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Student Transitions and Family Programs

Resources for Families of First-Generation Students

Definitions of first-generation students can vary between universities. Still, the overall theme of a first-generation college student is that they are the first in their family to attend and complete post-secondary education at a four-year college or university after high school. Students who had parents, grandparents, or other family members complete post-secondary education may have more knowledge about what it’s like, what to expect academically and socially, and help with common university language. For first-generation college students, their families may not offer that same information, leaving things more unknown and daunting. They may have never experienced college classes, financial aid, meal plans, housing, and many other aspects of college that a new student would be experiencing.

Financial Information

You can find information on filing the FAFSA by clicking the link below. The FAFSA, in Ohio, is used to determine state financial aid eligibility. If you are not from Ohio, be sure to check with your state's agency for higher education to see if an additional application is needed to be considered for state aid.

Filing the FAFSA
Here at UD, all admitted students receive a personalized financial aid offer that outlines their four-year educational investment for a degreeThis financial aid offer includes the year-over-year picture of all education expenses, including any tuition increases, so families can plan for success. The net tuition costs shared in the offer are guaranteed. Families will never be surprised by unexpected tuition increases because we share all the details upfront. Unlike other schools with tuition guarantees, we've eliminated fees, saving families up to $20,000 per year, and we offer a textbook scholarship (up to $500 per semester) to help ensure student success. 

Four-Year Approach to Tuition
Linked below, you can find information about the prices for the direct costs of undergraduate tuition. At the bottom of the page there is a PDF file with average tuition price for undergraduate residential, commuter, and adult degree advanced students. There is also a net price calculator that can give you an estimate and official details will be shared as you complete the admission and aid application process.

Tuition and Costs
You can find information about UD Dining services including the pricing of meal plans here. You can also learn about the differences and limitations of the various types of meal plans there.

Meal Plan Information

Resources & Tips

While students need to know all the resources on campus, it’s helpful for family members to know as well.

Many of the resources for your student can be found right here on the UD website. Whether the resources needed are related to career and academic advising, or health and well-being, you can find it all here! You can also find information about what life at Dayton might look like for your student, including housing and dining options, student organizations, campus recreation, and others! 

If anything should arise and you need to contact the University, or a specific office of the University, there is a directory that allows you to find the information that you need such as phone numbers or emails of faculty and staff. When using the directory, you’re able to filter based on department, name, or keywords.  However, there is also a list of common contacts for offices that are often the go to for many situations. Your student will also have access to a list of offices and resources they may need when they go through orientation for their first year!

Acknowledge emotions along the way, but don't let them impact big decisions

College can be an emotional time for all, especially first generation students. Some may feel anxious or guilty about leaving their families. However, it is important for them to be reminded that college is a valuable experience and receiving their degree will be beneficial for both them and their families. While the college experience may come as a struggle at times, make sure to continually support and keep them focused on their long-term goals, so that even when both of you might be adjusting, your emotions are not guiding decision making.

Expect and prepare for your student's thoughts and worldview to change

The University of Dayton encourages students to grow as individuals and find their vocations, interests, and personal goals. With this comes a newfound independence and confidence. Because of this, students may experience a shift in their original thought processes and intended paths of life. This could take time. Continue to support them in these changes, as they can be important in your student’s journey as they expand their worldview. 

Reaffirm your students of your confidence in them, and tell them you are proud!

Starting college can create feelings of worry or make them feel unprepared. Remind your student that you have full confidence in them, and that you are proud of who they are becoming and where they are going. Doing this will give your student the confidence needed to continue their journey. For instance, if they come across a bad grade or have a bad class, remind them that it is not the end of the world, and there is always opportunity to grow and learn more. On top of that, students may feel the weight of being a first generation student, so reaffirming your faith in them and telling them you are proud can go a long way.

