​Understanding How High School is Different than College

The transition from high school to college can sometimes prove challenging for parents and children.

While in the broad sense it may seem simple, there are specific topics and situations worth researching during this transition. We hope you find the information below helpful in that process.

Structure and Dependence
High school is a highly structured environment where students are penalized for not being present and not participating. College is more flexible. Students are considered adults and, while they are expected to attend all of their courses and participate, it is not enforced as it is in high school. College students are expected to be independent and able to make responsible decisions as young adults.

  • Being an adult also means taking responsibility for their actions. In cases of misconduct, the student is held responsible in college, not the parent.

  • In high school, students can be suspended for disobeying the rules and regulations. In college, students can be dismissed for disregarding rules and regulations.

  • In high school, students can remain in school despite poor academic performance. In college, students can be dropped after one semester for poor academic performance.
  • College classes are divided into semesters and don't last the entire year like high school classes. UF has fall, spring and summer semesters in which separate sets of classes begin and end.

  • Grading in college is for the entire semester, unlike high school when there were four grading periods for each class.

  • College professors are not required to interact with parents like high school teachers who are required to hold parent conferences. It is up to your student to interact with their professors as adults. However, this is not to say that Findlay professors will not interact with parents. If you have questions our faculty are certainly willing to assist.

  • Advising in college is similar to high school, but instead of a guidance counselor, your student is assigned to a special academic advisor within their program of study.

  • College classes are held two or three times per week, rather than daily in high school.

  • High school tests were given weekly or biweekly, while college exams are given less frequently. The weeks leading up to final exams at the end of each semester are typically stressful times for college students.
Education in high school is generally free. There are many costs associated with college that both students and parents should prepare for in advance. Tuition, books and voluntary travel opportunities are all examples of high expense items to anticipate. UF's Office of Financial Aid is always happy to discuss avenues to help make your student's education more affordable.

Social Opportunities
High school students are generally directed to social, cultural and athletic opportunities in high school, while college students must seek out organizations and activities that interest them. UF offers many social, cultural and athletic opportunities, but your student must feel comfortable enough to seek them out.