Common Questions

Academics

The quickest, easiest way for parents to receive information about their child’s grades, financial statement, or other student information is for the student to provide it directly. Students can look up information on myWidener, print it, and share a copy with you directly.

You can also gain access to your student’s academic records, if your student completes a FERPA form. FERPA is a student information release form that authorizes names of specific individuals to whom Widener may speak about your student’s academic and/or financial information. The U.S. Department of Education is responsible for overseeing FERPA. Visit their website for additional information.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (Buckley Amendment) was enacted to assure parents of students and the students’ themselves if they are over age eighteen, or attending a post-secondary educational institution, access to student records and to protect rights to privacy by limiting the sharing and disclosure of their records without their consent. This information includes grades, GPA, credits completed, course registration information, billing information, financial aid awarded, status of aid, and academic progress (if both academic and financial access are granted). FERPA regulations allow, but do not require, higher education institutions to provide notice to parents when a student violates federal, state, or local laws related to alcohol or drugs.

Learn more about FERPA

View Widener's FERPA policy

For all important dates and holidays, you can view our online academic calendar

Students will have access to academic coaching, peer-to-peer tutoring services, math and writing centers, and so much more. Our teams are comprised of caring professionals who help monitor students’ academic progress. To identify struggling students, we use early assessment and retention alert programs to step in and help as soon as we can. 

First-year students also has a Personal Student Success Team in their corner as well as the option to work with the PRIDE Mentoring Program.

Learn more about academic and career support

Registering for classes is easy and done online with Student Planning. Have your student log into their MyWidener to select their classes and access other resources

Withdraws are processed through your student's department. Have your student contact your advisor or department to withdraw from a course. 

If your student has a concern about a grade in one of their courses, they should meet with their academic advisor. Your student's academic advisor will be able to guide your student and present what options they have moving forward. 

If your student is unable to attend their class due to illness, it is their responsibility to contact their professor. Your student will find contact information in each class syllabus. Student Health Services will not provide excuse notes.

Congrats on your student graduating! For the most up-to-date information, visit our commencement page

Campus Life

When compared to high school, college has less structure but more responsibility. College will give your student a sense of freedom that they didn't have before. In high school, your student experienced a more rigid schedule, but now no one will be telling your student when to go to class. Your student will now be responsible for their own schedule, social life, finances, and most importantly themselves.

The best thing you can do to support your student is to be there for them. Answer when they call, be patient when they talk and offer advice (but only when they ask for it!). Most importantly, know that they will be okay. Almost every first-year student will take some time to adjust to their new life away from home.  

If you think your student is struggling with the transition into college life, encourage them to explore our health and wellbeing resources.

“We’re All Widener,” is an expression our Pride embraces and reflects our welcoming campus climate that encourages diversity, inclusion, belonging, and respect among our students, faculty, and staff.  

 The Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) Office hosts a variety of programs and activities that will provide students with opportunities to meet new friends and share ideas and experiences from around the world, all while challenging your views and broadening your perspectives. The MSA Office also provides services that assist with the recruitment, orientation, retention, and graduation of students from diverse backgrounds. 

In collaboration with the Office of Student Engagement, MSA supports the leadership development of multicultural student groups through its monthly President’s Council meetings. Members of groups with missions supportive of diversity in all forms partake in discussion and event planning to foster a community that promotes cultural awareness and inclusion. 

Additionally, many faculty and staff are trained and recognized as LGBTQA+ allies on campus. These faculty and staff can provide safe places on campus for students that may need support with issues concerning gender identity, the coming-out process, bullying or harassment, and other related issues.  

Learn more about DEIB at Widener

Whether your student lives on campus or commutes, we offer 300+ events and activities a year. There's always something to do here! On top of that Widener is home to 80+ academic, social, arts and cultural clubs and organizations. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for you can create your own club!  

View student events on Experience Widener powered by Modern Campus Involve

View more campus events 

One of the best things your student can do to make the most out of their time on campus is by getting involved. Your student may feel a little reluctant at first as they adjust to college life, but by encouraging your student to tap into their interests, they’ll find their home away from home in no time.  

Our campus may be small, but there are tons of ways your student can get involved. While at Widener your student will have the opportunity to:  

If your student seems unenthusiastic about getting involved, don’t give up. Keep the conversation going but do so without adding extra pressure. Widener has so many choices, they will find something that fits them. 