Identify how the college experience can be different from other experiences

College courses, especially at University of Dayton, can be more academically rigorous and require more time for studying or higher levels of focus. Class formats, such as lectures, also may be different than what your student has become accustomed to. During holidays or throughout the semester, keep this in mind when wanting to see your student. Try not to pressure them into going to family events or come home all the time, and instead focus on encouraging them to study for those finals or work hard on those term papers they may have during holidays over the semester. Understanding and supporting their academic schedule is crucial to their success at UD. Some further information such as the academic calendar can be useful when it comes to making plans around breaks!

Encourage students to find a confidant or mentor to help them navigate campus life

While your student may come to you if they need anything, it can also be beneficial to have a guide on campus that they feel comfortable going to for advice, ranging anywhere from classes to social life to career counseling. Encourage them to find one! It could be an RA, campus minister, professor, or any other staff member that they feel comfortable talking with.

Encourage students to fully engage in the UD community

While the University of Dayton offers a rigorous academic program that requires time and effort, the full college experience is not complete without time spent outside of the classroom. Encourage your student to get involved on campus, whether that be through clubs, jobs, campus recreation, or other resources the University offers to them. The University of Dayton strives to create an atmosphere of community, allowing your students to connect with diverse people and build lasting relationships. Getting involved on campus can also allow for networking and building connections for further job opportunities. To find some options, encourage them to go to Up the Orgs, an event for first years to see all the organizations on campus they have access to join. Click here for more information about the student organizations recognized on campus! 

Help your student attain independence

It is important to help students grow by making sure they are able to care for and make decisions for themselves. Take the time to teach them the things that you had previously done for them. While it can be tempting to try and make things as easy as possible for your student, it is important for them to gain the skills necessary to live independently. For instance, if your student says they’re feeling sick, encourage them to call the health center rather than doing it for them. If they are having trouble with a class, encourage them to talk to their professor rather than you emailing on their behalf. While it may seem harsh at times, if done in a supportive way, your student will be able to grow and thrive in their new environment.

Common Flyer Language and Acronyms

Porches - Porches is a University of Dayton website that students utilize to access their registration status, register for classes, look at their payment center, and many other services. Students won’t have access to Porches until they are officially enrolled as a student.

Isidore - Many universities have a system where all students can access their classes and homework assignments. For the University of Dayton, this system is Isidore, named after St. Isidore of Seville, the patron saint of students. This is a site that students should check regularly after they are enrolled in classes to review their syllabi.

Orientation - Process of welcoming incoming students to the University. This includes welcoming students onto campus, meeting campus partners/resources, a find your classes tour, and more information about the upcoming year.

Registration - The process of scheduling classes for each semester. The time a student can register varies from person to person, as some get priority over others for being a higher level student/having more credits, or being in the honors program.

Academic Year - The academic year is split up into three semesters or terms starting with the fall semester: fall, spring, then summer. Academic years fall between two calendar years, which is why the university catalog is for 2020-2021 or 2021-2022.

Semester - A semester is one of the three terms in the academic year (usually about 15-18 weeks) that you are taking classes during. This can be Fall, Spring, or Summer.

Face-to-Face vs. Blended vs. Fully Remote Courses - Due to COVID 19, multiple course modalities (ways of structuring a class) have started to be offered. Face-To-Face classes mean that a course that you register for meets fully in person on each scheduled day. Blended courses consist of partial online and partial in-person meetings on the scheduled days. Fully Remote courses consist of strictly online meetings or asynchronous material for the semester.

Transcript (Official vs. Unofficial) - An official transcript is one that is printed, watermarked, and sent via mail by the high school or college it came from; typically, this requires a formal request to wherever you need the transcript from, and many universities require a formal transcript. An unofficial transcript is one that has been scanned into an email and sent electronically.

Registrar - The registrar is an official that takes care of keeping track of students' records, including knowing what students can get credit for from AP or College-Credit Plus classes or overseeing class registration processes.

Advanced Placement (AP) - Advanced Placement classes are college classes that can be taken at some high schools followed by an AP exam. Depending on the score of the exam, it can give you college credit and exempt you from taking those classes again at the university.

