Talk with Your Student

Here are some topics for families and parents to discuss with your student to help guide them through the college journey. 

September 2019

A time of transition – for the student and parent 

During the first year, and throughout college, students will move between being out in a world that’s exciting and needing to know their parents and families will always support them. Some students will thrive immediately; others will need more time to get comfortable. No matter the pace, the next four years are an important transition to independent adulthood. 

It’s also an important milestone for parents and families, transitioning from provider and protector to mentor and confidant. 

Stay in touch – visit during Family Weekend! 

Marquette encourages families to stay in touch with their students and send care packages to celebrate their successes while also encouraging them to take advantage of university resources when they are struggling. 

First-year students living on campus are encouraged to stay at Marquette on weekends during the first semester as much as possible. It is a crucial time to make new friends, adjust to new academic expectations and get involved outside the classroom.  

Family Weekend is September 27-29, 2019!  Visit the website to learn more about the events offered on or off campus. Also, consider just joining your student for a tour of campus or a dinner downtown. 

Living arrangements 

All first-year students living in a residence hall are asked to complete a roommate agreement, including how roommates will navigate different expectations and living styles. Most new students find their living arrangements work if they are open-minded and communicate with one another.  

Current sophomores and upperclassmen may start talking about plans for living in rental houses and apartments. There is no need to rush on housing decisions for 2020-2021, as there is plenty of housing available in the area. Nearby landlords will lease throughout the year for the following fall. The University Apartments (Campus Town, Gilman, Frenn, McCabe, and The Marq) will begin their selection process in October, with building tours and information sessions. Eligible students currently in on-campus housing will received specific emails about the process. More details can be viewed at

Tuition and bills 

Students receive notices about tuition to their Marquette email accounts. If parents want to receive these notices, they must have their student register a parent’s email for guest access through their CheckMarq account. This also provides access to bursar accounts, e-bills and 1098Ts.

October 2019

Midterm break 

The October 17 to 20 midterm break provides an opportunity to reconnect with your student. Some students experience homesickness, and it is normal for students to miss their families and friends back home. But if a student’s homesickness is interfering with daily life, encourage him or her to seek support by talking to a resident assistant, visiting Campus Ministry and/or stopping by the Counseling Center. 


Spring course registration and advising 

Registration for spring classes for first-year students takes place in mid-November. Students are required to meet with their academic advisers once a semester before registration beings. 

To prepare for their advising meeting, students can use Academic Advisement, an online resource to help them understand which requirements have been met and which ae outstanding. Doing so will increase the amount of time available to discuss topics such as studying abroad, internships and career choices.   


Accelerated Degree Programs 

Students can complete a master’s degree in only one additional year through Marquette’s accelerated degree programs. Students take graduate-level courses during their senior year that count towards both their bachelor’s and master’s degree. Learn more online. 


Open House 
The Graduate School and the Graduate School of Management will host an Open House on Thursday, Nov. 7, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Alumni Memorial Union. This event is open to anyone interested in pursuing a graduate degree. Attendees will meet directors of graduate studies, faculty, graduate school staff and current students in a casual, conversational format. RSVP online. 


University Apartments 

Marquette University Apartments offer studio, one, two, and three bedroom options in safe and convenient living communities on or close to campus. Sophomores and juniors thinking about signing leases for the 2020-2021 academic year can place deposits for university-owned apartments in October. First-year students, who are required to live in on-campus residences as sophomores, submit housing deposits in March. 


Promoting Academic Success 

Benedict Kemp, PhD 
Associate Director, Retention 

Office of Student Educational Services 

Students often start the semester with high expectations. Many students will struggle to meet those goals, but that is a good thing! This struggling to achieve academic goals results in the development of new skills and understandingsHowever, by this time of the semester, many students lose motivation or perspective on how learning can be hard work. Keep encouraging your student! The academic struggle is real, and it will help your student to hear that you understand that their academic growth can be a struggle.  


The other big academic event on the October calendar is midterms. Many courses have exams sometime during October 10-16th. It is important to remember that one of the things an exam assesses is how well students prepared for the exam. It isn’t just a matter of hard work; it is also about the effectiveness of studying. If your student needs help to study more effectively, encourage them to schedule an appointment with an academic coach in Student Educational Services (125 Coughlin Hall). 


