Life at Aquinas College

  • Student with parent at graduation

For Parents & Families

Our goal is to foster communication and continuing dialogue among students, families, and the College. Together, we support all current students in their journeys to graduation. This site was created to help offer resources as you support your AQ Saint and to provide opportunities for shared efforts to assist in their academic and social success.

It is our aim to identify and address needs, guide members of the community to view participation as an exciting opportunity in their student's college experience, and to ultimately and consistently communicate so that you, as families, feel your connection and welcomed place in our Aquinas College community. This site will offer current information and updates about academic issues and happenings outside of the classroom, provide polls and questions for you to consider, and to encourage you to engage in specific conversations with your enrolled student.

Academic Tips for Parents

AQ Courses & Schedule
Full course descriptions and the academic schedule are found on the Registrar/Academic Advising web site. Course descriptions are available in the academic catalog or on each academic department's Degrees/Courses web page.

Your Student's Schedule
A full time course load for a freshman is 12-15 credits.


  • Each credit hour of classes a student takes will require two to three hours of study per week.
  • Twelve credits equals 36 hours total class and study per week.
  • Especially during the first year it is not wise to have outside employment.
  • If your student must work, investigate work-study.

Adjustment Issues

It’ll happen to almost all of our students. Homesickness is actually harder on the parents and families than on the students because parents feel so helpless that they cannot take those feelings away or to soothe whatever is bothersome. We encourage our students to fight the urge to go home and to keep themselves busy by meeting people or getting involved in campus and/or community opportunities.

Sometimes it is helpful to try to wait a few days before you call home (initially as a first year student) and then try to make bigger spaces between calls. It will be helpful to both student and family if the student becomes more independent. It is also helpful to the student's academic and social success if they don't go home every weekend.

Food is often a huge factor in homesickness. If you feel your student may need a dose of home, send one of their favorites in a care package and just watch the result! More often than naught, roommates enjoy those care packages too!

Being on campus away from everyone that loves you can be an overwhelming and somewhat scary experience. We have learned that identifying your classes before the term begins (and this goes for our upperclassmen as well!) and finding someone to eat with, meet up with socially, or someone in class to form a study group is a great way to make AQ your home.

Your student should enter into their living situation knowing that this may not be a match made in Heaven. For a lot of our students, this is the first time in their lives that they have shared a space and everyone must be sensitive to this transition. Getting along takes effort - and maturity!

If/when conflict arises in your student's living situation, please refer them to the resident assistant assigned to their floor. These student leaders are trained to help both students work through their roommate agreements and to find away to live together so that all those sharing the room are able to be academically successful. The RAs are also available to offer alternatives to the roommates if they cannot make the living situation work.

Sometimes the best of friends do not make the best of roommates. And, there is a lot to learn about someone different than you... it helps you both grow and learn and prepare for life after college.

Social Life
There are usually two types of students... one who accepts every invitation and one who only comes out of their rooms or their cars to attend classes and hit the cafeteria. Either situation is disastrous! Finding the balance of getting connected is what will ultimately assist in your student's overall development and success; a vibrant campus and campus community offers so many opportunities to enhance or explore various interests.

Balancing a life outside the classroom is a learned process. If a student is more social than others, it is important for them to get their academic work completed before the socializing begins. Planning social and involvement opportunities is key so that students are able to make wise and healthy choices in how they spend and invest their time, money, energy, and ideas.

Responsibility is key in balancing a college student's academic and social life. Behaviors in and out of the classroom impact the other, so identifying habits early in the college career and seeking out available resources will always yield success.

If your student had trouble waking up in the morning, they are STILL going to have trouble in college. If they were disorganized they will most likely continue down that path. If they procrastinate, you can bet that they will struggle and have a great deal of stress and anxiety regarding projects and exams.

It is important for your student to establish expectations for themselves and to work with support staff on campus to find ways to CHOOSE to become responsible with time management, etc.

Items we know students wish they would have discussed with their parents:

  • They’re scared sometimes.
  • They want you to call and ask about things other than school work.
  • They want you to pick up the phone on their schedule and be willing to listen (even if it is really late).
  • That if they don't call that doesn't mean that they aren't thinking about you.
  • They want to hear that you love them no matter what.
  • They need to be able to make their own decisions, even if they turn out to be wrong sometimes.
  • That living in a residence hall requires a lot of adjustment.
  • They don’t want to be compared to a brother or sister. Praise them for being themselves.
  • They wish they could get home more often. (Don’t make them feel guilty if they can’t.)
  • Being a college student costs money beyond books and tuition.
  • Facing your disappointment is harder than doing poorly in a class.
  • Sometimes they just need somebody to sit and listen.
  • They always want to you to be patient and understanding.

If your student is struggling:

  • If your student is calling you with bad news, they already feel bad enough. Please just tell them that you care.
  • They want you to help them look at his options and listen, listen, listen.
  • Help your student stay on top of things.
  • Don’t accept "I’m doing fine" as an answer.
  • Encourage them to know where they stand in each class at all times.
  • Encourage them to meet their professors face to face and to meet with them early in the semester, not when things are not going the way that they want them to go.
  • Don’t solve your student’s problems for him/her.
  • They will really begin to grow up when they have to figure their own way out of a tough situation.