college and got an A). He's seen a therapist for a while. Evidently my involvement in telling him what to do puts him off and now I get to sit back and watch him self-destruct so he can learn from his own mistakes. He is mainly a good kid, though and wants to go to college. But right now looking in the current grade book he has 2 D's, and F and a C and none of them are honors or AP.

I feel like I might be setting him up for failure (which he has already had plenty of experience with already) sending him away if he has little desire to work hard and persevere. And I'll basically be gambling 50K on the tuition. He tells me he'd rather be homeless than stay at home and go to community college. He has zero interest in any Gap Year programs (my preference for him). He wants to get out of our house because his relationship with Dad is touch-and-go most of the time and he just wants to be independent. I feel like this is a dire situation but then again where we live is an unusual bubble of wealth and high-achievers. Would you send a low achiever off to college where they will more likely than not f*** around and play video games all day?!? Should I give him the benefit of the doubt just because he was accepted? He'll meet with an academic coach 1x/week and have tutoring for all his classes but he will have to do all the other hard work on his own. I welcome any opinions!
If he goes to a community college, he will bomb out. There will be no social control to keep him in line. No one takes attendance, it's almost impossible to make friends, and he does not want to succeed - so he will not.

Young males often do not do well in high school. Your son is not the only one.

However, many of them blossom at college. Four year residential colleges are comprised with a totally different demographic than are community colleges.

More "intentional students" than "accidental students". You are there for a reason.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but I think he needs the modicum of freedom that a residential school would give him.

Would I send a low achiever to college? As an independent academic adviser, I have sent MANY who sound similar to your son, all with good results.

This is not a matter of "rewarding bad behavior" - he's not a little boy. It's a matter of equipping your son with the right tools in life to become a productive citizen.

If you are open to suggestions, please feel free to send me a direct message. I will give you some recommendations.

If he already wants to attend the University of Arizona and he has been accepted - I would give him that chance.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Lake Oswego, Manhattan, Aspen
3,184 posts, read 4,074,743 times
Reputation: 11345
I'm going to assume that OP is for real, and isn't the same person who's always showing up as a first-time poster, with stories which seem straight from an advice column in a 'Family Circle' kind of magazine.

OP, your son needs to be AWAY. Whether it's going to U of A, or to a community college in a distant place, or just living off tips, camming on Cam4 - he needs to leave home. Not all kids need that. But some do. He knows he needs to be on his own, and in charge of himself. Let him go!

Your son sealed his own fate, when he began using substances. He did that, while under YOUR control. Keeping him under your control, is not going to save him. If he's going to straighten-himself-out, he's going to do it as a solitary individual, making his own rules.

I know of too many families: Upper Class; Upper Middle Class; Middle-of-the-Middle-Class; and High-earning Blue Collar, who've kept their "troubled" kids nearby and under their "protective", "nurturing" wings, while things just got worse and worse and worse.

On the other hand, I've seen plenty of "hopeless cases", when transplanted to new locales, and removed from old family dynamics, turn themselves around.

Let him GO!
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:57 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn. Zone 8
35,929 posts, read 44,092,245 times
Reputation: 59684
I think you are setting him up for failure, and yourself for a financial bloodbath.

He has not done anything to show that he is likely to succeed without constant supervision. Under your thumb, his grades are down and heís fallen into an undesirable crowd. What makes you think things will be different away from home?

I think you need to make him prove himself. My choices would be local community college or trade school, or the military. Incidentally, two of our 3 sons with ADD excelled in the structure of the military. If he wants further schooling later, you can help him then.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:42 PM
 
4 posts, read 1,299 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks for all the responses. It's great to hear about experiences and opinions on both sides of the spectrum. Ironically he says he wants to be a teacher though I think this is mainly due to a comment I made to him many years ago about how he'd be a great teacher and I think it stuck. He's always done well in science courses so he applied as a Science Undecided major. It won't surprise me if he changes his mind once he's exposed to other opportunities.

U of A is not a competitive school and he had applied with a couple D's and an F on his transcript and he still got in. This final semester he has to keep his grades up to play his sport at school so that should motivate him. I don't think he will get his admission revoked. If it does, well then they made my decision for me and I will be grateful for that!

