Parent/family resources

College: It’s a new world... sort of...

Welcome to SUNY Oswego! While your student has, as they would likely say, “already been through all of this”, not every institution is the same and certainly, there are differences between the community college and the four-year institution. College, in general, presents new opportunities for students to make their own decisions and become independent adults. SUNY Oswego encourages these growth opportunities and supports that transition. Changes of this magnitude are bound to evoke mixed emotions in both students and parents. The excitement of a “new” beginning may sometimes be accompanied on a student’s part by fears of failure. Some students may have the opposite problem and not be worried AT ALL about their new transition and this can create a new set of challenges. And as a parent, you wonder how your relationship will change. We encourage you to allow your student to use this time to develop skills for transitioning into adulthood.

As a parent, you have been heavily invested in your student’s academic, personal, and social development. You have been encouraged by school systems to be an active participant in your child’s education by participating in PTA, attending parent-teacher conferences, and checking grades on the website.

You may be tempted to continue this level of involvement during your student’s time at SUNY Oswego. After all, no one else knows so much about their children than parents. Research has shown, however, that when parents continue to make decisions or manage students’ responsibilities for them, maturation may be delayed. Your student may make decisions you do not expect and may not always share as much as in the past. It will be important for them to struggle with choices, knowing that you as a parent will always be there for consultation and support when they face difficult decisions and life’s inevitable disappointments. Students who are trusted by their parents have more self-confidence. They will always need their parents!

College services and resources

Because we expect students to work through academic challenges with the faculty and staff at the college rather than relying on you to intervene, the college offers services and resources designed to help students develop skills. Research shows that when students are involved in their college both academically and socially, they are more likely to succeed. Students should meet with their academic advisor regularly, attend Transfer Student Orientation, and make use of the peer mentor that they have been provided. They should avail themselves of academic advising every semester; they should meet with their instructors regularly and seek tutoring if they need it; they should read the SUNY Oswego website to learn about activities, clubs, and organizations; they should seek career counseling for major/career-related issues; they should use the Student Handbook to help with time management and stay abreast of activities and events; they should review the College Calendar and note important dates. Above all, they need to manage the college experience on their own, as much as possible, one step at a time.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, sometimes known as the Buckley Amendment, protects the privacy of student records. Because of this law, SUNY Oswego faculty and staff will not disclose grades or attendance with parents unless the student specifically allows this. Students may obtain the form, Permission to Release Educational Records Information, in the Registrar's Office. SUNY Oswego encourages parents to discuss this important issue with their students and to trust their students to succeed on their own.

Frequently asked questions...

Is parking free? Parking charges vary. Check out our parking website.

What kind of computer should my student have? There are computers on campus for student use but more information can be found with Campus Technology Services.

How many credits should my student take each semester? A standard college "load" is 15 credits, but that may be adjusted to fit individual student needs. For more information on academic planning, contact an academic advisor.

Can my student work and be successful? Many students must maintain jobs to continue their education. Full-time status requires at least 12 billable hours. Each credit taken usually requires two hours of work outside of class to achieve good grades. Ergo, a student taking 15 credits is already committed to 45 hours (15 hours in class and 30 hours outside of class) of academic work per week. Studies show that working more than 20 hours per week significantly impacts grades.

How can my student become involved in college life? SUNY Oswego offers students many opportunities for participation in clubs and activities and service on committees and boards. Contact Student Engagement and Leadership for more information.

Does SUNY Oswego offer sports? SUNY Oswego offers a variety of intramural and club sports as well as NCAA sports. For more information, you can contact Intramurals and Recreation or Athletics

How does my student get an identification card? When a student attends an Orientation program, they will have their photo taken and an ID created which they will pick up later in the Orientation program.

Does Oswego offer health insurance to students? Yes, the college offers a basic accident and sickness insurance policy for students. The cost is $700 per semester. The fee will appear on each full-time undergraduate and graduate student’s tuition bill. Part-time students are eligible to purchase the insurance also by contacting the Student Accounts Office in 507 Culkin Hall. Students who have insurance through a parent, spouse, employment or any other source must fill out a waiver that is sent with the tuition bill or is available from Student Accounts to have the fee removed from their bill. 

What if my student needs help with study skills? Shifting from high school to college demands may be an adjustment for some students. The Office of Learning Services offers free tutoring and workshops on time management, note-taking, and other skills.

How can I find out if my student is attending class? We suggest having a conversation with your student. SUNY Oswego is bound by privacy laws (see FERPA, above) not to discuss grades or attendance with anyone but the student.

What kind of career help is available? Students who are struggling to find appropriate goals (that’s everyone!) may take advantage of the resources that Career Services has to offer. Through several major and career exploration tools and resources, your student can help define their path and make progress towards that ever-elusive first job.

Additional resources:
Top Tips To Transfer