Parents FAQ

By Jan Joslin | September 20, 2022

Residence Halls & Student Life

Q. What are the best things to bring for life in the residence halls?
A. Find the list of what to bring (and not to bring) here.

Q. My student is not getting along with their roommate, what should they do?
A. The residence life staff suggests roommates talk out any problems they encounter. They can ask their Resident Assistant to join them if necessary.

If a student wants to change his or her room assignment during the academic year, he/she must do it through the online Room Change Request Form, found at mycsu >reslife tab >resident resources. Requests must be given to the requestor’s Residence Life Coordinator. The RLC and RA will then make a recommendation to the Assistant Dean for Residence Life. The Assistant Dean for Residence Life will only entertain the request after peer mediation exercises have been attempted. 

Q. What do the rooms look like?
A. You can get a look at residence hall rooms on CSU’s virtual map. Photos of residence hall rooms are also available on Residence Life’s Instagram account at csu_res_life.

Q. My student doesn’t like the food in the dining hall. 
A. Your student can check out menus and find other information about the dining hall here.

Students with specific questions can contact the location manager, JanaMarie Gilmore, at

Q. My student has special dietary needs
A. Students requiring special diets should submit a written request to the director of disability services, Dr. Annie Watson, in the Student Success Center (first floor of the Student Center), accompanied by a doctor’s recommendation and specified diet by the first week of each session. The request will be evaluated, and a special diet will be provided by dining services, or an exception to the meal requirement will be granted. 

Q. My student is sick! What should they do?
A.  It is a good idea to discuss what students should do if they become sick prior to the semester and make sure they have all the insurance information they need for making a doctor’s visit.

Residents are encouraged to report any illness to the Resident Assistant. The Office of Residence Life strives to maintain a healthy environment for residents and will assist students in receiving medical attention should it be required. 

CSU has a cooperation with Roper St. Francis Express Care at 8901 University Blvd. to provide medical care for students. Details can be found in the CSU Student Handbook.

A CVS Minute Clinic is located at 8995 University Blvd. for minor health needs, and Trident Medical Center emergency room is located directly across from campus for emergency medical situations.

Q. How do I send mail to my student?
A. Address letters and packages to Student’s Name, 9200 University Boulevard, Charleston, SC 29406. Your student will receive an email that mail is available for pick up, and they can pick it up at the campus store on the first floor of the Student Center.

Q. My student is having trouble adjusting to college. Who can they talk to?
A. CSU has a Counseling Center with licensed counselors on staff. Counseling is included in tuition for full-time students. Students may call 843-863-8050 to set up an appointment.

Q. My student will have a car on campus. Do they need a parking decal?
A. University regulations require that all motor vehicles owned and/or operated by students on campus be registered and display a current vehicle permit issued before the beginning of the Drop/Add date of the current semester, or within 24 hours any other time a vehicle is brought onto campus.  

Permits are purchased online at the CSU web page under the Campus Security section. You will be directed to a page for Rydin/Permit Express to purchase your decal. You will receive a temporary parking permit for your dash and a decal will be mailed to you upon completion of the purchase. CSU charges $81.53 per permit. Permits must be displayed prior to the beginning of the Drop/Add date of the current semester.    

Financial Aid and Student Bills

Q. Help! I don’t know where to start with financial aid!
A. The financial aid process can be daunting to navigate. Start with these financial aid FAQs

Incoming freshmen should contact their enrollment counselor for assistance with financial aid questions. 

Q. What is the best way to contact the Financial Aid Office?
A. Email with your questions and to request that a financial aid officer contact you.

Q. My student has financial aid, but we are seeing unexpected charges on the bill.

A. Financial Aid handles the awarding of financial aid for your student. The Student Accounts Office then generates a bill and is the office to contact with questions about your bill. 

To understand your billing statement, for instructions on submitting your payment, and to see FAQs about student billing, go here.

Q. What if I have additional questions about my student’s bill?
A. Email

Q. I am planning on making payments to my student’s account. What is the easiest way to do that?
A. Your student can set you up as a third-party payer in MyCSU. You will be given your own log in to the MyCSU portal and will be able to access your student’s bill and make payments.

Q. I have set up a payment plan for my student’s bill, but we are still waiting on additional aid to come in. I don’t want to overpay.
A. If additional aid comes in for your student, your payment plan amount will automatically reduce.


Q. My student is struggling in a class. Help!
A. Your student’s first step is talking to their professor. All professors offer office hours where students can meet with them one-on-one. Office hours are listed in the syllabus. 

Some courses offer group tutoring sessions, and professors will know when these are as well.

Tutoring is available through the Learning Center. Make sure to check times and locations. It changes throughout the day.

Writing Center: Students needing assistance with writing can choose in-person, online, or etutoring. 

Math Help Center: Students can find help with in-person tutoring at the Math Help Center. 

Q. What is FERPA, and why can’t I access my student’s information? 
A. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal act established in 1974 to protect the privacy of student education records. The Act provides eligible students the right to inspect and review education records, the right to seek to amend those records, and to limit disclosure of information from the records. Since most college students are 18 or above, students will have to sign a FERPA waiver to authorize the release of information to parents and guardians. Learn more about FERPA and how your student can authorize the release of his/her education records here.

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