Students performing at a lower level academically despite intellectual capability may be struggling with academic underachievement. While it is common for students to allow work to take lower priority at times, prolonged poor performance could be symptomatic of academic underachievement.

Symptoms of Academic Underachievement

• incomplete work
• forgetfulness, especially regarding assignments
• apathy
• disorganization
• poor grades


Underachievement could arise due to intellectual deficits, behavioral obstacles such as ADHD, or other psychological barriers. Academic issues could also be caused by interruptions in family life, such as moving, feelings of uncertainty at school or home, or feeling overwhelmed by expectation. Socialization becomes more important than schoolwork and behaviors may start appearing delinquent, due to a need to connect or find stability outside of home.


Counseling can help recognize the root of underachievement, whether it is cognitive impairment or incompatible educational environment. A therapist can provide guidance to help the student with self-regulation and motivation. Therapy for academic underachievement will empower the student, allowing the student to decide if academic success is a goal to be met.

We Can Help

Open Path’s therapists offer beneficial services that encourage insight, self-reflection, and healthy coping mechanisms. Our therapists furnish a supportive environment, allowing clients to reach resolutions, change counterproductive habits, and help with possibly disruptive family dynamics.

Interested in seeing one of our therapists for an affordable rate? Start your search here.