The following steps will help a student start off college right and succeed on campus.

1) Engage Professors

Much of success in life is just showing up. Students who forge a relationship with professors beyond simply raising a hand in class will be more comfortable seeking help when they need it, and professors will respond accordingly.
Watch video of students discussing Step 1>>>

2) Find a Mentor

Be it an upperclassman, alumnus, or local family friend, a trusted insider can provide a student with essential advice and guidance.

3) Be Involved on Campus

Participating in clubs, sports teams, and study groups helps students build a sense of community and better understand a college's unique culture.
Watch video of students discussing Step 3>>>

4) Embrace Time Management

Time management and assignment prioritization are critical skills for new college students. Develop a system - use a planner or some form of technology - and live by it. College freshmen cannot afford to miss classes or assignments, which can happen when immersed in a new environment.
Watch video of students discussing Step 4>>>
Read more about managing your time in college>>>

5) Utilize Campus Resources

From roommate problems to academic challenges, colleges offer a myriad of support services on campus. Students should feel comfortable seeking help from various resource offices.

6) Become Financially Savvy

For some, a first year in college is also a first real experience managing money. Prudent decisions help students avoid broader financial challenges, which can cause stress and long-term consequences.
Read more about managing your finances in college>>>

7) Understand the Fine Print (of Syllabuses)

A syllabus is both a road map for success and a contract between student and professor. Students should read it carefully so that they clearly understand a professor's expectations and grading structure. It also provides a wonderful opening for asking questions, which helps bolster that important relationship with a professor.


Download the PDF of these steps>>>

About Bottom Line

Bottom Line was founded to address the low college graduation rates of at-risk urban youth. Since 1997, Bottom Line has guided hundreds of low-income and first-generation students to and through college. In the coming school year, our College Counselors will help 775 high school seniors navigate the college application process and 1,150 college students work toward completing their degrees. By offering a mentor and a knowledgeable guide, Bottom Line helps students graduate at nearly twice the typical rate of at-risk students. Our College Access and College Success Programs currently serve students from New York City and Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts.

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