Frequently Asked Questions for Incoming Families




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Academic

When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending a postsecondary institution at any age, FERPA rights transfer from the parent to the student. Students can give parents, legal guardians, or other trusted parties access to view certain pieces of their student information online. This access is referred to as proxy access, and the person who is granted this authorization is called myPurdue proxy. The student controls the entire process through his/her myPurdue Portal and can add anyone with a valid e-mail address as a proxy.

Note - * = linked files are pdf documents
The best resource for finding breaks is the Academic Calendar.

*Note - currently linked to the 2020-21 academic calendar

Prior to May 1, 2020

Students can request an application major change through an Admissions form found in their Purdue application portal under "Profile and Application Changes" tab. Note - some programs may be closed at this time. Students requesting a change in major will be reevaluated for a decision for the new requested major. Doing this request does not forfeit the admission for their current major if denied for the requested major.

After May 1, 2020

Students requesting a major change after May 1, 2020, will need to speak with an advisor. Students can speak with their assigned advisor during VSTAR about possibilities. 

If your student received a merit scholarship, they should refer to eligibility requirements of the scholarship before requesting a major change.

If your student is having difficulty in class, their first step should be to meet with the course instructor. Your student can find office hours for their instructor in the course syllabus.
Purdue has a vested interest in your student’s success and provides the resources students need to do well academically. 
  • Academic and Faculty Advisors - Every semester, students will meet with either their academic advisor or faculty advisor. The advisor’s role is to take a holistic view of each student in order to maximize the student’s educational experience.  This is done by assisting students in defining, planning and achieving their educational, personal and career goals. Advisors are a great front-line guide for students during their academic journey.
  • Faculty and Course Instructors - All faculty members keep office hours, during which students can meet with their professors one-on-one. Whether or not students need help in individual classes, it is strongly recommended that they visit professors during office hours for help with everything from exploring additional academic and professional opportunities on and off campus to learning more about the faculty member’s area of expertise.
  • Academic Success Center - The Academic Success Center (ASC) offers a wide variety of support services that are free and available to all Purdue students.
  • Supplemental Instruction: Peer-assisted study sessions for historically difficult, foundational courses. Supplemental Instruction (SI) is designed to increase retention, improve grades, and improve graduation rates.
  • Peer Success Coaching: A Peer Success Coach (PSC) is a trained undergraduate student leader who offers guidance, encouragement, and accountability for students as they work through any challenges they may face while working toward their goals. Students can meet with a PSC throughout the semester or periodically during drop-in hours.
  • Consultations: Students can meet with ASC staff for a one-on-one conversation about time management, effective study strategies, and other academic skills. Consultations are held by appointment and drop-in basis and can be a single visit or multiple sessions throughout the semester.
  • Workshops: No registration is needed to attend one-hour workshops on topics such as time management, “acing” exams, increasing memory, surviving finals week, etc.
  • Tutoring: The ASC does not provide tutoring; however their website showcases the many academic resources available on campus. This centralized source allows students to search for help rooms and tutoring programs, as well as course-specific resources. Many support options are free to students purdue.edu/tutoring
  • PurdueGuide App: This app provides information about academic programs, sessions, and resources around Purdue University’s campus.
  • Disability Resource Center (DRC) -  The (DRC) is the office designated by Purdue to provide services, resources, and programs to facilitate equal access for disabled students, resulting in their full participation in curricular and co-curricular offerings.
  • myPurduePlan -myPurduePlan is a web-based tool Purdue students can use to track their progress to their degree. This self-help tool complements the guidance students receive from their academic advisor. “Fifteen to Finish” is a phrase your student will hear throughout his or her Purdue education — if they take 15 credit hours each semester (30/academic year), they are more likely to graduate in four years.
  • Purdue Libraries- The Purdue University Libraries system on the West Lafayette campus includes six subject-oriented libraries, the Hicks Undergraduate Library, and the Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center. The Ask a Librarian service offers chat help with library resources.
  • Purdue Writing Lab - The Writing Lab offers free one-on-one consultations to any Purdue student working on any writing project, in any stage of the writing process. The Purdue Online Writing Lab offers global support through online reference materials and services.
  • UR Support Center - The University Residences Support Center (URSC) seeks to foster faculty and student engagement through impactful learning and intellectual development within an innovative environment. The URSC offers two locations with many amenities for students to study individually or in a group setting.
The final exam schedule will be available in late September for the fall term, in late February for the spring term, and in late June for the summer term. Until the final exam schedule is published, students should be prepared to be on campus through the end of the final exam period.

