Skip to content ↓
MIT staff blogger Kim Hunter '86

CPW is for Parents too…really!! by Kim Hunter '86

...a helpful guide for parents (I hope grin

For our newly admitted students, the time is rapidly approaching when we will welcome them to campus for the first time as members of the Class of 2015. We’re getting ready to welcome lots of their parents too and this message is basically for those hardy souls who have spent the last many months helping their children survive the process of applying to college. But now the payoff has come, and it is time to make the tough decisions and the best way to do that, we think, is to take part in that annual tradition known as Campus Preview Weekend (CPW). Each one of us in the Admissions Office has a particular group of programs that we are involved with and mine is parent programs so I’m probably the most logical choice to talk about what the weekend has in store for you if you’ll be able to accompany your student next weekend. But before I do that here are some thoughts on making this a worthwhile and even enjoyable weekend.

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 about 700 options over the 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 President’s Welcome on Friday and the Closing Variety Show on Saturday) 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. 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 live 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 inevitable, but it’s just not the way we remember it.

Bring comfortable shoes and a jacket or sweater.
We had a bit of snow today and rain is always possible in the spring 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?
This year 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 Welcome on Thursday night at 7:30 pm. Stu Schmill, Dean of Admissions, Chancellor Eric Grimson and Professor Alex Slocum will welcome the Class of 2015 parents to Campus Preview Weekend.

Parent Reception with Parent Connectors and Alumni on Friday night at 5:00 pm. 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 Danielle Whited ’11 who will talk about some of the programs she’s been a part of while at MIT.

Insight for Parents by Parents is Saturday morning at 8:30 am. 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.

Parent Connector Saturday Night Drop-In After the closing variety show join us “Under the Great Dome” for an informal gathering hosted by the Chair of the MIT Parent Connectors at the Barker Engineering Library. It’s one of my favorite rooms on the campus.

Panels & Sessions

Residential Life at MIT 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 a discussion covering life in residences, residential support offerings, activities, dining options, roommate matching and more.

Come learn about all aspects of Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROP) at MIT, including how to participate, what type of research is appropriate, what to expect from the program, and more. Discussion will center on the experiences of the UROP student panel as moderated by UROP staff.

There are other panels on Campus Safety and various aspects of Student Life and Learning …certainly all great options for getting those important questions answered.

Open Houses

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…to get a head start on your plans check out our improved CPW search feature complete with mapping function:

And if all that wasn’t enough, on Sunday as CPW winds down is the MIT150 Convocation: It’s been a pretty exciting year at MIT as we have been celebrating the 150 anniversary of MIT’s chartering and you get to be a part of this historic milestone as well.

See you soon!

One response to “CPW is for Parents too…really!!”

  1. Wendy says:

    Hi, Kim.
    I’m going to attend CPW events during the day on Thursday but I have to leave Massachusetts before Stu Schmill and Eric Grimson speak that night. Would love to watch a video of that talk, if there is one. Do you post videos of any of these events?