- Ensure all admissions, registration, financial aid, and bursar requirements are correct and complete. Due to FERPA regulations, the University cannot share personal information about
their student i.e. grades, financial aid, or account balances. Therefore, we suggest
that you work with your student to guide them through these processes. Doing so allows
your student to take control of their college experience, help them gain independence,
while also taking unneeded stress and pressure off of you.
- Mark calendars to attend parent orientation sessions. Attending parent orientation will provide you with valuable information to assist
your student and give you a glimpse of what your students will experience as a college
- Finalize student living arrangements and packing list. The packing/moving-in process can be very hectic and emotional. Review residence hall guidelines on check-in procedures, and work with your student to purchase and pack
belongings that are both necessary and make the students feel comfortable away from
home. Doing so will reduce anxiety levels for you and your student.
- Enjoy time with your student. As students enter college and become more involved, time spent with family may decrease.
During the summer before college, plan time for you and your student to spend time
together. Throughout the semester plan trips to visit. Students often welcome the
familiarity of parents and family as they get acclimated to a new environment. During
breaks set aside time to connect with your student to see how they are doing, and
they can do the same for you.
- Maintain communication. Use social media, phone calls, text messages, letters, and care packages to show
your support and stay up-to-date with your student. It is important for you to understand
that not all phone calls or messages may be returned. Students often become involved
with class and extracurricular activities and forget to return calls. It may be a
good idea to set a specific time up with your student that you can talk every week.
- Help your student become aware of safety on and off campus. Sending your student off to college can be a scary experience. Therefore, the more
you and your student are informed about the University’s safety guidelines; it will make this experience less stressful for both of you. You and your student
should be aware of safety issues and precautions on and off campus. Use this tip
to discuss the responsibilities that come along with gaining independence. In addition,
we strongly encourage you and your student to sign up for Tiger Text to stay informed of any inclement weather or safety concerns.
- Listen to/Encourage student. Your student may call you feeling overwhelmed or expressing frustrations with certain
issues on campus. Use this as an opportunity to encourage and empower you student.
Although you may feel the need to resolve a situation for your student, guide them
in the direction of reaching out to someone on campus, which shows them how to effectively
use campus resources. When students call, they may simply want someone to listen
and show them support, not try to work out the issue for them.
- Instill Financial Responsibility. The decision to attend college is a significant investment, especially financially.
Teaching your student to manage funds appropriately goes a long way in making life
during and after college more manageable and enjoyable. We strongly suggest that
you help you student develop necessary skills in financial responsibility such as
balancing/managing their bank accounts, understanding each aspect of the student loan
process, and responsible credit card use.
- Get Involved. Although many view college as a time for parents to take-it-easy, there are numerous
opportunities to get involved and stay connected to your student. Utilize the resources
offered by Parent Services such as monthly e-newsletters, parent chats, and other activities. Also, consider
contributing to your student’s University foundation (we know that you already pay
for tuition, but donations go a long way in providing more opportunities for your
student and you. We even have a Parent Fund you can donate to.) Also, stay up-to-date with the happenings at the University
by visiting the website regularly, attending on campus events, and reaching out to
other parents. Getting involved is the best way to stay connected and “in the know”
with your child and other parents who are going through this experience.
- Don’t believe the hype. Many parents hear horror stories about their student’s first-year in college; however,
do not let this deter you. The first-year is a new learning experience for you and
your student. You both have control to make it a great memorable moment or an “I
wish I could forget it” nightmare. The key to making it a success lies in proper
preparation, attitude and motivation, and of course staying informed. Remember, every
stakeholder in this process wants your student to be successful and to see a proud
happy parent. Therefore, we must all work together to achieve this goal.
Although these tips are not fully inclusive of everything you will experience in your
student’s first year, they will help you and your student have a smooth transition
into college life.
Parent & Family Services
235 Administration Building