Financial

Fee statements will be sent to student's @purdue.edu email address and accessible through myPurdue in July. No paper fee statements will be mailed.
Similarly to the myPurdue proxy access, students can assign their parents/guardian as an Authorized User which gives parents/guardian access to secured billing information, and gives the Bursar permission to speak to you about specific information pertaining to your student.
Tuition and fees are always due, paid in full, on the first day of the semester.

Orientation

Purdue’s Summer Transition, Advising and Registration (VSTAR) program is designed to ease a student’s transition to life at the University. Attendance at VSTAR helps students connect with the University community, meet with those who will aid them in their academic career, and establish relationships that will be important to their success.
All incoming students are required to participate in VSTAR.
Boiler Gold Rush (BGR) is a week-long orientation program takes place before fall classes begin. Students move-in early and learn about campus traditions, Purdue culture and University resources while connecting with other new students.
Purdue encourages all incoming students to take part in an August orientation program (BGR, Band Camp, Purdue Musical Organizations Camp, Intercollegiate Athletics preparation). Over 7,000 incoming students participate in BGR.

Move-in (for students living in University Residences)

Your student’s housing contract begins Friday, August 21, 2020. For an additional fee, early check-in begins Monday, August 17, 2020. If your student is participating in Boiler Gold Rush (BGR), the program fee will cover the early arrival fee.
Students beginning in August will receive an email in mid-June with a link to the move-in portal. In this portal students will indicate their move-in date. If your student is registered for Boiler Gold Rush (BGR) by the time the portal opens, they will be able to select one of the dates for BGR move-in and will also select an unloading time.
Parent and Family Connections will host several events for parents and guests on BGR move-in dates. Registration will not be required for these events. More information will be sent to families over the summer.
This is best to be discussed with your student, however many families will help their student get settled into their academic housing and even run to local stores for items before leaving campus.
In most cases items can be shipped to arrive the same time as your student (arriving no earlier than the week leading into Boiler Gold Rush), however it is best for your student to verify the process with their assigned residence. Contact information for each residence can be found on the housing website.

Living

No one is required to live in University housing- unless the student has signed a housing contract to live in University Residences during the contract term. Students who are not attending Purdue University during the contract term will be released from their signed housing contract.
There are a number of residences that make up University Residences, and incoming students do not get to specify the residence they want, but they can rank their room-type preferences. Visit the University Residences Room Rate Tool to help determine what may best suit your student.
The standard residence mattress size is 36” x 78”. Bed linens are not provided, and either regular twin or twin XL will fit. Many students do find twin XL are beneficial to have if they have a lofted bed as the twin XL do provide a bit more room when making the bed.
Each residence has approximate room sizes listed on their residences website under “room layout” 
Information on how to mail items to students can be found on the housing website.
University Residences encourages open communication between residents. If talking it out between the two of them doesn't work, their floor resident assistant (RA) is an excellent resource for assistance.
As stated in the UR Guidelines and Policies, residents are permitted to use TVs, VCRs, DVDs, computers, stereos, coffee makers (with an enclosed heating element, e.g., Keurig), refrigerators (must be UL approved/maximum size 4.0 cubic feet) and compact microwave ovens (1,000 watts or less) – one per student room. University Residences partners with Bedloft as an outside vendor for futons and microfridges (a minifridge/microwave combination) that meet safety and capacity requirements for these items.
University Residences have lists of items provided by University Residences, items students may want to bring, along with items that cannot be brought on their UR move-in website.
University staff conduct maintenance on a wide variety of building systems and living spaces, including your assigned room or apartment in University Residences. Getting something fixed starts by notifying staff there is a problem. The easiest way to submit a work order is via the online “ Fix It” website. If your living space requires emergency maintenance, notify a Resident Assistant, Facilities staff, or the hall main office. We can’t fix it if we don’t know about it! There is no charge for routine repairs.
The University Residences website is a plethora of information about on-campus housing.
Purdue Off-Campus Housing is here to help make students’ off-campus living experience the best it can be. They provide information, resources and links so students and their family can easily navigate around Purdue and West Lafayette. Students who live off-campus are encouraged to attend a Landlord/Tenant Law Symposium held each semester by Student Legal Services. They will provide tips on signing a lease, talk about security deposits and how to discuss issues with their landlord.
“C” Permit

"C" permits may only be purchased online. Students must provide proof of their local address and upload it into the online parking portal. Any registered student whose local place of residence is outside of the defined 1.5 mile commuter radius from campus may purchase a "C" permit for $100 per academic year. Vehicles must be registered for License Plate Recognition and linked to the purchased parking permit. If your student has any questions concerning a specific address, please have them contact Parking Facilities.

Regular Residence Hall Permits

Regular parking permits are available for sophomores, juniors and seniors living in University Residences. All parking permits are subject to availability. Residence hall permits are valid in any space posted for residence hall permits.

