FAQs for Freshman Parents

Sending your son or daughter off to college for the first time can be a stressful but exciting time. We've compiled a short list of questions that a lot of freshman parents ask.

There is so much to do! Where can I find a list?

Refer to the New Student Checklist.

What about the Housing Application?

Each student should fill out a housing application in myCMU, unless he/she qualifies to live off-campus. The application is available online and should be completed by the STUDENT , not a parent. A petition to live off-campus is also available.

What is myCMU?

myCMU is an online resource for students which provides access to a wide variety of information. Financial Assistance information, billing statements, advisor contact information, class schedule, academic record and course announcements can all be found on myCMU.

Further, each class has a section on myCMU where students can find and submit assignments, read announcements, get course handouts or communicate with others in the class.

What information can I get from myCMU?

Parents who want to access  myCMU need to get the login and password from their son or daughter. The information accessed will be their son or daughter's account. As mentioned above, financial assistance information, billing statements and other important information can be obtained there.

Does my son/daughter need to buy his textbooks?

Nationwide studies show that owning textbooks is one of the most important components of a successful freshman semester. Therefore, CMU requires that students own textbooks. On average, CMU students spend $475 per semester on books and online resources. It is imperative that families prioritize this expense.

A recent survey of CMU faculty shows that over 90% of faculty require students to own a book and over 84% lecture in alignment with a required textbook.

Where can I get textbooks?

The CMU Eagle Store is ready to assist you with textbook selection and purchasing. You can reserve books ahead of time by contacting the bookstore.

When books are purchased at the CMU bookstore, exchanges can be easily made as a student's schedule changes during the first week of classes.

A Textbook list is available on the bookstore website. Be very careful to pay close attention to editions if you choose to buy books online. Also note, several instructors require access codes in addition to books. E-books may be a great choice, based on a student's preference.

How can I best prepare my son/daughter for CMU?

  • Help them learn to recognize their alarm clock.
  • Help them develop a time management system that works for them.
  • Encourage them to get involved in at least one activity on campus.
  • Make sure that money is available to purchase textbooks at the very beginning of the semester.
  • Encourage them to NOT travel home every weekend.

Also encourage them to pay attention to their use of social media. Each Facebook post or Tweet to friends back home is a missed connection here at CMU.

How does a CMU schedule differ from High School?
Most classes meet on Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday. Each class meets for 50 minutes or 75 minutes. [Science Labs usually meet for 2 hours.] Individual professors keep attendance.

How much study time is required for classes at CMU?

The general rule of thumb is that a student should be prepared to spend 1.5 to 2 hours of preparation time outside of class for each hour in class. That preparation can be reading chapters and other assigned material, reviewing or preparing notes, accessing online resources and other active-learning activities, meeting with other students in a study community or seeing a tutor.

How many hours are needed to graduate?

It takes a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete a Bachelors Degree.

What are "credit hours"?

The number of credit hours is roughly equivalent to the number of hours a student spends in class each week. That is also the amount of credit towards graduation that will be awarded with passing grades.

What is elective credit?

Classes which count towards graduation but do not fulfill a graduation requirement become elective credit. (i.e., a student takes more math than required, but isn't a math major - that extra math class is elective credit.)

Do Dual-Credit classes transfer to CMU?

Yes, an official transcript must be sent from the college to CMU. (No transcript is required for CMU dual-credit classes.) Admissions should be advised about all dual-credit classes completed or in progress.

Will there be tutors available?

Yes, there is at least one, and often multiple, tutors available for most freshman-level classes. These tutors can be found in the Center for Learning and Teaching. A schedule is available online at the end of the first week of classes.

How much do tutors cost?

There is NO charge for tutoring or other Learning Center assistance.

Who can help my son/daughter since I will not be there?

The staff in the Office of Student Development will assist. The office is located on the 2nd floor of the student center (660-248-6223.)

The Student Handbook is full of helpful information along with the Code of Conduct and rules of the university. Each resident student receives a copy from his hall director and commuting students may pick one up.

Where can I find the "rules" for CMU?

The student handbook is available on the campus website. Go to Campus Life for that, and more.

Who should I call with questions?

Continue to call and work with your Admissions representative (660-248-6251). They will forward your questions to Student Development, Financial Assistance or the Dean's Office as appropriate.