Studentstrategy101.com is the blog for a real-life student help program founded by Jeffrey Ludovici, M.A. who specializes in understanding why students don’t succeed in college. He began working with students in 1997, and has had dozens of students meet their goals in terms of reaching graduation, successfully transferring, or even going to graduate school. The unique thing about this website is that it’s based on actual work with students and colleges, and not just on general “advice” that can be found at other sites. Jeff is based in Pittsburgh but has clients across the U.S., and has even had them in other countries. If you would like to write to him please use the contact form.


Help For Bright Students Working Below Their Potential

Even the brightest high school student can encounter problems once they enter college. They high school and college systems can be very different from each other, and some students realize they quickly need to learn new skills to make it in the college arena. Some students may find themselves working below their true potential in college, or they may even fail to meet the requirements of keeping their scholarships or staying in their major. Jeff helps such students understand where they are going wrong and can help to pinpoint weak areas so these bright students can find success.

Help For Failing College Students

A primary goal of Jeff’s program is to help students to reach graduation. 30 years of evidence shows the impact of a college degree on not only one’s future earnings, but also on other areas of later life. College graduation is associated with greater health and social status, and even the likelihood of one being and staying married. Completing a college education has many benefits, but sometimes students can find themselves not just doing poorly in their classes, but outright failing them or being at risk of having to leave their college all together. Jeff helps students and families to understand the reasons why a particular student may be failing classes or earning grades that should have been higher given their past academic record. There are many possible factors for this, and he helps to unravel the mystery of why a specific student may not being doing well in school. While most of his students have regained the 2.0 GPA to stay at their school, some have earned a 3.0 or higher, made the Dean’s list, and have even gone on to graduate school.

Do you have questions for Jeff?  Please use the contact form to reach him.

Getting Re-Started In College

If a student is asked to leave their college they often need help in finding out or deciding what to do next. They can feel lost, drift away from academics, and wind up away from a path that will lead them to a college degree. Jeff offers direct help and support to such students, and can help them to explore their options, plan next steps for getting back on track, and then be there for them as they work to succeed. Every situation is different for students who are suspended or dismissed from their school, and sometimes it can be a full re-entry in to college that a student must undertake. Students may be required to develop a plan of action, problem descriptions, personal statements, or meet other requirements to be given a chance for re-admission in to the four-year system after such problems.

Academic Coaching & Ongoing Class Support

Students who are actively attending classes often need the support to help them succeed, and very often the problems their academic problems will only show up while they are in a class. They may get stuck on writing, planning projects, or they may not track when their exams are or when papers are due. Jeff works with students during the college semester or quarter to help them do their best in their classes, and as a former 4.0 student himself, he teaches them the skills to succeed. He also uses research-based methods to teach learning skills, studying, improving retention, organization, and other critical skills needed to be an effective student.

Academic Problem Identification

Beginning in 2015, Jeff began to create tools (see the resources page) to help students identify the problems that they were having in college. In many instances students would tell him that they were having problems, but they could not identify exactly why they were having them. Based on the wealth of information gathered from working with students for many years, he created a series of assessments to help students and parents to quickly identify many common problems that can lead to poor grades or even academic failure. These tools are in the public domain and are available to students, parents, tutors, colleges, and others.

Exploring College Majors

Choosing a college major can be one of the most important aspects of higher education for students, and a choice of major is often associated with later earnings and the career a student will have. But not all colleges and majors are identical in the requirements that a student must meet in order to earn the degree. For the exact same major there are some colleges that set very high standards, often requiring three levels of supporting classes, while others may set much easier requirements for the same degree. Other colleges have a universal language requirement that all students must meet, even for science or engineering majors. Since choosing a major means deciding on an academic pathway that a student must succeed in, Jeff helps his students to carefully examine and compare majors both within a given college and across colleges for the same major.

Transferring Colleges

Many students start at one college then decide that it is not the right place for them. It may be too large, too small, or may not have the right feel of a school that they would like to be at. But transferring can get complex in some situations, especially if a student has had some bad grades or if they were in a specialized program. Jeff works with students to facilitate the transfer process and helps students to identify possible transfer schools, examine prospective majors, and come up with strategies to make them a more viable candidate to transfer to a school or program of their choice. In most cases he can also act as an interim transfer advisor to give students a general idea of what colleges will be looking for, and he can make recommendations about what courses to take that have the best chance of transferring to a new school.

General College Planning And Research

Whether it’s a new student to the higher education system, or one that wishes to change schools or continue their education, Jeff can help them to understand what choices and pathways that they can take. There are more than 1,500 traditional four-year colleges in the U.S., and when you count two-year and specialty schools, there are literally thousands to choose from. Understanding their size, type, programs, competition for entry, and other aspects can be key to finding schools and programs that are not only a good match for students but ones that give them the best chance of success. With the U.S. now ranking only 19th out of 30 developed nations in producing college graduates, planning for college has never been more important.

Transitional Support

A transition in to the college system, or a new one, is a high risk time for any student. This is when students establish a GPA, and if it doesn’t go well their first year, a low GPA can be an anchor around their neck that is almost impossible to raise. Jeff support freshmen students who are new to the college environment in order to help them succeed. Freshman can have many problems, especially at large colleges, and when they do they may face probation or worse by the end of the year. Jeff also supports students who matriculate to a new school, which also requires that student begin a new GPA. This represents an opportunity for a strong start, but without help they may not be successful in that.

Post-Graduate Planning

Students are successful in the undergraduate system often want to continue their education to the graduate level, and Jeff has helped many students find and prepare for professional schools in the fields of law, medicine, business, and others. Some graduate programs can afford a relatively short timeframe between undergraduate work and admission to a professional school, but others can take time to prepare. Students often need to plan out experiential hours that are required for their application, take exams like the GRE or MCAT, as well as meet additional course requirements to be considered for admission.

Consulting With Parents

Jeff works with parents as part of his work with students, but can also consult on a parent-only basis. This has proven useful for parents who are undertaking their student’s college planning and application efforts on their own. This kind of consultation has also been beneficial for parents who are trying to plan for a child with exceptional needs, and finding the right program for a student with certain strengths and weaknesses can be a key factor for doing well in their later college setting.

Consulting With Colleges

Colleges are a key avenue to help students, and poor academic progress does not benefit anyone. Jeff consults with colleges every year to help them to better define the needs of their students, plan supportive programs to enhance academic outcomes, and has designed intervention tools for colleges to use in their own efforts to pinpoint student problems. He also has completed publications, guides, and other self-help materials that colleges can use with their students, as well as problem identification assessments that can help when students need it most.

Specialized Services

Jeff offers several specialized services, such as college planning for students with intellectual or learning challenges, requesting accommodations, and intervention for when such students do poorly in their college studies. He has also been part of successful retroactive medical withdrawals for students who attended a variety of colleges and knows the intricacies of that process. Sometime students need to participate in college in a non-traditional way, and Jeff has also helped students with online, self-study, and other kinds of college programs.

All services are provided are private and confidential, and there are no contracts or commitments. All student and family identities are kept confidential, and in accordance with federal FERPA student privacy standards.