According to this recent AP story, “Empty Nest 101,” these
events invite moms and dads to come to campus during the summer for two to
three days to take part in tours, listen to speeches and participate in
workshops on a variety of topics that include financial aid, campus safety and “letting
go.” Some parents have the option of spending the night in a dorm and sample
campus cuisine to get a feel of their children’s college life.
“You might think parents facing massive tuition bills would balk at more demands on their budget and time,” wrote AP reporter Beth J. Harpaz. “But many colleges report that well over half their freshmen have family in attendance at these events, and lots of parents think the orientations are the greatest thing since ‘What To Expect When You're Expecting.’”
Many moms and dads are willing to take time off work and pay the airfare to attend parent orientation at their children’s colleges and universities. One university reported that these orientations have even been attended by grandparents and “as many as nine family members.” Knowing that their child is safe and getting the chance to see their new environment first-hand is worth the extra expense, according to some moms and dads.
Did you attend an orientation specifically for parents at your child’s college or university? What was the experience like and what did you learn?