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Old 02-07-2019, 04:41 PM
 
3 posts, read 738 times
Reputation: 15

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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!
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:09 PM
 
1 posts, read 409 times
Reputation: 41
Randomly saw this post! I am almost 23. The first time I went to college was right after high school, where I had a similar experience. I got excellent grades the first two years of high school and then decided to pay more attention to other things like drinking and smoking. The college I went to was a community college in-state, but my grandma paid for it all herself. I stopped taking my medicines for depression/anxiety and just stopped going to school, I didn't even bother to drop out. The guilt of wasting her money and time was only piled onto my depression. I moved out early because I didn't get along with my family. Working by day, along with couch surfing and partying was my life for a couple years, but then I decided I was ready to make changes. I am almost done with my 2 year degree at the same community college where I have taken new classes worked to retake my previous classes and get the Fs changed, and I now have a 3.97 GPA overall.
My point and advice is to NOT send him to Arizona. When I started college the first time, I thought my attitude and behavior would just change because it needed to-- it didn't!! I have talked to many many people who made the same mistakes. Furthermore, I am extremely glad I went to a community college first. They have so much more help and support available, no matter what problems you may be facing. Not to mention, it is so much cheaper and I can see if transferring to a university will be worth it.
I have learned that to go to college, you have to WANT to, in a way. Whether that is to better yourself, to pursue a career, or you just want to expand your horizons, you have to have a desire to get something out of it. I am glad I got the partying out of my system when I did, and without getting in trouble with the law (fortunately). I am also extremely glad I chose to go to a community college first. It is very real-world, and less stereotypical-college feel. I live in Iowa City, so the difference between community college culture and the University of Iowa culture is huge, and undoubtedly difficult to learn discipline in the latter (even though it looks fun :]) My whole battle with myself and responsibility has been the single toughest one of my life so far, and for a long time, I was ashamed and thought it was uncommon. It is NOT! I had no idea people made the same exact mistakes I did, and often at a much larger cost. I think I just needed to taste a feeling of 'rock bottom' before I let myself head that way.
Today, I still hardly know where I am going with my life, but I am exploring so many subjects at school, some that have really surprised me by striking my interest. The social clock of early-adulthood is becoming increasingly irrelevant, and I could have made mistakes by realizing that too late. Sorry for the long post; I am really passionate about how big of a thing I made of such a common problem. If I can help someone by telling my story that I was once extremely embarrassed about, I will! Good luck with your son, and I applaud you for keeping your faith in him. My mother wrote me off as a "bad kid" pretty early, when I was really doing relatively harmless things compared to others my age. If you or your son have any more questions or anything, let me know!
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:50 PM
 
13,020 posts, read 20,230,861 times
Reputation: 34632
Does your son realize his final transcripts will be sent to the college that admitted him? He may find his acceptance yanked, I know of a couple of kids that similarly slacked off as seniors only to get a big wake-up call when that happened. I think your son needs some "skin in the game" in order to attend an out-of-state school. I would not pay that kind of tuition unless I knew my child would be successful.

Excellent post by k0735224.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Orlando
1,879 posts, read 2,496,999 times
Reputation: 6974
I would not send this kid to the University of Arizona if he were mine. He hasn't shown anything that would convince me that the tuition would not be a complete waste of my money. I'd tell him he can do his freshman year at the community college, and if he makes good grades, he can transfer to Arizona. If he'd rather be homeless, well ... that's his choice.
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:51 PM
 
3,271 posts, read 3,031,006 times
Reputation: 3677
What does he want to be when he grows up? Not all kids are made to go to college. This country is hurting for people in skilled trades.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:26 AM
 
Location: NJ
9,781 posts, read 20,682,349 times
Reputation: 7220
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!
Sorry but I would not send him to college. You're just going to be wasting money. He's obviously not ready to not only be in school but a school you'd be paying for. I doubt the college would even accept him with his grades the way they are.

