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Prospective Families

As a family member or support person, your guidance and support are critical parts of your student’s journey to college. It’s a choice that impacts the entire family and you want to make sure you give yourselves time to talk about the options available, and lay out a plan to help minimize any bumps along the way. To help in that process, we've provided some resources below to help you support your student as they begin to apply to college. We understand that the college search can be a stressful time for both families and students. Don’t forget to let your student take the lead, but be there for encouragement and support. This journey will be rewarding for everyone involved!


What You Should Know

  • Admissions process
  • How we communicate with applicants
  • Visiting campus
  • Staying informed

Campus Safety and Services

  • Campus safety
  • Student services
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Academic services
  • Living and dining on campus

Conversations to have with your future college student

  • Choosing the right college
  • Choosing the right major
  • Creating a financial plan

What You Should Know

Admissions Process

For full consideration, students should apply to Indiana State University by the following dates:

  • Fall Semester - June 1st
  • Spring Semester - December 1st
  • Summer Session - May 1st

Indiana State’s admissions webpage includes instructions for first year students. Every college is going to have a different process, so make sure your student familiarizes themselves with what those processes and requirements are.

How we communicate with students

We will send information regarding any missing information, documents, or updates to a students’ application via email, so students should regularly check the email they used in the application process. Acceptance notifications will be sent via letter and text message.

Visiting campus

Indiana State has a variety of campus tours you and your student can choose from, lasting from 2 hours to 4-5 hours. Tours can include the following: meeting with an Admissions Counselor, campus tour, Residential Life tour, lunch, or meeting with an Academic Department (dependent upon major).

Staying informed

Indiana State has information specifically for families! You can also add your name to our newsletter distribution list to receive more updates about State.

Campus Safety and Services

When a student comes to college, campus becomes a second home and the well-being of your student is essential to a successful college experience. We are committed to providing them the best support and resources available!


University Police are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Safety escorts are available through our Community Safety Officers, and we also have Blue Light Poles across campus, which provide a direct link to Public Safety, as well as 911 services.

Student Services

Indiana State provides a myriad of physical, emotional and mental, and financial wellness services to students:

Physical Wellness

Emotional and Mental Wellness

Financial Wellness 

Diversity and Inclusion

Students play a huge role in maintaining and establishing an environment that is accepting and inclusive of all people. To create of a sense of belonging among our students, we have several student centers and organizations that can help students find their identity as a Sycamore:

Academic Services

We are dedicated to providing the most effective academic services to our students. We want to assist students in strengthening their study skills, becoming independent learners, and advocating for themselves. All of our tutoring and mentoring services are free of cost! Some of the academic services we provide to students are:

Living and Dining on Campus

Indiana State requires that all single first year students who reside within 60 miles of campus live in University residence halls.

For best consideration for Honors and Living Learning Communities, Housing Applications should be submitted in March. Beginning in April, room selection will be done in a staggered approach.  Students are required to submit a $20 non-refundable housing application fee and a $150 refundable initial housing payment.

You can view photo galleries and floor plans of all Residence Halls online.

All students who live on campus must have a meal plan.  There are a variety of dining options on campus and students are also able to have a mini fridge or other small kitchen items in their room.

Conversations to Have with Your Future College Student

Choosing the right college

  • Make three lists - reach schools, match schools, safety schools
    • Reach schools – institutions your student feels might be a little out of reach, academically and financially. Their academic qualifications might not quite meet that school’s requirements, but they have a solid extra-curricular background that could make all the difference.
    • Match schools – Exactly what it sounds like! Your student matches the academic requirements for the institution, including GPA and any required test scores or coursework.
    • Safety schools – Your student’s academic credentials exceed the admission requirements, so a high probability of being accepted will help you and your student breathe easy.
  • It’s important to remember not to rule out any institution because of cost. You never know what scholarship or financial aid your student will be eligible for! Remember to consider things like location, size, programs, and outcomes. However, be up front with your student about the realities of their college financing. Talk about expectations you have and how much your student will be expected to contribute.

Choosing the right major

You know your student, and you know what they’re passionate about. And for every passion, there are programs that can turn into a successful career. Our Career Center offers a variety of resources for students that can help them plan and prepare for their future. Here are some questions to ask your student to get them thinking about programs and careers in creative ways.

  • What industry can you see yourself in?
  • What kind of work environment do you see yourself in? Are you at a desk, in a collaborative work environment, creating things, or working outside?
  • Do you want to work for others, with others, or work for yourself?
  • Do you want to make a difference in someone's life one-to-one, or do you want to impact change in the broader society?
  • How can you apply your interests, skills, and hobbies to a job?

Creating a Financial Plan

Indiana State believes a college education will empower your student to launch a bright future. If their plans include a college degree, they need to prepare for how to pay for it. We suggest:

  • Discussing their personal financial options. Your student may qualify for some types of financial aid, however personal preparation is key when it comes to affording college. Will you be contributing to your student’s education through a 529 or other college savings plan? Have you developed a budget that will help you compare anticipated college expenses against your potential available income? A college degree is a significant investment in your student’s future, and they need to know what resources they’ll have to finance it.
  • Using the Net Price Calculator to receive the earliest estimate of their federal, state, and institutional financial aid eligibility.
  • Encouraging your students to begin looking for scholarship opportunities. There are many types of scholarships, and many different organizations that provide them. Familiarizing yourself with these opportunities early will allow your student to jumpstart their scholarship search process.
  • Empowering your student to begin making their own financial choices. Help them develop a budget and set financial goals for each upcoming year. Have them establish a bank account to teach them about managing their own money. Encourage your student to ask questions about financial concepts they don’t understand. The more your student knows, the more prepared they will be for paying for college.
  • Preparing to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the application for most types of federal and state financial aid. The FAFSA opens October 1 of your student’s senior year, and the deadline to be considered for state of Indiana aid is April 15. To file, you and your student will need to create an FSA ID. The FSA ID is a username and password that allows your student to login to the FAFSA, as well as for you both to electronically sign and submit the application.

Looking for more tips on starting the “paying for college” conversation? Visit our Financial Aid webpage for valuable financial aid information. If you or your student has questions, you can also contact us by phone at 800-841-4744 or by email at