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Preview Days Frequently Asked Questions for Parents
Preview Days Frequently Asked Questions for Parents
Are parents required to attend the BU Preview Days?
No, but you are encouraged and welcome to attend! Approximately 85 percent of the first-year students who attend bring at least one guest. If you cannot or do not want to attend, your student certainly won't be the only one without a parent/guardian with them.
Why should I attend?
The reasons are endless! Whether this is your first, or fifth, student you are sending off to college, every school is different and policies change each year. Having the most up-to-date information is critical in order to best support your new student. At orientation, you will have an opportunity to meet with and hear from representatives from many different University campus resources and departments, as well as valuable University personnel. Attending orientation allows you to learn about some of the expectations that will be placed on your first-year student, as well as how to relate to your new student. You will also be able to ask questions, receive answers, and share information with other parents/guardians. BU Preview Days are as much for families, as they are for the student. We understand the transition from high-school to college can be challenging for family members. As such, we have designed the orientation program to meet your unique needs as well.
What if I can't attend?
First, encourage your student to take diligent notes throughout the day. When your student returns from BU Preview Day, ask questions and ask to see the materials they received at orientation. Review the Helpful Phone Numbers list and call the appropriate offices to get any information you need clarification on. You may also want to visit the Orientation website. We provide links to various campus resources and important information about your student’s transition to BU.
Is there a fee for Orientation?
Guests attend orientation for free, but students pay a $95* fee, which will be included on their fall tuition bill. Guests are also required to pay for their own meals at our Scranton Commons dining hall. The orientation fee covers your student’s meals, materials, orientation staffing, entertainment and special activities during both summer and fall orientation, among other administrative costs. The cost for guest meals during the summer orientation experience is $7.80. This cost includes an all-you can eat buffet of entrees, soup, salad, dessert and beverages. (Please note, it is highly recommended you pre-pay for all guest meals by sending a check or money to the orientation office. Pre-payment significantly expedites your entry into the dining hall; however, payment is accepted at the door as well. Pre-payment of meals is non-refundable.
Will I be with my student throughout orientation?
Yes and no. There are some brief parts of the BU Preview Day schedule that are designed to meet your unique needs, while other parts are designed just for your student. At check-in, you and your student will be provided with appropriate schedules. Don’t fret (or for some of you, don’t celebrate too long!) You will be reunited with your student in no time!
Can I bring other children/dependents, relatives etc.?
BU loves families! However, small children can easily become bored (as you know!), so they sometimes have a difficult time during BU Preview Days. All children are welcome, as are other family members. Bringing additional guests is entirely up to you! If time allows, there is a Children’s Museum in Bloomsburg that may be of interest to you. There are also several restaurants in town that may be of interest. Many restaurants also offer special discounts when you tell them you are in town for BU orientation. You may browse a list of participating retailers here.
Can I go to the Academic Advisement session with my son or daughter?
Academic Advisement is a time when your student will be interacting with a University faculty member representing your student’s academic department to discuss their class schedules, what is going to be expected of them while attending Bloomsburg University, and the requirements for their particular major. During this session, parents will meet with representatives from other important campus departments. We encourage all parents to attend the important parents-only sessions to get their questions addressed by university staff.
How long is a BU Preview Day?
Registration will begin at 8 a.m. along with a complimentary continental breakfast. Tentatively, the day will conclude by 4:30 p.m.
Can I turn in my students’ Health Form during BU Preview Days?
Yes! At the New at BU Campus Information Fair, the BU Health Center will have a table set up where you can turn in completed health forms. Staff from the Health Center will also be available to answer any questions you might have. If you lose your form, you can print another online. An incomplete Health Form results in a hold being placed on the students’ academic record. Holds prevent registration, can interrupt financial aid and prevent students from having access to certain important University resources.
I, or someone in my party, has a mobility challenge. Is there a lot of walking during orientation? Are there wheelchairs available?
There is quite a bit of walking during orientation, and there are also stairs to climb. Please know that there are elevators in our campus buildings. Although we try to minimize group movement as much as we can, it is not always possible. All of the workshops tend to be in the same areas of campus, but Bloomsburg is a “hilly” environment. Orientation staff are available throughout the day to direct all of our guests along a route that is most accessible. Please feel free to ask for guidance. Bloomsburg University does have a wheelchair for guests. Please contact the Accommodative Services office at (570) 389-4491 if you will need this equipment. If you require the use of other personal devices or equipment, please bring them with you to aid in your comfort on our campus.
Where should I park during BU Preview Days?
Parking for BU Preview Days is in the Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital parking lot, which is directly off Lightstreet Road. There will be orientation staff at the parking lot, as well as along the path directing you to registration. Handicap parking is available in various locations throughout campus. A campus map will assist you as you arrive on campus. You do not need a special parking tag to park during orientation.
Do we have to eat on campus during orientation? I am on a special diet and am concerned I may not be able to eat.
Our dining services provider, Aramark, does a fantastic job at providing meal options for a diverse selection of dietary needs. We offer dedicated cooking stations for those requiring a gluten free diet, as well as menu items that are, dairy free, soy free, diabetic, kosher, and many other preferences and requirements. Bloomsburg also employs a dietician who works closely with students, parents, and dining services staff to ensure each student is able to consume daily meals that are stress free and delicious! To address your dietary needs specifically, please contact our dining services team here by calling (570) 389-4484 or by emailing email@example.com.
I have questions about financial aid and billing. Will I be able to meet with someone individually?
The financial aid and billing offices will present a workshop during orientation, but will not be available for individual appointments during orientation. The presentation will provide an overview of the financial aid and billing process, forms, timelines, and expectations. If you have individual questions, please contact Financial Aid at (570) 389-4279 or the Bursar (billing) office at (570) 389-4013.
We would like to extend our stay in the area. What hotels do you recommend?
BU is home to some of the nicest bed and breakfasts, hotels and dining establishments. You can find a listing of recommended lodging and dining here. Mention you are in town for BU orientation and these university partners may have a special deal for you!
What do I do now?
Get excited! Whether this is your first or fifth to leave the nest, this is an exciting time for both you and your new student! As you prepare for the orientation experience, please support your student in moving through the Accepted Students Checklist. Ensure that each item is checked off and understood. Now is also a good time to encourage your student to start earning and saving money (if they have not already) so they can enjoy the occasional slice of pizza while in college! Ask as many questions as you have, and encourage your new student to do the same! Our office is in place specifically to orient you! But we don’t know your needs unless you ask!
*Fee subject to change.