Students who are planning on starting college this fall will have a chance at some point over the summer to attend their college orientation, also called new student orientation.
Orientation is an important beginning to your child’s college years, and it’s also important for parents. There’s a lot to learn at college orientation, so it’s important to attend, pay attention and ask all those questions that have been on your mind.
What Students Will Learn at College Orientation
College orientation will vary from school to school. At some schools orientation lasts a day or two, at other schools orientation may last a week. Below are a few things your student can expect to learn or happen at orientation:
- There will probably be a campus tour and a chance to meet RAs or Resident Advisors
- Your child may have her picture taken for her Student ID
- Students may learn about college classes and have the opportunity to sign up for them at orientation
- Many schools conduct games and “get to know you” activities so that students can meet other freshmen
- Students may eat at the college cafeteria
What Parents Will Learn at College Orientation
Parents should also attend orientation if they're asked to because it’s a great time to get all of your questions answered. Some colleges want parents to attend orientation, other schools don't and see orientation as a way for the students to "break" from their parents and go it alone. Find out what your child's school prefers, and then follow through. If you do attend orientation, you'll likely learn:
- A little more about financial aid
- How the campus health center works and how campus safety works
- There may be lectures on how to help your child transition to college, and overcome homesickness
- School rules and student responsibilities will also be shared with parents
Ian Welham helps students find the perfect fit college, and helps parents learn how to pay for it. You can find him at Complete College Planning Solutions, on Facebook and on Twitter.