Parent and Family Engagement

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Commonly asked questions by parents

    Will my student be safe at Seattle U?

    Seattle University's Public Safety Office is open 24-hours a day and provides multiple services to ensure the safety of students. There are emergency poles located throughout campus and with a touch of a button Public Safety is alerted. They are able to respond in under two minutes. They also offer Safety Escort Services no matter the time, day or night. An evening shuttle known as the "Nighthawk," is also available. For more information go to

    Does my student need a computer?

    Seattle University offers two computer labs that are open until 11:00pm Sunday-Thursday and 5:00pm on Friday and Saturday. Many students choose to bring their own computers to campus for the sake of convenience, but there are multiple computers for use around campus. The residence halls are equipped with ethernet ports and wireless capabilities are available on campus. For more information about on-campus technology and other computer questions please check out the Information Technology website.

    Does my student need his/her car?

    Parking is limited at an urban campus, so new residential students are required to leave their cars at home. King County Metro provides excellent transit services all around the area. Students find it much easier to take Metro or just walk to places rather than worrying about their cars. The Campus Assistance Center (located on the 1st floor of the Student Center) offers a bus-pass service as well. Students leave their Campus Card (student ID card) or their license and are given a bus-pass for free use in a 24-hour period. If you are a commuter student and need to bring your car to campus and would like information about parking permits please link to the Office of Public Safety website:

    What is orientation? And does my student have to attend?

    Orientation at Seattle University is a multi-phased process. First year students are expected to attend both a "Summer in Seattle" two-day session in July and our "Welcome Week", held immediately prior to the start of Fall Quarter. Both of these programs provide students with information and resources they need to be successful at SU. A concurrent family program is offered during our summer orientation sessions. Learn more about Orientation.

    Will there be things for my student to do on the weekends?

    Our Student Events and Activities Council (SEAC), the Residence Hall Association (RHA), and student clubs sponsor a wide variety of activities. In addition, being in the heart of Seattle provides easy access to plays, concerts, sports, shopping in downtown, and multiple museums which offer student discounts. Plus, there is always homework!

    When will we know where my student will be living?

    Housing and Residence Life will let new students know their residence hall community assignment during their Summer in Seattle orientation session. Roommate assignments are sent in early August.

    When are school breaks: Thanksgiving? Winter Break? Spring Break?

    The registrars office keeps a full list of all important dates from school breaks, to exam schedules, to tution payment due dates.  Check out their calendar here,

    When is tuition due? How do we pay tuition?

    For information about tuition and fees please visit the Student Financial Services at

    What is Family Weekend?

    Family Weekend is your chance to experience the place your student calls home. We have a variety of activities planned for your education and enjoyment. You can participate in a wide range of activities including; an engaging discussion about our distinctive focus on learning or enjoy a concert by our choirs. Other activities may include supporting students in service, visiting downtown Seattle, meeting Jesuits, faculty and staff, and much more. Of course, the most important thing is to just enjoy time with your son or daughter. Family Weekend will be October 24-26, 2014. You will receive more information after the school year begins.

    How do we find out about financial aid?

    Student Financial Services can answer your questions about financial aid, work study, etc. Please visit their website at or call (206)296-2000

    What can be done if my son or daughter and his/her roommate are having a problem?

    Learning to live with a college roommate can be one of the most exciting experiences and biggest adjustments for students. At the beginning of the year, roommates are asked to complete a roommate agreement designed to foster a healthy roommate relationship. Housing and Residence Life staff (Residence Hall Directors and student Resident Assistants) are trained to facilitate this process.

    The biggest challenge is often getting the student to initiate a conversation with the roommate about expectations and behaviors. If the problem is something that cannot be resolved through communication and compromise, the students can talk with their Resident Assistant. The first two weeks of each quarter no changes are allowed so that Housing staff can take an account of all available spaces.

    What happens when my student experiences personal or academic problems?

    The university has a variety of resources available to all students. If a student is struggling in a class, s/he should always seek out the faculty member. Academic Advisors and Student Academic Services are also available. Counseling and Psychological Services and Campus Ministry are available for personal or pastoral counseling.

    How do I find out about my student's grades?

    FERPA, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, is a federal law regarding the privacy of student records and access provided to those records. As such, you do not have access to student grades. All students can access their course grades on SU-Online, the university's on-line student information system. For the full Student Records policy, please go to the FERPA policy. Questions regarding FERPA may be directed to the Registrar's Office.

    What is the average course load and credit requirement to be a full-time student?

    The average course load in a quarter system is 15 credits per quarter. This is most frequently accomplished through three, five-credit courses. An undergraduate is considered full-time if they enroll for a minimum of 12 credits. But, each student is expected to complete at least 15 credits per quarter to remain on track to graduate in four years.