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Parent & Supporters Guide

Parent Guide 2021-2022

Parents, Guardians, and Supporters of University Students,

Congratulations on your student’s admission to the University of Guelph!      

The University experience is a profound stage in a student’s growth and development. During the first year, you can expect your student to experience challenges associated with adapting to a new university and social environment. Rest assured that the University understands and acknowledges these challenges and has taken the appropriate measures to establish resources, policies, and protocols designed to support your student throughout their time here.     

This guide is intended for you, as a supporter, to guide your student on their U of G journey as they become more independent. Some resources require a login or suggest you direct your student to startonline.ca . When you come across these, we encourage you to forward the resource to your student.     

Get your Student STARTed this summer by encouraging them to explore the summer and fall programs and support we offer students for their transition to university. For the summer, your student should concentrate on checking their U of G email weekly and reading through the startonline.ca website [3]. Important information, dates, and deadlines will be shared through their email and on startonline.ca.      

COVID-19 has created uncertainty in so many ways. The university is committed to keeping everyone in our community updated, including new students, on the university’s COVID-19 website [4]. U of G is responding to the evolving situation with the top priority of balancing student safety and well-being to ensure a quality academic experience in September.   


Quick Things to Keep in Mind

Irrespective of age or experience we regard all students as adults and, as such, it is important for interactions and engagement with the University to be through them.  It is our expectation that students will initiate any correspondence, action, request or meeting with our academic or administrative units and, if required, they will invite a support person to accompany them. In these instances, the presence of a support person can help the student feel confident to express their own opinions and to advocate for their own needs.    

The University is bound by the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA); provincial legislation that governs the University’s collection, use and sharing of personal information.  Under this legislation, University faculty and staff are prohibited from discussing, changing or divulging a student’s personal information.  This means that we will not provide you with information on grades, academic progress, financial status, disciplinary history, etc.  Your student is always welcome to discuss their university experience with the appropriate University academic or administrative resource.     

Should you be concerned for the well-being of your student, we invite you to call us to seek advice on how you can support and help your student, and encourage them to speak with a University resource person if needed.  We will be happy to walk you through the range of support services that are available to them.  We will gladly reach out to your student to discuss their university experience directly with them.    

Understand the highs and lows of your family member’s development as a student and provide the support and encouragement where they are needed most. Students may have the perception that these are supposed to be the best years of their lives. When they are afraid, confused, and overwhelmed it is important to realize their experiences are a normal part of life.  


Academics

It is common for support people to have questions as their student starts their university journey. This guide will answer common questions and provide you with the appropriate resources. 

The Student Experience 

The first year in university highlights new skills and ways of learning. In university, it’s not only about working hard, but it’s also about working in a different way. University courses will challenge students in different ways like in managing time, controlling procrastination, self-motivation, and advanced writing. Students have more freedom in university, which means they need to set goals and keep track of deadlines. 

Many students find that their grades drop in first year compared to their high school grades. The drop in grades reflects the transition to university-style learning and adjusting to a new environment. Especially with the increased class sizes from around 20 in a high school classroom to sometimes 500 students in a university lecture. A drop in marks does not mean they aren’t suited for university study or won’t be able to reach their goals. But a drop may suggest that students could benefit from advice, information, and resources so they can find a better approach and manage their time better.   

What to Expect & How to Support      

June – August: Summer is an important time for new students to prepare for the fall semester. The university shares important information and deadlines by email, so encourage your student to check their email each week. The new student website www.startonline.ca also has helpful information. The START Team has been supporting new students since 2003. They will support your student in preparing for Fall 2021. New students can email start@uoguelph.ca with any questions from June 1, 2021 and during their first year.  

Questions to ask your student: 

  • Have you looked at the START online website? 
  • How can I support your learning? 

Orientation Week: O-Week is a one-week program with hundreds of events that supports students in their transition to university. Orientation Week 2021 will be hybrid with in-person and virtual events. Events will run from September 4 – September 12 on online platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Encourage your student to attend events to meet other students.  

