As part of the START parents and family members are invited to attend START with their student. Many time parents and family members are a huge support system for incoming students so we offer a program that runs parallel to the student program where parents and family members can receive information about how best to support their student at OSU.  Based on previous years about 75% of our incoming first-year students bring a parent or family member with them to the program. There are certain parts of the program where you are together and parts of the program where you are separated. 

Topics of the First-Year Parent and Family Sessions include but are not limited to:

  • What does the transition look like?
  • Learn about resources related to health care, safety, and on campus housing
  • Learn about academic support services
  • Learn the process for student billing and payments
  • Attend housing tours and academic college presentation with your student
  • and many more workshops and tours available based on interest

Participation Costs

First-Year START

There is a cost of $50.00 per family member to participate in the first-year START program. This fee covers the cost of food, space rental, additional staffing, and program materials for family members. If parent/family members wish to attend the program please include them in the students START registration. Anyone 16 and under does not need to pay or register for the program.  This fee and parent & family program does not include staying overnight.   

Overnight housing for parent and family members

If parent/family members attending the program would like to stay overnight in the residence halls please indicate this in the student's START registration in the family housing option. The student account will be charged $40.00 for each family member you register for housing.


Any changes or cancelations must be made online 1 week prior to the START program date in order to receive a refund. A student can make changes or cancellations to any part of their START reservation by logging back into the MyOSU account, click the “New Student” tab, choose option #7 “Register for START/Term Orientation” and then scroll down to the START date they are currently registered for. They will click on the header for that session, then they’ll see three dots appear next to the green “Registered” tab on their session date. This allows the student to either edit and/or cancel a reservation.



Frequently Asked Questions

Does my parent or family member have to come to the same session the student is attend?

Yes we do ask that if a parent or family member would like to participate in the program, that they attend the same program that their student is signed up for.  The one exception is the September START program.  If the student attends a START program in the summer and their parent or family was unable to join them, then the parent and family member(s) may sign up to attend the September Parent & Family program without their student needing to attend.  

Can I bring a younger sibling?

We know that sending someone off to college can be a family affair, but based on previous experience, we don't encourage bringing younger siblings if possible.  There is a lot walking and sitting within the program, which can be difficult on younger ones.  Given the nature of the student program siblings will need to follow the family program throughout the day and won't be able to do the student track. If you a sibling does attend, please note that siblings 17 years of age and over will need to pay the $50 family member participation fee and register for the program. Anyone 16 and under will need to pay $10 to register for the program. If the younger sibling is nursing, please let us know and we can provide the parent/family member with the location and access to lactation rooms across campus to access while attending the program (if desired).    

More Frequently Asked Questions