Tips for Parents, Families and Supporters:


  • Attend Summer Orientation with your student and participate in the family/parent orientation sessions. Participating in orientation is a good way to gain key information on how Juniata College can support your student throughout their academic journey and provides great opportunities to ask questions.

  • Take the time to learn about Juniata College and the college process. By taking the time to learn more about Juniata College and the college process you will gain a better understanding of what to expect during your student's time away at college.

  • Remember that pursuing higher education does not mean that students will lose the values they were raised with. Colleges, and especially Juniata College, aim to help students develop holistically; by the time they are ready to graduate they will gain knowledge and skills for their career, grow as communally engaged leaders, develop their ethical behavior and awareness, and will be prepared for new challenges beyond college.

  • Especially in the first couple weeks of college, encourage your student to participate in campus events, stay on campus instead of coming home on weekends, and reach out to meet new people and make friends. This will allow your student to be fully emerged and help them get adjusted to Juniata College and its culture. This will also help your student make new friends and build lasting connections, right from the beginning!

  • Encourage your student to build connections with professors and other professional staff by introducing themselves, visiting their professors during their office hours, attending events on campus, and utilizing the many resources provided through supportive offices on campus, such as:  the Office of Campus and Residential Life, Academic Coaching, the Registrar's Office, the Career Development Office

  • Everyone's experience of their student going to college is different. Acknowledge both the successes and the challenges along the way. While you and your student encounter new things, remember that you and your student are more than capable of achieving your goals and facing challenges that are naturally part of the experience.

  • You can expect changes during your student’s time in college. The experiences that students have both inside and outside of the classroom can influence their social, vocational, and personal choices. Your care and concern as they wrestle with their choices and “figure things out” is important – it’s good and okay to ask questions, but also respect your student developing their own pathways. Your student will be making their own decisions, exploring their identity, encountering new and different ideas and people, and experiencing many new things—all of which comes as part of their development and college learning.

  • Discuss together changing expectations of one another and work together to establish new norms. For example, a discussion about changes in “house rules” or “communication expectations”, perhaps especially before your student returns for breaks after living independently away from home for a few months.

  • Be patient and practice grace with yourself and your student. College is a learning process for all of you. Remember that there are people on campus that can provide assistance to you and your student when you have questions, need guidance, or direction. None of us know it all, nor is it expected that we should— we’ll help each other across a whole network of support when needs arise.

  • It is common for students to feel stressed, and it's normal for any of us to need help. Anything you can do to remind your student that you support them, love them, and believe in their capabilities will go a long way to help them keep up their great work—and remember that Juniata staff and faculty value your student’s success and well-being just as much as you do and want to be an encouragement too! We’ll take each step together. If you have a concern that your student is overwhelmed beyond normal stress, encourage them to connect with the Dean of Student's Office, Counseling and Health Services, Learning Services, or their Resident Assistant for help and support.


Terms and References


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a federal law that requires colleges and universities to protect the confidentiality of student education records. The law states that, except in specified circumstances, no one outside the institution shall have access to a student’s education records, nor will the institution disclose any information from those records without the written consent of the student. This means that, legally, Juniata College is not able to share your student's education record information with you or other family and supporters. “Education records” contain information that is directly related to a student, and include but are not limited to: grades, GPA, student schedule, financial information and records, and conduct records. 

Students may wish to grant their family members access to this information by waiving their FERPA rights. The preferred method for students to allow access is by completing the FERPA Authorization Form, whereby the students can, at their discretion, grant family members access to their entire record or selected aspects of their record. The form can be found under Student Forms located on the Registrars online page, or click here.


Financial Aid and FAFSA and terminology

The FAFSA (or Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the form colleges and the government rely on to calculate how much financial aid students are eligible for. A FAFSA must be filed annually and can be completed after January 1 for the upcoming summer and/or fall semester. The application may be filed here.

For more information on Financial Aid click here.

Bursar - an official person in charge of the funds of the institution, and is the person who distributes billing

Loan - a form of financial aid that the student must repay

Scholarships - awards provided to students from the institution or outside entities to assist students pay for tuition and/or day-to-day expenses


Academic Terms

Academic Coaching and Academic Support - resource and staff available on campus provided by the school to offer help and guidance towards being academically successful and empowered. Staff work to equip students with the resources and skills to do the work and grow confidence in their abilities.

