Resources for Parents, Guardians and Family members

As the parent of a first-time university student, you may be experiencing mixed emotions as your son or daughter prepares to take this big step. You are proud of your student’s accomplishments but, like most parents, guardians and family members, you have concerns about his or her future. It’s true that your student will have much to consider and many choices to make. Research has shown that advice and support from family members significantly influence students as they make these choices.

New Student Orientation is the first step in an incoming student's transition to UFV, where your son or daughter is able to find answers and guidance; the idea is to set your student on the right path from the very first day. Encourage your student to attend UFV's New Student Orientation. In a similar fashion, UFV’s Parent Orientation is designed to answer your questions and address your concerns about the university experience.

UFV believes that parents, guardians and family members are valuable partners and coaches in any student’s academic journey. Having knowledge about campus departments, programs, and services will make it easier for you to discuss suitable resources for your student and help you encourage your student to seek assistance when he or she requires it.

This portion of our website is designed to introduce you to UFV, provide valuable contact information and help you find answers to your current and future questions.  If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, contact or call 604.557.4064.

Getting Started

Family encouragement is an important factor in the university student’s success. In fact, research shows that family expectations of success may be as important as student’s own expectations. (Hackman & Dysinger, 1970). 


What Parents, Guardians and Family Members can Expect

It is normal for students to be unsure about choosing their major area of study. The beginning of university is often a time of exploration and change. Focusing only on academic requirements and not on other interests may lead students into academic trouble. For parents, this process will require tolerance, understanding, acceptance, and encouragement.

  • The learning process can extend beyond the classroom to include on-campus involvement, volunteer experience, club/association membership, and employment.
  • Students may re-evaluate their values, for example, religion, sexual orientation, career choices, political views etc. 
  • Students will experience different levels of stress depending on where they are in their studies.
  • Parents and other family members should be aware of the need for quiet study space and uninterrupted study time.
  • Students should allow at least three hours of study time for every hour in class. Work and family responsibilities should not interfere.
  • Attendance is required, but no one will necessarily keep attendance or warn students that their work is not up to standard. Students need to be responsible for their own work.
  • At UFV, students’ records and information pertaining to education are considered students’ property and will not be released to other individuals without written consent of those students.
  • Students cannot be readily contacted while on campus except in an emergency situation. In an emergency, this might include illness, death in the family or accident, please contact UFV Facilities at 604-864-4542604-864-4542.
  • The staff and faculty at UFV want students to succeed - become familiar with the services provided.
  • If there is a problem, students can find help in many places, and it is their right and obligation to seek that help.
  • UFV encourages responsible student behavior and has developed policies that reflect UFV community standards.


Top 10 Things Parents, Guardians and Family members of university students should know:

  1. Academic expectations are high
  2. Know what services are available for their student
  3. Be prepared for change
  4. Adjust to a new adult relationship
  5. Keep track of important dates
  6. Money matters
  7. Support your student’s choices
  8. Understand the unique experiences of commuter students
  9. Understand the unique experiences of students in residence
  10. Expect university culture shock

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How Parents, Guardians and Family Members can Provide Support

Allow your student to take responsibility

Resist the urge to leap in and troubleshoot. Do not find the person to call or solve the dilemma. Do not find solutions or do background checks.

Be Supportive and Trusting

Encourage independence while, at the same time, provide a safety net. 

Be Knowledgeable

Find out about UFV Services and check the academic year schedule so you are aware of significant dates during the year.
Be realistic and understanding Accept that you won’t know every detail of your student's life. You may not have known the details before, and now may know even less.
Listen You may get the "panicked phone call, email or text" as midterms come and go, work starts to pile up, grades may not be as expected, students may start to feel overwhelmed and coping skills may begin to fail.
Before the start of classes encourage your student to
Encourage your student to get involved on campus by


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What We Tell Students. . .

Be proactive Look at the big picture – the entire semester/cyclical demands and stresses. Utilize faculty office hours to discuss progress. Form study groups with other students. ACT IMMEDIATELY, if there is a problem or concern.
Be Knowledgeable Find out about the UFV Services available for all students.
Be flexible Be patient and compromise. Manage your time. 
Take care of yourself Participate in campus activities and wellness programming. Learn how to manage stress. Make sound choices about alcohol and drug use.
Manage your time Start with day one. Stay organized and on top of your work – no time to slide.
Make connections Make the right choices. Make wise connections – on both personal and academic levels.
Manage your money Make a budget and realize financial expectations. Build good credit: Be cautious with credit card companies who solicit first year students without requiring co-signatures. Get help with financial problems before they get out of hand.


