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Information for Parents 

Advising is all about making connections – connections with family, with advisors, with instructors, and with peers. Advising in college is different than in high school because the student, considered an adult in the eyes of the institution, is the person responsible for initiating contact with the advisor plus keeping communication lines open with parents.

Since our students are considered adults, they are responsible for their academic progress, and that progress demands following the steps in the advising process. It is important for families to know that advisors work directly with the student, and information flow should be from the student to the parents. It is not recommended that parents call advisors as an advisor’s first contact will always be with the student. This supports the belief that our students are responsible young adults who can make sound decisions about their academic programs.

It is vital that students and families understand the specific steps in the advising process which begins with the summer New Student Orientation (NSO) program and proceeds as follows. 

What is FERPA?

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and is a federal law that was enacted in 1974. FERPA protects the privacy of student education records. All educational institutions that receive federal funding must comply with FERPA.  For more information please visit Penn State University's FERPA page.

Steps in the Advising Process


  • Students and families attend
  • Fall schedules are generated
  • First Year Seminar (PSU 008) classes are determined


  • Student introduction to college life
  • Students meet advisors, college representatives, PSU 008 instructors, and campus administration

First 10 DAYS OF SEMESTER (Drop/Add Period)

  • Schedules can be changed without using late drop credits
  • Schedule changes are to be done in consultation with an advisor


Early Progress Reports provide e-mail alerts each semester to students who are earning grades of less than C in one or more of their courses.

From the beginning of the third week through the end of the sixth week of the semester, instructors can use eLion to submit evaluations to their students who are earning grades of less than C. For each report that instructors submit, students and their assigned academic advisers are notified by email and are directed to eLion to learn why the student is earning less than C and what steps the student can take to improve the grade. During this four-week period, instructors may submit multiple reports for each student, including changing an unsatisfactory evaluation to satisfactory, and vice versa.

(note: Satisfactory course work does not generate an early notice)

LATE DROP DEADLINE  (Date determined per semester)

  • Last chance to drop a course(s)
  • Dropping a course is done in consultation with an advisor
              (Note: After late drop deadline, the only option to remove courses
              from the schedule requires withdrawal from all classes).


Watch for Advising Week Announcement

  • See Advisor during Advising Week

Schedule for spring semester (Date determined by student’s credit count)

  • Students schedule courses for next semester
  • Scheduling is to be done in consultation with an advisor (Note: Students who fail to register at their assigned time risk not getting appropriate courses).


Spring semester tuition due.  (Note: Spring schedule becomes permanent when spring semester
     bill is paid).

LAST DAY OF CLASSES (Date determined per semester)

  • Withdrawal deadline
  • The last opportunity to “save” a bad semester (avoid all “F’s”)
  • Withdrawal must be done through the advising center

JANUARY OF SOPHOMORE YEAR(Dates determined per semester)

  • Student uses elion to formally apply for a major
     (Note: The student was admitted to a College within Penn State –
        now the student is admitted to a specific major).


eBill can be obtained online through eLion

General Information

  • College meetings are held throughout the academic year. It is imperative that students read and respond to their Penn State e-mail messages from advisors and pay attention to messages on the student list serve and on the campus message board (the blue screen).
  • Attendance in classes is very important and students should be cautioned about missing class sessions. Although mere attendance does not guarantee success, lack of attendance almost always guarantees failure.
  • If, for whatever reason, the student will be missing several classes (more than two), it is the student’s responsibility to get in touch with his/her instructors as soon as possible. Legitimate reasons for missing class do NOT include activities like personal/family vacations.
  • It is recommended that students take advantage of faculty offers of help, additional assignments, and suggestions on how to succeed or progress in a course.
  • A student’s advisor can be changed if necessary. This may be done in the Advising Center, lower level, Administration Building.



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