September: September is a busy time for incoming students as they are adjusting to their new life as Gryphons. Many students realize they need to learn how to take effective notes, study for midterms, write essays, and communicate with professors. Some students may find it difficult to get into “study mode” at the start of the year.    

Students living off campus are a part of the Gryphons Nest program, which assigns students to a virtual community. An upper-year student (called an Online Community Mentor) leads each Gryphons Nest community. Each community includes around 40 other students in the same academic program.   

If your student is living on campus, they are a part of a Residence Community led by an upper-year student (Residence Assistant) and a group of other students. These communities support success in academics, wellness, and social life.  

For extra support and connection, your student can check out STARTonTrack. STARTonTrack pairs a trained upper-year student (START Facilitator) with a first-year student. Students meet one-on-one with their facilitator. START facilitators support students in their goals, challenges, and adjusting to university life. 

Questions to ask your student:  

  • How are you enjoying your classes?  
  • Have you tried any support systems from the library?  
  • How are you planning to meet all the different assignment deadlines and tests?  
  • What can I do to support you academically?    

October: In October, many courses have midterms. Midterms are exams, or tests, that take place halfway through the semester. Students often feel more stressed during this time as they write their first round of exams at university. Students can also start looking at the courses offered for next semester.  

Around this time in the semester, students may also experience second thoughts about the courses they are taking. It is normal for students to drop a course after the semester has begun and make-up the credit in a later semester. Talk with your student to see if they’ve met with a program counsellor to discuss what courses they should take for the Winter semester. Program counsellors are specific to your student's degree program (such as a Bachelor of Arts) and offer academic guidance. This is important as students select their courses for the Winter semester before the end of the Fall semester. During this time, students may also have assignments or deadlines coming up. 

Questions to ask your student:  

  • How many midterms do you have?  
  • Do you have a study plan to balance the multiple assignments or tests you have in a short period of time?  
  • Have you chatted with your program counsellor?  
  • Is joining STARTonTrack an idea that interests you to help you meet your academic goals and face challenges?   

November: By now students have received some midterm or assignment grades back. Students may experience a drop in expected marks because of the academic adjustment. Talk with your student to see how they are doing. If they indicate things aren’t going as planned, encourage them to look at the academic resources on www.startonline.ca [3]. Deadlines for term papers and final exams quickly approach as the semester nears an end.    

Questions to ask your student:  

  • How are you feeling about your grades?  
  • Have you started to prepare for your final exams next month?  
  • Have you explored the supports the library has to offer?  
  • Have you looked at your exam schedule?    

December: Final exams begin in December. Although students do not have classes during this time, they may be feeling the pressure of preparing for multiple exams at once. Students will receive their final grades in late December to early January.    

Questions to ask your student:  

  • Have you been taking study breaks?  
  • Is there anything I can do to support you academically? 

January: When winter break ends, students living away from home often choose to return for the winter semester. At this point some students may decide their program is not for them and consider changing programs. This is normal for new students. If students struggled in their first semester, refer them to academic resources. Resources include academic advising, or BounceBack (meetings one-on-one with a trained upper year student for goals and challenges). Students may struggle to return to “study mode”.      

Questions to ask your student:  

  • Are you feeling prepared for the new semester?  
  • Is there anything you would like to do differently this semester?  
  • Have you considered signing up for BounceBack?  
  • Do you need anything from me before you start your second semester?    

February: Students are preparing for their midterms which often take place around Reading Week. Reading Week gives students a week off classes. During this time, students can catch up in courses, connect with friends or family, volunteer, or anything else they would like to do during their week off.    

Questions to ask your student:  

  • How are you feeling about your grades? 
  • How are your midterms going?  
  • Are you taking study breaks?  
  • Do you have any plans for reading week?  

March:  Like November, students are wrapping up their semester. This includes handing in final assignments and preparing for final exams. Students may feel stressed, or some may feel comfortable since they already experienced a round of final exams in December.  

Students may also consider taking courses in the summer semester. These courses are offered in person or online. Many students take summer courses to get ahead or catch up on a missed course. Oftentimes, students return for an extra semester to complete their degree. Course selection for summer usually starts around early March. 