Finally, I suggest you read the Guiding Values of Marquette University (link “Mission of Marquette University to this- The first item listed under Marquette University Guiding Values states the University’s pledge to make the “personal and holistic development of students as our primary institutional vocation.” Your student will grow and change as a result of their Marquette education. As I stated above, that requires hard work and is often scary. One of the ways it can be scary is that intellectual growth leads to new interests and passions as a student’s understanding of the world matures. Encourage your student to explore their interests. Parental support will help normalize the scary work that they are doing to become the difference.

November 2019

Registration appointment time 

In mid-November, after advising, students register for classes. Registration appointments for undergraduate students are assigned by total number of credits. This process allows students who are closest to completing their degree – and have less opportunity to take certain classes – to have earlier appointments. Marquette Central has a wonderful resource for students on the How Do I…? website.


Staying healthy 

As cold and flu season beings, students may get sick for the first time away from home. The Marquette University Medical Clinic offers a wide range of resources to care for sick students, including flu shots for a nominal fee. Students who have not received a flu shot should be encouraged to do so this month.  

Also, the Marquette University Medical Clinic wants to make sure students are aware of CDC Update on Lung Injury Associated with E-cigarette Use or Vaping.  Please take some time to review the update and discuss with your student.


Encourage balance 

This is a great time to encourage your student to maintain a balanced life – fitting in exercise and a healthy diet with academics and a social life. This is equally important for a student who is worried about grades or one spending too little time in the library. Students have free access to the Rec Center and Rec Plex on campus. 

December 2019

Final exams and grades 
The end of the semester is quickly approaching which means students are extremely busy preparing for final exams, papers and projects. During this stressful time, students should be encouraged to seek balance in work and play and take care of themselves. This is an ideal time to send words of reassurance, a care package or a gift certificate to enjoy a meal out.  
Grades are posted in students’ CheckMarq accounts the week after finals. Inevitably, some students may not do as well as they had hoped. Take time to discuss with your student what he or she hopes or plans to do differently in the future and encourage the them to take advantage of academic support services. More information about guest access on Checkmarq is available online. 


A time for reflection and fun 
Christmas break is an ideal time for families and students to reflect on the semester, especially after students have caught up on sleep and reconnected with family and friends. Families should take time to ask students about their favorite class, favorite Milwaukee restaurant, most challenging professor and new friends. It’s also a good time to encourage students to develop in their faith or spirituality and ask if they have considered taking advantage of the many faith-based resources offered for students of all backgrounds on campus.  


When your student is home during Christmas break make sure to spend time doing fun activities. It doesn't necessarily have to be a big trip but rather a time for simple things that your student might have enjoyed prior to college. also offers some great things to think about over the break including Setting House Rules. 


Away from home, students are learning to make independent and responsible decisions as an adult. Take some time to review this booklet from the Division of Student Affairs, to help guide conversations.  Enjoy time with your student and take pride in the growth they have achieved. 

January 2020

Making Marquette home 

Many first-year students return to campus more confident and comfortable and will receive invitations to become involved in out-of-class experiences. The opportunities are as diverse as the student body, including student organizations, community service opportunities, intramural and club sports, and faith-based retreats, to name a few. 

Other opportunities to get involved include undergraduate research service learning, Greek Life and student employment. Now is a great time for students to try different groups and learn about different opportunities around campus.  Encourage your student to attend Winter O-fest on Thursday, January 16 in the AMU Ballrooms. 


Special Opportunity to Receive Limited Free Dental Care at Dental School 

Graduating 4th year dental students at Marquette University School of Dentistry (located at the corner of 18th St & Wisconsin Ave) are in need of particular patients for their final licensure examination.  

 In order to qualify for a free dental procedure, patient must: 

  • Be at least 18 years old 
  • Be willing to be screened at the dental school for a 15-30 minute appointment prior to examination date 
  • Be available for examination date: Saturday February 29th and/or Sunday March 1st 
  • Have at least one of the following dental needs that qualifies for the exam: 
  • A small/medium-sized cavity between 2 back teeth 
  • A small/medium- cavity between 2 front teeth 
  • A “deep cleaning” below the gums 

Interested, but not sure if you qualify? Interested in becoming a full-time patient at the school?  

