All of us at Fitchburg State are committed to creating an environment where your student will thrive.
The college transition can be a thrilling but emotional time, both for your student and for yourselves. We know what you are experiencing, and we are here for all of you. This page contains resources for you and your student as you make this transition, along with answers to your questions about what happens next.
Together, we will help your Falcon soar.
From Your Nest to Ours
The life of a college student is different from that of a high schooler. Here are some things to know.
We want to help you find your fit and strengthen your sense of belonging on campus, by cultivating an environment that facilitates the “adulting” process of living on your own.
Did you know that half of our students commute to campus each day? We provide a number of services and programs to help our commuters participate in campus activities and feel more connected to Fitchburg State.
Hitting the Books
College classes will pose new challenges for students. These resources will help your student learn how to adapt to new expectations.
We recognize that our students are more than just their enrollment status and grade-point-average. Students are people, with individual goals, needs, concerns, and challenges. Learn how we can help students identify and cope with those challenges.
At our Academic Coaching and Tutoring Center, we're committed to helping each of our students achieve success.
Making Ends Meet
We are committed to keeping a college degree within reach for all students. Learn about what help is available.
The Office of Financial Aid helps connect students with support to pay for their educational expenses.
The Office of Student Accounts is responsible for the billing and collecting of all tuition and fees, issuing refunds to students for credit balances, and the collection of Perkins and nursing loans.
Debunking Myths About College Life
We know there are a lot of misconceptions about what to expect in college. Here are a few we can dispel right now.
Myth: Professors Aren't Approachable
FACT: Every student is assigned a faculty advisor who is committed to supporting their success, as are all of us at Fitchburg State. STUDENT TIP: Make sure your student is aware of faculty office hours, which are great opportunities to check in.
Myth: You Don't Actually Have To Go To Class
FACT: While college classes don't typically involve taking attendance like in high school, you will absolutely get more out of your coursework by taking advantage of in-class time with our professors and your fellow students. STUDENT TIP: Our tutoring and advising centers can help students improve their time management skills so they can keep on top of their schedules.
Myth: If You Don't Make Friends Your First Week, It's Too Late
FACT: While there certainly are students who strike up lifetime friendships with their first-semester roommates and residence hall neighbors, you will be meeting people and making friends throughout your experience on campus. STUDENT TIP: Getting involved with clubs and organizations is a great way to make connections with new people.
Homesickness and Supporting Your Student
In general, parents and friends should be encouraged to:
- Acknowledge transition and encourage positivity
- Be proactive and stay connected
- Encourage participation and model resilience
Below are some additional tips and resources to help you and your student.
Prepare for this transition early. This can help students orient themselves and become familiar with their surroundings. Preparation for college can also come in the form of emotional preparation, such as talking about the possibility of homesickness beforehand, and how students and parents can work together when feelings of homesickness occur.
Parents can help by being positive about the college experience, and everything that can be gained by this important step into young adulthood. Expressing and focusing on the positive parts about the college experience will allow first-year students to go into the experience with more optimism as well.
When your student experiences periods of homesickness or loneliness, it may feel very tempting to suggest that they come home. Instead, one of the best things family and friends can do is encourage your student to become more involved in their campus community. This will help promote a sense of belonging for your student.
Adjusting to the new opportunities and challenges of college life takes time. Students may go through periods of depression, loneliness, stress, or frustration. Families and friends should be encouraged to be patient and STAY POSITIVE.
We understand that this may be a challenging transition for parents and families as well, but it may be best for your student to remain positive in your interactions. Simply acknowledge their feelings and listen to them.
Our hope is that your student is making acquaintances and becoming increasingly engaged over time. This is likely a signal of a positive transition. While you know your student best and will respond accordingly, “no news is good news” may be a healthy motto to adopt!
Sometimes our students just need to know that there’s a supportive listener on the other end of the phone. Asking questions shows that you are listening and that you care, and answering questions can help your student clarify their own thoughts and emotions.
In extreme cases of homesickness, families might consider setting up a schedule for students to come home - for example, once a month or twice before winter break. Knowing this is on the calendar can alleviate homesickness for some students.
Fitchburg State wants your student to feel proud of their new home. We encourage you to schedule a visit with your student, as this will also give them (and you) something to look forward to.
Parents and friends can set up a regular day and time to call, and should be encouraged to send emails, letters, or postcards. Parents can send newspaper articles from the local paper or food packages to help the student feel less isolated.
It will be comforting for your student to know that you are thinking about them, while encouraging them to get involved in the community. You may want to send fun, shareable things, like a big bag of popcorn or homemade cookies. Encourage your student to offer goodies to roommates and others in the residence hall. It’s unlikely anyone will turn down the offer of a home-baked treat, and it’s a good way to break the ice!
Tell them to be open to conversation wherever they go, from lecture halls to coffee shops. It’s hard to get the hang of meeting new people, especially if they have grown up in the same town and known the same people all their life, but putting themselves out there is the only way to connect with others.