Questions to ask your student:  

  • How are you feeling about exams?  
  • Have you looked at your exam schedule?  
  • What are you doing the same or different from your December exam prep or final assignments?  
  • Are you planning on taking any summer courses?  
  • Have you talked with your Program Counsellor about Summer or Fall course selection?  

April: Final exams for the winter semester begin in April. With their second period of final exams, students may be experiencing similar feelings to December.  

Questions to ask your student: 

  • Have you been taking study breaks?  
  • What are you doing the same or differently for exams this semester?  
  • What are your academic plans for the summer (such as summer school)?  

Resources  

There are many academic supports for students are available online – particularly through the library’s online resources. Ask your student if they have used any of these to help them with their transition. When students start their semester, it’s helpful if they look at their course outline and see which U of G resources would support them in that class.      

Encourage your student to reach out to the resource themselves. Campus resources speak to students directly, especially about private and confidential information. You can support your student by going over what they plan on talking about with the resource. Only join the conversation if your student asks for direct support. 

The START Team: All students can email start@uoguelph.ca or book a meeting with a professional staff member at www.startonline.ca/Questions with any questions or concerns. 

Academic Information: Encourage the student to explore the Undergraduate Academic Information Centre (UAIC) at wwww.uoguelph.ca/uaic. The UAIC is a resource centre for students on academic information, procedure and contacts. The website provides a live chat service. 

Academic Advising: Encourage your student to become familiar with academic advising prior to September. Students can reach out to their Program Counsellor  or help with degree requirements, course requirements, or course selection.   

McLaughlin Library : Students can access many services including one-on-one appointments and supported learning groups (SLGs). SLGs are free study groups led by upper-year students. They are held weekly to help students taking challenging courses. The library also has resources for help with writing, research, math and science.     

Professors, Instructors, and Teaching Assistants (TA): Students can talk to their course instructors or TAs when they have questions. The course outline (document that has details about the course) has the contact information for instructors and TAs. Students get course outlines the first week of class through CourseLink. CourseLink is the website instructors use to post class materials. 

Gryphons Nest Communities & Residence Communities: Students are assigned either a virtual or in-person community. An upper-year student supports the community and your student. Such as in academics, wellness, and social life. If your student does not know about their community, encourage them to email start@uoguelph.ca for more information. 

STARTonTrack (September – November) and BounceBack  (January – March): Peer-to-peer programs students can sign up for during the fall and winter semester. Students meet with an upper-year student to speak about goals, challenges, or figuring out university life. Upper-year students are trained. Many students find it helpful to talk to someone who has experienced first year at U of G.  


Health & Wellbeing

Being a university student requires the ability of incorporating the “life” side of the work-life balance or prioritize academic needs with busy social calendars. Setbacks and failure are a normal part of university and being able to bounce back in the face of adversity is a big part of university; this is where student supporters can make a huge impact. When your student faces adversity, help guide them to the tools they can access for help, this will foster independence in the student, and they can use the resource the next time a problem arises. Encourage your student to seek the help they need from on-campus and off-campus resources-both proactively and reactively. Each student’s university experience is unique to them which means they will need different supports at different times.  

What to Expect & How to Support   

  • September-December: During the semester, many students find that habits or practices they had before university have not continued into first semester. This might be sacrificing sleep to study at night, forgetting to take study breaks because they feel overwhelmed by the amount of work, beginning an unbalanced diet. During exam times, students might have high levels of stress. If stress or habits are impacting parts of your student’s life, explore Student Wellness’ resources.   

    • Questions to ask: Have you explored the resources Student Wellness has to offer?    

  • January: Students may begin to reflect on challenges they had in their previous semester and how they want to adapt and change their new semester as they set New Year’s Resolutions. Some students may consider purchasing a gym membership at this time or changing their diet.   

    • Questions to ask: Is there anything you need from me? Have you explored supports on campus? How are you going to have a healthy second semester?   

  • February-April: Some students may begin to feel anxious as they consider what their plans are for the summer. Students may also begin to feel overwhelmed as coursework begins to pile up for the semester.   

