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 information about summer registration and orientation.
  • 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!

Widener University, Old Main building

Navigating Your Finances: Investing in Your Future

A Widener education is one of the smartest investments your family can make—because the long-term value (in terms of career preparation, job placement, and opportunities for professional advancement and earning potential) far exceeds the costs. 

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.

“Speaking at TEDx has given me confidence to speak on large-scale social issues. I am thrilled I was able to bring awareness to human trafficking, and will devote my nursing practice to creating positive change that empowers survivors.”

Natalie Sassi

Natalie's Story
Widener student Ariana Hurtado-Day

Being able to have these internships and experiences outside of the classroom makes me feel happy because not only am I able to build connections, but I’m getting experience and understanding with the career that I want.

Ariana Hurtado-Day

Ariana's Story
melanie leeland exploratory studies 800x600

Don't be scared to not know what you want to do yet with your life. This Exploratory Studies program is the best thing that has ever happened to me. My advisor was amazing and she set me right on track for my next two years at Widener.

Melanie Leeland

Michael Fehrle playing for Widener men's rugby

It’s an understanding at Widener that the faculty and staff want their students to succeed.

Michael Fehrle

Michael's Story
Nursing student Maritza Garcia poses in blue Widener scrubs

When I’m here I feel I am welcomed in the community. That’s what has guided me.

Maritza Garcia

Maritza's Story
Alex Kristeller sits at a table presenting to company leaders during a summer internship.

One thing that Widener did so well was teach me how to adapt to different programming languages and user systems. I definitely was prepared to take on that challenge.

Alex Kristeller

Alex's Story

Download Our Social Media Kit

Show your pride with one of our social profile icons, cover photos, or phone wallpapers. Download any of the images below by right-clicking the download link and selecting "Save As". 

Download Now!

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.