8 Ways to Support Your College Student

Helpful tips for how to support your student throughout their college career.
Sky Willam | January 25, 2024

As your student starts their college experience, your support will be an essential part of their academic, social, and personal growth. Every student has unique needs, many of which will emerge as they experience new challenges, but with the right foundation, you’ll be ready to offer everything they need to succeed during this new chapter of their lives.

Student and supporter sitting together
Open Communication
College is an opportunity for your student to develop their independence and grow. Maintaining an open line of communication might be the most important support to offer your student. Encourage them to open up about their experiences, challenges, and successes. Try to balance actively listening with respect for your student's privacy and boundaries.
As your student settles in at Stout, they'll be able to pursue their interests and push their potential. Support your student’s independence. Encourage them to get involved in organizations, clubs, or sports teams to help them better integrate with different friend groups and the campus community. 
Emotional Support
With new academic expectations and a new social environment, your emotional support and understanding can make all the difference to keep your student pushing through uncertainty. If your student could benefit from counseling or support services, encourage them to take advantage of the extra help. UW-Stout has certified counselors who are always willing to help students through highs and lows. Our Student Counseling Center also provides free support options online, so your student has 24/7 access to resources, educational tools, and other organizations that can help them through many situations. 
Students in Financial Wellness Class

Financial Planning
Financial literacy is complex, so be prepared to openly discuss finances and make sure they understand how to manage their money. Help your student understand their financial responsibilities by creating a budget together. Paying for college is not something everyone has experience with, but your support and willingness to learn right along with your student can go a long way. If your student would like more information, encourage them to contact the Financial Wellness & Literacy Center where they can get financial assistance, support and budgeting tips.

Networking & Career Support
Stout provides unique career-focused learning in our labs, through paid internships and co-ops, and through industry-sponsored projects, but you can also play a role in preparing them for their career. Encourage your student to attend job fairs and reach out to Career Services to find an internship, co-op opportunity, or job within their field. Help them explore career opportunities by connecting them with your co-workers, friends, and/or family who might have connections in your student’s chosen career field. 

Graduation cap

Time Management
Teach your student to prioritize tasks, create a schedule, and maintain a healthy work-life balance. If this is a skill your student struggles with, encourage them to read Mapping Your Day to help them find an organizational system that works best for them.

Stay Informed
Staying up to date with Stout’s academic calendar and events on campus can help you reinforce crucial information, such as exam schedules or registration periods. Read StoutFam (our supporter enewsletter) for highlights and useful articles (like this one). 

Visit & Stay Connected
Show your support by visiting your student on campus, which offers them a chance to show you around life at Stout. Schedule your trip around Stout Proud Families and Supporter Weekend (in the fall) or Destination Weekend (in the spring) for a full showcase of the fun things to do on campus. 

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