    • Questions to ask: Have you been taking studying breaks? Have you accessed any of the services from Student Wellness Services? How are you going to self-care during stressful times in the semester?   

Resources   

With all on campus resources, encourage your student to initiate contacting the resource, and join the conversation if your student asks for your support. Resources speak directly to students about private and confidential information.    

  • The START Team: If a student does not know where to start with a question or concern, all students can email start@uoguelph.ca or book a meeting with a professional staff member at www.startonline.ca/Questions.  
  • Student Wellness Services: provides health and well-being support and services to students and to the campus community, including Wellness Education, Health Services, Counselling, and Accessibility Services. Mental Health resources are listed here. 24/7 Urgent Supports for Students: Here 24/7 at 1-884-437-3247, Good2Talk at 1-866-925-5454, HelpPhone at 1-800-668-6868, or for texting support text ‘UofG’ to 686868     
  • Student Experience Advisors: Indigenous, BIPOC, LGBTQ2IA+, and International Students have specific Advisors available as support. U of G also has a Multi-Faith Resource Team. Students can book meetings with an Advisor at www.startonline.ca/Questions.  

Campus & Community

Student Experience honours diversity and respects all individuals. We affirm the dignity and worth of every person, regardless of ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, gender expression and identity. Together, we work to create positive and safe spaces where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive. If your student is looking to explore an aspect of their personal identity, we are here to help.      

U of G has many opportunities for your student to get involves. Such as volunteering, clubs, employment, and communities related to their identity. Students explore extracurriculars to get involved at U of G. Encourage your student to visit  STARTonline to explore programs and groups that interest them.  

What to Expect & How to Support   

September: Days are full of meeting other students, adjusting to university life, and figuring out courses. The first six weeks are especially important for making connections. This includes getting to know professors, making new friends, and meeting other people in your student's program. Students also begin to explore ways to get involved as a student 

Community in September: Students living off campus are assigned a community as a part of Gryphons Nest. An upper-year student (Online Community Mentor) leads each Gryphons Nest community. Each community includes around 40 other students in the same academic program. If your student is living on-campus, they are a part of a Residence Community. Residence communities are also led by upper-year students (Residence Assistants). These communities support success in academics, wellness, and social life. 

For extra support and connection, your student can check out STARTonTrack. STARTonTrack pairs a trained upper-year student (START Facilitator) with a first-year student. Students meet one-on-one with their facilitator. START facilitators support students in their goals, challenges, and adjusting to university life.   

Questions to ask your student:  

  • Have you explored www.GryphLife.ca for activities and clubs on campus?  
  • Are you going to attend the virtual club fair? 
  • Have you considered signing up for STARTonTrack? 
  • How are you planning to network or meet new people? 

October-November: Thanksgiving weekend can be challenging in unexpected ways. It is a time where students may realize how much they have changed in a short time. It can be hard for your student to figure out how to balance the person they are becoming since starting university and their home life.  

Questions to ask your student:  

  • How have you felt about university so far?  
  • After experiencing these few months at university, do you feel differently about anything?  
  • Have you met anyone in your program? 
  • Have you interacted with your professors or teaching assistants? 

December: December has a longer break from courses. Students may feel a wide range of emotions about university and home life. Some students need to figure out what their new routine with family and friends. International students may experience reverse culture shock as they may have some difficulty re-adjusting to their home culture after spending time in Canada.   

Questions to ask your student:  

  • Is there anything I can do to support you? 
  • How are you feeling about living on/off campus? 
  • Are you getting along with your roommates? 

January: Many campus organizations start recruiting during this time for the next academic year. Students who may have chosen not to be involved in the previous semester may feel that they will be able to take on the extra time commitment that extracurricular activities may involve and will seek involvement opportunities. Volunteer and extracurricular activities can be found on Gryphlife

Questions to ask your student:  

  • Are you interested in being involved on campus next year?  
  • What interests you on campus?    
  • Have you looked at any campus involvement opportunities on Gryphlife? 

February-April: Some students plan to go home for Reading Week in February which can allow them to virtually catch up with friends, visit home, or catch up on schoolwork. This is a great time for your student to consider involvement opportunities for next year as well as reflect on their experience at U of G so far and what they have accomplished.  