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Reading List

The transition from high school to university can be a difficult time for parents. There are many books and resources available online or from the local library that can guide a parent as their son or daughter enters university. Here is a list of books and publications that can help you as a parent make it through this transition smoothly:

Navigating the First Colleage Year: A Guide for Parents and Families by Richard Mullendore and Leslie Banahan

A Guide for Families of Commuter Students: Supporting Your Student's Success by Cathie Hatch and Tracy L. Skipper 

Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen L. Coburn and Madge L. Treeger. Published by: Harpercollins.

You're On Your Own (but I'm here if you need me) by Marjorie Savage. Published by: Fireside (Simon & Schuster)

A New Beginning by Kaye McGarry. Published by: Survival in College Press

What to Expect When Your Child Leaves for College: A Complete Guide for Parents Only by Mary Spohn. Published by: Atlantic Publishing Company

Parents' Guide to College Life by Robin Raskin. Published by: Princeton Review

Bringing Home the Laundry: Effective Parenting For College And Beyond by Janis Brody. Published by: Taylor Trade Publishing

Don't Tell Me What to do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years by Helen E. Johnson & Christine Schelhaus-Miller. Published by Golden.

The Launching Years by Laura S. Kastner, Jennifer Wyatt. Published by: Three Rivers Press

Empty Nest . . . Full Heart: The Journey from Home to College by Andrea Van Steenhouse. Published by: Simpler Life Press

When Kids Go To College: A Parent's Guide to Changing Relationships by Barbara M. Newman and Philip R. Newman. Published by: Ohio State University Press

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Frequently Asked Questions

How many classes should my son or daughter enroll in per semester?
It really depends. Some students are able to balance their academics with their personal lives while taking many credits. Some students can only handle a few classes at once. Your student should talk to an edu-cational advisor to determine what would be best suited to him or her.

Should students have a job while going to university?
Once again, the ability to work while maintaining a balance varies from individual to individual. There are students who work part-time while going to university. Many students are able to better concentrate if they are solely going to school. Also, some programs may be very concentrated, which makes it difficult to hold a job while going to school.

Do parents receive copies of students’ grades?
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act prevents UFV from releasing personal information about its students to anyone without express consent. UFV does not release any information pertaining to a student's academic record (including information on admissions, awards, and grades) to his or her parents. Students can check their grades online through the myUFV web portal.

Is class attendance mandatory?
Different instructors and programs have different attendance policies. There may be marks for attendance. Also, there may be marks for participation in a class that students will lose if they do not attend. Refer your student to his or her instructor for the most accurate information.

Can students change classes?
Students can change or add courses through myUFV until the deadline for each semester. After the deadline, they must obtain the instructor's permission in class in order to register for any course. Important dates:

Where do students buy their textbooks and other school supplies?
Textbooks and other supplies, as well as UFV merchandise and gifts, can be bought from the UFV bookstore. Your student can search online for textbooks by visiting the bookstore website ( and clicking on “textbooks”.

Abbotsford Campus Bookstore H building 1385 McKenzie Rd., Abbotsford
Ph 604-854-4535604-854-4535

Chilliwack Campus Bookstore
Room D100 45635 Yale Road, Chilliwack Ph 604-795-2823604-795-2823

Mission Campus Bookstore
Heritage Park Centre 33700 Prentis Ave., Mission Ph 604-820-6019604-820-6019

Trades & Technology Centre Bookstore
Room 1071 5579 Tyson Rd., Chilliwack Ph 604-504-7441604-504-7441 Ext. 5470

Is work-study income taxable?
Yes, work-study income is taxable the same way as other forms of employment. Work-Study students are paid twice per month by cheque or direct deposit. In order to receive payment, students must submit a completed timesheet to the Payroll department by the deadline for each pay period.

Should students carry health insurance?
The Student Union Society provides a Health & Dental plan for students attending UFV. Students who can prove alternate coverage under another extended health and dental plan may opt out during the opt-out pe-riod by visiting, or by contacting the SUS Health and Dental Adminis-trator.

How are students with disabilities accommodated?
UFV Disability Services strives to provide services to students dealing with a disability in a manner that provides fairness to students and allows them to become fully involved in the academic process. Resources available include exam accommodation, learning assistance, sign language interpreters, alternate formats for textbooks, and a computer lab with specialized equipment.

