New Eagle Families 101
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New Student and Family Programs
248 DiGiorgio Campus Center
Winthrop University
Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
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New Student and Family Programs

New Eagle Families 101

Tips for Parents

As you might expect, your relationship with your student will change some in the coming months and years. Be ready! Here are a few tips on how to make the transition smoother for your student... and you!

  • Attend Family Day in October. This is a great opportunity to connect with your student and learn about their Winthrop experience.
  • Keep up-to-date with the Office of New Student & Family Programs (NSFP) by reading the monthly Eagle Family Connection Newsletter and following us on social media.
  • Consider sending mail instead of calling/texting/emailing your student. Students truly enjoy finding something in their mailbox whether it's a letter or your special secret-recipe cookies!
  • Have your student create a monthly budget instead of a semester budget for the first year to help with financial responsibility.
  • Know that this is a time for your student to stand on their own feet and learn responsibility. That being said, have patience, and do your best to trust your student to make decisions.
  • Attend one of Winthrop's many sporting events ( with your student (maybe you've heard about our Big South champs?) and relish in Winthrop pride!
  • Treat your student as an adult.
  • Be aware that course load and rigor changes from high school to college, and even college to college. Courses may be more demanding at Winthrop and students' grades may vary from what they're used to. Remind your student of the great academic resources that Winthrop has to offer.
  • Encourage your student to reach out to campus services and offices if they are struggling. Do your best to put the action in their hands, rather than handling it yourself.
  • View the academic calendar each year to help you keep up with important dates.
  • Don't be upset if you do not hear from your student during the first few weeks of college. There are a lot of activities (Welcome Week!) during the start of the fall semester, in addition to classes, that your student will be required or highly encouraged to attend.
  • If you are from out of state, consider making sure your health insurance carrier will cover your student at Winthrop.
  • Have a conversation with your student about FERPA (see information below on FERPA).
  • Always end a conversation with "Go to class!" or make sure to ask them how their classes are going.


Many parents and family members want to find out their student's grades, ask about their student's performance, or check on their student's finances. Access to all of these is protected under the federal Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA), which places limits on the right to review educational records.

Once students are enrolled, regardless of age, you will not have access to their educational information unless your student specifically grants it to you. It's worth reading more about FERPA and then discussing the types of protected information and how your student will share information with you.

Find more information at the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA website and at Winthrop's own FERPA webpage.

Last Updated: 8/1/19