If your student commutes, they can be just as involved as a student who loves on campus. A commuter student can join 80+ clubs and organizations, hold a leadership position on campus or in their academic program, or even play for the Pride. 

Commuter students can also join the Commuter Student Association (CSA). CSA is a group of student leaders dedicated to assisting commuter students through mentorship, advocacy, programming, outreach, and resource sharing. CSA hosts monthly meetings for commuter students to make connections and discuss community needs. 

Career Prep

The biggest differences between the three are the timeline, whether it’s paid or not, and the responsibilities that your student will commit to. 

An internship is a temporary job that may be paid or unpaid, which allows students to gain experience in their desired field. Internships last about 8 to 12 weeks but can sometimes last as long as 6 months to one year. In addition to learning a new skill set, interns will often be treated like full-time employees and be responsible for completing assignments and balancing timelines. Internships are eligible for college credit. 

An externship allows students a sneak peek into a job or career field. Externships have a much shorter timeline and usually only span over a day or one month. Unlike an internship, externships are more hands-off. Externs mostly observe the duties of a job rather than taking on the duties themself.  

A co-op, also known as a cooperative education program, is similar to an internship however, students will temporarily stop attending classes to work for a company. With a co-op, students will have more in-depth work experience and have the opportunity to take on more long-term projects.  

Learn more about co-ops and internships

For students looking for an internship, full-time position or on-campus job you can start by using Handshake. Handshake is a premier recruiting and career management platform for Widener students and alumni. Students can connect easily with employers, apply for jobs and internships, and register for events. Employers can use Handshake to identify qualified candidates and manage on campus recruiting at Widener. 

Students can network and find career opportunities through WidenerCONNECT, an exclusive online professional networking and mentorship community for Widener students and alumni. 

 When you join WidenerCONNECT as a student, you will have the opportunity to: 

  • Expand and customize your Widener network based on your unique personal and professional interests 
  • Connect with alumni anywhere they live, from your hometown to destinations abroad 
  • Find alumni mentors to guide you along the Inside Track, starting today 
  • Develop relationships for life…and become an alumni mentor yourself when you graduate! 

Finding a career that fits your student best begins with intentional exploration. Our Career Design and Development office has multiple resources available to help your student explore not only careers and their outlooks, but their personality, abilities, values, and interests to help your student pair their unique qualities with a fulfilling career. 

We also have resources especially useful for our graduate students across the academic programs, designed to be flexible for students who may be balancing school with work and family responsibilities. For example, you can practice and polish your interview skills 24/7 through Big Interview, a platform for students and experienced professionals alike. 

Family Engagement

To stay informed about what's happening on campus, check out our latest news and upcoming event calendar.

View news & events

You also can sign up to receive our newsletter, Widener Families Connection. Widener families will receive this newsletter on a quarterly basis. The newsletter is designed to help families become more closely connected to the Widener community and help them make the most of their student's experiences.

In each issue, families will find important information about schedules and deadlines, university initiatives, and upcoming events. It also provides an insider’s look at Widener student success stories, as well as what’s happening around the university to keep families informed, so they can best support their students.

Sign up for Widener Families Connection

Another way to stay in tune with what’s happening on campus is to follow us on social media. Not only can you check out what’s happening on campus, but you can see if you can spot your student in our social feed! 

Follow us on social media

We always welcome our students' families to join our events on campus! However, some of our events are reserved for students only. There are plenty of opportunities throughout the year for families to come to events on campus.

Want to cheer on Pride athletics teams? View the Pride Athletics calendar for team schedules to learn when and where our teams will be playing, and even get the chance to livestream many games from the comfort of your home.

View the full event calendar

View the event calendar for parents and families 

Connect with other Widener Pride families by following our Widener University Parents' Network. You'll be able to ask questions, connect with other families, and stay up to date with any important announcements. 

Financial Aid & Billing

The FAFSA free, online application is the gateway to grants, loans, and other forms of financial aid. Every year, the U.S. Department of Education offers billions of dollars in financial aid to eligible students. Widener gets in on the action, too, annually awarding aid to students with need. There's only one way to determine your eligibility for this funding: by completing the FAFSA. 

Widener University's FAFSA school code is: 003313.

Learn more about submitting the FAFSA
Go to the FAFSA form

2024-2025 FAFSA Updates

The FAFSA Simplification Act has brought many changes to the FAFSA process. While this year's application was delayed due the overhaul, next year's process is expected to return to the typical timeline. The 2025-2026 FAFSA should launch on Oct. 1.

