Frequently Asked Questions

Though we are happy to help assist you via email or by phone (502.272.8433), the questions below are commonly asked by parents and families.

Click here for insight into some of the concerns first-year students face during their first semester. 

How will I know my student's final grades?

Federal law prohibits the distribution of an adult's educational records to any other person. Only students may access their semester grades with their log-in at the Student Portal. We encourage you to have regular, supportive conversations about class and assignment grades with your student. Some students' grades drop from high school to college due to the many adjustments associated with a new academic environment.

What if my student is having trouble with classes?

Encourage your son or daughter to ask questions in class and to meet with the instructor at the first indication of trouble. If problems continue, your student should make an appointment with his or her advisor and/or visit the Student Success Center. Many first-year students may have found it easy to succeed in high school with little or no studying, but university-level expectations are different. Your support and reassurance during this transition period are of the utmost importance.

Should my student work while in college?

This depends strictly upon the student in question. Many students do work while they are in college and still earn good grades. The student's ability to manage time wisely will determine whether a student should tackle the responsibility of work while in school. Typically, it is difficult for a student to balance academics and work if they are working more than 20-25 hours per week. As your student progresses in his/her academic career, encourage your student to take advantage of internships, volunteer activities, and other work experiences that relate to their major or career goals. For assistance in finding or applying for jobs, please contact our Career Development Center at or visit the Career Development site for more.

Should my student become involved in co-curricular activities?

Co-curricular experiences can be a tremendous benefit to students. Students make new friends, gain valuable leadership skills, develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and interact with faculty and staff outside of the classroom. Time management is the key to successfully integrating co-curricular experiences with their academics. Encourage your students to get involved early by visiting the Student Activities Office in Centro.

What if my student becomes homesick?

The power of suggestion can be dangerous. The idea of being homesick usually doesn't occur until someone suggests it. The first weeks at Bellarmine are very structured and filled with activities. During this time, meeting new people and adjusting to new situations will take the majority of first-year student's time and concentration. So, unless they're reminded of it, they'll probably be able to escape the loneliness and frustration of homesickness.

Click here for some suggestions about how to help your student struggling with homesickness. 

What if my student doesn't seem to like college?

Parenting can be a thankless job, especially during the college years. Often when troubles become too much for a first-year student to handle (a flunked test, end of a relationship, etc.) the only place to turn, write, email, or call is home. Be patient with those “nothing is going right” or “I hate this place” conversations. Students appreciate a sympathetic ear, venting their frustrations…and occasionally listening to advice.

How often should I communicate?

Although first-year students are typically eager to be independent, most are still anxious for family ties and the security those ties bring. This surge of independence may be misinterpreted by sensitive parents as rejection, but most first-year students (although 99 percent won't ever admit it) love to hear from home frequently.

When should I visit?

Visits by parents, especially when accompanied by shopping and/or dinner, are another part of the first year events that new students are reluctant to admit they like, but would greatly appreciate. Spur of the moment “surprises” are usually not appreciated. Family Weekend and other organized events are great opportunities to plan to spend time with your student.

What happens if my student gets in trouble?

All disciplinary proceedings of the Bellarmine University community are intended to be educational, non-adversarial, and confidential. Provide support to your student as he or she goes through the judicial process. Keep in mind that your students will learn their deepest life lessons when they have to face the consequences of their own decisions.

Roommate conflicts?

Encourage your student to work through the conflict. Discuss the educational value of learning to get along with others, especially people who are different. Encourage communication and assertive, rather than aggressive, behavior.