Resources for Parents and Family Members


Information for Parents
An important part of a student’s college experience involves learning about how to optimize their health and well-being and to advocate for their health related concerns. For some students, this could refer to learning how to make (and keep) a medical appointment, understanding how to get a prescription filled at a pharmacy, or communicating to a health care provider the important details of their health/medication history. The Student Health Center staff is committed to helping students navigate this developmental process. At the same time we recognize how difficult it is knowing that your student is ill and possibly hours away from home. We also understand feeling of uncertainty to have your student receive healthcare from providers they do not know. Many parents/guardians also find it frustrating when their students are seen at the Student Health Center and the provider cannot speak with them about their students’ condition or plan of care without the students’ permission.

Working together we can help your student develop skills needed to understand and participate in decisions concerning personal health and to acquire knowledge of accessing medical services and an understanding of the cost of medical care, and the necessity for medical insurance. We can also help students develop healthy behaviors to reduce the risk of illness and injury.

As your student prepares to leave for college, there are some things that parents/guardians can do to help their student manage their health:

  • Encourage your student to call and make his or her next medical appointment and obtain general information about the appointment.
  • Review the basics of your insurance plan with your student, providing copies of his or her medical, prescription drug, dental, and/or vision insurance cards, discussing any requirements for pre-approval, whether and when to notify the insurance company following hospitalization or emergency room care, and the difference between "in-network" and "out-of-network" care.
  • Discuss any seasonal, food, or drug allergies and personal and family medical histories, ensuring that your student can provide the basics to a health care provider.
  • Discuss the resources on campus and where to get services for other concerns or medical conditions that may be provided by a local professional in the community.
  • Send your student to college with basic first aid and over the counter medication(s).
  • Encourage your student to contact health center administration before calling home, if s/he is not satisfied with their service. We always take student concerns seriously!

New York Times Article: Preparing your student for college