Santa Clara University

LEAD Scholars Program

Understanding Students' College Life

Welcome to Santa Clara University.  We are happy to welcome you and your students to Santa Clara University. Congratulations to your students on their admission. Congratulation to you on all of the support that you have provided your students as they have pursued their college education. We have developed this guide to provide you with a look into Santa Clara University, the resources it offers, as well as how your students’ lives may change as they begin college. We know what an important role parents play in their students’ lives. Often parents’ support can impact students’ academic success, and their overall experience in college. We hope that this website will help you to better support your students in their college experience. See below for tips on how to assist your first generation college students. Click on language preference for a translation of the tips - Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese.

Understanding Your Student's College Life

  • In general college can be a time of change for your student. He/she will begin to become more independent, and mature. Your student will begin to explore and define him/herself. In addition, the demands of college level studies, extracurricular activities and work will require a larger amount of time and commitment than high school.
  • Your student will probably have a more demanding workload than he/she had in high school. He/she will spend approximately 3 ½ hours in each of his/her classes each week, and will usually take 3-4 classes. Thus, your student may spend 10 ½ to 14 hours a week in class. For each hour in class he/she is expected to do at least 3 hours of homework such as research papers and weekly homework assignments. This means that your student will spend approximately 40 hours a week doing homework, and possibly more during testing periods. Tests usually take place during the middle and end of each quarter.
  • As a result of a heavier workload, extracurricular activities and work, your student may be busier than in the past. This may mean he/she may not be available to participate in family events or assist with household chores or a family business as often as he/she has previously. While she/he will still have the same commitment to family, it can be difficult to balance college and family life.
  • It can take time for your student to transition into college life. During this transition, he/she may get lower grades than in high school, may become homesick, or may have difficulties with college in other ways. Please be aware of this, support your student and encourage your student to seek support from Santa Clara University’s resources.
  • Your student’s interests may change. Often when a student enters college he/she does not know of all of the different areas in which he/she can study. It is common that a student may come into college wanting to pursue one major, and then changes once he/she learns about other majors that are available.
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