Volunteering, if you have time, is a great way to build esteem and establish a sense of belonging. Whether it’s working with animals, caring for children, or visiting senior citizens in assisted living to brighten their day, giving back to the community can help a lot. Make sure your student is aware of Fitchburg State’s Volunteer Center.
If homesickness and unhappiness persist, talk with your student about on-campus counseling. These services are at no additional cost to your student and will help them navigate their transition and contribute to overall wellness during their time in college.
Frequently Asked Questions
Orientation is included in your tuition and fees. There is no separate charge.
An important part of residence hall life is living with a roommate. If someone has never shared a room before, it can be an adjustment. We encourage you roommates to sit down with their resident assistant (RA) the very first week of school and complete a "Roommate Agreement." This is a form that helps outline guidelines and expectations for sharing space. Doing this early will help avoid conflict between roommates.
If issues arise, don't let them go unaddressed. This will only make matters worse. The RA can help if conflicts can't be resolved. RAs are trained in conflict mediation and can help define what the issues are and help roommates come to a resolution. The area director and assistant hall directors (AHDs) are also available to help with roommate conflicts. If the difficulties cannot be reconciled between the roommates, and mediation is unsuccessful one or both roommates may be moved to another room or hall.
The Financial Aid Office is located in the Anthony Student Service Center in the center of campus. The office offers in-person and virtual meetings with students, families and anyone who has questions related to financing their education
Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There is not a physical bank on campus, however we do have an ATM located in the G-lobby in Hammond Hall, managed by Enterprise Bank. We also have several full service banks located not far from campus.
If your student becomes sick or injured while away at school, Fitchburg State University has partnered with Community Health Connections (CHC), a highly respected, federally qualified health center that has two locations very close to our campus, to provide services to the campus community. Many of our students and employees already use one of their four locations in our area.
All undergraduate and graduate students taking one or more credit hours at Fitchburg State are eligible to receive services. Learn more here: https://www.fitchburgstate.edu/student-support/health-and-wellness/student-access-health-care.
The Counseling Services Office located on campus provides counseling services to all registered students at Fitchburg State. The counselors provide confidential, culturally sensitive support dealing with the variety of personal concerns students may have. Students may schedule appointments with a counselor by calling 978.665.3152, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Fitchburg State, we care for our students' overall well-being. We want to help them get the care, referrals, and answers they need to ensure their success. In many cases, your student may be hesitant regarding seeking professional help. They may need to know that you don't see them as a failure or as weak for doing so. If you have decided to recommend to your student that they seek our services (or other professional mental health services), be prepared to give specific information:
- In the case of Fitchburg State Counseling Services, for enrolled students, there is no cost.
- The office is located in the third floor of Hammond Hall.Location (Hammond Building, Third Floor)
- Students may make an appointment by 978.665.3152, or stopping by the office.
In accordance with federal privacy laws, the university is not at liberty to release students’ grades to parents or other individuals without documented consent on the part of the student. For more information about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, visit the U.S. Department of Education's website.
Here at Fitchburg State we have more than 85 clubs and organizations with which to get involved. At the beginning of each semester there is an involvement fair, which is a great opportunity for your student to get information on organizations.
If we do not have a student organization that interests your student, they can create their own by contacting the Office of Student Development.
Yes, for students living on campus and off. More information about meal plans is available from our campus dining services. Find more information on each specific meal plan on our Dining Services page.
Free shuttle service is provided around campus and the downtown area; students need only their student ID when boarding. Bus service is free for all Fitchburg State students. Buses run every day except Sundays. Information on the bus service can be viewed online.
The Office of Disability Services is located on the third floor of Hammond Hall. Their office provides resources to help students get the accommodations they need here on campus to be successful. It's important to note that accommodations do not automatically transfer from a previous institution to Fitchburg State. Students are responsible for registering with Disability Services prior to needing accommodations, preferably before they start classes. The office is open 12 months out of the year to best assist students.
The Academic Coaching and Tutoring Center is located on the third floor of Hammond Hall. Students may sign up for a tutor for a specific subject or class, a writing tutor, or an academic coach. Tutoring is free of charge to all students, and may be accessed in-person or online.
Yes. Fitchburg State is home to a full-time, professional police department. It is the mission of the Fitchburg State University Police Department to reduce the incidence and fear of crime, to partner with the community to solve problems, to enhance public safety in a manner that is reasonable, unbiased, and transparent, to support students in their development and academic endeavors, and to be a collaborative resource for faculty, staff, and students.
The University Police Department is fully staffed with officers and dispatchers in the 911 center, and full-time civilians. The Police Department is available 24/7 and provides all law enforcement services to the campus community, including:
- Rave Alerts – an emergency text message system to keep students and their families informed
- Rave Guardian for your student – an easy access emergency services app for their cell phone
- RAD Program – The Rape Aggression defense program is a free twelve-hour class to empower women
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Programs
Fitchburg State University students have access to many scholarships to make college more affordable. Our commitment to making a Fitchburg State education affordable is evident in our annual cost—among the lowest in the state university system for full-time residential students. Learn more on our tuition and fees page.