First-time College Parents

Whether you are completely new to the college experience or just new to Wright State, here are some descriptions and bits of information to help you and your student through this process:

Applying for financial aid

This process begins with completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You will need your Social Security number, your student's Social Security number, income tax returns for you and your student, and Wright State's school code, 003078. Even if you have missed our priority deadline of March 1st, you can still complete this form and apply for aid. This must be done each year. Visit to complete this online.

Class scheduling

Classes are not automatically assigned, and all students do not take the same courses. Your student will work with an academic advisor to select and register for courses. This must be done every semester. The popular classes and meeting times fill up quickly and do close out, so it is important to register as early as possible. Learn more about registering for classes.


No one will make your student attend classes and we will not inform you if your student misses class(es). Some, but not all, professors do take attendance and it can be part of their final grade for a course.

Time spent in and out of class

Your student will probably register for about 12 units of credit the first semester. That means during the week, he or she will be physically in class for approximately 12 hours. To be successful, your student will need to spend, on average, two and a half hours studying for each hour of class. In other words, those 12 units of credit will require around 30 hours of studying and preparation. Combined with the in-class hours, this means that your student has the equivalent of a full-time job.


The syllabus, an outline of assignments and covered course materials, is typically distributed on the first day of class, though it may be sent electronically to your student's Wright State email account. Some professors require students to access the syllabus and other important information using Pilot. Please note that some courses have reading assignments or other items that must be completed BEFORE the first class meeting.


Pilot is an online "classroom" that allows students to check grades, submit items, complete online quizzes and tests, interact with the class online, and download documents. Students can access Pilot through WINGS. Not all professors use Pilot, but many require participation through this useful tool.