I'm inclined to give him a chance because of a couple reasons. I think once he is away from the uber-competitive environment where we live (silicon valley) and in a college in which his test scores were on the high end of average he will realize he is a pretty normal student. He's kind of taken a beating here. Has had freshman tell him they are smarter than him, etc. His self esteem has been affected. It's an unhealthy environment for someone with learning challenges. He has failed classes and repeated them successfully. I point out to him that this shows he is resilient and that this will get him far in life.

We also have no immediate family where we live. When we go away to visit with grandparents and cousins he is a completely different person. Happy, joking around, confident. He doesn't have close friends here right now and I want him to get away and find "his people". I fear our community college will be full of the same people who were dragging him down in high school.

I hope the fact that he will have to check in with an advisor and tutors will keep him accountable with his classes. It might not, but he would not get that at a community college.

It could be a big financial loss, I agree. We might give him one year. If he doesn't succeed according to our standards then he'll have to take out his own loan if he wants to go back (and hasn't failed out). If he proves himself successful, then we will begin to foot the bill again.

On different note, I brought up Santa Barbara City College to him and he sounded interested. I need to look into it more but it's a community college where lots of kids go to live, kind of like a 4 year college, but I think it would be lacking in accommodations and structure. It would be a heck of a lot cheaper and he would still get away from home.

Anyway, those are my thoughts today. Might change tomorrow!
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:51 PM
 
12,565 posts, read 6,549,443 times
Reputation: 23230
Quote:
Originally Posted by hokypoky View Post
I feel like I might be setting him up for failure (which he has already had plenty of experience with already) sending him away if he has little desire to work hard and persevere. And I'll basically be gambling 50K on the tuition.

One semester isn't $50K. Keep him on a very short leash. If he doesn't get at least a 3.0, pull the plug after the first semester. Lots of people underachieve in High School and do fine in college. I was a poster child for it. By the time I got halfway through college, I was getting academic scholarships and I made the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. My father thought I was going to flunk out. I got a 3.81 my first semester. I just needed to be challenged.
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:39 PM
 
876 posts, read 484,682 times
Reputation: 3462
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
If he goes to a community college, he will bomb out. There will be no social control to keep him in line. No one takes attendance, it's almost impossible to make friends, and he does not want to succeed - so he will not.

Young males often do not do well in high school. Your son is not the only one.

However, many of them blossom at college. Four year residential colleges are comprised with a totally different demographic than are community colleges.

More "intentional students" than "accidental students". You are there for a reason.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but I think he needs the modicum of freedom that a residential school would give him.

Would I send a low achiever to college? As an independent academic adviser, I have sent MANY who sound similar to your son, all with good results.

This is not a matter of "rewarding bad behavior" - he's not a little boy. It's a matter of equipping your son with the right tools in life to become a productive citizen.

If you are open to suggestions, please feel free to send me a direct message. I will give you some recommendations.

If he already wants to attend the University of Arizona and he has been accepted - I would give him that chance.
I agree with all of this! If your son stays home and goes to community college he will sink even further as CC offers no community and really few ways to make friends. In my opinion the college years are just as important for maturity and growth as they are for launching a career. It's hard to find that at a commuter school.

Also, the fact that you live in the Silicon Valley is not something to take lightly with this situation either. Schools there are incredibly competitive to the point where a single high school will have like 15 National Merit Finalists. That is unheard of anywhere else. I can see where your son might flounder in that environment where everyone is a star student. I'd give him a year away. You might be pleasantly surprised with the results.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:08 PM
 
9 posts, read 6,794 times
Reputation: 32
Don't bother with paying for college, I paid for my daughter to attend community college three times but failed all three times, now she's 36 and a loser that is going nowhere.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:32 PM
 
13,024 posts, read 20,254,962 times
Reputation: 34654
I can agree that allowing this boy to go away to school "might" work out well for him, but away doesn't have to be an out-of-state school where the OP will have to pay a tuition premium. Did your son apply to any in-state schools OP?
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
1,084 posts, read 1,179,079 times
Reputation: 983
If he is showing no interest in academics now, his freshman year would likely be a catastrophe. Being away from home for the first time, with readily available drugs and alcohol and frequent parties...what could possibly go wrong?
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Dallas TX
14,672 posts, read 21,098,025 times
Reputation: 21292
I went to Arizona. World Class does not equal Arizona. I canít imagine having ADHD and going to the school. The lower level classes have up to 600 people, the counselors are horrible. Itís a party school.
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