This is the insightful information gleaned from what I assume would be an expensive and taxpayer funded study of how high school seniors perform during their freshman year at college. I think they should have just called the study, “Duh.”

The Chicago Tribune reported on the new information, only recently made available to the public, last week.  Public H.S. grads struggle at college  Fortunately for you, ACityMom stumbled on the article yesterday, because no one in her house had managed to clean off the coffee table since August.  At first I was worried, Are my kids not being prepared well for college? But wasn’t that the point of the article: to instill fear? Of course it was.  Yet, as I read more closely, it occurred to me that this “phenomenon” isn’t a phenomenon at all. It’s normal.

The article stated that average GPA’s fell from high school levels during a student's freshman year in college, stating colleges liked to see an average GPA of 3.0 or higher that first year. Gee, do you think this is because college is harder? Do you think this is because colleges are selective? Do you think this could be because even though you were a shining star in high school, you are now surrounded by all the shining stars from all the other high schools? Of course it is.

And how about all the distractions that freshman year? The newness. The freedom. The beer. And let's not forget all the members of the opposite sex. Combine all this, and not necessarily in that order, and it looks like a recipe for failure, never mind lower grades. My two lowest college GPAs (identical at 3.75) occurred during the first semester of my freshman year and the final semester of my senior year. THIS IS NOT NEWS, PEOPLE.  I asked my husband, one of the most intelligent people I know (with perhaps the exception of one glaring marital error) about his high school GPA vs. his college GPA.  It had gone down, too.

Okay, so my husband and I do not a formal scientific study make, but if I had to guess this is the standard. A better expensive taxpayer-funded study would tell us how many of our high school grads go on to successfully complete college, once they get the hang of it, and really, isn’t getting the hang of it what freshman year is all about? According to the Tribune, “Educators say GPAs often improve following freshman year” and  “The disconnect between high school and college performance isn’t unique to Illinois, ‘It’s a national issue,’” according to April Hansen, director of postsecondary services at the ACT company.

Like I said. They should have called the study, “Duh.” Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go clean off the rest of my coffee table.


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