Do colleges keep parents informed of their child's academic progress?
College students are young adults. Most students are also over the age of 18, which means they are "legally" adults who assume full responsibility for their own lives, including their educations. It's up to students whether or not they share their academic progress with their families. Colleges don't send grades to parents or otherwise keep parents apprised of their student's educational progress, even if the parents are financing or contributing to the cost of that education.
This can make parents uncomfortable. How can they be sure their student is doing well? What if he is flunking out? What if she dropped most of her classes, joined the circus, and is keeping it a secret?
There are definitely scary stories out there about parents who believed their kid was doing perfectly well in college until she came home at the end of term and finally admitted that she had been placed on academic probation or had already been kicked out of school. For better or worse, it's up to the kid to decide what and how much he tells his family about his academic progress. The good news is that, even in the worst academic probation or dismissal cases, there are still ways for kids to complete a college education. It's never the end of the world.
Parents who want to know how their student is doing in college should ask him or her. They'll get more honest, valuable information if they've established a supportive and trusting relationship with their student when it comes to academic matters. Kids don't want to disappoint their parents, and if things are rough, they might not let mom and dad know right away. But they're more likely to do so before the situation becomes dire if they know their parents will ultimately be supportive and will try to help them resolve academic challenges in a constructive way that is satisfactory to everyone involved.