Frequently Asked Questions for Parents

The Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs serves as a resource of the university community. Questions are welcomed in our office.

Do not see your questions? Email us at

Does KU have excused absences?

The University does not have an excused absences policy. Each professor sets the standards for his/her class. If a student needs to miss a class, he/she should contact his/her professor prior to the absence and make arrangements. However, a professor is not obligated to allow a student to be excused from class. To report an extended illness or accident that keeps a student away from class, contact Student Support and Case Management in Student Affairs at 785-864-4064
Where do students get help with academic advising?

All freshmen in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as well as undecided students go through the Undergraduate Advising Center. If a student is in one of the freshman entry programs such as Engineering, Architecture or Fine Arts, their advisor is assigned by the School.
When are vacations? Where can I find the academic calendar?

The Office of the University Registrar keeps a variety of calendars on its web site.
Why can't KU tell a parent or guardian a student's schedule, their grades, if they are attending class or what the charges are on their student's billing statement?

Federal law, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), prohibits the release of more than directory information about any KU student. The law was designed to protect student privacy. The Office of the Univeristy Registrar has more information about access to student grades.
Are there forms that a student can sign to allow a parent/guardian access to their records?

Some offices do have release forms that your student may sign to allow others access to their educational records; however, there is not an all inclusive FERPA release form used at KU. The most common release form is available from the Office of the University Registrar. Student Health Services (SHS) has a special HIPPA form. For more information contact SHS at 785/864-9500.
What is the KU policy on alcohol?

KU students are subject to Kansas law, which prohibits consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages by anyone under the age of 21. With limited exceptions, KU does not allow alcohol to be consumed on campus. For more information, please review the alcohol and drug policy.

The University does not have the authority to control off campus student consumption of alcohol. However, KU does provide a variety of educational programs to help students make informed decisions about alcohol use.

Helpful information can also be found at:
Does KU have counselors for students to talk to?

KU has a counseling center on campus, Counseling and Psychological Services, located in the Watkins Memorial Health Center.
EMERGENCIES (individual student or campus-wide)
Who coordinates the University response to campus and individual student emergencies?

Student Affairs coordinates the University response to campus and individual student emergencies. Student Affairs is also the contact when students are involved in a serious incident away from the Lawrence campus. Student Affairs will offer information, counseling, and support to students, their families and others affected by the incident. Student Affairs insures appropriate, confidential notification and communication among University offices when responding to campus and individual student emergencies. Keeping community safety and security at its core, Student Affairs is always available to assist students in negotiating the University community. To report an extended illness or accident that keeps a student away from class, contact Student Support and Case Management in Student Affairs at 785-864-4064.
What are some telephone numbers for me to have in the case of an emergency?
  • KU Office of Public Safety (police)
    785-864-5900 -- 24 hours, 7 days a week
  • Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs
    785-864-4060 -- 8 - 5 Monday - Friday
  • TTY/TTD number for people with hearing or speech impairments
    785-864-2620 -- 8 - 5 Monday - Friday
Can KU find a student on campus for me?

In an emergency the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs staff will try to contact a student at class and ask him or her to call you. If we are unsuccessful, we will let you know.
What is the University Ombudsman?

The University Ombudsman helps students, staff or faculty members, who find themselves in a disagreement or dispute within the University. Specifically, the ombudsman can research and explain relevant University policies, procedures, and problem-solving alternatives and make referrals to other campus and community resources. The ombudsperson may be helpful when your circumstances do not fit into any of the normal procedures. Before going in person, call the office at 864-7261 to be certain they are available.
Who does a parent contact for assistance with a variety of concerns?

The purpose of the KU Parent Assistance telephone number, (785-864-5872) is to quickly connect family members with the University to obtain specific information and connect them with the appropriate University office or resource. The phone is answered during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Central), Monday through Friday. You may also email us at
Where can a student find a tutor?

There are a variety of tutoring services available on campus. The best place to start is with the Academic Learning Center - Tutoring Services located in 22 Strong Hall.

KUPA Updates

Parents of currently enrolled students are invited to join the KU Parents/Family Facebook group.  It is a private group and you will be asked for your student's first and last name.  If your student is admitted for Fall 2021, Admissions will start a new group just for you in August 2020.

Sign Up for the KU Parent Newsletter
Parent Assistance

Contact the Parent Assistance Line for help or to answer questions - 785-864-5872

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