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Parent FAQs

What does the Shepard Academic Center offer?
The Shepard Academic Resource Center (Buckley Center 101) is for all students. It is a "one-stop" place for students to come for support, counsel, and assistance of all sorts. The center oversees academic counseling and advising, helps students explore interests related to their studies, and works closely with students having difficulty adjusting to college life. The center also provides resources for families to help their students have a successful experience in college. The center provides information regarding the many resources offered by departments all over campus, including residence life, financial aid, the registrar, study abroad, volunteer services, and the career center. If you would like to learn more or schedule an appointment, please call the center at 503.943.7895. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday.

When is Freshman Orientation and what should students and parents expect when they arrive at UP?
Orientation for the freshman class is always held the weekend before classes start.

Orientation is a critical time for first-year students to learn about the university, meet new people, and begin their adjustment process. UP also provides a number of parent programs during Orientation weekend; please refer to the Orientation web site for more information and specific dates.

What is the biggest adjustment my student will have to face when he or she comes to college?
Students face a number of adjustments over the course of their first year at college. Initially, their biggest issue is often homesickness - it takes time to get used to living away from home, with a person they may never have met before, and without the support system that you as parents often represent for them. Later in the semester, roommate issues may loom large, as the "honeymoon period" of living with that other person wears off. Academic pressures begin to mount as the semester goes on and students realize the greater amount of time and effort that is needed to be successful academically at UP.

The good news is that UP has resources for students at each point of their adjustment to the Bluff. Homesickness is tempered with opportunities for students to begin to make connections, through frequent and intentional chances to get involved. The Center for Health and Counseling has counselors available to speak with students about their homesickness and any other issues they may want to discuss. For roommate issues, we encourage students first to communicate with each other to resolve the problem. Additionally, Resident Assistants are available on each floor to help mediate. Finally, students facing academic difficulties can talk to their professors and utilize the services of the Shepard Academic Resource Center.

Should my student come home during his/her time at UP?
For students who can commute home on the weekends, advise them not to do so during the first 4-6 weeks of their first semester. The first weeks are very important for establishing friendships and connections on campus. Many local universities do not begin classes until mid-September. If students hang out off-campus (with their high school friends) during this critical first-year bonding time, they will be "outsiders" on campus and will find it harder to make friends later in the semester.

What is my student's mailing address?
Address all mail to your student as:

First Name Last Name
Residence Hall Name (and) Room Number
5000 N. Willamette Blvd.
Portland, OR 97203

Who can I speak with if my student has a roommate problem?
Learning to live with another person naturally requires adjustments, patience, and good communication. Should your student experience a problem with his or her roommate, encourage him or her to contact residence life. Residence life staff members work with students to resolve roommate issues. Visit the residence life web site to learn more.

What should I remember if my student is a commuter?
If your student will live at home and commute to school, remind yourself often that college is not an extension of high school. Courses are more demanding and require more hours of out-of-class preparation. Involvement in a variety of campus activities is essential if your commuting student is going to derive the full benefit of an undergraduate education. Make a conscious effort to limit the domestic responsibilities of your student in the home and support his or her full participation in University life.

Does someone help my student register for their first semester of classes?
Yes, someone from your student's school will work with your student to register for classes, starting in mid-May. Registration differs slightly between schools, as each program has different requirements for their various majors.

Students with an intended major in the College of Arts and Sciences (including undeclared students), the Pamplin School of Business, and the School of Education will be interviewed, either in person or over the phone, and a schedule will be created based on courses required for their intended major, core requirements for the University, and their personal interests.

Students who are in the School of Engineering or the School of Nursing will receive their schedules via email after registration begins. Because the curriculum for the freshmen year is a fairly set schedule for both schools, administrators in these schools will create a schedule for your student.

For more detailed information, please see the University of Portland Enrollment Packet.

Do I have access to my student's grades?
The University of Portland does not mail grades home. Final grades are available online to students in Self Serve at PilotsUP. Midterm grades for 100 and 200 level classes are also posted in Self Serve. We encourage you to speak with your son or daughter about grades frequently.

Students must sign the FERPA Parent Proxy in order for parents to have access to any information on grades. If your student does sign the form, contact the Shepard Academic Resource Center to have a discussion about their academics.

Where should I send my student if she or he needs help with classes, registration, tutoring, or has any other questions?
Tell your student to visit the Shepard Academic Resource Center for all of their questions. We call ourselves a one-stop shop for all students because we know where to send students to get the help they are seeking. The great thing about the University of Portland is that there are several resources available to students, but often students do not know where to go for help and assistance. That's where the Shepard Academic Resource Center comes in. We will help students find the answers to their questions.

Who can I speak with about my student's tuition bill?
Financial aid can answer all of your questions regarding your son or daughter's tuition bill. For more information, see the financial aid web site.

How does UP keep its campus safe?
The University of Portland places a high priority on the safety of all students, faculty, staff, and visitors, and the Department of Public Safety is committed to keeping our campus secure. For information on safety issues on campus, please see the Department of Public Safety's web site.

What happens if my student gets sick on campus?
The Health and Counseling Center offers primary health care to all students at the university. This service is generally provided at no cost to the student, regardless of his or her health-care insurance status (possible exceptions include medications, lab tests, or other supplies, if needed).

For more information on this service and the many other services provided by the Center for Health and Counseling (including mental health counseling, nutrition information, learning assistance, and wellness promotion), please visit the Health and Counseling Center web site.

What is there for my student to do at UP?
Plenty! Student activities puts on frequent events around campus, including movies, dances, off-campus excursions and more.

Is your daughter planning on being an engineer? Is your son from Minnesota? Does your child have a passion for board games? Well, then UP has a club for them! Check out our list of clubs and organizations.

And whether your student is from the area or new to it altogether, he or she might enjoy our Outdoor Pursuits Program, which allows UP students to witness the beauty and excitement of the Pacific Northwest.

Can my student have a car on campus?
Resident students classified as freshmen cannot have a car on campus. For more information, refer to UP's Transportation Information and Parking Regulations.

Does my student need to bring a computer to college?
Although it is not required and computer labs are available, students often choose to bring their own computers with them to the University of Portland. For more information about computer and telecommunication services available at the University, visit the information services office.

What is the University's toll free number?
You can reach the University of Portland toll free at 1.800.B.A.PILOT (227.4568). Please know the office or extension you wish to reach when you call, and note that this number only works during business hours, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.