Academic Standing - the status of a student’s academic career usually determined by the GPA and other considerations

Academic Probation - the status a student is given if they fall below good standing and is at risk of dismissal from the institution

Accreditation - a certification where a school or an instructional program meets set standards by a nationally-recognized organization or regional accrediting bodies

Admitted - a student’s status of being accepted into an institution or program

Alumni - graduates of an institution

Bachelor’s Degree - undergraduate degree that generally requires four years (or a certain number of credit hours - usually 120 for most programs) to complete

Campus Life - the department at Juniata that oversees and develops opportunities for student growth and engagement beyond the classroom in a variety of capacities and experiences. We believe that student development and learning is a holistic process that spans beyond just academics and includes daily life on campus.

Commencement - a formal graduation ceremony that celebrates graduates with their friends and family

Commuter - a student who does not live in on-campus housing and instead commutes/travels back and forth from their parent/guardian's home to college

Convocation - the formal induction ceremony of first year students into the academic community of the College

Course Catalog - a college publication that describes academic programs and courses, required courses, and used to plan a student's class schedule and progression towards their degree

Course Sequence - a group of courses that must be taken in a specific order.

Credits or Credit Hour - a measure of a class’s time based on how many hours students spend in class that can vary from institution to institution. Earning a degree is based upon specified required amounts of credits to be completed with good academic standing.

Curriculum - an institution's structured plan for the totality of student experiences that occur in the educational process. Often refers specifically to a planned sequence of instruction, classes/coursework, or to a view of the student's experiences over the course of their time at the college in terms of the school's instructional and developmental goals.

Dean(s) - the head of an academic college or department

Dean's List - a distinguished recognition of students who academically achieve a semester GPA of 3.6 or higher

Dean of Students - the head of staff that oversees campus and student life even beyond the classroom. Along with their academics, the Dean of Students and the Dean of Students Office supports student wellness, success, and developmental experiences across campus and disciplines

Enrollment - the process of completing the registration process by paying tuition and fees

Extracurricular - optional activities that students can participate in outside of academic classes

Faculty - academic staff including both full-time and adjunct professors

Full-Time Student - a student who is enrolled in at least 12 credit hours

Incomplete - permission a student may be given by professor on special approved occasion (extended illness, accident, etc) where the student's grade is marked as "incomplete", offering extension for the student to complete required coursework before three weeks of the start of the next semester.

Intramurals - recreational sports available for students, faculty and staff to compete against each other that are offered throughout the academic year.

Liberal Arts - interdisciplinary study of humanities, social and natural sciences meant to provide students with a broad spectrum of knowledge.

Minor - a secondary focus meant to add value to the student’s program of emphasis

Non-Traditional Student - a status typically given to first-time students over 21 and other adult learners

Office Hours - time set aside by professors or instructors for students to visit their office and ask questions or discuss the course work -- encourage your student to always take advantage of using their professor's office hours to stay on track with their work, grades, and learning.

Orientation - the official process either before or at the beginning of the school year that serves as a training period for new students that typically includes activities and informational sessions intended to introduce students to the college, residential life, and available resources.

Part-Time Student - a student who is enrolled in less than 12 credit hours

Prerequisite - a course required to take first before more advanced courses

Provost - the senior academic administrator who works closely with academic deans, department deans and faculty to ensure the quality of academic programs and curriculum

Registrar - a specialist staff person who handles the administrative and logistical areas of academia including but not limited to registering students for classes, preparing student transcripts, preparing class schedules and analyzing enrollment statistics -- this is the person to go to with questions or help needed with getting registered for classes or academic standing

Registration - process of reserving a spot in specific classes for enrolled students

Residence Hall - campus housing where students live within close proximity of academic buildings with other students

Resident Assistant - a student leader who lives in the residence halls as a resource to students, provides activities for community and personal development, and tends to any problems/issues related to the residents and their residence halls

Residential Life - the office responsible for campus housing and its residents

Semester - the academic year is divided into two time and class periods called semesters, fall and spring, with a shorter summer session

Syllabus - a description of a course/class distributed by the professor which typically outlines the course by providing important dates/deadlines, grading scales and expectations and projects listed

Transcripts - an official academic record of courses taken and grades earned at a given institution

Withdrawal - permission granted to students where they can be removed from a course after the add/drop period but before the middle of the semester for a specific approved reason and it will not affect their GPA and the course re-taken. Students must work with the Registrar and their professors for this permission.