Questions to ask your student:  

  • Do you have any goals you would like to accomplish next year?  
  • Are there any volunteer/ work opportunities you’re interested in?  
  • Do you think you can balance an extra-curricular in your schedule? 
  • Have you found any extra-curricular opportunities that will help your career goals? 

Resources     

With all on campus resources, encourage your student to initiate contacting the resource, and join the conversation if your student asks for your support. Resources speak directly to students about private and confidential information.     

The START Team: If a student does not know where to start with a question or concern, all students can email start@uoguelph.ca [5] or book a meeting with a professional staff member at www.startonline.ca/Questions [6].   

Student Experience Advisors: Indigenous, BIPOC, LGBTQ2IA+, and International Students have specific Advisors available as a support. Students can book meetings with an Advisor at www.startonline.ca/Questions . 

Multi-Faith Resource Team: The Multi-Faith Resource Team supports all students, no matter their faith background. Students are welcome to chat with a member of the Multi-Faith Resource Team. Your student can contact Sonya Wu-Winter (the Coordinator of Multi-Faith Programs) at  swuwinte@uoguelph.ca for more information about religious communities on campus. 

GryphLife.ca: The website where U of G posts how to get involved in events, clubs, and more.    

Student Volunteer Connections: If a student is interested in volunteering on or off campus in Guelph, Student Volunteer Connections (SVC) will be able to connect students to opportunities and network in their field.  

STARTonTrack (September – November) and BounceBack [2] (January – March) are peer-to-peer programs students can sign up for at any point in the second/winter semester. Students meet with an experienced upper-year student to speak about goals, challenges, or figuring out university life. Many students find it helpful to talk to someone who has recently experienced first year at U of G.  

Campus Community Police are special constables sworn in by the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and have similar powers and authorities as municipal officers. Their role is to ensure the safety of students and staff on University of Guelph property. Campus Community Police also offer several programs designed to promote student safety.  


Living on Campus

Every student is a part of a community, whether they are living at home, commuting, living off campus in Guelph, or living in Residence.   

If your student is choosing to live independently, whether on or off campus, sending your student off to school can be a very emotional time for families as it may be the first time your student is living away from home for a long period of time. There are many resources available to our students living on and off campus as discussed below. This guide will also provide you with some things to consider if your student is choosing to live at home.  

For students who have housemates or roommates, they may experience conflict. In residence, all students are assigned an RA (Residence Assistant) - which is a live-in student who holds a staff position to support your student’s transition to university and residence. RAs are in place to resolve conflict, ensure students are safe and enjoy their experience in residence. 

For students living off campus in Guelph, ‘Off-Campus Living’ is a good resource for housemate and landlord conflicts. In Gryphons Nest virtual communities, conflicts may also happen. OCMs (Online Community Mentors) are people who can help resolve these virtual conflicts. Encourage your student to talk to their RA, OCM, or Off-Campus Living if they are experiencing conflict or would like to chat with someone.     

What to Expect & How to Support   

September: Move-in Day(s) for Residences are typically when students move into their living situation, whether on campus or off campus. Students who did are not moving are getting used to a new schedule. All students start to adapt to their new way of living and learning.    

Questions to ask your student living in residence or off-campus: 

  • Have you met your RA (upper-year leader in residence) or OCM (upper-year leader in Gryphons Nest)? 
  • Have you connected with anyone in your living space/ residence?  
  • How is living with your roommates/housemates?  

Questions to ask your student living at home: 

  • Have you met your OCM (upper-year leader in Gryphons Nest)? 
  • When are your lectures? 
  • Is your study area able to support your learning (good WI-FI, quiet, etc.)? 

October-November: Students become more familiar or comfortable with who is in their community. Some students may begin to or still experience conflict with other students. If this happens, refer your student to their RA or OCM for support in resolving the situation. It is very common for students to be encouraged to use conflict resolution skills, and this may be a new – but important – skill for your student to learn. Many students also choose to go home for Thanksgiving break.     

