University of Vermont

Frequently Asked Questions for Families

June Orientation FAQs  for  Families

Orientation might be a place for your student to learn the ins and outs of life at UVM, but it's also YOUR time to ask questions and learn about your role in their upcoming college career. We're sure you've got tons of questions about Orientation as you and your student prepare for your first formal introduction to our campus. We're here to help.

Below is a list of our most frequently asked questions to assist with any questions or concerns you may have about the Orientation program as they pertain to you as attending family.

Of course, if you still have questions concerning a topic not covered here we'd love the opportunity to help clarify. Feel free to contact us at the Orientation Program Office by calling (802) 656-4136 or e-mail us at

Registration and Fees

What is the $55.00 family registration fee?
Orientation costs for new students are covered by the acceptance fee that has already been paid to the Admissions Office. The family registration fee is a per-person fee for any family member (over the age of 10) who will be attending the Family Orientation Program. This program runs separate from the student program and features sessions on topics that are important to parents and families and their role in the student's transition to life at UVM. The fee for this program covers the cost of the materials, program staff, and the information sessions you will attend as part of this program. This registration fee is all-inclusive, non-negotiable and non-refundable. Children 10 and under are exempt from this fee.

What meals are provided during Orientation for attending families?
A 2-Day meal package is available for family members to purchase for $48.00 per person. This meal package includes lunch, dinner, and the family reception on Day 1, and brunch on Day 2 of the sessions your student will be attending. A meal package for children under 10 is available for $25.00, which includes all meals on both days of Family Orientation. You can purchase or add these plans in your student's online reservation.

Since 95% of Family Orientation attendees participate fully in the program, most elect to purchase the meal package. Packages can be purchased through the orientation reservation system when registration opens in March. Meals can also be purchased individually in person at Orientation - though if you plan to attend the program and are interested in these meals we highly recommend purchasing your plan ahead of time to prevent waiting in lines.

Can parents or family members attend different session dates from their student’s?
No.  Due to space limitations, family members must attend the same Orientation session (dates) as their student. 

Do I have to attend all of the informational sessions? Will my fee be reduced if I do not attend all of the sessions?
Family members attending Family Orientation may choose which informational sessions they wish to attend -it is not required that family members attend all informational sessions (students are required to attend the entire program).  However, the registration cost will not be reduced and is non-negotiable.

Do most parents or family members attend Family Orientation?
The choice of whether or not to attend Family Orientation depends on each individual family and differs from session to session. A lot of families find the sessions provided for them informational - while others feel they already have all the information they need.  Ultimately the decision on whether or not Families would like to attend should be made by determining if they would find the informational sessions helpful.

For families or students concerned that they will be the only ones with or without families in attendance - there is always a mix of attendees and their student will not be the only one with or without a family member with them.

If I put charges onto my student's account, when will we be billed?
Student Financial Services issues bills in Mid-April, May, and June.  Accounts must be paid prior to attending June Orientation.  The Student Financial Services office is open Monday-Friday and can be reached at (802) 656-5700. Orientation fees can also be paid in-person at check-in during your Orientation session - just look for the 'Solutions' table. Please note however that we are NOT able to accept cash payments at that time.

Arrival and Check In

Where do I check-in?
Please plan to arrive on the first day between 8:00 am to10:00 am for check-in at the University Heights South Residence Hall (adjacent to student check-in at Harris/Millis). We highly recommend arriving early to ensure that your check-in process is smooth and that you are able to get to your rooms / the start of the program on time.

My student and I need to arrive early to Orientation. What do we do?
If you are traveling a long distance or have an Honors College student and require housing the night before your session, please indicate your need for early arrival when making your reservation in the Orientation Reservation System. Check-in for early arrivals will be from 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm at Harris / Millis Complex; If you are unable to make it prior to 11:00 pm you will have to call the phone number posted on the door to Harris/Millis to gain access to the building. You will be housed in your assigned room for Orientation when you arrive.

The cost for an early arrival student is $55.00 - which covers their extra night of housing, food, and staffing. Early Arrival families is $70 per double ($140 Total) or $90 per single. Pizza will be available from 4 to 7 p.m., and breakfast the following morning will be provided.

Orientation Program and Schedule

Will I have an opportunity to see my student throughout the day?
While you will join your student for some activities, many of your sessions will be separate and geared toward your role as a parent or guardian. Family members do not attend academic advising or course registration sessions with students.