Juniata Related Terms

Click on each term for more information.


POE - stands for "Program Of Emphasis" - at Juniata, instead of calling student's focus of academic study a "major" we call it a "POE". Students work with their academic advisors to identify what they are passionate about, explore endless opportunities, and ultimately design an education that aligns with their future goals and career interests.

Academic Advisors - are professors that guide your student on their educational journey at Juniata, by helping your student select classes each semester, design their POE, and connect with high-impact learning opportunities. Your student will benefit from two different academic advisors. They will be assigned a POE advisor before their first semester begins, and then during their second semester make their own choice of professor to be their general advisor based upon their academic interests and connections.

The Arch - is Juniata's web portal for enrolled students to access information and applications for life on campus; including links to their billing and housing info, technology services, directories for offices and people across campus, and daily updated announcements.

Eagle's Nook - online site for our students to access their housing information and needs. Here is where they will select roommates, submit applications for housing, and select their meal plan. You can access Eagle's Nook through The Arch, under the dropdown menu for Students.

Moodle - an online portal that students may use with various classes or offices to access resources or educational applications. It will depend on the class/professor or activities your student is involved with.

High-Impact Practices (HIPs) - high-impact practices are opportunities for learning that go above and beyond the traditional classroom experience. Research has shown us that students benefit from HIPs by gaining even fuller educational experiences that equip them for careers and after-college engagement. At Juniata, your student will have many opportunities to benefit from HIPs including research, internships, study abroad, and community-engaged learning. Encourage your student to seek out opportunities by talking with their professors.

Inbound - a program for First-Year Students through Juniata that helps them make friends and connections as they join the Juniata community and settle into college life. This is one of the most important opportunities our students can take advantage of for building belonging and meaning as a Juniatian, and often has a lasting impact through the rest of your student's life at Juniata and beyond -- and it's no additional cost!

Lobsterfest - the first of many Juniata traditions your student will experience in the fall, this is our campus-wide event each September at the start of the semester when all of our clubs and organizations (RSOs) setup tables outside on the quad and advertise their activities for students to get involved and connected. Oh-- and our Parkhurst food service serves a lobster dinner picnic for students that evening as a culminating end to the event!

Storming of the Arch - an optional rite of passage tradition that takes place the second Wednesday of the fall semester, where first year students are invited to attempt a "storming" through the Cloister Hall archway...but they have to get through Juniata's rugby clubs first! To date, no first year student has ever been successful at getting through the Arch, but the campus community loves watching them try each year!

Mountain Day! - is the oldest of our Juniata traditions, and a community favorite. Mountain Day is a secret surprise day that happens at some point each fall semester where classes are declared canceled and instead everyone is bused out to Raystown Lake for a day of fun and picnicking.

Tenting - a Juniata tradition that prepares for Madrigal dinner, where students rally some friends they wish to attend Madrigal with to setup and sleep in a tent on the quad for a week of late-night event challenges that determine where your group gets to sit at the dinner, and ultimately compete for a coveted table in the Five Golden Rings section.

Madrigal - an event tradition that comes at the first weekend of December right before the end of class and finals week in celebration of winter holiday seasons and the close of a successful semester. A formal dinner specially prepared in Baker Refectory, faculty and staff serve the meal to the students, followed by entertainment and singing holiday carols all together.

Liberal Arts Symposium (LAS) - referenced as "the Mountain Day of the mind", LAS is a day at the end of April each year that many of our students begin preparations for at the beginning of the fall semester. Classes are canceled and instead the campus community celebrates the work, creativity, research, and scholarship of our students throughout the day filled with presentations, posters, and performances.