Questions to ask your student living in residence or independently off-campus: 

  • How have you been enjoying your community/ residence?  
  • Have you attended any events with your community/ residence?  
  • Are you getting along with your roommates/ floor mates?  
  • Will you be home for Thanksgiving? 

Questions to ask your student living at home: 

  • Is there anything you need from me to make studying and living at home easier? 
  • Do you have any concerns with virtual learning? 

December: If living in Residence, students are required to check out within 24-hours of their last exam or by noon on the day after the exam period ends (whichever comes first) - encourage them to check their school email for instructions. Students can leave belongings in their room but may not return until January. Students who are unable to go home can apply for an extension. Residence has 24-hour quiet hours during the exam period to ensure the building is quiet for sleeping and studying.    

Questions to ask your student living in residence or independently off-campus: 

  • When do you need to be out of residence by?  
  • What things do you need to pack to come home?  
  • How will we get you home?    

January: Students planning to move off campus in Guelph for their second year start to consider who they will be living with and where. Some students choose to move onto a rental unit with other students, commute from home, apply to live on residence for another year, or apply to become a Residence Assistant. Many first-year students panic about finding a place off campus in the first few weeks of January. Students should not worry as off campus rental options increase as the semester continues.  

Many students find housemates through their community or by connecting with Off-Campus Living. Some students choose to live with peers and not their close friends because they value housemate/roommate expectations (finances, cleanliness) over closeness with housemates. Some students who had unresolved conflict with their current housemates or roommates may continue into the second semester as they did not resolve the conflict in their first semester. If this happens, encourage your student to touch base with their RA or OCM.     

Questions to ask your student living in residence or independently off-campus: 

  • Have you decided where to live next year?  
  • Any thoughts on who you may ask to be housemates with?  
  • Do you need anything from your RA or OCM?  
  • Can I support you in any way?    

Questions to ask your student living at home: 

  • Where do you plan on living for your second year of university? 
  • Can I support you in any way? 

February-March: Students who are exploring places to live next year continue to search for a rental unit. Some students may experience conflict with their future housemates about where to live and who to live with. They may pick housemates for the rest of their degree or choose to only live with them for a certain duration. Students can consult their RA, OCM, or seek advice from Off-Campus Living staff.   

Students can also seek out rental units through websites such as:  

Facebook Group: University of Guelph Off-Campus Housing and Sublets 

Make sure your student is careful with websites like Kijiji, as scams are known to have occurred, specifically targeting students.  

Questions to ask your student:  

  • Have you found a place to live yet for the summer or next academic year?  
  • Do you know who your housemates will be? 
  • Do you know where to find rental listings? 

April: Students who lived in residence need to balance studying for several final exams, while also packing up their personal belongings to move out of the place they’ve called home for the last eight months. Similar to December, students in Residence are required to move their belongings out 24 hours after their last exam or by noon on the day after the conclusion of the exam period (whichever comes first). For students moving from Residence to off campus living and are not going home for the summer means that they may need to find accommodation and/or storage for until their lease starts, which is typically May or September.    

Questions to ask your student:  

  • Do you need help moving?  
  • What’s the plan for moving your belongings out of residence?  
  • When does your new lease begin? 

Finances

Many students and their supporters find that university life costs more than they had thought. Students are highly encouraged to make a budget that includes their costs and financial responsibilities for the upcoming academic year.  

U of G provides a Student Financial Success Guide and finance info on www.startonline.ca/Finances so, students know what to expect for payments and support. For all financial questions and information, your student will want to connect with Student Financial Services.  

Before your student arrives on campus, it’s important to have conversations with your student about how they are planning to pay for university or who will be paying – for all four years. U of G offers many resources to help students with finances, jobs, and how they can management money as a student. Some students may explore jobs on or off campus through co-op opportunities or summer positions. Students may also start to look at loans, bursaries, scholarships, or other forms of financial aid.    

What to Expect & How to Support    

June – August: All students pay the registration deposit for classes in August. Information is sent directly to their U of G email. Your student should plan how they are paying for university and have honest conversations with you about what financial support will look like. Some financial paperwork requires information about parents or guardians and whether financial support is being provided. Off-Campus students should also consider a plan for paying for utilities, groceries, and other living expenses ahead of the semester.  