Where is the library and when is it open?
On the Abbotsford campus, the library is located in building "G": the Peter Jones Learning Commons. On the Chilliwack campus, the library is found in building "A". Library hours change throughout the year, but can be found at

My student has dropped a class but had already bought the textbook. Can it be returned?
Students may return textbooks to the bookstore for refunds, provided that they meet certain criteria. Students with a receipt can return a textbook within 14 days of purchase, or until the last day for refunds (whichever comes first). The entire bookstore return policy can be found at:

What happens if there is an emergency and I need to contact my son/daughter?
Students cannot always be readily contacted while on campus except in an emergency situation. In an emergency, this might include illness, death in the family or accident, please contact Facilities at 604-864-4542604-864-4542.

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Guide to Referrals

Below are a number of issues that concern students from time to time. Contacts to refer students and suggestions for parents to help their student are listed. Remember that it is important for students to solve problems on their own.

Problem: Absenteeism
Who Student Should Contact: Instructor
Attendance policy is up to the individual instructor. Try to determine the extent of the problem. Is it one class or several? Faculty will usually permit students to make up work for serious illness, death in the immediate family, or for other emergencies. For all other absences, the in-structor will use his/her own judgement about whether missed work can be made up.


Problem:                      Academic Problems 
Who Student Should Contact: Student Services and Instructor
Encourage your student to go to Student Services where he or she can get individual assistance with study skills, time management, note taking or test taking. Your son or daughter should also ask the instructor of the course for guidance. Faculty members are willing to discuss areas for improvement and may provide insight into how your student can get better grades on future projects. It is important that your son or daughter address academic problems as soon as possible, so that the problem can be corrected before it has a major impact on his or her academic record.
Problem:                                 Death/Serious Illness in the Family
Who Student Should Contact: Student Services and the Instructors
In the event of a serious family emergency affecting your student’s ability to attend classes, complete assignments or write exams, your son or daughter must make every effort to contact his or her instructors. If under the circumstances this is too difficult, your student may contact the Director of Student Services office at 604-864-4677604-864-4677 or by e-mail to . This office will then contact the instructors to advise them of the situation. If the contact is being made by e-mail, your student must use his or her official UFV student e-mail account and include his or her student number . Depending on the circumstances, documentation may be required. Keep your son or daughter informed if there is a serious illness. Allow your student to make decisions about whether or not he or she needs to come home. Make sure your son or daughter is not alone when notice of death is given.


Problem:                             Excessive Alcohol Use
Who Student Should Contact: Student Services Counsellor
Try to determine the extent of the abuse. Encourage your student to seek professional help. This problem can become too severe for parents to deal with alone.


Problem:                                                    Homesickness/Loneliness
Who Student Should Contact: Student Services Counsellor and/or Resident Assistant (for students living on-campus) and/or Student Life
During a student’s first year living away from home, he or she may feel homesick or lonely. At the beginning of the semester, determine when visits home will be scheduled and when you might be able to visit campus. Let your son or daughter know that homesickness is a common problem with students in their first year of university. Encourage your student to get involved, whether in a campus organization or in the community. UFV Student Life can help your son or daughter find an organization in which he or she might be interested.
Keep in mind that the busier students are, the less time they have to feel homesick.


Problem:                       Parking Tickets
Who Student Should Contact: Impark
Have a clear understanding at the beginning of the semester about all aspects of operating a motor vehicle and how parking tickets will be handled. Impark monitors the parking lots and enforces the regulations on behalf of the University. A parking violation is $36.75 or $15.75 if paid within 7 days. Accumulating two or more parking tickets may result in a vehicle being towed from campus. Advise your son or daughter to read the reverse side of the ticket for payment options.
 Violation Dispute  604.909.3966604.909.3966
 Violation Payment Line  604.909.3933604.909.3933 or


Problem:                                             Roommate Conflicts
Who Student Should Contact: Resident Assistant and/or Residence Life Programmer and/or Student Services Counsellor
For students living on campus, the Resident Assistant can act as a mediator between roommates and can help them resolve their issues. Parents can encourage students to take time to work through conflicts. Discuss the educational value of learning to get along with someone who is different. Help your student to be appropriately assertive without being domineering.


Problem: Safety
Who Student Should Contact: Campus Security
UFV is a relatively safe place, but students need to be reminded that they are not invincible. Campus security is available to respond to incidents and complaints. These may include, but are not limited to: parking, fire, traffic, noise, lost and found, and theft. The security department maintains a working relationship with local police agencies in the Fraser Valley to facilitate resolution of any matter that comes to their attention. A comprehensive reporting system is also in place to ensure that all incidents and complaints are dealt with in an expeditious manner.

