A student's first year at college is a time of tremendous growth and development.  The success of this first year are the building blocks of a student's time at Oregon State University.  Family support is critical to the transition.  Below we have included some tips and helpful information for guiding you through that transition.

Things to do prior to enrollment

Paying the Advance Tuition Deposit: This is considered the confirmation that your student will be attending OSU.  

Apply for On-Campus Housing: OSU requires all students admitted as a first-year must live on campus. Living on campus is an excellent way for students to connect with key campus resources and build community. It has also been shown to have positive impact on student success. More information about the live on requirement can be found on the First-Year Experience website. University Housing & Dining Services (UHDS) also provides additional Parent and Family Resources including information on-campus safety, contracts and rates, and frequently asked questions (FAQs).  

Register for Orientation/START: START or Term orientation is OSU's orientation and class registration program.  Students are required to attend a START prior to the start of Fall term.  Family members are invited to attend.   

Submitting Immunization Documentation: All incoming students must submit health form and proof of immunity again a variety of infectious diseases

Have questions or concerns about the student billing and payment process? Check out the welcome page from Student Accounts. 

Tips to Support the Transition

  • Listen openly, honestly and without judgment.
  • Empower your student to solve their own problems
  • Be understanding when they feel overwhelmed or homesick but encourage them to stay in Corvallis or on campus
  • Be interested in their experience
  • Be prepared for new behaviors, such as dress, hair, food preferences
  • Know that they still hear you, even if you aren't sure they are listening
  • Let them know that you are proud of them 


Communication can look very different once your student is no longer living in your home.  With texting being the #1 choice to communicate, some families find that their student texts more frequently while others notice a drop off. Some might notice it more frequently at the beginning and then it slows down as the quarter goes one and most likely as they are building their network and new community here at Oregon State. Any of and all of those are normal. 

One very common occurrence is for a student to call their family member and vent or share a concern and then you as the family member feel obligated to help solve it or you worry about it and 90% of the time they just needed a safe space to vent and you are that.