Questions to ask your student: 

  • Who will be paying for university, and for how long? What does this look like? What are the expectations around this, both ways?  
  • Do you need my support in scholarships or loans? 
  • What is the plan for finances for your entire degree / time as a student? 
  • How will you budget your money during school? 

September: Fall Semester payment is due in mid-September. Check the Student Financial Services Dates & Deadlines page for more information. Students should refer to their WebAdvisor account to see their financial statement. Students can look into financial aid to help pay for their time at university or explore employment opportunities. Students can also opt-out of the student dental plan if they have dental coverage under another insurance plan. There are other fees that are refundable or can be opt out of. This list of fees can be found on the START online or UofG website.  

Questions to ask your student:  

  • How is managing your money going?  
  • Are things going as expected?  
  • How can I support you in figuring this out?    

October-December: Students may consider getting a job if they don’t have one while considering the time commitment it may take and the impact it may have on their academics. Other students who are already balancing a job may realize it is too stressful to also balance schoolwork. In December students also consider how they’re going to pay for the Winter Semester in January.    

Questions to ask your student:  

  • Are you considering getting a job?  
  • If yes, will you be able to balance work and school? 
  • How are you planning to pay for the Winter Semester?     

January: Winter Semester Payment is due; students should be checking their email frequently and Student Financial Services for payment deadlines. It is normal for students to experience unexpected budgeting issues as it may be their first-time managing money on their own.  

Questions to ask:  

  • When is your tuition due for the semester?  
  • Do you need any information from me? 
  • How are your finances going? 

February-April: Students will start to look into summer jobs, scholarships, or bursaries at this time to help pay with their next year. Student jobs typically start recruiting several months before summer. Students taking a summer course also have a payment due in May.    

Questions to ask your student:  

  • Have you considered employment for the summer?  
  • What are you thinking about for this summer – employment, summer courses?  
  • How are you going to pay for tuition in the fall?    

Resources    

With all on campus resources, encourage your student to initiate contacting the resource, and join the conversation if your student asks for your support. Resources speak directly to students about private and confidential information.     

Student Financial Services helps students to be financially prepared for university and can help with understanding OSAP, deadlines, application forms, how to keep their financial account in good standing, and much more. Your student should contact Student Financial Services first if run into unexpected financial issues, such as financial hardships or barriers. Their financial advisors are often able to provide your student potential solutions and resources.  

The Student Financial Sucess Guide provides information on tuition costs, financial support resources, scholarships/ bursaries, payment deadlines, budgeting, and loans.  

If a student would like to speak to a Student Experience Advisor about finances, they are welcome to as well. Student Experience Advisors: BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Student of Colour), LGBTQ2IA+, and International Students have specific Advisors available as supports. Students can book meetings with an Advisor at www.startonline.ca/Questions.    

Experience Guelph: the university employs many campus students, if your student is interested in working on campus direct them to this site for more information.   


Parent & Support Involvement

U of G is fortunate to have a varied and generous community of supporters. Parents and families make up an integral part of this community and we thank you for the special role you play. Below are just two of the ways you can consider supporting the University in its mission to Improve Life.   

Volunteering 

Interested in volunteering with the University of Guelph? We offer a variety of engagement opportunities throughout the year in which parents and supporters can give back by lending their time, talent, and/or platform. To discuss opportunities based on your interests, availability, and expertise please contact us via email at annualfund@uoguelph.ca or by giving us a call at 519-824-4120 x56934. We thank you for your interest and look forward to connecting with you to discuss further.  

Philanthropy 

Looking to support the University of Guelph through a philanthropic gift? We offer a wide range of ways to give and would be thrilled to discuss options that support your interests and the University's current priorities.    

We thank you for considering a gift to U of G and invite you to connect with a team member in our Alumni Affairs & Development Department who specializes in parent and family giving to learn more. You can do so by sending an email to annualfund@uoguelph.ca or giving us a call at 519-824-4120 x56934. Alternatively, if you're looking to give right now, you can donate online using our secure giving form