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UChicago Parents Thread

david05david05 Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
edited November 2013 in University of Chicago
Inspired by CC “Yale Parents thread” which has more than 200k hits and huge information exchanges since its inception in 2009, I would like to start a thread for UChicago parents. It is a place for UChicago parents and friends to ask and answer questions, exchange ideas, and help our young generation to grow.

My first question:
We (parents) singed the form FERPA (Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act) when we visited the Campus in October, 2011, but we haven’t received anything yet from the school. Will we get something like student's academic records from school?

The second question:
When will the entering sophomore class receive the financial package decision from UChicago? We haven't heard anything yet.
Post edited by david05 on

Replies to: UChicago Parents Thread

  • spike9spike9 Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    David, I called the FinAid office about a month ago to ask when we'd hear about aid for next year. I was told to expect notification the first or second week of August. If memory serves, that's about when we heard last year (S is a rising 3rd year).
  • TXArtemisTXArtemis Registered User Posts: 1,055 Senior Member
    Hi, david05, kudos on initiating this thread!

    Responsive to your first question, your student can furnish you with his/her academic records reflecting grades, transcript, etc. There are only two instances in which the College will initiate communication with you per your FERPA certification. See all details concerning parental access to information here: Accessing Information | Parents & Families | The University of Chicago
  • TXArtemisTXArtemis Registered User Posts: 1,055 Senior Member
    For new U Chicago parents who plan to help their student move in and stick around day two for Opening Convocation, here are a few tips:

    1. Take a look at the Orientation web site Orientation | The College Orientation (it will be updated over the course of the summer, and be sure to check all similarly-titled links as sometimes the content you seek will be updated/posted in just one place) and also bookmark the Parents section of the U Chicago web site Parents & Families | The University of Chicago (which is a great resource now and going forward).

    2. The best part about moving in is the amazing support crew of upper class students who will greet your new student at your car, help unload and carry stuff to his/her dorm room and cheerfully answer all questions! Be sure to follow the web site instructions for getting in the car line that morning. If you go early, your student may be able to pick his/her side of the room!

    3. The school will arrange runs to Target and similar during O-Week, so no worries if you don't have time to take your student shopping.

    4. All of the events to which parents and families are invited will be crowded. Bring patience and good humor!

    5. The climax of the two days is Opening Convocation in Rockefeller Chapel followed by the bagpipe-led student procession through the quad to the parting of parents and students at Hull Gate. A festive crowd of upper class students will cheer your student into the fold. Be sure to have at least one person in your family queue early for chapel admission, as it will fill up, requiring students and their families at the back of the line to go to an overflow location to watch a simulcast of the chapel proceedings. Bring your camera and tissues for the kiss and good bye!
  • david05david05 Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
    Spike9 and TXArtemis,
    Your links and explanations are helpful, thanks.
  • motherbear332motherbear332 Registered User Posts: 788 Member
    I second the recommendation to get in line early for the convocation. Two years ago we were in line an hour before it started and ended up standing in the back. Five minutes later and we wouldn't have gotten in at all.
  • jupiter1jupiter1 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    This thread is very helpful... thanks so much! My son will be an incoming freshman this fall. Do most students sign up for the supplemental health insurance? My understanding is that son would still have to have independent health coverage as this Chicago insurance doesn't cover the full year or provide full and extensive coverage. If I am correct, is there any purpose in signing up for this policy? Am i correct in my understanding?
  • dunbardunbar Registered User Posts: 1,376 Senior Member
    Standing in line for convocation can waste a good portion of your day. Don't bother. The actual ceremony isn't all that necessary to see in person, and the simulcasts work just as well.
  • david05david05 Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
    Last year, UChicago had the plan called "University Student Health Insurance Plan (U-SHIP)". We asked for waiver, and were granted. I remember it charges over $2500, after-TAX dollars. Is there any difference between this plan and your "Supplemental U Chicago Health Insurance"? Not sure, you will find out easily.


    It says in the "Guide to Student Health and Counseling Services 2011-2012", "........To waive enrollment in U-SHIP, you must provide proof of comparable insurance by the end of the second week of your first quarter of enrollment......"

    It is easy to waive it.
  • spike9spike9 Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    if you have family coverage through an employer, your son should be included in that, and, providing the coverage meets the UChicago stipulated minimums, there is no need to purchase insurance through the school (which is quite expensive). You do have to provide certain information/documentation to demonstrate satisfactory coverage, as spelled out online when you go nosing about in that area of the UC website. If confused, you can always call, as we did first year. Note that you'll have to certify coverage for each year, so take notes on how you do it this year.
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 7,919 Senior Member
    I was invited to a local annual parents gathering meeting when my DD is in the freshmen year, sponsored by a local parent. Now she is in rising third year, I did not get an invitation last year, I am not sure I will be getting it this year either. What is the story there? Do they invite freshmen parents only or if I missed some thing? What is your experience?
  • joszacemjoszacem Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    not til august? Seems a bit late.
  • joszacemjoszacem Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    Financial aid question for you U Chicago parents. S2 is looking at U Chicago as one of his top choices for college. We have heard that the fin aid offer first year is more generous than subsequent years (at Chicago). Any truth to that?? S1 is going to a different top 10 school and his aid has been very good and gone up each year commensurate with the increased cost of college. Your experiences???
  • Honeybee5Honeybee5 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    I third the recommendation to get in line fairly early for the convocation. We were some of the last seated in Rockefeller Chapel last year, and I was happy to be there because it was so beautiful. We didn’t miss anything by standing in line. It really was nice to have a last chance to chat with our daughter as we waited. After the convocation is over, the students head to Hull Gate, and they are pretty much gone in an instant. That being said, it may not be for everyone. My daughter’s roommate skipped the convocation to go shopping and other folks seem to feel as though their kids would rather get started on their first drinking binge instead of hanging out with their parents.

    With regard to insurance, our family plan is a Blue Cross HMO, so we were able to get our daughter a “guest” membership with Illinois Blue Cross HMO that met the waiver standard. As soon as she came home this summer, we switched her over to our local insurance. She was able to find a doctor in Hyde Park. Unfortunately, she had a stress fracture in her foot and had to go quite a way to get an x-ray through the HMO. Although she took a cab, it was somewhat time-consuming. As she is on one of the sports teams, the team doctor was able to take care of her rehab, which was helpful. If she had the university health insurance, she would have been able to get complete treatment through the UChicago Medical Center. Despite the inconvenience, she got good care and we’re planning to stick with our insurance this coming year.

    The local gathering we attended last year was just for incoming students. But maybe it varies by location.
  • david05david05 Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
    Called financial aid office, told financial package will be sent out in about one month.
  • BookdadBookdad Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Has anyone else's child come home not too happy after the first year? From what I can tell, academics were fine (As and Bs), has a couple of good friends, participated in at least one extra-curricular club, did Scav hunt. Problem is "not very happy, and I'm not getting a lot out of the academics." A couple of the Core instructors sounded lackluster (recent grads) but in one case switched to a different, better professor. Not too happy with the dorm house but did not make an effort to switch. What concerns me is this summer there has been a lot of talk about transferring to a nearby university. I'm wondering if other parents have been through this.
This discussion has been closed.