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Resource Guide

First Year Contact

Questions? Help is an email away. First Year Contact will direct your email to the appropriate department and assist in the navigation of you and your student’s first year at UFV.

Academic Calendar

The Academic Calendar highlights holidays, dates for beginning and end of each semester and important deadlines throughout the semester. The calendar is available at the bookstore or is accessible online.

Security, Safewalk Program

Campus security provides SafeWalk escorts to vehicles and public transportation. Students may contact Security and then wait at a Safe-Walk station for an escort. To request a SafeWalk, call the security cell phone: Chilliwack: 604-991-0225604-991-0225 Abbotsford: 604-768-0279604-768-0279


Pay parking is in effect for all UFV parking lots and on some neighbouring streets. At UFV, there are designated parking areas for students and employees. Daily parking may be purchased from parking meters located throughout the campus at a rate of $1.00 for every 2 hours. When parking, patrons must note their stall number as this is required in using the meters. Students expecting to be on campus for lengthy periods each week may consider purchasing a semester “E-Permit” parking pass at a cost of $150.00 for the 16 week semester. The E-Permit is registered to the vehicle licence plate. E-Permits are not reserved parking and drivers are still required to search for parking space in a designated student lot. E- Permits do not enable parking in other than designated UFV student parking areas.

UFV and on street parking is administered by Impark. Impark monitors the parking lots and enforces the regulations on behalf of the University. The cost of a parking violation on UFV lots is $39.20 or $16.80 if paid within 7 days. On street parking violations at event times may be considerably more. Accumulating two or more parking tickets may result in a vehicle being towed from campus. The reverse side of a parking ticket provides instructions for payment.

As a courtesy to all its clients, Impark offers a vehicle assistance program: need fuel? locked out? need a boost? flat tire? "Parker Pete" services are available at the Abbotsford and Chilliwack campuses at no cost to those who have purchased parking. All that the student needs to do is call Parker Pete at 1-877-771-73831-877-771-7383, and help will soon be on its way.

Study Skills
Having trouble studying with effectiveness or managing time? Need to understand memory, concentration, and motivation? Contact Student Services and sign up for Success Workshops.

Writing Centre
The Writing Centre provides services to help all students improve their writing in a variety of contexts.

Math Centre
The Math Centre provides Assistants, Mathematics & Statistics faculty, and student monitors who can help students with their mathematics or statistics problems. They work with students personally to provide them with that extra insight they might need to really understand.

Disability Services

Resources available include exam accommodation, learning assis-tance, sign language interpreters, alternate formats for textbooks, and a computer lab with some specialized equipment.

Career Centre

The Career Centre provides employment related assistance to all UFV students and alumni. The centre offers a number of programs and services including Co-operative Education, Work-Study, the Directions Career Fair, and assistance with resumes, cover letters and interviews.

Is your student taking the right program or courses? What courses do they need to graduate?

Ask your son or daughter the following: Are you taking the right courses? Do you need help planning your education for timely completion? Do your plans include transfer to another school? Are you unsure which major, minor, extended minor, concentration, module, or specialization to choose? Will the workload be manageable? If your student is uncertain about any of these things, he or she can see an educational advisor in Student Services on an ongoing basis to assist your student with academic decisions to stay on track.

Looking for scholarships, bursaries, and studnet loan applications?

Obtaining a post-secondary education requires a considerable financial investment. It is essential that students and their families plan for financing their education, on both a short-term and long-term basis. This website provides valuable information and pointers about sources of financial aid for students attending the University of the Fraser Valley.

Is your student of aboriginal ancestry, status, and non-metis status?

The Aboriginal Access coordinator provides support for students of aboriginal ancestry, either status, non-status, Inuit or Métis.

Looking for ways to get your student connected?

The Student Life Department focuses on out-of-class programming, activities and services that will provide opportunities for students to develop the skills and competencies to change, grow, and develop.

Unexpected difficulties in the classroom?
The Director of Student Services supervises the Student Services area. Students should come to the Director's Office for assistance in resolving a wide range problems or unexpected difficulties. Contact the Director of Student Services: 604-557-4092604-557-4092.

Need to appeal?

UFV recognizes students’ rights to appeal decisions and practices which affect academic standing. Contact the Student Affairs Officer: 604-851-6314604-851-6314.

Conflict resolution and human rights advisor

The Conflict Resolution Advisor is available to provide students, faculty, and staff with confidential assessment, advice, and assistance in the
resolution of both interpersonal and workplace concerns.

Information for students

Most of the information here has been retrieved from various areas of the UFV website. If you are missing some information please check this site for current students.

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