New Student Orientation

Frequently Asked Questions by Parents

Here are some questions frequently asked by parents of new Vulcans:

On this page:

Why should I attend the Parent and Family Orientation?

Parent and Family orientation will help you learn about your student's new home away from home. The more you know, the better you will be able to help your student adjust to his/her new surroundings and help him/her to be a successful student.

The Parent and Family orientation is purposefully designed to meet the concerns that parents have regarding health, safety, finances, housing, and the over-all well being of their student.

UH Hilo wants students to begin assuming the primary responsibility for their academic and cocurricular decisions. We encourage parents to allow their son or daughter to fully participate in his/her own orientation and advising sessions.

Note: Parent & Family Orientation is only held in the Fall semester

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Do I have to attend the Parent and Family Orientation?

Parent and Family Orientation is not mandatory to attend. It is an opportunity for parents and family members to be a part of their student's transition to the University environment.

Parents have said that they feel better about leaving their students behind after having attended the Parent and Family Orientation.

We want you to do what you feel is best for your family.

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Can I go with my student to the academic advising session? I want to make sure my student registers for the right classes.

While we encourage you to discuss course choices with your student prior to orientation, we suggest that you do not sit in on the academic advising session.

This will be your student's first opportunity to make a personal connection with his or her academic advisor and will allow your student to begin assuming primary responsibility for his/ her academic future.

We have wonderful full time professional staff members working in Career and Academic Advising who's primary job is to ensure that your student is on the right track to graduating and being successful here.

Does my student need their own computer?

While it is certainly a convenience to have a personal computer, it is not required.

There are numerous computer labs around campus that are available for students to use.

If you do decide to purchase a new computer, orders made from the UH Bookstore TechHub can be delivered to UH Hilo bookstore for free.

Where can we buy things for my student's room?

Hilo has many stores to buy school supplies and items to furnish your student's room, so you don't have to lug them with you from home.

Hilo has Walmart, Target, Walgreens, and Longs Drugs. Our local mall, Prince Kuhio Plaza , has Macy's and Sears and many local shops and eateries.

Our major grocery stores are KTA, Safeway, and Sack N Save. There is a Costco on the island, but it's on the Kona side, which is about a two hour (one-way) drive. Hilo does have Cost U Less, which is a smaller warehouse type store.

Is there a Bank of America or Wells Fargo Bank in Hilo?

Hawaiʻi does not have a Bank of America or Wells Fargo Bank. In fact, there is only one Continental Mainland based bank in Hawaiʻi, HomeStreet Bank (branches in Washington and Oregon). You may see Wells Fargo Bank offices, but they only do lending.

You will want to have your student open a bank account with one of our local banks or credit unions. Some of the banks will be on campus during orientation for you to meet.

Here are a few banks to consider:

My student won't have a car. Is there public transportation in Hilo?

There is public transportation available in Hilo. Please be aware that the bus service here is not as extensive as you might have at home. But rides are discounted $1 with a Student ID card.

The County also provides passes for a ride share Taxi program. This allows students to use taxi service at a greatly reduced price.

View more information about the Hele-On Bus.

I'm filling out some forms for my student. Where can I find their UH Hilo ID number?

We strongly encourage your student to complete all forms on his/her own and that you just provide guidance if needed. Think of these forms as being one of their first home work assignments.

If your student does not know their UH Hilo ID number, they can contact the Admissions Office.

Please be aware that for security reasons, this information will not be given to anyone but the student.

Can I get copies of my student's grades?

Unlike when your student was in high school, you do not have an automatic right to access your student's academic records.

Learn more about the Federal Educational Rights to Privacy Act.

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