Parent Orientation

Please note that the Winter Orientation only offers an abbreviated parent orientation, and does not offer all of the sessions that occur in the full summer program.

Our parent orientation program includes a variety of activities, many of which are separate from those in which the students will be participating. Program participants should expect a full schedule, with session activities occurring from 8 a.m. until approximately 9 p.m. The following list should provide you with an idea of what to expect. You will be kept busy during your stay, but we believe it will be time well spent.

  • Campus tour: Become acquainted with NMU's programs and facilities with the assistance of a student tour guide.
  • Staff Assistant with ParentGet acquainted: We will share our goals for your orientation experience and help you meet other parents, including those from your geographic area. 
  • Residence hall life: The director of housing and residence life will "tell it like it is" regarding residence hall policies and practices.
  • Recreation and leisure: You will be invited to participate in recreation and a buffet-style dinner at the Northern Lights Dining hall on the campus.
  • Questions and answers: As a parent, you are likely to have many specific questions about financial aid, residence hall payments and options, health insurance, and student rights and responsibilities. University staff will be available to meet with you to discuss these topics.
  • Looking at some issues: A frank "sharing and caring" session between parents and staff concerning potential problems that new students might encounter and how the university will respond if they occur.

An abbreviated schedule of parent orientation program activities can be found at the bottom of the student schedule of activities for the session your student plans on attending  (Click this link for additional schedule Information).

Parents and guests planning to participate in the parent orientation program are required to pay a $50 program fee. The fee is $50 for the first guest and only $20 per guest beyond the first. This fee will cover parent program expenses and a buffet-style dinner on Tuesday night, showcasing our on-campus dining facility and local musical talent. This fee is not included as part of the student orientation fee or accommodations fee. Please note that we do not offer any special programs or activities for children during parent orientation program activities, and that the Parents session content may differ between Fall and Winter sessions. 

You may register for the parent orientation program through the online student orientation reservation system. Visit our website dedicated to NMU parents here


During Orientation we take an anonymous survey, here are some of the comments written in by past Parents/Guests:

  • "Thank you! The program exceeded my expectation and was very helpful." -Summer 2019
  • "This is by far the best and most comprehensive new parent/student orientation that I have been too. I felt very comfortable leaving my child at NMU. I also, after these couple days, am glad that my student has chosen NMU. Great job!" -Summer 2019
  • "I was initially hesitant that my son was leaving and coming so far especially when he had so many opportunities closer. After orientation, I know for certain he made the right choice. I have no doubt when my son is my age he will still be a wildcat! Thank you all so much!" -Summer 2019
  • "So glad I did this. As a commuter student 32 years ago. My parents missed an enormous amount of valuable information that I am grateful to know now.  Great program." -Summer 2019