College Credit Plus (CCP) - Some high school allow students to take college classes at a local community college; college credit is given based on grades rather than an exam, but works the same way as AP classes in the sense that you can get college credit for the class if you get a good grade, allowing you to be exempt from taking the class again.

Bursar - An official in charge of financials in student accounts.

Credit hours - Credit hours refers to how many hours a class you’re registering for is meeting/refers to how much work you’ll be doing. For example, a typical class is labeled as 3 credit hours, meeting that you will meet for three hours each week (1 hour on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or 1.25 hours on Tuesday & Thursday), or will have the equivalent of that in classwork.

Full Time vs. Part Time Student - To be a full time student, you have to be taking 12 or more credit hours, so about four classes. Part-time students take around 6-11 credit hours.

Syllabus (Syllabi, plural) - At the beginning of each class, professors typically give out a syllabus, which is a document highlighting the expectations and schedule of the course, including major assignments. Not all professors give reminders about tests or essays because they assume you’ve read the syllabus, so make sure to pay attention to that!

Prerequisite - A prereq is a class that you have to take before registering for another one. Normally when you are registering for courses each semester, the classes you want to take will have a list of prerequisites and if you haven’t taken them, you won’t be able to register for that class.

Elective - An elective is a course that isn’t required but the student chooses to take. For example, if you’re a computer science major, you could take a theatre class as an elective if that is something you’re interested in.

Resident vs. Commuter - A resident is someone living on campus, while a commuter is someone who lives off campus and drives here whenever they have classes.

Withdraw - After the add/drop deadline, if a class isn’t going so well and you don’t think you can get your grade back up by the end of the semester, you’re able to withdraw from it prior to the "withdraw with a W" deadline. This will leave a W on your transcript, which acknowledges your attempt at the class, but it won’t affect your GPA. However, reducing credit hours to below full-time student status may reduce your financial aid eligibility, so it is important to talk to both your advisor and Flyer Student Services when choosing to withdraw from any courses.

Internship - This is a short work experience that can be done while you’re in college or even after you graduate. It’s normally for a few months/limited time and can be either paid or unpaid. It’s purpose is for you to see what it’s like hands on and truly determine if you could see yourself doing it for the rest of your life.

Study Abroad - Taking classes outside of the US, or in Hawaii (UD has a sister school there).

Major - The main focus of your studies at the university.

Minor - This is a secondary focus of study that can compliment or be completely different from your major.

Seminar - Seminars are typically smaller classes with only a handful of students that goes in depth on whatever the topic is for that class.

Honors - If a student has a good GPA (for UD, its 3.6 and above) then they can be eligible for Honors/the Honors program. The honors program sets you on track to graduate with Honors (21 honors credit hours/ 7 honors classes), Honors with Thesis (15 honors credit hours/5 honors classes + honors thesis), or Honors with Distinction (21 honors credit hours/7 honors classes + honors thesis). To earn honors credit, you must take courses that are labeled honors, which is seen when you are registering.

Thesis - A thesis is typically done by honors students and is a students opportunity to investigate a problem or statement important to them. They work with a mentor/faculty member that advises them and conducts research.

Pass/Fail - Some classes are on a Pass/Fail grading scale, where instead of a letter grade you just get a P or F on your transcript.

Financial Aid - Funding for students to attend college/post-secondary education; can consist of grants, loans, scholarships, and work study programs.

FAFSA - The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is an application to the government for financial support through college. It must be completed every year in order to determine eligibility for the type of aid you can receive. They use cost of attendance minus the expected family contribution to determine what you will receive.

Merit-Based vs. Need-Based Aid - Merit-Based aid is based on grades or ACT/SAT scores, and typically higher grades/scores receive more money. Need-Based aid is related to your financial need, which is based on other criteria. The amount you receive in need based aid cannot surpass your financial need.

Tuition - The amount it costs to pay for the courses/teaching/instruction at the university.

Room and Board - The amount it costs to stay in on campus facilities and meal plan.