Restricted Residence Hall Permit

Restricted Parking permits are available to first-year students only with the approval of Parking Facilities, a completed Restricted Permit Application and documentation of one of the following:

  • Regular medical visits off-campus
  • Classes off-campus (excluding the Airport)
  • Reserve/active military duty
  • Off-campus employment

Restricted parking permits are subject to availability and only valid in the East Airport Lot in spaces posted for residence hall permits. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide any supporting documentation necessary for approval.

The university does not assume responsibility for the loss of money or valuables, damage to property, or injuries on the premises. If your student is not covered under your homeowner's insurance policy, we strongly recommend you make arrangements for insurance protection against such losses.

Dining

Students who choose to live in University Residences are required to purchase a meal plan as part of the housing contract. Students who live in Hawkins Hall and Hilltop Apartments are not required to purchase a meal plan. Students assigned to these residences who wish to change to a room-only option must do so prior to the start of the Fall contract.
Purdue Dining & Culinary offers a variety of meal plans to fit each student's unique schedule and budget. More information about the available meal plans can be found on the dining website.
Off-campus students are not eligible to purchase a meal plan. BoilerExpress can be used to purchase meals in the dining courts or retail operations.  Students can deposit money into their accounts in convenient amounts and use it to buy meals and snacks when and where their schedules permit. To open an account visit the Purdue ID Card Office website.
Your student can go online any time before the start of the contract and make changes to their meal plan. After the contract begins, students can only move up in meal plans - https://www.dining.purdue.edu/ResidentialDining/mealplans/FAQ.html
More information about Purdue Dining can be found on the dining website.

Safety/Health

All incoming students MUST complete the immunization information form located under the forms tab in the Patient Portal found at purdue.edu/push. If your student is under 18 years of age, you will need to sign a minor consent form at the Student Health Center (PUSH).
The Greater Lafayette and Purdue University community has received national recognition for being a great place to live, work, and study. Yet, it is not immune from some of the problems that beset the remainder of the country—and crime is one such reality. Through a variety of programs and services, Purdue strives to provide a safe and secure environment for students, staff, and visitors; but, it is only possible to maintain safety and security when each student, staff member, and visitor takes an active role in the effort. No police department, programs, or procedures can be effective unless individuals exercise reasonable care and prudence. Safety and security is everyone's responsibility.
Purdue University Student Health Service (known on campus as PUSH) offers a number of medical services to Boilermakers.
Communication is the key- students should notify their course instructor of their absence, and refer to the course syllabus (provided the first day of class) of the absence policy.
The University sponsored health insurance plan is only mandatory for international students, however there is a plan for domestic students. Eligibility and enrollment information is available on the PUSH website.
There are a number of resources available to students who are having difficulties inside or outside the classroom.
  • The Division of Recreation and Wellness has a number of programs for a student to achieve their health and wellness goals. Along with the other recreation center offerings, wellness programs include: Wellness Education, Nutrition Counseling, Demonstration Kitchen, Alcohol Education, Sexual Health, Stress Management and Well-being, Massage Therapy and Light Therapy, and Financial Literacy Education
  • Student Support Specialists – sometimes known as the “Google” of Purdue – Student support specialists will meet with students and help direct them to the necessary resources
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offer a variety of mental health services and strives to provide assistance to help actively enrolled students improve their mental health and succeed, in life and academically. Beginning Spring 2020, when a student is seeking a consultation with CAPS, they will be scheduled for a 15 minute brief phone screening appointment with a clinician. This brief discussion helps us assess the nature and urgency of their concern, and identify the most appropriate next steps. Shall your student experience a crisis outside of CAPS hours of operation, they should call (765) 494-6995, press 1, and they will be connected with a clinician who will assess their situation and provide help. 
  • Disability Resource Center - The (DRC) is the office designated by Purdue to provide services, resources, and programs to facilitate equal access for disabled students, resulting in their full participation in curricular and co-curricular offerings.
Talk to your student asking open-ended questions. If your student needs additional assistance, but is not sure where to begin, the Office of the Dean of Students provides information and resources to help with issues that may be negatively affecting them academically, financially or emotionally. Student Support Specialists in the Office of the Dean of Students are available by calling 765-494-1747 or in person at Schleman Hall, Room 207 Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern).
Purdue’s Recreation & Wellness (RecWell) is located in the France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center. Be sure to check out the video tour of the facility on the RecWell homepage.
Yes! Powered by high-energy music, challenging exercises, and motivating instructors, Group X offers cutting-edge classes designed to make your student’s fitness goals easily attainable. With over 70 classes per week and a variety of class options, your student is sure to find something to fit their schedule! Offerings include formats like Les Mills BODYPUMP, ZUMBA, Yoga, cycling and more. Pass options are available on the GroupX website.
The listing of club sports is available on the RecWell site.