 Call (414) 288-6790, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to speak with a representative to schedule your initial screening consultation 

February 2020

Winter blahs 

Winter in Milwaukee can be a challenge for some students as the snow flies and the days are shorter. Students may experience the winter “blahs”, and alcohol use tends to increase at this time of the year. Encourage students to bundle up and spend time outside exploring Milwaukee. Included in student tuition is a bus pass for the Milwaukee County bus system, and there are hundreds of entertainment and dining options only a few minutes away, Visit Milwaukee is a great place to start the search. 


Study abroad opportunities 

It’s also a time when a lot of students think about and plan to study abroad. Applications for summer, fall and full-year study abroad programs are due in March. The Office of International Education supports more than 70 locations across the globe. OIE will host program-specific information sessions and informational booths so encourage your student to take part.  

Spring break plans can include service trips 

Spring break – March 8 to 15 – is just around the corner, and students begin making plans for trips during this time. Some visit home, travel or stay on campus, but many participate in week-long service trips with other students. Offered through student organizations or Campus Ministry, service trips are a fun, inexpensive way for students to meet new people while giving back to their greater community. Service sites are spread around the globe and provide an opportunity to live and learn from people of different backgrounds. The trips engage students in aspects of social justice. 


2020 Orientation Leaders Needed  

If your student is looking for a great way to get involved on campus, encourage them to apply to be a 2020 Orientation Leader!  The Orientation Leader application launched, and the application deadline is Monday, February 10th at 11:59pm. More information about the expectations, commitment, and application process can be found on-line. 

March 2020

Housing selection 

Marquette requires first- and second-year students to live in on-campus residence halls unless they live at home. In early March, students must submit a housing deposit that will activate their preassigned, random assignment times. Current first-year students will receive priority. For more information about this process students should reach out to the Office of Residence Life and view information about Returning Student Housing on-line. 


Fall class registration and declaring a major

Students will meet their adviser and being planning for course registration for the next year. Students can view their registration times in their CheckMarq account. Those students who are still undecided about which major to choose should be encouraged to explore their options and seek guidance from academic support services. Most students choose a major by the end of their sophomore year, but even those who don’t should start narrowing down options. Career Services also serves as a resource for students for a variety of topics including selecting a major and how to prepare for a job search. They have a portion on their website devoted to helping family members assist their student with career development.  

April 2020

Support during challenging times 

We encourage students and families who have questions about their bill or financial aid or who are experiencing changed financial circumstances to reach out to Marquette Central via email at or via phone at 414-288-4000. 

Finally, many of our alumni, parents and friends have asked us how they can help. We are so appreciative of the outpouring of support. If you would like to have an immediate impact on our students, Marquette’s Bridge to the Future Fund provides students with financial assistance when changing economic circumstances jeopardize their ability to continue their Marquette education. We have received a multitude of requests from students and families, and we believe that demand will only continue to grow. 

Student Wellness, the Counseling Center and MUSG are working on coordinating social media resources for students.  In the coming weeks, content on self-care and stress management will be made available on social media platforms. 

Instagram: Cuthetherapydog, mu_wellnesspeers 

Facebook:  Student Wellness, the Counseling Center and the Marquette University Medical Clinic 

Medium: @MU_WellnessPeers 

Additionally, many campus services are still available for students virtually, please visit Marquette’s Covid-19 Website to search for these resources. 


Summer jobs 

If students are wondering how to spend extra time, it is never too early to begin preparing for their post-graduation career. Summer jobs and internships are valuable opportunities to learn skills for future jobs and start creating a network of professional contacts. Encourage your student to take advantage of Career Services as they are still offering services virtually and visit the Handshake websites to see what opportunities are out there. 


May 2020

Students are facing their final round of papers, projects and exams and often experience a great deal of pressure at this time of the year. This time is more challenging in the newness of this online format.  Please take time to review the resources listed on the Marquette’s Covid-19 Website and the Division of Student Affairs Website. 

Marquette's Counseling Center also has information about how to manage stress and help maintaining mental health.

We encourage students and families who have questions about their bill or financial aid or who are experiencing changed financial circumstances to reach out to Marquette Central via email at or via phone at 414-288-4000. 

Continue to visit the Marquette Website throughout the summer to receive updates.