New Parent Orientation FAQs


What happens at Parent Orientation?

During Parent Orientation you’ll have a chance to:

  • Help your student move in.
  • Learn more about the campus resources your student will have to help him/her get the most from student life.
  • Get a richer sense of the way Wheaton integrates faith and liberal arts learning.
  • Meet fellow parents, professors, student leaders, and your student’s residence hall staff.
  • Launch your student into this new stage of life in an exciting, meaningful way.

Do I need to register to attend Parent Orientation?

No. We will have a printed name tag waiting for all parents of freshman and transfer students at the Parent Welcome Center.  No separate registration is required.

Do I need to let Wheaton know if I can’t attend Parent Orientation?

No.  For some of our parents, attendance at Orientation isn’t possible due to scheduling conflicts or great distances.  We understand this.  If you’re unable to attend Orientation, spend some time browsing where you’ll find links to many of the topics and resources we’ll have at Orientation.  If we can answer any additional questions for you, please don’t hesitate to write us at

What if my new or transfer student is a fall athlete due to arrive on campus at an earlier date in August?

A separate letter will be sent to your home, welcoming your student athlete and providing information about his or her move-in date. On the day of move-in, Athletics staff will be on hand to welcome you and assist your student with move-in and attaining student IDs. Limited residence life staff members will be in the residence halls to help families complete check-in forms and direct people around the buildings.

Are younger siblings welcome to attend Orientation events?

The programming for this weekend isn’t specifically geared toward younger siblings, but we definitely welcome them to campus to see their older brother’s or sister’s new place.

When should I arrive on campus?

If you are the parent of a music major, international student, MK or TCK student, or the parent of a student participating in the Passage program, plan to arrive on Thursday, August 21.  All other parents should plan to arrive on Friday, August 22.  If you experience a delay and aren’t able to arrive until Saturday, your name tag and a weekend schedule will beset aside for you in the Student Activities Office in the lower level of the Beamer Center.

Is there a shuttle service from O’Hare International and Midway Airports?

Wheaton College doesn’t offer a shuttle service to and from these airports in August.  However, there are several commercial shuttle companies that we can point you to.  Mention your connection with Wheaton to qualify for any applicable discounts.

Where should my student and I go first when we arrive on campus?

Good question.  First go to your student’s Residence Hall.  There, residence hall staff and volunteers will check in your student and help move his or her belongings into their room.  After your student is checked in at the Residence Hall, make your way over to the Beamer Center, lower level, where you and your student can both pick up your name tags and weekend pocket schedules at the Student and Parent Welcome Centers.  The Student Welcome Center is located in the Phelps Room.  The Parent Welcome Center is in the Fireside Lounge, across from CPO.

Where should I park?

Temporary, short-term parking will be available in the spaces outside your student’s Residence Hall.  After you’ve unloaded your student's belongings, please move your vehicle to one of the parking lots highlighted on this map.  Please note that overnight parking of motor homes is not permitted on Wheaton’s campus.

Are meals included in Parent Orientation events?

Students who have registered for a fall semester meal plan can begin using this when they arrive on campus.  For early arrival students (music majors, International students, MKs and TCKs, and Passage students), the student meal plan will begin with dinner on Thursday evening.  For all other freshmen and transfer students , the meal plan begins with lunch on Friday.  Parents and family members may purchase meal tickets to Anderson Commons at a discounted price in the Parent Welcome Center.  Wheaton’s two smaller cafés, Sam’s and The Stupe, will also be open during Orientation.

Is there anything on the weekend schedule that I should plan to dress up for?

No.  Dress is casual.

My student will be flying to Wheaton and unable to carry a lot of belongings.  Can I ship some of his or her things to Wheaton in advance?

Yes.  Packages can be mailed to the CPO (College Post Office) address provided to your student.  When your student arrives on campus, they will receive a notice in their CPO box, letting them know that their package has arrived and is available for pick-up at the CPO window.  Contact the CPO office at 630-752-5083 if you have further questions.

What kind of furnishings or supplies should my student bring (or not bring) to Wheaton?

The Student Orientation Committee has put together a great list to help you out here!

Is there a department store, grocery store, or drug store near campus where my student can pick up supplies?

Yes, a Marianos Grocery and Walgreens Pharmacy are within walking distance of campus.  Three miles west of campus are a Super Target and Kohls.  A Best Buy and Walmart are five miles north of campus.

Does Wheaton recommend any particular hotels for parents’ overnight lodging?

There are several hotels in the Wheaton area that offer discounted rates to guests of Wheaton College.  Mention that you’re a guest of Wheaton when you book your reservation.  Many of these hotels also offer shuttle service to and from Wheaton’s campus.  Ask the hotel about this before booking your reservation if this is a service you’ll require.


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