Tips for Parents

What Questions Should You Ask at Move-In?

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UniversityParent Staff

Your son or daughter has been accepted to his or her dream school. You have gleefully toured the college campus and seen their new home away from home. Perhaps you have even started packing for the big day.

As the days go by and you get ready to send your first child off to college, you need to step back and think about the questions you will want to ask during the move in process. Moving day can be a stressful time. Between making sure you have everything you need and the stress of saying goodbye, this is bound to be an emotional time. Writing your list of questions ahead of time will give you one less thing to worry about when the big day arrives.

The exact questions you will need to ask may vary from school to school, but there are some basic things every parent will want to know. 

But before you even leave the house, make sure your student brings everything they need with them. Don’t miss a thing with our ultimate college packing lists. 

What is Your Emergency Alert Policy?
Safety is an important part of life on the college campus, and parents need to be sure they understand the emergency procedures the school has put in place. Most college campuses have some sort of emergency alert system in place to notify both students and parents when there is an imminent threat.

Be sure to ask the college officials about this system during the move-in process. Make sure the college or university has your full contact information, including land-line phones, cell phones and email addresses. You may need to complete some paperwork and give the college permission to contact you as part of the emergency alert system.

Do You Have all of My Loan and Scholarship Information?
You should have submitted all your financial information well in advance of move-in day, but it never hurts to make sure the college officials have everything they need. Before you leave the campus, be sure to ask the admissions and financial aid office if they have everything they need.

If you are missing any paperwork, be sure to get a list of all the required documents, as well as complete information on how to submit those missing forms. Then follow up with the college to make sure they have everything they need. Most importantly, understand how tuition is going to be paid and how you might save money in the process.

What Classes Should My Student Select?
First year students have lots of support when registering for classes for the first time. Although they have some freedom to choose classes, ask your student about their interests and help them to choose classes that might support those interests. If you’re uncertain about what classes are offered that will support your student’s interests, have your student contact their academic advisor. Be sure to have your student ask what classes help them complete their major and which classes qualify as electives.

Most schools will not allow parents to access their students class schedules directly. Talk to your student about the classes they’ve chosen and have a conversation about what they’re learning supports their interests.

When Is Parents Weekend?
It is not too early to start planning for your school’s parent or family weekend – the time of year when all family members visit the school to catch up with their children and see how they are doing at school. Be sure to ask about parents’ weekend before you leave the campus for the first time – it will give you more time to plan, line up hotel rooms and get time off of work.

Keep in mind that area hotels may fill up quickly for parents’ weekend, especially if the school is in a small town. That means you may need to book your stay months in advance or risk ending up in a hotel many miles away.

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