The importance of orientation

The importance of orientation

En Español

All new college students participate in orientation, either online or on campus. At orientation, your student learns how everything at the university works and what they need to do to get their college career started, including setting up their online student account (if they haven’t already), academic advising and course registration, codes of conduct, and more.

Many schools also offer a guest orientation for parents, families and other supporters. They are eager to welcome you to campus and help you learn your way around.

During orientation, you will meet many people who work at the university — it is a good opportunity to ask questions. You will also meet other parents and families whose sons and daughters will be your student’s classmates.

Topics covered at orientation will include:

  • How students sign up for classes and what they need to do to graduate on time
  • How to pay tuition and how financial aid works
  • Residential and dining options on campus, plus clubs and organizations your student may want to join
  • Campus safety
  • Health, career and academic support resources available to your student
Family support is important as students adjust to their new lives in college. Try to attend orientation if you are able!


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  • Great article. It reminded me to ask my high school senior about which of her preferred colleges have reached out about a regional event. We attended an event like this with our older daughter who was attending school far from home and it was very valuable.