Parent College Coach Tip #93: Can You Handle the Truth About College?

truth about college

Can you handle the truth about college?

We all know that famous line from A Few Good Men, “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!” It’s hard sometimes to face the facts about the college environment and what your son or daughter will be exposed to while living on campus. Sometimes we would rather remain ignorant.

When my daughter and son were teenagers we used the term TMI (too much information). As they went off to college and the Marine Corps, I found myself using that term more often when they wanted to inform me of risks they had taken or went into detailed descriptions of their friends’ risky behaviors.

Too much information can be a bit overwhelming at times. But having the RIGHT information can and will ease your mind as your college-bound teen prepares for college and leaving home. In that vein, I’d like to share some helpful sites and information.


Every parent worries about their child’s safety when they go away to college. When you begin to consider specific colleges, it’s helpful to know about the crime statistics on campus. The link below will provide you with specific campus crime data regarding residence halls, disciplinary action, criminal offenses, and drug and liquor violations.


I was confronted with hazing when my daughter pledged a sorority in college. It angered me and I didn’t know where to turn for help. If your teen is considering Greek life while in college, familiarize yourself with It will provide you with links to state laws, resources and vital information.

Alcohol Abuse

Binge drinking is as common on college campuses as eating and sleeping. The unfortunate fact is that even though your college-bound teen will enter campus as an underage adult, alcohol will be readily available. Take some time before they leave to talk to them about the dangers of alcohol. This link will help:

Sexual Assault and Harassment

Sexual assaults and harassment do occur. If you don’t believe me just read the news. Your teen needs to know BEFORE they move into the dorm what to do and how to respond if/when these situations arise. Follow the link below to gather information and talking points for your child and make them aware of the resources that are available to them.



Author: Suzanne Shaffer

Suzanne Shaffer advises parents and students in the college admissions process and the importance of early college preparation at She is excited to share her knowledge with the readers of Smart College Visit.

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