As a Parent, what will I be doing during Family Orientation?
You will have a chance to gain your own introductions to campus life, as well as the opportunity to meet with representatives of the academic unit in which your student is enrolling and learn about general academic requirements and policies, registration processes, and UVM's advising system. You will also have an opportunity to meet key campus staff members who support new students, and become familiar with student services and facilities, such as the residence hall system, food service plans, financial aid, career planning, and student activities.

What is the schedule for Student Orientation and for Family Orientation?
Because of the planning involved in the orientation program, concrete schedules are not available until you arrive on campus. However, if you'd like to get a better idea of what the program looks like overall, you can check out our Orientation overview to get a better picture of what both you and your student will be doing throughout the day.

Travel and Housing Accommodations

What should I bring?
Weather in Vermont is unpredictable; we encourage you to pack for all possibilities. We will be participating in events indoors and outdoors, so please bring an umbrella and comfortable attire for traveling on campus. Some University buildings are not air-conditioned.

I am from out of town. Where can I stay?
The Orientation Program provides limited on-campus housing accommodations for Parents and Families who are attending the Family Orientation program. When registering for orientation, your student will be able to select the appropriate on-campus housing needs for family members. Families who do not wish to stay on campus are more than welcome to make their own accommodations off campus. Please visit UVM’s local lodging and transportation resources pages for more information about what is available in the area - or check in with the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce Website.

Does UVM have shuttle service from the airport or hotels?
Unfortunately there is no campus shuttle to or from local airports or hotels. Taxis from the airport to campus are approximately $15.00. You may also use public bus transportation from the airport to UVM. Be sure to check availability at for more information on Bus times and routes.

Please visit UVM’s local lodging and transportation resources pages for more information. Additional information is also available on the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce website.

I am the only person in my family besides my student who will be attending Family Orientation. I will be staying on campus. Will I be assigned a roommate?
No. If only one family member is attending the Family Orientation Program, they must choose the single occupancy accommodations if they stay on campus. Orientation will not assign roommates to individuals that are not from the same family.

I am an early arrival, but I arrive late at night.  What do I do?
If you are a registered “Early Arrival” and you arrive after 11pm at Harris/Millis Residential Complex, there will be a telephone number posted on the entrance door.  Call this number and a UVM Conference & Events staff member will respond to check you into your room.

I am an early arrival, but I arrive in Burlington before 3pm.  Can I check-in early or store my luggage?
No.  Orientation Leaders do not staff the Harris/Millis Residential Complex until 3pm for approved early arrivals.  Therefore, we are unable to accommodate these requests.

May I bring my children with me to Family Orientation?
Yes.  But please note that the floors are bare and there is no carpeting in the University Heights South Residential Complex where families are housed. There is no charge for children under 10 accompanying their parents or guardians.

Is it possible to request kosher meals during Orientation?
Unfortunately, Orientation is not able to provide kosher meals.

Does the University have a fall weekend designated for family visits?
Yes, UVM Homecoming & Family Weekend is October 2-4th, 2015. The UVM Alumni Association sponsors this weekend and encourages families to reserve accommodates early and join us for academic open houses, athletic games and much more! For more information visit -

Disability Services and Other Health Related Requests

Are there disability accommodations available during Orientation?
If you or a family member would like to request accommodations for disabilities and / or other health related conditions/concerns, please contact us at least two weeks prior to your registered sessions in BOTH the following ways:

  • Provide specific information when you register AND
  • Calling the Orientation Office at (802) 656-4136
Deaf or hard of hearing guests may contact UVM by sending an e-mail message to

For more information about students with disabilities, please visit the ACCESS website (Accommodation, Consultation, Collaboration and Educational Support Services), UVM’s office of Disability Services.

Are wheelchairs available?
Orientation is not able to provide wheelchairs or wheelchair assistance. If a wheelchair is needed, please make sure to arrange to bring your own.

However, we do make necessary housing arrangements for any student or family member staying on campus who use a wheelchair or require accessible accommodations.  Most UVM buildings and shuttle buses used by Orientation are accessible. Please contact our office at least 2 weeks prior to your Orientation session to discuss accommodation needs. 

Last modified June 01 2015 11:17 AM