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Families of New Students

Student sitting on a swing studying

Welcome to Cornell! Parents and families are important partners in the student experience, and we invite you to email us at with questions, concerns, and ideas to support your student.

While many of our student connections and programs may be virtual in the months to come, our commitment to easing students through the transition to Cornell remains unchanged. Staff is here to provide resources, answer questions, and support new students and families, as well as to create meaningful first-year experiences.

The Transition to College: Supporting Your Student

How can families support their students? As the move to campus approaches, talk about what the coming weeks may hold, explore campus resources together, review financial and other logistics, and plan for ways to keep in touch. It can take time to learn how to encourage independence in your student while offering them your support. Listening to them, asking open-ended questions, and being patient with new communication patterns can ease this process. Mention the importance of self-care, sleep, eating well, and making time for fun and relaxation. Encourage your student to develop supportive relationships on campus with advisors, residence hall staff, counselors, and peers. A quick text or email listing a few campus resources may help them find the right connection. Your student’s college website and the Student and Campus Life website are good places to start.

Communication and Celebration

Don’t forget to celebrate achievements large and small, remind your student of the progress they’ve made in adapting to college, and share your excitement about the opportunities they’re exploring at Cornell. Maintaining consistent communication and offering nonjudgmental support to your student can help make this a smooth transition. If you need support to manage the impact of this change in your own life, seek out peers who have been through it, or talk with a trusted advisor or counselor.

Emergency Assistance

If you think that your student is in serious danger or at risk of harm, contact the Cornell University Police at (607) 255-1111.