We know you’ve worked tirelessly to support your student. We believe that student success comes from a position of partnering with parents, families, faculty, leadership, community members and more. It is and must be intentional because Birds of a Feather must stick together.
Prospective student parent information
You’re almost a college parent, but not quite there yet. Or perhaps college still seems a long way off, but you’re starting to think about it.
Good for you! The best time to start thinking about what it will be like to be a college parent isn’t when the admission letter arrives – or on Move-in Day. The earlier you start, the better.
First year student parent information
The beginning of a college career marks many changes in students and their relationships with family and friends. It can also mean changes in beliefs, values, behaviors, and attitudes. Parents and family members provide a crucial support base for these new experiences. Understanding and adjusting to these changes is an exciting challenge for both students and parents.
What does it mean to be the parent of a college student? Parents play a vital role in the lives of college bound students, and many students still count on their parents to remain a steady and stable source of support and guidance. Parents can serve as mentors and coaches, offering advice and encouragement, while also promoting the independence, autonomy, and responsibility that are necessary for college life.
Additionally Families/Guardians can familiarize themselves with important aspects of the first year experience such as Summer Online Advising and Registration (SOAR), New Raptor Ready Week, Privacy and Notifications and Parent/Guardian Access.
UMR is dedicated to assisting parents, families and students in the process of transitioning to college. By providing information, resources, tools and services, UMR works together with families to empower students to be successful and understand the UMR Summer Online Advising and Registration (SOAR) process.
New Raptor Ready Week is a critical process in the successful transition of new college students. Raptor Welcome is an opportunity for new and returning UMR students to participate in fun events the first few weeks of class. These events range from trips to the Minnesota State Fair, movies and dance parties.
Privacy and notifications: Regents policy, federal law, and state law regulate release of student information to third parties. University policy regulates sharing of information within the University. The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the State of Minnesota Data Practices Act form the backdrop for the University's policies on access to student records.
Parent Access: Students may grant access to one or more parents or guests (PGA) to view select information or make a payment on the student’s account. Some examples for this access is to allow the parent/guest to:
- View the student account and billing statement
- Make a payment
- View grades (via the unofficial transcript)
- View financial aid
- View class schedule
From the increased academic workload to the pressures of making new friends to the new amount of unstructured time, students may experience a great deal of stress or anxiety related to their new responsibilities as a college student. You can help your student prepare for these new responsibilities by discussing expectations ahead of time and by allowing your student to practice these skills before arriving on campus. The more comfortable your student feels about managing these responsibilities, the less stressful they will seem in the fall. In particular, the following are some of the experiences that many students feel are big adjustments when the come to campus:
You can help by making sure your student knows how to operate machines, understand clothing labels and symbols, and separate laundry as needed. Practicing before leaving home is a big help.
You can help by teaching your student to respect a roommate’s personal space, property, and unique differences. You can teach your student how to communicate in personal relationships, how to set ground-rules with a roommate, and how to utilize University Resources and Residential Life staff when necessary.
You can help by allowing your student to make health appointments before coming to college and by instilling in your student a sense of personal responsibility for health-related issues. You can also make sure your student knows their health history and has all of the necessary health insurance information prior to arrival on campus.
Students are required to prove they have health insurance, or purchase it through the University. For information about the health insurance requirement, please contact Student Health Benefits Office (https://shb.umn.edu/)
You can help by providing the opportunity for students to practice using public transportation. Make sure that your student knows how to interpret bus schedules, use a transportation app, arrange for air/bus/train transportation, and utilize shuttle services to the airport (if necessary).
Deciding whether or not to bring a vehicle is a tough decision. Public transit, ride shares with other students and utilizing rides from parents and guardians makes it easy to leave the car at home. UMR offers transit opportunities for students.
