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MIT staff blogger Kim Hunter '86

CPW 2014…The Parent Edition by Kim Hunter '86

Suggestions for getting the most out of CPW when you are a parent

One would think that after seven years in this office I would not be as excited about the start of Campus Preview Weekend (CPW). Yet, after all this time, I never cease to be thrilled to get to finally meet all of our admitted students and those parents who are on campus as well.

The first question I often hear from parents is, “what events should I attend with my child?” In truth, there won’t be very many of them if you are each doing what interests you the most. With hundreds of options over the next few days, there are lots of things to choose from and parents will probably not want answers to the same questions that students will. That said, it’s important to check in occasionally so I’d suggest you pick an event where you can meet up with your student each day (perhaps the CPW Welcome/Faculty Speaker event on Friday morning and the Closing Variety Show on Saturday evening) but mostly I hope you will encourage them “do their own thing” and know that it’s good for you to do the same. It’s the best way for them to figure out if they are comfortable and at home on our campus and the best way for you to be comfortable with them being here.

I hope you’ll ask lots of questions. It’s the way our students learn and will work well for you too. Current students are great resources so don’t be afraid to ask them about their experiences. In addition we’ve enlisted the help of a great group of current students’ parents called Parent Connectors. They’ll be available throughout the weekend to address those issues that are most important to you, the parent, so don’t be afraid to ask for their opinions…they know exactly how you feel since they were asking those same questions just a year or so ago. They are also easy to locate in their red Parent Connector polo shirts so keep a lookout for them. A great place to find a parent to talk to would be in the Parent’s Hospitality Lounge. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and chat with current MIT parents as well as other parents of MIT prefrosh. Also, learn about the MIT Parents Association and the Parent Connector Network from current volunteers and staff.

I hope you’ll be open-minded during your visit with us. I have lived with current students and their life at MIT is somewhat different than mine was when I was here. I’m sure you’ll feel the same way too. It’s just not the way we remember it. I remember fondly my mother’s first less than ecstatic comments in viewing my dorm when I was a student at MIT but for me it was the perfect choice for my four years at MIT.

Bring comfortable shoes and a jacket or sweater and perhaps even an umbrella. Weather can change quickly in Boston, especially in the springtime, so you should be prepared for anything. Boston is a great walking city and I hope you’ll take some time to see the environs around MIT as well the campus itself and the best way to do that is on foot. Even just a short walk along the river can be a nice break from all the events of the day.

Have questions regarding your student’s financial aid package or the financial aid process in general? There will be an open house Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Student Financial Services so you can stop in and get your questions answered. On Thursday and Friday there will be comprehensive presentations by Executive Director of Student Financial Services, Elizabeth Hicks. Parents and students are welcome to attend either of these programs on the hows, whys and whens of financial aid at MIT — how your financial aid award was determined, when your supplemental forms are due, how to pay your balance, how to find on-campus student employment, and how your online student account will work and much more.

But that is just the beginning…


  • Parent and Family Welcome on Thursday night at 7:30 pm in room 26-100. Stu Schmill, Dean of Admissions and Professor Alex Slocum will welcome the Class of 2018 parents to Campus Preview Weekend.
  • Parent Reception with Parent Connectors and Alumni on Friday night at 5:00 pm in Walker Memorial. Sponsored by the MIT Parents Association and the MIT Club of Boston, this reception is your chance to meet and mingle with Parent Connectors, Educational Counselors and other MIT Alumni. The presenter will be Anika Gupta ’14 who will talk about her MIT experience.
  • Insight for Parents by Parents is Saturday morning at 9:00 am in room 10-250. A panel of current MIT parents will be on hand to share their insights and answer your questions. Sponsored by the MIT Parents Association. There will be coffee provided, so please come and join us.

Panels & Sessions

  • About Residential Life and About MIT Dining. Our on-campus residential community boasts residence halls, fraternities, sororities and independent living groups as well as a wide variety of dining services. There will be discussions covering life in residences, residential support offerings, activities, dining options, roommate matching and more.
  • The Urban Campus: Campus Safety & Security. John DiFava, Chief of MIT Police and others will address these issues and answer your questions.
  • Academic Programming and Support Panel. Learn about the many kind of interactions that occur between students and faculty at MIT and the wonderful collaborative environment in which they work and study together.
  • Help Your Child to Have a Healthy Freshman Year at MIT. Join staff from MIT Medical to learn resources, tips, and strategies that help students start healthy and stay healthy during college.
  • Multiple open houses will be held over the weekend. These include areas relating to Medical Services, Careers Development, Hillel, Global Education (study abroad and more), Pre-Professional Advising (Pre-Med and more), departments, and housing.

I’ve named just a handful of the events created with you in mind for CPW and it really is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ll provide you with a full schedule when you get here but to get a head start on your plans check out the online listings on our CPW site.

See you soon!