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For First Year Students

As you near your first semester at Villanova, it will be important to understand the differences between high school and college and what you need to do to prepare for the college transition.

Differences Between High School and College

College is more demanding academically and you will need to work harder, be better organized, and actively problem solve. In high school, most classes and activities are very structured and your time is planned out with back to back classes all day. In college, you may only have two or three classes a day with several hours in between each class. It is important to understand the differences and be prepared, so you can most effectively manage your time and be successful.

  High School College
Class Time 6 hours per day, 180 days 15 hours per week, 28 weeks
Study Time 1-2 hours per day Approx. 2 hours of study for 1 hour of class = 3-4 hours (or more) per day
Tests Weekly; at end of chapter; frequent quizzes 2-4 tests per semester
Grades Passing grades guarantee you a seat! Satisfactory academic standing is often “C” or above
Teachers Take attendance, may check notebooks, lecture with blackboard notes, impart knowledge and facts Attendance is rarely taken, lectures, may include handouts or computer slides, and stress reasoning abilities
Freedom School time is highly structured, limits are set by parents, teachers, and other adults Freedom of choice! Class schedules will be erratic. No one is telling you where to go at a specific time.
Academic Accommodations School may identify a student who needs support and will provide accommodations or modifications. Waivers are often available. Students must self-identify, provide documentation, and be approved for reasonable accommodations. Policies on waivers are often inflexible.
  • Encourage your parents to attend the optional Parent Orientation and Resource Fair
  • Review the other academic and support resources available to you on campus 
  • Acquire a daily/weekly planner. This can be electronic (such as Google Calendar) or paper, but you want to use one planner consistently. You will need this to keep track of your classes, long-term assignments, and your activities.
  • Check out our study tools videos and workshops to learn important strategies for time management, organization, study habits, test taking, test anxiety, and more.
  • Check out our recommendations for Technology to Enhance Learning: Get comfortable with your computer. Consider looking at software that might help you with your work load.
    • Install Read & Write Gold - This program is FREE to all Villanova students. You will need to use your Villanova login to access. This software has a number of features such as speech-to-text, text-to-speech, and study skills tools, and integrates with familiar applications (i.e. Microsoft Word, Internet Explorer, and Adobe Reader). If you need accessible texts, please refer to our guidelines for how to access texts in an alternate format. It will be a tremendous help in your online class reading and research. You can also explore Read & Write Gold’s website to learn more.
  • If you are taking any medications, make the necessary arrangements with a doctor close to the campus who will be available to monitor medication. You will need to be responsible for taking your medication on schedule so take responsibility for that before leaving for college.
  • New students must first complete the two-step registration process with LSS to receive accommodations. Step 1: Complete the Online Intake Form in ClockWork for Students and submit your documentation; Step 2: Discuss your accommodation needs with an LSS staff member. Please refer to our Documentation Guidelines for information about what qualifies as acceptable documentation. Please note that LSS cannot provide evaluations to students whose documentation is outdated, but we can make suggestions for local resources who conduct evaluations.
  • Once you are registered with LSS and approved for accommodations, log into ClockWork for Students and complete a Request for Accommodations. This will enable you to send your professors a copy of your accommodation letter. Students must complete a Request for Accommodations each semester.
  • After you've sent your professors your accommodation letters, professors and students are expected to discuss the accommodations to make sure all parties are clear on what is needed. LSS staff are available to answer any questions or concerns. Check out the LSS Policies & Procedures to learn more about how to talk to your professors about accommodations. 

Check the list of Frequently Asked Questions and contact us at with any questions or concerns.

Students with physical or sensory disabilities and those with temporary disabilities with questions or concerns about access and accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Services.

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Office of Learning Support Services


Learning Commons in                      Falvey Library, Suite 212


800 Lancaster Avenue                      Villanova, PA 19085






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