How Parents and Families Can Help

College is an opportunity for your student to begin making decisions on their own. It is critical for them to take responsibility for their choices of classes, schedules, and majors. They are the ones who must take the courses, do the work and get the grades. Still, there are many ways for parents and families to support their student's college journey.

Communicate with your student

  • Maintain open communication about grades and academic progress. Many instructors will send mid-semester reports to students who are doing below "C" work. These reports are issued in late October and late March.
  • Support your student's efforts to be academically successful.
  • Celebrate your student's victories, and encourage them to seek out help when difficulties arise.
  • Encourage your student to get involved in student organizations — this provides another connection to the University and helps develop career-related skills.

Trust the advisers

Penn State advisers are expert resources for your student to use as they make these important decisions. Encourage your student to establish a good relationship with their adviser. That adviser will be a reliable source of information — someone your student can go to with any question or problem.

Although it may seem helpful, please refrain from selecting a major for your student. Instead, help your student focus on their own abilities and interests and the career doors they open. We will be there to help them make good decisions. We have had years of experience working with academic decision-making. Please trust us to support your student through this process — we have their best interests and their success at the core of our philosophy.