Parents Q & A

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the biggest academic adjustments during the freshman year?

Learning to discipline oneself and manage time are critical adjustments. College classes may meet only every other day, or once a week, but the workload does not diminish. It is suggested that the student spend two hours of studying for every one hour in class, balanced with study breaks. Students should know to seek help for academic difficulties.

How can a student get help if they’re struggling with academics or a certain class?

If a student is struggling in a class, they should schedule an office meeting with the professor. They can discuss challenges, note-taking and test-preparation methods, and tutoring possibilities. The professor can help the student decide if they should continue or drop the class. If the student continues, he/she should attend every class session. If the student drops the class, he/she must complete a form at the Records Office by the drop deadline to receive a grade of “W.”

For all academic challenges, the Betty Howard Center for Student Success offers individual and group tutoring, advising for undeclared majors, academic mentoring, study skills courses, and disabilities support services.  Contact the center at: 301-891-4106,  for more information.

Be sure your student meets with their academic advisor and student finance counselor before making any changes to their class schedule.

Why don’t parents receive a copy of mid-term and final grades?

In maintaining student records, WAU complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, which prohibits the college from releasing information (including grades) about a student without the student’s written permission. See FERPA Privacy Laws for more information.

What services are available for career planning?

Encourage your student to visit the Betty Howard Center for Student Success their freshman year and each year thereafter. The Center will discuss career options, self-assessment, values, skills, interests, goals and job-seeking strategies. Job search, interview, and résumé workshops are held throughout the school year. Additionally, a job/internship/graduate school fair is held annually.

Does WAU offer a program for studying abroad?

WAU is a member of Adventist Colleges Abroad (ACA), a consortium of colleges and universities operated by the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This gives qualified students the opportunity for international study while completing the requirements of their programs. Campuses are in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

What does WAU offer for students with learning disabilities?

The Betty Howard Center for Student Success offers students with diagnosed learning disabilities access to accommodations and support that will improve their college experience. Students with learning disabilities may be seen by counselors who help determine the appropriate resources needed. See Disability Services for more information.

Student Life

Is the meal plan required if a student lives on campus?

WAU’s Dining Service is operated on the cafeteria plan. Students living in the residence hall are charged a non-refundable minimum board. Any amount that is spent over the minimum board for the semester is billed to a student’s account at the end of the semester.

What should students bring for the residence hall room?

Suggested items: mattress cover (beds are standard size twin), bed linens, desk lamp, wastebasket, small vacuum, cell phone (Verizon offers strongest signal), telephone, earphones, iron, airtight food storage containers, room decor to reflect a Christian atmosphere, cleaning supplies, microwave, mini refrigerator (four cubic feet or less), circuit breaker power strip and computer. See Student Handbook for more information.

Can students stay in the residence halls over semester breaks?

Halycon Hall (for women) and Morrison Hall (for men) are open during semester breaks. Only students who must stay on campus for work or dean-approved reasons may stay.

What if my son or daughter experiences roommate problems?

If issues cannot be resolved between roommates, the student should contact the resident assistant assigned to their hall or the dean of their residence hall.

How can my son or daughter get involved in campus activities?

WAU has student clubs and organizations, the Student Association, Athletics, Gymastics and Campus Ministries service opportunities that are open to all students.

What should my son or daughter do if they get sick?

If a student’s illness lasts one or two days, they are responsible for notifying their instructors regarding missed classes. Any illness extending three or more days should be assessed by Health Services. Health Services provides screening of medical conditions and referrals to either our on-staff physician or local medical providers. If the student needs emergency care, they will be transported to the emergency room by ambulance. The nearest hospital is Washington Adventist Hospital located on our campus.

There is no fee to be seen by the nurse in Health Services. When a medical condition warrants a higher level of care, the student will be referred to our medical provider for further treatment. These fees are at usual and customary rates. Please be aware that there may be a nominal fee for some services/supplies provided by Health Services. A list of these services/supplies can be obtained through our office by calling 301-891-4525. All in-clinic charges may be put on the student’s financial account if requested.

What is there to do off campus?

WAU is located minutes from downtown Silver Springs, which boasts an array of restaurants and entertainment. We are also minutes away from the nation’s capital, parks, shopping and other tourist attractions. Local bus and train station are within walking distance to anywhere within the metropolitan area.

Spiritual Concerns

Why choose a Christian college?

Objective facts will be similar at any school; what makes all the difference is the perspective from which facts are viewed. At WAU we explore the sciences, humanities, arts, and religion from a Christian faith base. We don’t sidestep the difficult issues, and each student is urged to carve out their own understanding; but the context in which we educate is Christian. See Office of Ministries

What help is available if a student has spiritual needs or concerns?

Small groups, worships, clubs, church, and service and outreach opportunities give students spiritual experience and support with peers and community members. For individual spiritual concerns, students are always welcome to contact the Office of Ministry: at  301 891 4112 or the pastors of the Sligo Church:  301 270 6777

General Questions

Are there computers and Internet connections on campus?

Wireless networking is available throughout the campus.  Computer labs are available for student use.

Hours are: Sunday, Noon – 11:00 PM

Monday-Thursday, 7:30 AM – 11:00 PM

Friday, 7:30 AM – 2:00 PM

How do students find jobs?

Students can check out Work@WAU or visit the Financial Services office for campus job openings. In order to obtain a student employment authorization form for WAU, students must complete the W-4, the I-9, and the WAU student employment form.

How can students call home?

Each residence hall room is equipped with a single phone jack. Students need to provide their own phones. Students can also use their own cellphones.

What are the dates for vacations?

The listing of all major academic dates can be found on the Academic Bulletin.

What is the mailing address for students?

All incoming mail and packages are received by WAU’s mail room and must be addressed as follows:

Student’s name

Residence hall and room number

Washington Adventist University

7600 Flower Ave

Takoma Park, MD  20912

Is there more information for parents?

All parents of new students are encouraged to attend parent orientation and enjoy a special meal at the beginning of the school year.

How can we get financial aid?

Student Financial Services provides all the information you’ll need, including details about applying for financial aid.