Loans - Money taken out from the government or private loan company that has to be paid back after college/during college.

Unsubsidized vs. Subsidized Loan - When taking federal loans, there are subsidized and unsubsidized. For both of these loans, you do not have to start repaying them until 6 months after graduation, after you drop under half-time, or drop-out. Unsubsidized loans are accruing interest as soon as you take them and throughout your time in college. With Subsidized loans, they do not accrue interest until after the 6 month grace period for your situation of graduating etc.

Private Loan -  Private companies or banks are also options for taking out loans, interest rates can vary and oftentimes you can choose to start paying while in college or wait until after graduation.

Grant - Money that is given for post-secondary education and doesn’t have to be repaid, grants are usually need-based.

Work Study - Work study is assistance with paying for college while in college by working a campus job, allowing you to have some income. On campus jobs are not permitted to schedule you more than 20 hours per week during a semester.

Scholarship - Similar to a grant, this is money for college that doesn’t have to be paid back, but scholarships are typically merit-based.

Fellowship - Fellowships are typically given based on merit to students wanting to do further research or academic studies after getting their undergraduate degree.

Gosiger Hall - Gosiger Hall is right in between the Health Center and VWK. It is home to the Student Transition & Family Programs office, Office of Student Development, the Counseling Center, and many other offices pertaining to your success and wellbeing on campus.

Health Center - If a student is feeling ill, the Health Center on campus is where they can call and make an appointment to see a physician. 

Counseling Center - The Counseling Center is a great resource for students who are struggling mentally and emotionally, and services are free in order to make them accessible to everyone. 

Brook Center - The Brook Center looks out for the wellbeing of students and engages in educating healthy practices for everyday life. 

Red Scare - Student organization meant for bringing school spirit to all the UD varsity athletic events ranging from volleyball to soccer! They’re in charge of chants and cheering on the team; they’re also the largest student organization on campus.

Baujan Field - The soccer field behind Frericks where soccer games take place.

UD Arena - Basketball games take place at this Arena not far from campus.

Rudy Flyer - UD’s mascot.

RecPlex / the Rec - Many students and faculty use the term Recplex or the Rec in reference to UD’s campus recreation center. Here you will find basketball and racquetball courts, exercise equipment, the pool, and The Chill.

Intramurals - Intramurals are fun, informal sports that any student can form a team for! Lots of the games take place in the Recplex or on Stuart field.

C2C - Short for the Commitment to Community, which is the rules and guidelines for living within the campus community.

RA - Stands for resident assistant/advisor, they are in charge of the floor for your residence hall and making sure that everyone follows the C2C guidelines.

Bookstore - Located in the same building as the Emporium, the bookstore is where you will purchase and pick up the books you will need for your classes each semester. They also have lots of spiritwear and convenience store items!

Flex vs. Standard - “Flex?” is the common question asked when cashing out in the dining halls, and it is asking if you are using the Flex Plan for your meal plan. Oftentimes you will have to tell them that you use Standard if that is the meal plan you chose! Click here to learn more about the meal plan options.

KU - Kennedy Union is often referred to KU when spoken about on campus; KU houses three dining places on campus: Que, Spice, and Toss, which are very popular, as well as hosts the Hangar.

The Hangar and Fly By - The Hangar is a hangout spot that includes bowling, pool tables, board games, and relaxing areas. It also houses Fly By which serves donuts, bagels and bagel sandwiches, some snacks and beverages.

VWK - Virginia W. Kettering Hall is referred to as VWK for short. While being a sophomore residence hall and hosting some meeting rooms, it also has a great dining hall with many options. It includes the Grainery for sandwiches and subs, a salad bar, and a vegan place called Green Life. Another portion of the dining hall, Passports, has different international dishes such as sushi, Mongolian, etc.

The Blend - Located on the ground floor of the Library, the Blend contains snacks and coffee available for purchase while you study.

