For many parents, sending their child off to college can be a disconcerting leap. After years spent helping with homework, attending parent-teacher conferences, and catching up after school, college life represents a world of unknowns. What really happens during that transitional first year of college? And what can parents do to strike the right balance between providing support and fostering independence?With Off to College, Roger H. Martin helps parents understand this important period of transition by providing the perfect tour of the first year on today's campus. Martin, a twenty-year college president and former Harvard dean, spent a year visiting five very different colleges and universities across the United States-public and private, large and small, elite and non-elite-to get an insider's view of modern college life. He observes an advising session as a student sorts out her schedule, unravels the mysteries of roommate assignments with a residence life director, and patrols campus with a safety officer on a rowdy Saturday night. He gets pointers in freshman English and tips on athletics and physical fitness from coaches. He talks with financial aid officers and health service providers. And he listens to the voices of the first-year students themselves. Martin packs Off to College with the insights and advice he gained and bolsters them with data from a wide variety of sources to deliver a unique and personal view of the current student experience.The first year is not just the beginning of a student's college education but also the first big step in becoming an adult. Off to College will help parents understand what to expect whether they're new to the college experience or reconciling modern campus life with memories of their own college days.