New Student & Transition Programs and New Student Orientation are excited to welcome your family to the Elon University family! Our office would like to acknowledge the important role you will play in your student’s successful transition to Elon. Transitions are always challenging, whether your student is coming to Elon from high school, another college, or the workplace; here at Elon, we strive to provide students and families with the support they need to make a smooth transition.
On this page, you can find helpful resources for parents and family members about the Orientation schedule, programs for younger siblings, frequently asked questions, and important conversations. For information about where to stay, where to eat, and where to shop, check out this Guide to the Elon-Burlington Community.
We look forward to meeting you on Move-In Day!
At Elon, we eagerly welcome the families of our students into the community and look forward to sharing in your student’s successes. However, we acknowledge that gaining independence in college is an important part of the transition process for all students. It can be challenging for families to balance supporting their student with empowering them to make their own decisions and choices. Elon faculty and staff strive to challenge students to rise to meet their academic, professional, and personal goals and call upon families to support that mission as well.
Move-In Day is Friday, August 26th 2016. Arrival times vary based on your student’s Residence Hall assignment. Students living on the first floor of their Residence Hall will check in at 8:00am in their Residential Neighborhood. Second floor residents check in at 9:30am, and third and fourth floor residents check in at 10:30am. Students will receive their housing assignments in July, so that is when you will be able to plan for your arrival time based on this schedule.
Family Orientation is separate from New Student Orientation as families and students have different needs and questions about the college transition. While your student is meeting with their peer Orientation Leader, parents will attend sessions with faculty, staff, and administrators who can attend to the needs of parents and families. Family events are also an opportunity for you to meet other families from your city or state so you can stay involved in the Elon community even back at home! There are several events which families and students attend together, such as New Student Convocation on Saturday morning and the Farewell Picnic on Saturday afternoon.
The opportunity to meet with your student’s academic advisor is an important event that occurs during Orientation weekend. Your student’s academic advisor will also be their Elon 101 instructor, so this individual will be working regularly with your student throughout the Fall semester to construct their four-year plan, register for Winter and Spring courses, and consider which of the five Elon Experiences they want to strive for.
We believe it is important for all members of the family, even younger siblings, to get involved in the Elon community and to support the student attending Elon. On Saturday morning we offer a Sibling Orientation program for children ages 4-12. This program offers younger siblings a chance to learn about where their sibling will be living and learning for the next few years and to get excited about being a part of the Elon community!
Registration is required for Sibling Orientation, so be on the lookout communication from Orientation over the summer with information about registering your child for this program.
Our Farewell Picnic on Saturday afternoon from 12:30-2:00pm is the perfect opportunity to spend time with your student prior to departure. You’ll also be likely meet some of your student’s new friends they’ve made in just one day! After 2:00, there is no more programming for parents and families.
If your student is an athlete, a member of a Living-Learning Community, or another cohorted group on campus they may have moved at some point earlier in the summer. Despite being in that specific cohort, they will also be placed into an Orientation group for the weekend. All parents and families are invited to attend New Student Convocation, meetings with the academic advisors, and the farewell picnic, so if it is feasible for you to return for those events on Saturday, you are welcome to do so. If you cannot make another trip, we understand! Your student will be in good hands with the Orientation staff.
Acknowledging that the college transition creates many changes among families, it is important to discuss certain topics that will impact your student and your family prior to Move-In. It is important that you and your student talk about goals and expectations that you both agree on and buy into—the transition will be smoother if everyone is on the same page.
Elon’s administration and faculty do not release grades to anyone other than the individual student per the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Ultimately, your student will have the choice to share grades with you.
• What is a goal GPA you and your student find appropriate? (Keep in mind your student may not be able to anticipate the change between high school and college-level coursework)
• How many credit hours will be taken each semester?
• What are the consequences to not meeting academic expectations?
Travel and Breaks
There are several academic breaks throughout the year (Fall Break, Winter Break, Fake Break, and Spring Break). Work with your student to plan their travel for breaks.
• Are there family events on the calendar your student will need to be home for?
• Does your student want to participate in Elon programming over a break, like an Alternative Break or Recruitment?
• What will happen to your student’s room while they are gone?
• Will your student have a car, use public transportation, carpool, or get picked up for breaks?
Managing money independently is a big transition for many students, so talking about financial expectations is essential.
• How will tuition be paid? Will your student be expected contribute? Will they have loans to pay when they graduate?
• Will your student have an allowance? Will they get a job on or off campus?
• Will they have Food Dollars or Phoenix Cash on their Phoenix Card? Will they have a debit account linked to their Phoenix Card?
The social aspect of college, especially on a residential campus like Elon’s, can be one of the most enjoyable, but difficult aspects of college for a student to manage. Your student will have relative social freedom, share living space with new people, and develop new interests. Encourage your student to communicate with their roommate honestly about their expectations for their living space regarding cleanliness, study schedules, and guests/visitors.
Elon University Guides, the new smartphone app used for major campus events, is a helpful tool for families as well as students. It includes a full family schedule. Some of the additional features include: customizable schedules and to-do list, an interactive campus map, information about on-campus resources, driving directions, social media, and more. Users can also receive push notifications on their smartphones, which will help you know of any last-minute changes (like a rain plan, for example).