This NY Times article indicates that ego protection and lowered expectations are the reason some college students protect their failures through a behavior called self-handicapping. Using and creating excuses for poor academic performance allows students to plan for and evade success. If unchallenged, self-handicapping behaviors frequently carry over into the workplace, stereotyping individuals early in their careers. This is a great reference for students needing to take responsibility in their college education. Read more at The Student Affairs Blog.