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Parent and Family Engagement

Frequently Asked Questions

Commonly Asked Questions by Parents

What is orientation? And does my student have to attend?                                                                              

Orientation at Seattle University is a multi-phased process. First year students are expected to attend both a "Summer in Seattle" two-day session in July and our "Welcome Week", held immediately prior to the start of Fall Quarter. Both of these programs provide students with information and resources they need to be successful at SU. A concurrent family program is offered during our first year student summer orientation sessions. New transfer students have an orientation program as well.   More information is available on the Center for Orientation and Transitions Program page.

Will my student be safe at Seattle U?                                                                                                                                                  

Seattle University's Public Safety Office is open 24-hours a day and provides multiple services to ensure the safety of students. There are emergency poles located throughout campus and with a touch of a button Public Safety is alerted. They are able to respond in under two minutes. They also offer Safety Escort Services no matter the time, day or night. An evening shuttle known as the "Nighthawk," is also available. For more information go to www.seattleu.edu/safety.

Does my student need a car on campus?                                                                                                                                                 

Parking is limited at an urban campus, so first year residential students are required to leave their cars at home. King County Metro provides excellent transit services all around the area. Students find it much easier to take Metro or just walk to places rather than worrying about their cars. The Campus Assistance Center (located on the 1st floor of the Student Center) offers a bus-pass service as well. Students leave their Campus Card (student ID card) or their license and are given a bus-pass for free use in a 24-hour period. If you are a commuter student and need to bring your car to campus and would like information about parking permits please link to the Transportation website.

Are there things for my student to do on the weekends?                                                                                                                       

Our Student Events and Activities Council (SEAC), the Residence Hall Association (RHA), and student clubs sponsor a wide variety of activities. In addition, being in the heart of Seattle provides easy access to plays, concerts, sports, shopping in downtown, and multiple museums which offer student discounts. Plus, there is always homework!

When are school breaks?  What are other important dates?                                                                                                                

The Registrar’s Office keeps a full list of all important dates from school breaks, to exam schedules, to tuition payment due dates. Check out the Academic Calendar here.   

Where can I find out about costs and student billing?  When is tuition due?                                                                                           

The Student Financial Services Office is responsible for financial aid and billing.  Please see their website here.

What is the average course load and credit requirement to be a full-time student?                                                                                 

The average course load in a quarter system is 15 credits per quarter. This is most frequently accomplished through three, five-credit courses. An undergraduate is considered full-time if they enroll for a minimum of 12 credits. But, each student is expected to complete at least 15 credits per quarter to remain on track to graduate in four years.

How do I find out about my student's grades?                                                                                                                                         

FERPA, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, is a federal law regarding the privacy of student records and access provided to those records. All students can access their course grades on SU-Online, the university's on-line student information system. . Institutions may not disclose information contained in education records without the student’s written consent except under certain conditions.  A student can provide third party access to their records by completing the Student Provided Access Authorization form on SU Online.  For the full Student Records policy, please go to the FERPA policy. Questions regarding FERPA may be directed to the Registrar's Office.  For more information on Third Party Access is provided here.

Is there someone to help my student with their academic program?                                                                                      

While each school or college handles advising differently, all students are assigned an Academic Advisor for their program.  Advisors can help with program and career planning.  See more information on academic advising here.

When will we know where my student will be living?                                                                                                              

Housing and Residence Life will let new students know their residence hall community assignment during their Summer in Seattle orientation session. Roommate assignments are sent in early August.

Does my student need a computer?                                                                                                                                                       

A number of computer labs are available around campus. Many students choose to bring their own computers to campus for the sake of convenience. The residence halls are equipped with ethernet ports and wireless capabilities are available on campus. For more information about on-campus technology and other computer questions please see the Information Technology Services  website.

What can be done if my son or daughter and his/her roommate are having a problem?                                                                           

Learning to live with a college roommate can be one of the most exciting experiences and biggest adjustments for students. At the beginning of the year, roommates are asked to complete a roommate agreement designed to foster a healthy roommate relationship. Housing and Residence Life staff (Resident Directors and student Resident Assistants) are trained to facilitate this process.                                                                    

What happens when my student experiences personal or academic problems?                                                                             

The university has a variety of resources available to all students. If a student is struggling in a class, s/he should always seek out the faculty member. Academic Advisors and Student Academic Services are also available.  Counseling and Psychological Services and Campus Ministry are available for personal or pastoral counseling.

My student wants to study abroad! Where can I get more information on the study abroad programs?                            

The Education Abroad Office provides information on a wide variety of study abroad opportunities.  Students should visit the office early on to find our more about programs, costs and deadlines.

What tutoring services are available for my student?                                                                                                                               

A variety of services are available for students wanting to improve their academic performance.  Our Learning Assistance Programs, Writing Center and Math Lab work with students on their academic skills. 

My student is not feeling well.  Where can they go?   

Our Student Health Center is open weekdays and offers a number of health care services at low cost.  All full time undergraduate students must have insurance.  For more information about the Student Health Center and insurance, please see their website.

My student is still trying to figure out a career path!  Who can help?  

The Career Services office works with students on career discernment, finding a mentor, skills assessment, finding an internship and much more.  Students should not wait until their senior year to visit the office.  There are services and resources to use in the first year

Where can one buy books or SU apparel?                                                                                                                                                 

The Campus Store is the on-campus retailer for purchasing or renting textbooks and finding all your Redhawk gear.  Represent SU in style! 

Where should I stay in Seattle when I visit my student?                                                                                                                    

A number of hotels offer a discount for Seattle U visitors. Find more information here.

What is Family Weekend?                                                                                                                                                                         

Family Weekend is your chance to experience the place your student calls home. We have a variety of activities planned for your education and enjoyment. You can participate in a wide range of activities including; an engaging discussion about our distinctive focus on learning or enjoy a concert by our choirs. Other activities may include supporting athletic events, visiting downtown Seattle, meeting Jesuits, faculty and staff, and more. Of course, the most important thing is to just enjoy time with your son or daughter. Family Weekend generally occurs in the Fall. You will receive more information after the school year begins.  See the Parent and Family Engagement webpage for more information. 

Where can I find information about Commencement?                                                                                                                               

A number of activities are planned to celebrate our graduating students. Find out more information here.