Athletics Tickets

Incoming students will be eligible to purchase a Boarding Pass in mid-May. Students should watch their @purdue.edu email for an email from Purdue Athletics
Schedule announcements vary by sport. Some dates are available now, while others will be announced throughout the next several months. Information is available on the Purdue Athletics website.
The Boarding Pass (sold out in both 2018 and 2019) guarantees football tickets and gives access to basketball. The Paint Crew, which guarantees men’s basketball, will sell out before freshmen have access. If your student purchased a Boarding Pass, they still will be able to request men’s basketball tickets at no additional cost. Athletics will sell single-game tickets to students for football and for men’s basketball only if there is availability.
These are the official student groups for the following sports:
  • Ross-Ade Brigade: Purdue Football
  • Block Party: Purdue Volleyball
  • Paint Crew: Purdue Men's Basketball
  • Gold Mine: Purdue Women's Basketball

Membership costs for the student groups varies from $10-$20 depending on the group and provides different membership benefits. Students can join desired student groups when purchasing a Boarding Pass.

Co-Curricular Learning

Most recruitment events happen within the first month of the semester, in both fall and spring. The Panhellenic Association’s (PHA) formal recruitment process occurs during the first three weekends of the fall semester. The Purdue Cooperative Council (PCC) recruitment process occurs at the beginning of the spring semester. Additional organizations host individual events for the purpose of determining interested individuals, they can be contacted directly for more information.
Additional information about Fraternity, Sorority and Cooperative Life can be found on their website at www.purdue.edu/fscl. Coming to campus for a tour? Their office is located on the second floor of Krach Leadership Center.
Has your student joined a club or organization? Many students make connections in the clubs or organizations they participate in. With around 1,000 clubs and student organizations on campus, your student has many options. Students can visit boilerlink.purdue.edu to search for organizations they may be interested in. Another opportunity to meet new people is by joining a club sport through Recreation & Wellness, or find a on-campus job.
Information for student employment opportunities can be found on the Student Employment website or the Division of Financial Aid website.

Additional FAQ's

Yes, we have complied a lengthy list and have them outlined on this page. If you see something missing, be sure to let us know!
Yep, you found us! Parent & Family Connections at Purdue University engages family members as partners in their student’s educational journey.  By providing information, resources, tools, and services, we work together with families to empower students to be successful. As the liaison office for Purdue families, we advocate for the needs of parents and families and assist them in finding the appropriate campus resources and services. Parent & Family Connections staff can be contacted at parents@purdue.edu or by calling the HelpLine at 765-496-0524.
While students can sign up for emergency notifications at purdue.edu/securepurdue, this service is not available for families. If you have a Twitter account, you can get notifications from @purdueemergency

Transportation/Parking

Most campus facilities are easily accessible by walking. However, at time students find the following options useful when getting around campus:
Shuttle services to campus are available at both the Indianapolis International Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
  • Grant Street & Harrison Street Garages - Parking is available at various campus locations but the primary areas for visitor parking is the Grant Street Parking Garage, adjacent to the Purdue Memorial Union at 101 North Grant Street, and the Harrison Street Parking Garage located at 719 Clinic Drive. There is an hourly rate for these garages with pay-in lanes at the exits accepting major credit/debit cards.
  • Daily Parking* - With the purchase of a daily permit, visitors may park in any of the parking garages normally reserved for “A” permits (this excludes Grant Street and Harrison Street Garages). Also, in any “A”, “B” or “C” space. Daily visitor parking permits may be purchased online.
  • Residence Hall Guest Parking* - If parking for a short time, guests are encouraged to utilize one of the metered spots. Metered spots can be paid for using an app on your smart phone called PassportParking Mobile Pay – no need to have a pocket full of change!
  • Visitors needing special consideration for disability parking should contact the Parking Facilities Office at (765) 494-9497 or visit our location at the Materials Management Distribution Center at 700 Ahlers Drive.

* Information is subject to change – please visit the parking website for the most accurate information.

Visiting Campus

Schedules vary, so it is best to talk to your student to determine what will work best for them. In the fall, Family Weekend is held on a weekend of a home football game – the date for Family Weekend varies each year. In the spring, many families enjoy visiting during Spring Fest. However, if you are visiting outside of these times and are looking for things to do, the Lafayette-West Lafayette Visitors Bureau has a calendar of exciting events happening in the community as well as information on where to stay and where to eat while in town.
Family Weekend is held in the fall semester; however, the date varies. Additional Family Weekend questions can be answered on the Family Weekend FAQ page.
The University does not hold a formal “Mom’s” or “Dad’s” weekend. These events are hosted by fraternities, sororities and cooperatives. Each organization determines if and when they will host an event.

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