Learn More About 2024-2025 FAFSA Updates

How to Use E-Billing for Widener Tuition Payments

Students and authorized users assigned by the student have access to pay tuition bills online through our online e-Billing system. Here you can view student semester account information/financial aid, sign up for notifications when bills are issued and due, set up a semester payment plan, and make payments.

Access E-Billing

E-Billing Payment Due Dates for 2023-2024 Academic Year

  • Fall Semester 2023 e-Bill Due Date: August 10, 2023
  • Winter Semester 2023 e-Bill Due Date: December 11, 2023
  • Spring Semester 2024 e-Bill Due Date: January 16, 2024

2023-2024 tuition rate and payment guides

Visit our Bursar's website for important information about:

View Undergraduate Financial Aid

What can you pay for using the Campus1Card?

Your student's Campus1Card is much more than a student ID, it is a gateway to accessing campus buildings, meal swipes, and paying for items on campus—like books, apparel, and supplies at the campus bookstore, as well as printing at the library. 

Deposit PRIDE Bucks

What you'll need to deposit funds online:

  • Student's first and last name and 7-digit student identification number
  • Payment method:
    • Credit card for completing online transactions
    • Cash and checks are accepted in person at Lipka Hall
    • Credit cards may be used when depositing on campus at a Cash Value Terminal*
      *located in library, UC, and lobby of Old Main

Get to Know Our Campus Funds Lingo

PRIDE Bucks

PRIDE Bucks is a debit-like account linked to your Campus1Card. You can use your PRIDE Bucks funds to pay for items at the campus bookstore as well as meals at campus dining locations, plus Uno Chicago Grill (food and non-alcoholic drink purchases only). 

PRIDE Bucks can also be used at a handful of local pharmacies and eateries. To view a list of local establishments that accept PRIDE Bucks, visit the Campus1Card Center website.

Dining Dollars

Dining Dollars are like a gift card for food on campus attached to your student's ID and are included in most student meal plans. Dining Dollars are accepted at all of our on-campus dining facilities, and you can use up to $50 at Good Uncle during each semester. Dining Dollars expire at the end of each semester that they are purchased and do not carry over to the next semester.

If your student has used up all of their dining dollars, expenses will automatically be deducted from their PRIDE Bucks account for the remainder of the semester. To add more funds for dining services, you can deposit PRIDE Bucks directly onto their account.

Printing Dollars

Every semester, students will receive printing dollars to print 400 pages for that semester. If more funds are needed after this amount has been depleted, expenses will automatically be deducted from their PRIDE Bucks account for the remainder of the semester. To add more funds for printing services, you can deposit PRIDE Bucks directly onto their account. 

If your student has not signed the consent to receive your 1098-T electronically through myWidener, a hard copy will be mailed to the address the University has on file by January 31st of each year your student is enrolled. Consenting to online delivery means your student will receive their form sooner and will be able to complete their tax return and FAFSA sooner.

If you have additional questions view our 1098-T FAQs page

Widener has a variety of financial aid options. To explore the various scholarships, grants, and other potential ways your student can receive financial assistance, visit our undergraduate scholarships and grants page. For more information on loans, visit our undergraduate loans page

For graduate students, visit our graduate tuition and financial aid page

Health, Safety & Wellbeing

We believe your student's physical, mental, and emotional health plays a vital role in their academic and personal success. We offer many resources and services to help your student foster a sense of belonging, care for their physical health, and prioritize their mental health.

Resources include our Student Health Center, Counseling & Psychological Services, PRIDE Mentors program, and so much more.

Learn more about health and wellbeing resources

If your student experiences a personal issue, concern, or suspicion, we encourage reporting it to one of our engaged team members across campus. Your student can fill out one of the following forms: 

Report a Student Concern

Report a Discrimination, Harassment, & Sexual Misconduct Incident

Report a Hazing Incident 

Yes, the university offers a health insurance plan for full to full-time undergraduate students as well as select graduate students.  

All students are automatically enrolled in this insurance plan at registration and the premium for coverage is added to their tuition billing unless proof of comparable coverage is furnished.

View more details on student health insurance

Widener University has an expert campus safety staff on the clock 24/7 all year long. We are also home to a closed-circuit surveillance camera system monitored by safety officers.

