Asked and Answered:
Tips for Navigating the College Transition as a Family
How can my family stay
informed while I’m
at Penn State?
Don’t worry, your parents and family members are in good
hands. The Penn State Parents Program is here to help
them help you succeed at Penn State. Encourage your family
members to sign up for the Parent & Family Experience
portal, visit parents.psu.edu, and read the Parents & Families
Guide (available at New Student Orientation and online) to
ensure that they get important information about Penn State.
My family is freaking out
about me leaving for college.
What should I do?
The transition to college affects the entire family from you,
to your siblings, grandparents, friends, and more. Not only
are you probably excited and nervous for the change, but
your family and friends are feeling much the same way
about you leaving home. Talk about some ways to spend
time together before your leave.
What should I do if
my family is calling all
of the time?
Choose a time each week to talk with your family and friends
back home. Families will worry and be curious about what’s
going on in your life. Let them know about the new and exciting
things happening, but don’t be afraid to also share your
Do I have to
share my grades?
The short answer is “no.” When you enter college, the Family
Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) transfers the
ownership of your student records from your family to you. So,
they are your records to share (or not). It’s different for every
family, so we recommend having a conversation about what
academic and financial information you are willing to share.
Do I need to share
my access account
No, never. In order for your family to view your student
information you will need to “delegate access” to them in
LionPATH. You should never share your password or account
credentials with anyone, even with someone who loves you.
(Find more information on page 20.)
That’s awesome. Make sure you thank them. You will
need to grant them access to view your LionPATH student
information. (Find more information on page 20.)
My family is paying
my tuition bill. How
does that work?
What if I’m unhappy
It’s normal to feel unhappy or homesick when you transition
to college. Know that your family and friends want you to
succeed. Let them know what you need – maybe it’s more
or less frequent communication or a care package with your
favorite cookies. Still unhappy? Try visiting the Center for
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) in the Student
Heath Center. (Find more information on page 32.)
Can my family visit
me at Penn State?
Absolutely. The best time to invite your family and friends to
visit is during Parents & Families Weekend, October 13-15,
2017. Have them make hotel reservations early...like now!
What can I do to help
my family not worry
about me? Promise to make good choices,
and then actually make those
Penn State Parents Program