The Emporium/Empo and Empo Express - While the Empo (short for The Emporium) is closed for renovation at the moment, The Empo Express has taken shop right across from the renovations in Marianist! This is a little convenience style store that hosts some snacks and little items that you can grab and go, and its variable hours are listed on the dining services website.

Marycrest (MC) - While yes it is a residence hall, it is also a dining hall open to everyone on campus and includes things such as chicken tenders, pizza, etc. It is most known for its Mac and Cheese Mondays.

Stu’s Landing / Stu’s - This is a little convenience snack shop in the Stuart residence hall on Stuart Hill! 

The Chill - This is a little smoothie place at the back on the Recplex by the rock climbing wall. They have smoothies, smoothies bowls, and other options to refuel after a good workout.

Art Street (AS) - A street in the neighborhood that has very few classrooms and is mostly used for innovative spaces that can be reserved. It also has the Art Street Cafe which offers good drinks and food!

Anderson Center (AN) - Hosts mainly computer science and business classes. UDit, the information center for any tech problems a student may have, is also located in this building.

Frericks Center (TF) - Among hosting Varsity volleyball games, they also host some health and sports science classes.

Zehler Hall (ZH) and St. Joe’s Hall (SJ) - Both of these halls are connected, but are referred to separately as classes can take place on either side of the building. Typically, this is the building that social science classes take place in.

Science Center (SC) - The Science Center is composed of two parts: Sherman Hall (SH) on the west side of the SC, and Wohlleben Hall (WH) on the east side of the SC, but students and faculty usually just refer to it as Science Center as a whole. The science center typically holds science and math classes like Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Calculus, etc.

Humanities Center (HM) - As the name suggests, Humanities hosts mainly humanities classes such as Philosophy, Religion, Languages, etc. Occasionally, extra events including guest speakers or late night movies occur in the main lecture hall in the building.

Fitz Hall (FH) - Often referred to as just Fitz, this building right across from campus on Brown street hosts School of Education classes, Art and Design classes, Music, Theatre, and Dance classes, and Electro-optics classes.

Kettering Labs (KL) - Kettering Labs is typically referred to as KL, which houses mostly Engineering classes.

Marianist Hall (ML) - This building on campus has some classroom spaces on the second floor that faculty are able to reserve for use. Like VWK, though, it also doubles as a residence hall for first and second year students. Marianist Hall also houses the Emporium.

Miriam Hall (MH) - Miriam hosts mostly business classes and also contains a little cafe inside for coffee and snacks.

Roesch Library (RL) - Very few classes take place here, but there are a few select places to host classes involving innovative approaches or research. Study rooms are available for reservation, and there is also lots of space to sit on each floor that do not require reservations. Click here to learn about all the resources available at Roesch Library.

Rike Center (RK) - Hosts international classes and is an international student resource.

Keller Hall (KH) - Hosts law classes.

Curran Place (1700) - This is an off campus building that hosts MBA and other graduate classes.

Getting and Staying Connected with UD

The Flyer Families Webpage includes previous Path Forward messages, Student and Family News Digests, additional information and resources (some information on mental health seminars and group therapy, technology, campus mail services, and internet access), links for resources for students, and links for additional information for Flyer Families.

Flyer Families Webpage

The Family Profile form gives the University accurate information which allows the University to share direct communication about UD happenings on campus and throughout the country with family members. It will also allow the University to connect you with information, resources, and opportunities that may enhance your student’s UD experience.

The Family Profile Form

The Parent Leadership Council is an active network of parents and family members who advocate for students and increase the awareness of UD resources. The page includes information on the Parent Leadership Council’s Expectations like what Council members are asked to do, opportunities you can volunteer for, and what Council members can expect.

Parent Leadership Council

The Video Library is a collection of videos that may support you and your student's transition and increase your access to important information. These are “how-to’s” videos that cover topics like the Bookstore, Dining facilities and services, the Office of Learning Resources, Student Employment, using the 1850 app, and the Honors Program.

Video Library

Student Transitions and Family Programs

Gosiger Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0911