family celebrates student in homecoming court in front of Old Main building

Parents & Families

We're dedicated to the personal success of every student and ensuring they feel welcomed and supported every step of the way. We invite you, our Widener families, to familiarize yourselves with our vast network of support.

Resources for Parents of Accepted & Incoming Students

Widener parents at homecoming

We've created new student resources that support your student from first opening their acceptance letter to the very start of classes. We invite you to become a partner alongside the university in supporting your student in their college journey by exploring the resources and opportunities available to you and your student.

  • New & Incoming Student HubAccess required steps to prepare for the start of classes, including important information about summer registration and orientation, as well as a multitude of resources and ways to engage with classmates and C.R.E.W. Leaders over the summer.
  • Snapshot of Student ResourcesWe've compiled key resources and a series of FAQs that cover a variety of questions about living on campus, how students can get involved, academic support and enrollment services, and much more! You can also download a printable snapshot overview of available resources.
  • Parent & Family Online Orientation Course: We’ve created an online course for parents and families designed to help you prepare your new student for success and ensure that you stay connected to our university resources and essential departments. We’re all here to help!

Did you know that first-year undergraduate students have access to their own Personal Student Success Team? And it doesn’t stop after freshman year. As your student grows and develops, we’ll be there!

Coronavirus Information

Stay Up to Date

Widener's coronavirus information page includes all university notifications, our response to COVID-19, and any impact to university classes or other communications.

Discover Widener

Students in Dorm Room

Living & Learning Here

We want campus to feel like your child's second home. We've built a supportive, friendly, caring community for them to grow and flourish. In our residence halls and dining spaces, your child will forge lasting friendships. And through our many ways to get involved on campus, they will build memories that will stay with them for years to come. 

Diversity Workplace Student

Student Success & Support

Our network of support services will help your child find personal and professional fulfillment. Academic mentors and advisors will help them navigate courses and choose experiences that lead to career success.

Our team of dedicated professionals will keep an eye on your child's academic progress. Our early assessment and retention alert programs help identify struggling students so we can step in and help as soon as possible.

group exercise class

Health, Wellness & Safety

At Widener, we care about your child's academic and physical well-being. Learn more about safety on campus, recreational opportunities, and counseling and student health services. You can also get answers to questions about insurance, forms, and much more.

Pride Perspectives

Our students take the inside track to rewarding first jobs, careers, and futures. Experience their stories.

Kennedy Shaw stands on campus on a blue sky day, with Founders Hall behind her and the Old Main dome visible in the background

Freshman year was a great year. Even though I was not physically on campus, I felt at home. I love it here. I was shocked with how much love I received online and I knew it would be 1,000 times better in person.

Kennedy Shaw

Kennedy's Story
Anna Cooney throws a shot put at nationals while wearing a Widener shirt, as other competitors look on

I think back at my little freshman self, trying to throw the shot put, and then where I am now, and I know there was a point to all of this. I am so blessed and so thankful for all the opportunities that Widener has given me.

Anna Cooney

Anna's Story
Hannah Berard stands on top of a mountain and signs "I love you"

Widener has helped me take my academics and what I’ve learned in classes and apply it not just in the Chester community, but to the whole world in general.

Hannah Berard

Hannah's Story
Female student in a lab coat with goggles on conducting research

Widener helped me to gain a deeper appreciation for science, fall in love with the brain, and to learn what it was like to work in a high-powered, fast-moving academic setting.

Juliette DiFlumeri

Juliette's Story
Donya Moore stands in front of a Hershey Park sign with her hands in the air

I knew that coming to Widener would mean opportunities to meet speakers working in the industry. And, I know that when the time comes, I will be able to turn to them to help find a job.

Donya Moore

Donya's Story

You make time for the things you love. I love chemistry and learning. I love being a leader on campus and learning how to be a better person every day.

Aidan Looby

Aidan's Story

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The FERPA Act: What Rights Do I Have to Information?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (Buckley Amendment) was enacted to assure parents of students and the students’ themselves if they are over age eighteen, or attending a post-secondary educational institution, access to student records and to protect rights to privacy by limiting the sharing and disclosure of their records without their consent.


The quickest, easiest way for parents to receive information about their child’s grades, financial statement, or other student information is for the student to provide it. Students can look up information online, print it off, and give or email a copy to their parents.

FERPA regulations allow, but do not require, higher education institutions to provide notice to parents when a student violates federal, state, or local laws related to alcohol or drugs.

The U.S. Department of Education is responsible for overseeing FERPA. Visit their website for additional information.

Learn more about FERPA

More Helpful Resources for Parents

The transition to college is challenging for both students and their parents. Going from high school to college is a major milestone, one that marks the student’s eventual transition into independence. However, neither student nor parent needs to handle the transition alone. Affordable Colleges Online created this online guide to help ease the transition process by addressing the common first-year challenges for parents and their children.

The guide helps parents prepare for the high school-to-college transition; explores the financial aid process; discusses concerns about housing and student independence; identifies on-campus resources for students; and offers resources for parents of high school students, college freshmen, college students, and graduate school students.


  • Talk with your student about the freedoms and responsibilities that come with being at college.
  • Encourage open dialogue that introduces the topic of drinking in terms of what you've read in the newspaper or seen on TV, allowing for less personal discussion of the topic.
  • Talk in general terms about the legal, financial, health, and safety concerns related to drinking. Students do not always know the scope of the problems that can arise.
  • Ask your student what there is to do on campus that doesn't involve drinking. This encourages your student to think about the alternatives.
  • Share with your student if there is a family history of alcohol or drug problems.
  • Talk about date-rape drugs and the importance of never leaving a beverage unattended or accepting a drink without seeing it poured. This is a way to talk about partying without giving the impression that you assume your student is drinking.
  • Assure your student that you will respect your student's privacy related to health care and that you would rather be safe than decline medical attention. 
  • If you discover that your student has been drinking, try to discuss the situation calmly without accusations or expressions of anger. Ultimately, the most crucial factor is that students act responsibly in the future.

Widener University is one of hundreds of institutions nationwide requiring every member of their first-year class to complete an online alcohol education module. Whether or not your student drinks, this educational tool will empower your student to make well-informed decisions and provide simple strategies to help keep them safe.

Information about this module will be shared directly to students via email.

Going to college signifies a time of new beginnings, but it can also be a challenging time with added peer pressure when it comes to making choices related to drugs and alcohol use. Although peers have a strong influence on student behavior, parents set the foundation for factors such as peer pressure to have less influence on student alcohol use. Students' relationships with their parents continue to play a major protective role in promoting their development and success throughout college. 

The most important thing parents can do to help ensure their student makes healthy, informed decisions while in college is to stay involved in their lives by talking and listening to them about all aspects of their lives. Remain engaged through phone calls, texts, and emails, especially during the first few weeks and months of college life when students are most vulnerable and are at greatest risk of making high risk decisions. Research has shown that the more involved parents are, the higher the likelihood students will make safe choices about alcohol and drug use.

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