Sounds like you need to have a sit down with him. What does he want to do when he enters the work force? My son did 3 quarters at the Art Institute of Philadelphia but decided it wasn't for him. My step son had applied for DirecTV at the same time, my son decided that he wanted to try it too. DirecTV trains; he worked there 7 years and is now with Comcast. It's a pretty good job for people with motivation.

If he's good with electronics, Verizon would be a decent job. There is room in the company to move up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riley09swb View Post
What does he want to be when he grows up? Not all kids are made to go to college. This country is hurting for people in skilled trades.
I agree. He doesn't sound like college material and would probably be better suited for a tech school. The problem would be finding something he likes and wants to learn. I have ADHD, my grades were mostly C's, some B's. I went to trade school to learn to cut hair and some how not only passed but got my license. It was something I was into which is probably why I managed to graduate but it was very hard learning the biology of hair. It was very tough being in school with ADHD. I'm not the type to learn by reading something
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:43 AM
 
3,271 posts, read 3,031,006 times
Reputation: 3677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roselvr View Post
Sorry but I would not send him to college. You're just going to be wasting money. He's obviously not ready to not only be in school but a school you'd be paying for. I doubt the college would even accept him with his grades the way they are.

Sounds like you need to have a sit down with him. What does he want to do when he enters the work force? My son did 3 quarters at the Art Institute of Philadelphia but decided it wasn't for him. My step son had applied for DirecTV at the same time, my son decided that he wanted to try it too. DirecTV trains; he worked there 7 years and is now with Comcast. It's a pretty good job for people with motivation.

If he's good with electronics, Verizon would be a decent job. There is room in the company to move up.



I agree. He doesn't sound like college material and would probably be better suited for a tech school. The problem would be finding something he likes and wants to learn. I have ADHD, my grades were mostly C's, some B's. I went to trade school to learn to cut hair and some how not only passed but got my license. It was something I was into which is probably why I managed to graduate but it was very hard learning the biology of hair. It was very tough being in school with ADHD. I'm not the type to learn by reading something
My husband and son both have an auditory processing disorder. My husband was at one point interested in being an architect but ultimately decided to pursue a skilled trade. It was a much better fit and he's excellent at it. My son (11) wants to be a chemist. We will see how that works out as he goes through middle and high school.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Central, NJ
2,360 posts, read 4,911,732 times
Reputation: 3136
If he wants to go and he doesn't want his parents telling him what to do, he should be the one to make this happen. I would support him in his decision, because there is really nothing you can do to stop him. But I wouldn't pay for it. If he gets passing grades the first year, I'd be there willing to contribute (if you have the money) but I wouldn't pay for a young adult who isn't motivated to do high school work to go to college. I would also make it clear that if he is not invited back to school after the first year he can only return home if he is working a full-time job and ready to begin his adult life. An offer of community college and part time work = you living somewhere else.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Warren County and loving it!
5,138 posts, read 7,390,329 times
Reputation: 2671
Do not send him away. Too expensive of a risk. Their behavior doesn’t magically change when they get there.
Send him to community college his first two years. It will be much less expensive for you and a trial run of the work necessary to succeed in higher education.
You will get to see first hand if he’s skipping classes. It’s ok for you to pay for community but make him sign the FERPA. Colleges only want the parents’ check. You get nothing in return for it unless he signs. If he signs, you can get his grades and such.
I have two out of three that pursued college unsuccessfully. One went to community and not much is lost. One went to a large university and a ton is lost. One did very well in high school and got a cheap community college tuition as a result. The other, extremely smart, just didn’t care and allowed good enough to be good enough.
We can’t make them have drive. And drive is the number one thing they need to succeed.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:19 AM
 
1,625 posts, read 2,908,192 times
Reputation: 2193
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!
I just want to say I feel your pain. I find myself in a similar situation. It's painful.

Personally I wouldn't want to spend that much tuition on a kid with no motivation... but I probably would, at least for the first year. To give him a chance to succeed. With the understanding that grades have to be maintained at a certain level or there's no year 2.

Best of luck to you. I hope it works out.
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