You can help by having your student take responsibility for communication with the University. Students should feel comfortable with University resources and seeking assistance from University staff, faculty, and graduate student instructors. Students should know which department to call when problems arise. You can help by resisting the urge to ‘come to the rescue’ by contacting the University departments yourself. Instead, encourage your student to contact the University departments directly. By encouraging students to take responsibility for themselves, parents and family members demonstrate confidence in their students. This confidence empowers students to be self-reliant and independent. The University can feel like a big place; students who don’t know where to go for help or which department to talk to, can reach out to the Student Success and Engagement Center or their Student Success Coach.
Students must only email using their UMR email address, faculty and staff will not reply to outside email addresses. It’s the students responsible to check their UMR email daily.
You can help by establishing a weekly or monthly budget with your student. Teach your student how to plan for regular expenses (monthly bills, personal supplies, groceries), as well as unexpected/infrequent expenses (new clothes, health care expenses, replacing broken/outdated property, etc.). Make sure they know how to balance a checking/debit account before they come to campus. Encourage your student to explore the money management information from the Onestop Office and discuss with them what they learned. The One Stop Counselors are credentialed to assist students with budget planning as well.
You can help by discussing expectations ahead of time. Should your student open credit card accounts? Or should your student use a debit-only system? Students will be bombarded with credit card offers on campus. Teach your student how to accurately compare the credit card offers, how to read the “fine print,” and how to act responsibly when it comes to debt management. Educate your student on the challenges of credit cards and how to avoid their pitfalls. Information about credit card education is available from the Federal Reserve.
You can help by teaching your student how to accurately read billing statements, how to keep organized so that bills are not paid late, and how to resolve problems if bills are inaccurate. Students are responsible for payment by the due date. Students may also assign a parent/guest access to their academic and financial record so their parents can view their student account data and have access to their monthly student account statements.
Health, Wellness and Recreation
A healthy campus evokes a positive sense and nurtures a group identity marked by increased engagement, concern for others and a safe space for vulnerability, collaboration and academic excellence.
Wellbeing is a state where we are flourishing, feel content, and connected to purpose, people and community. In this state, we are peaceful and energized; resilient and safe.
A community of wellbeing is where students, faculty and staff come together to create and foster a collaborative community that supports the continual development of individuals and the community as a whole.
Health, wellness and recreation is an intentional campus wide effort where all are responsible for conducting ongoing dialogue, generating educational opportunities, embracing and advancing diversity and equity and connecting people and resources.
Check out the following categories for more articles that may be helpful to you right now – and then browse the rest of the site and get a head start on the college parent experience. Take your time, bookmark the site and return as you need more information.
UMR offers numerous resources and services to help your student navigate their college experience:
Are you concerned about your Raptor? Please check out these resources designed to support your student:
Tips/Tricks to navigate this time
Parenting a college student can raise many questions and it is helpful and important to know the resources available and who you can contact.
- Who Should I Contact If….
- I have questions about financial aid, tuition or payments
- I am concerned about my student’s mental health
- I have questions about housing
- I have questions about health services
- Health and Wellness-
- Kris Barry, DIrector of Health and Wellbeing
- Health and Wellness-
- My student had accomodations in the past and/or might need accommodations currently:
- I have questions about my students academic schedule:
Together, the UMR community will be responsible for protecting and caring for ourselves and each other through behavioral choices that align with public health guidance. As UMR Raptors, we’re calling this public health endeavor Protect the Nest.
Together with local public health officials, the UMR COVID Care Team will guide any affected student through the process, coordinate necessary support and enact related campus measures. The COVID Care Team works in concert with MDH and Olmsted County Public Health Department. Those public health officials are responsible for interviewing people who test positive for COVID-19 and notifying others in our community who may have been exposed through close contact.
Sign up to receive Birds of a Feather, UMR's quarterly e-newsletter to connect parents and families to on campus happenings. Birds of a Feather E-newsletter sign up form.
- April 2021 Birds of a Feather e-newsletter
- August 2021 Birds of a Feather e-newsletter
- December 2021 Birds of a Feather e-newsletter