Parents & Families

We understand this is a transition for the entire family, and we have created programs tailored just for you.

Welcome to the Rensselaer family! We know how important the role of parents and family members can be in the success of our students – your involvement can be crucial. As a result, we’ve created a parent and family orientation program to best serve your needs. We hope you will able to join us!

For the families of transfer students - more information is available on the Transfer Student link above.

Frequently asked questions

Is my student required to stay on campus overnight?

Yes – it is considered part of the program. This includes local commuter students

Are parents required to attend Parent and Family Orientation?

Parents are not required to attend Orientation; however, we strongly encourage you attend as there will be a wealth of information shared with you.  You will hear from many departments on campus including the Health and Counseling Center, Hospitality Services, Student Living and Learning, Financial Aid and the Registrar’s Office.  You will have a chance to hear from your student’s academic department and meet and greet several staff and faculty members from around campus.  Student Orientation will begin at 9am with check-in on day one and conclude at approximately noon on day two.

Are parents required to stay on campus?

No – it is an available option however. Generally local hotels are willing to offer discounted rates as well. Information is posted on the family lodging page.

How long should I stay in the area?  When do I leave?

Both Troy, NY and the neighboring Capital District offer a wide array of activities and tourist sites. Since you’ve come this far we welcome you to enjoy your time in the area! Whether you decide to explore downtown Troy or venture out into the surrounding area all we ask is that you say goodbye to your student after the Closing Session since their adventure is just beginning. We would love to see you with your student again during Family Weekend which will include a variety of campus and community events for the whole family. Stay tuned for more information about Family Weekend 2017 in the coming months!

Will I be able to see my student during their SO session?

The student and parent sessions are completely separate; there will not be an opportunity for you to get together until the program has ended. Please identify a location (usually the Closing Session works well) to meet your student on the second day after the program has ended – this will be around noon. If there is an urgent need to get a message to your student, please speak with any of the SO staff members.

Can the entire family attend?

Although all family members are welcome, we ask that you please consider carefully your choice to bring very young siblings as a separate sibling program is not offered.

How will my student know what to register for?

Students will meet with an academic advisor from their department or school during their SO session. This person will help to review the general first semester courses for students in their major, as well as how AP, IB, or transfer credits may be included. If a student had their AP scores sent to Rensselaer, details on credits received will be included in their check-in packet when they arrive on campus for their SO session.

Additionally, staff from the Registrar’s office and the various schools across campus will be available as resources during the lunch block for students. Staff will also be in place in the registration rooms to assist if needed.

Students will receive a full fall schedule that will count towards graduation. These may not always be their first choice classes, but will be classes that are needed for their degree.