Thank you for visiting the Georgia Highlands College parent Web site. We know that you recognize the critical role a college degree plays in your student’s future. In fact, the Federal Government estimates that the majority of jobs in America will require a minimum of a two-year college degree. As a two-year institution of the University System of Georgia, GHC is committed to doing everything within our power to help our students meet their educational goals. Our highly trained faculty and staff are committed to student success and offer many valuable services, including tutoring, counseling, and specialist/faculty advising. We also recognize the vital role you as parents play in the academic success and completion rates of our students. It is our hope that the information below will provide you with some important insight on how you may help your student be a success here at GHC.
Advice to Parents
A Federal Law known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) severely limits a college’s ability to communicate with parents about their students’ academic performance and college records without the students’ permission. Unlike high school, no progress reports or grade reports are sent home. In fact, final grades are not mailed home but posted on the student’s Banner/Score account online. Please keep in mind that GHC employees are limited in the amount of information that we can share with you, and we have no way of knowing how a student is performing academically until the end of the semester. Therefore, parents should always begin the discussion about students’ academic performance with them first before contacting the institution. Below are a few suggestions on how you can obtain information from your child about his or her academic progress and increase the chances for success:
- If you really want to know how your student is doing, ask to see class notes. If the student is not taking notes in class he/she will not be successful in college.
- Do not simply ask how college is going. Ask leading questions, for example: “What grade do you currently have in math?” or “Are you struggling to understand the material discussed in class?”… If he/she is struggling, encourage him to talk to his professor and/or make an appointment with the FREE tutorial center.
- Before a student enrolls in college, sit down and discuss your financial situation and how much money you are willing to provide to help with his/her education. Students should enter college with an understanding of how much it costs to manage a household and exactly how much support they may receive so they can look for opportunities to save money.
- Sit down with your student before he/she enrolls and discuss your academic expectations. For example, what are the consequences if she fails a class or an entire semester of classes? Do you expect your student to earn the HOPE scholarship before transferring to a more costly institution? Examples of consequences set by some parents prior to their student enrolling in college include:
- In any class in which you earn below a grade of C, you must pay us back the total costs for that class.
- If you fail a class we will take away your car keys, cell phone and even the computer!
- If your GPA drops below a 2.5, you have to start paying your own car insurance.
- We just can’t afford to send you to the university you have selected unless you earn and keep the HOPE Scholarship.
- If you don’t earn passing grades during your first year in college, you are welcome to continue to live with us, but you will be expected to pay rent (let them know how much up front)!
Some of these examples may seem harsh, but conversations that clearly define college expectations have completely transformed students’ academic performance. Whether your student was an A or D student in high school, he/she needs to hear what your expectations are for college.
- After the first few days of class, have your student bring each course syllabus home and write down the date of every assignment and scheduled test on a master calendar. This helps everyone in the household know when assignments are due, and gives parents a good idea of when to expect spikes in the students’ stress level.
- Ask your student about career options. Help your student research career options, especially those in which he/she expresses a genuine interest. When possible help your student find someone in that field that would be willing to talk to him. GHC Student Support Services can help! Students need to take advantage of this service. Research shows that students who have already selected a career option are more likely to earn a college degree.
- Encourage your student to get involved on campus. “It’s not what you know but who you know that makes a difference” remains true. By getting involved on a college campus, students interact with more students and have more opportunities to meet faculty and staff. These types of interactions have proven to increase the retention and graduation rates of students.
- Most importantly, be supportive. Tell your student how much you care about his/her academic success and the importance of earning that college degree.
We hope this information and the Web links below will provide assistance to you. We welcome all parents to the GHC family and look forward to partnering with you to provide your student with a successful college experience. If we can be of any assistance, please call the Admissions Office at 706.295.6339.
Tuition and Fees
If you have been researching college costs, you may be surprised at what you have found. College can get expensive very quickly but you do have alternatives that include institutions like GHC and the availability of scholarships and financial aid. At GHC we are proud of the fact that our tuition and fees remain among the lowest in Georgia. In fact, the current tuition rates remain below $100 per credit hour. In addition, almost 80 percent of our students receive some type of financial assistance in the form of scholarships, federal and state aid. There are several links located on the left-hand side of this page that will provide you with detailed information about our tuition and fee structure and financial aid.
Proof of Enrollment
Most health insurance companies require proof of enrollment in order to keep your student on your health insurance policy. In order to provide proof of enrollment in college to your insurance company, simply have your student print off the Enrollment Verification document from his/her student account. This is always available the week after classes have started. If you need something before this date, have your student print a copy of their class schedule and submit this to your insurance company until the enrollment verification becomes available.
English as a Second Language
For applicants whose first language is not English and applicants whose language of instruction throughout secondary school was not English, proof of English language proficiency is required. This may be accomplished by provided satisfactory scores on the TOEFL, SAT, ACT or IELTS. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office.