Tips for Parents

College parents, here’s what your student needs to bring to freshman orientation

Freshman Orientation is an important step for both students and parents as college draws near. As you prepare to attend orientation with your student, don’t forget to bring these important items (and expectations):

  • Paperwork: Check the university website for specific paperwork you need to bring, like the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), scholarship report forms, official transcripts and previous college credit. They should have the high school and college credit information already, and you may have financial aid sessions to attend, where you can learn more about FAFSA and scholarships.
  • License plate and driver’s license: If your student plans on buying a parking decal to park on campus, many universities need to register the car license plate and driver’s license number at orientation.
  • No. 2 pencils: Be prepared for your student to take placement exams during orientation, which will determine for which classes he/she should register. Also, students should bring a calculator for math placement tests.
  • Registration priorities: Before attending orientation, sit down with your student to go over the university’s courses. Incoming freshmen should concentrate on taking core classes before registering for major-specific classes. Bring a list of top registration choices to orientation, where your student will probably take part in an advising and registration process.
  • Overnight items: Most orientations are two days. Students should stay on-campus in residence halls during their orientation, away from parents. Make sure to give your student space and freedom to make friends and experience a taste of college life.
  • Questions: Bring a list of any specific questions you have about the school as well as buildings/departments/dorms your student wants to see. Be sure to attend parent forums and Q&A sessions to voice your concerns and get answers. If you are visiting from out of state, ask a long-time resident about typical weather, the most convenient pharmacy and grocery store, and anything else that will help a new place feel like home.
  • Spending money: After orientation, your student is that much closer to attending college. Show support and take pride in the school by purchasing a university T-shirt or bumper sticker. This is an exciting time, and going to college is something to be proud of!
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