To contact campus safety, feel free to call at 610-499-4200 or email campussafety@widener.edu. The campus safety office is also located on the ground level of Old Main. 

A few tips to share with your student: 

Walk Around Campus With Care 

When walking around campus, be sure to tell someone where you are going. If it is after dark, try walking with someone, instead of alone. Across campus, there are 71 blue emergency call boxes that will alert officers in case you are in trouble. Widener also has a campus security escort service available by dialing 610-499-4200. Shuttle service to key campus locations is also available.

Do Not Allow Unauthorized Entry

Campus buildings are for the use of university members only. When entering or leaving buildings, be sure the door closes behind you. Never prop open doors, to prevent unauthorized people into buildings. Never let unauthorized people into campus buildings. If you see anyone suspicious lurking around campus, report them to Campus Safety.

Park in Well-Lit Areas 

When walking to parking lots, have your keys ready before getting to your car. Be sure to park in well-lit areas if you have to return to your car after dark. If you are feeling unsafe, utilize the “buddy system”! 

Lock Windows and Doors

Resident students should take care to keep all windows and doors locked. Make sure that you always lock your room, whether it is vacant or occupied. If someone is knocking on the door, find out who it is before opening it.

Most importantly keep your keys safe:

  • Do not lend your keys to anyone.
  • Do not leave keys lying around in the open.
  • Never let anyone use a key that has been entrusted to you.
  • If your key is lost or stolen, report it immediately and have your lock replaced.

View our Safety on Campus page for more information 

Widener utilizes an emergency notification platform, OmniAlert, to communicate important messages via email and text message. Your student has the ability to sign-you up to receive these alerts as well by adding an additional contact and by providing your name, email, and phone number.

In addition, students are asked to complete an emergency contact form in case of personal emergencies. Only students may complete this form, so please check in with your student to make sure you're on the list!

OmniAlert Sign-Up

OmniAlert Log-In

Yes, if you have any concerns about your student’s well-being please reach out.  

You can contact the Widener CARE Team, a central network of community members focused on caring, prevention, and early intervention for students experiencing serious distress or engaging in harmful or disruptive behaviors. 

Report a Concern to the CARE Team

Housing & Dining

From our Pride Cafe—home of Ms. Dot's world-famous cookies—and other on-campus eateries like Moe’s Southwest Grill, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Bento Sushi, Starbucks, and more—we can ensure there’s a dining option right for your student. 

Our Pride Café offers a delicious, freshly prepared selection of meal options that cater to the different lifestyles and dietary needs of our campus community. Here, you’ll always find fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, as well as vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and low or non-fat dairy options. 

Explore all eateries and menus on CampusDish

Meal plans are purchased before the start of each semester and often come with Dining Dollars that can be used throughout the semester at any eating establishment on campus. If Dining Dollars run out, you can add PRIDE Bucks funds to your student's card. 

To purchase a meal plan you’ll need your student’s 7-digit ID number. 

Purchase a meal plan

For more information regarding dining policies, meal plan requirements, and other common questions, visit the Dining FAQs page

Widener offers a variety of housing options—from traditional residence halls to apartment- and suite-style living, and more. Living on campus provides students with unmatched access to resources and activities, leading to better grades, higher graduation rates, and more time with friends! We also offer gender-inclusive housing options, allowing students to choose roommates/suitemates regardless of gender identity. 

Our walkable campus ensures all residence halls are only a few minutes away from everything—classes, dining facilities, the Pride Recreation Center, administrative offices, and other campus resources. A friendly, secure, and engaging environment is supported by resident assistants (RAs) who live in the halls, professional staff, and the student-run Residence Hall Association.

Learn more about living on campus

View housing policies & FAQs

Conflict is a normal, healthy part of relationships. Encouraging your student to communicate openly about their concerns and issues with their roommate is the first step towards helping them resolve issues and building a stronger, respectful roommate relationship. 

If a conflict or disagreement cannot be resolved, students should contact their RAs for guidance and perspective. If more conflict mediation is required, RAs will notify campus professionals experienced in resolving roommate issues and/or equipped to reassign rooms, if available.  

For maintenance issues, we have a crew of maintenance experts that can help. All they have to do is submit a maintenance work order

Widener has its own post office located downstairs in the University Center. This allows us to provide secure, on-campus mail delivery options to students.  

