Understanding the Needs of Incoming College Freshmen: The Parent Perspective


  • Paige Monet Harris University of Florida
  • Heidi Radunovich University of Florida




In the last few years, there has been an increase in reported difficulties related to adjusting to college. While work has been done to analyze how college students perceive themselves related to several domains, such as mental health and physical fitness, there is little research to examine parental perception of college student functioning during the transition into college. Furthermore, there is reason to believe that students may differ in their perceived readiness for college based on their gender and socioeconomic status (SES). Using an anonymous survey, this study examined the extent to which 714 parents of students at the University of Florida perceived their college student as being prepared for university life on the domains of time management, social and emotional functioning, and general life skills. ANOVA analyses were conducted to determine group differences. Overall, significant differences by gender were found, with female students outscoring their male peers in many areas, as reported by their parents. Surprisingly, very few significant differences were found based on SES. Where there were differences, the low SES group outperformed their high SES counterparts. As universities consider the needs of incoming students, they may wish to be more intentional with how they target specific populations.






Social & Behavioral Sciences, Business, Education