The challenges that gifted and talented students face when they enter college can be either or both academic and social. Academic challenges occur less often than social challenges because the majority of gifted students have high intelligence quotients and have great motivation to perform well in the classroom. But there have been gifted students that fall behind because of academic challenges that they could not overcome.
One typical situation is when the gifted student never faced a real academic challenge during elementary and high school. Every subject has been easy that the student may not have developed study skills. When this student enters the more exacting and rigorous demands of college, he or she does not have the study skills nor the study habits that can be used to tackle difficult college subjects. As a result, the student would either choose an easier course or quit school.
The development of study skills and habits is not a problem for gifted and talented students who are enrolled in special schools. But they do face social problems when they enter college. The majority of the social problems is related to age. These brilliant students are usually two or more years younger than their college peers, making it difficult for the gifted students to interact socially, much less fit in.
And finally, there are socially adept gifted students who are not only brilliant academically but are also active leaders in various school organizations. After classes, they are involved in a whirlwind of extracurricular activities in which their parents or guardians would chauffeur them from one event to another. Unfortunately, this network of support from family members is unlikely available in college. The gifted student has to take time to cook or get meals, do the laundry, and make the dorm room decent.