To send mail and packages to your student, use the following address:  

Student’s Name 
WU BOX #: _____ 
WIDENER UNIVERSITY 
1 UNIVERSITY PL 
CHESTER, PA  19013-5792 

Want to surprise your student? Give the gift of bedding and linens or snacks, treats, and more

Widener University has a 2-year Residency Requirement Program for all full-time undergraduate students in their first and second years. If your student qualifies as junior or senior or meet commuter student status, they are welcome to explore off-campus housing options.  

Topics to consider with your student before deciding to move off campus: 

  • Independence & Responsibility — Starting college was a giant step in your student independence. Living on their own is another one. Do they know the ins and outs of paying bills, taking care of a household, and what to do in case of emergencies?  
  • Cost & Payment Options – What is their budget and how will they share costs with roommates? What happens if a roommate is unable to pay their share? Are there any special considerations regarding using private loan funds for off-campus housing? 
  • Eating Well — Is your student ready to manage grocery and cooking responsibilities? If not, all off-campus students are still welcome to purchase meal plans for all-day access to the Pride Café and other dining establishments on campus. 
  • Safety — Widener takes great steps to ensure the safety of our campus and residence halls—from well-lit walking paths and parking lots, campus safety patrol, emergency call boxes, and swipe card access to buildings. Living off campus, it’s your student’s and/or landlord’s responsibility to ensure their housing is safe. Are windows and locks secure? Are there motion-detection lights or security alarms? If not, have them check with their landlord to see if one can be installed. 
  • Staying Engaged — One of the most rewarding parts of being part of a campus community is engaging with campus resources and activities. What are their plans to stay engaged with campus? 
  • Year-Round Housing — Unlike living on campus, most leases are for a full year. If your student is still planning to be home for winter and summer break, does their lease allow for subletting? If not, is your student prepared to pay rent even though they may not be living in the residence year-round? 

Visiting Campus

To find the campus map and parking information visit our Map & Directions page.  

Widener University welcomes visitors and guests to our campus. You can get to our campus by three different modes of transportation:  

By Car: While there is no charge for guest parking, all visitors and guests must obtain a temporary parking permit from the Office of Campus Safety located in Old Main. This office is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Temporary parking permits can also be obtained at Lipka Hall during normal business hours. Passes are valid in accordance with the date and time indicated.  Registered and permitted guest vehicles may park in any campus lot with the exception of Old Main Lot unless prior approval has been authorized. 

By Bus: Two SEPTA bus routes—Routes 109 on Providence Road and Route 113 on Melrose Avenue—connect you to the region-wide mass transit network. Both serve 69th Street Terminal and the Chester Transportation Center, where you can ride the regional rail train into Center City Philadelphia.  

By Train: SEPTA's regional rail line can be accessed only a short drive away at the Swarthmore or Media train stations. This line conveniently takes passengers to key stops in the City of Brotherly Love like University City and 30th Street Station.  

Visit SEPTA's website for schedules and other information.

Staying the night near Main Campus?

There are many convenient lodging accommodations near Widener's Main Campus, including:

Inn at Swarthmore
10 South Chester Road, Swarthmore, PA 19081
610-543-7500
theinnatswat.com
use promo code: WIDENER

Hampton Inn Media
300 S Beatty Road, Media, PA 19063
484-443-8899
hamptoninn.hilton.com

Courtyard Philadelphia Springfield Marriott
400 West Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064
610-543-1080
marriott.com

SpringHill Suites Marriott at Philadelphia Airport/Ridley Park
201 Industrial Highway, Ridley Park, PA
610-915-6600
marriott.com

Chester is the oldest city in Pennsylvania, home to the Philadelphia Union, and of course, the home base for Widener University. Widener resides within Delaware County which is home to a plethora of art, entertainment, attractions, and historical sites. 

A few miles away from campus you’ll find Media, the winner of America’s best hometown, with a wide variety of dining options and charming shops. Watch out for the trolley that runs through the town’s center!  

If you’re looking for history, culture, and gardens check out Swarthmore, a neighboring college neighborhood. You’ll stumble upon beautiful Victorian architecture and be able to walk among the beautiful botanicals of Scott Arboretum. 

One of the biggest perks of Widener is our close proximity to Philadelphia. Widener is only a 30-minute drive away from Philadelphia's rich history and culture. The city is home to world-class museums, theaters, concert venues, and tons of history (America started right here!), offering you plenty of things to do. 

Visit Delco PA

Visit Philly