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Parents and Supporters

Graduating Trent University students

Parents and Supporters


What kind of information can I obtain from the university about my student?

Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), a student must grant us permission to release any information about them to a third party, even if that third party is a parent. This means that you’ll only have access to information about your student’s grades, courses, class location, academic status, residence status, and/or fees owing if your student has granted us permission in writing to share this information with you.

That said, we understand that you may have questions or concerns—and we’re always eager to do what we can to help. Please get in touch if you’d like general advice on dealing with a particular situation involving your student or if there’s important information about your student that you need to pass along. Visit Student Services for more information.

What is the difference between a scholarship and a bursary? What other types of financial assistance might be available to my student?

Did you know? Trent invests more in scholarships and bursaries than any other university its size in Canada.

A scholarship is an award made on the basis of academic merit whereas a bursary is an award made on the basis of financial need. Trent students are eligible for a large number of scholarships and bursaries.

Visit our Financial Aid website to learn more about financial aid funding.

Visit our Financial Aid Scholarship Entrance webpage to learn more about scholarship entrance requirements.

You’ll also want to encourage your student to research and apply for scholarships and bursaries that may be on offer in your community—perhaps via area employers, sports organizations, and/or cultural groups. A surprising number of such scholarships and bursaries go unclaimed each year.

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is another source of financial assistance for students. Students seeking financial assistance for the upcoming school year should plan to submit an OSAP application by June 30th. Note: Students seeking to renew their OSAP funding for subsequent years must complete a new application each year. Students need to know that the amount of OSAP funding that they receive may vary from year to year and that OSAP is designed to supplement (as opposed to replace) the financial contributions made by both parents and students.

Learn more about OSAP by visiting the Ontario Government website.

A student whose OSAP application is declined may wish to consider applying for a Student Line of Credit from a financial institution.

For more information about financial aid, please visit  Financial Aid.

What does my student need to do in order to access funds from their registered education savings plan (RESP)?

A registered education savings plan (RESP) is a tax-sheltered educational savings plan. Typically, a student is able to access funds from the RESP once they have provided confirmation to the plan administrator that they are enrolled in a qualifying post-secondary program. In most cases, it is simply a matter of requesting and submitting a Verification of Enrollment Request Form. Note: A small service charge applies and it takes a minimum of ten days to process such requests.

Who should my student contact ahead of time to request accommodations for their special needs?

If your student has a pre-existing health condition, a dietary issue, or a need for accommodation due to a disability, your student should contact student services prior to their arrival on campus so that we can connect them with the appropriate services and supports: Student Accessibility Services, Food Services, and/or Health Services.

Peterborough campus:

Durham Campus:

What if my student needs to see a doctor while  at Trent? (Peterborough campus)

At the Peterborough campus, primary medical care is available right on campus from Monday to Friday during the school year via Student Health Services at the Student Wellness Centre. Students may wish to bring a copy of their medical records with them as well as copies of any prescriptions that have been issued for medications and/or eyeglasses.

Students at both the Durham and Peterborough campus have access to emergency care and to alternate clinics in the local community.

What does my student need to know about health insurance?

Canadian students who move away from home to attend university may be required to notify their provincial health insurance plan of their change of address or, in the case of an out-of-province plan, to provide the plan administrator with a copy of their letter of acceptance and/or proof of registration for the current school year. 

Please visit your provincial or territorial government website to learn more about the regulations that apply to you.

International students and exchange students studying at Ontario universities are required to obtain health insurance coverage through the University Health Insurance Plan

Trent students are automatically covered by the Trent Central Student Association and Trent Durham Student Association Health and Dental plan—unless they choose to opt out (typically because they have alternative benefits coverage through a parent or supporter).

If your student is covered by an extended benefits health plan, make sure they understands what is and isn’t covered by the plan and how to go about submitting a claim. 

What does my student need to know about staying safe on campus?

Safety is something we take very seriously at Trent. That’s why we’ve put so many supports and services in place.

Peterborough campus
​The Peterborough campus is well lit at night, we offer a WalkHome program, and there are over 50 emergency phones in place—phones that allow students to obtain immediate assistance from Campus Security.   

Durham campus
The Durham campus is well lit at night and Campus Security is always available for immediate assistance. We offer a WalkSafe program where Campus Security will escort your student to their car or closest bus stop and wait until the bus arrives.

Of course, the most important thing we can do is to educate our students about actions they can take to keep themselves safe. That means talking to students living in residence about the importance of locking their room doors, not letting strangers follow them into residence, and reporting suspicious or worrisome behaviour. And it means making sexual assault prevention a campus-wide priority by discussing such issues as sexual consent, alcohol consumption, and bystander intervention strategies.

My student is living in residence. What can my student and I expect from move-in day? What do we need to think about ahead of time?

We’re so glad you asked! We’ve spent a lot of time streamlining our move-in procedures to make this milestone moment in the lives of you and your student as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. Here’s a quick snapshot of how everything works

What does my student need to know about public transportation and parking options on campus?

Peterborough campus:
All Trent students attending classes in Peterborough are eligible for a free Peterborough Transit bus pass. The pass—which is included in Trent student fees—can be picked up at the TrentU Card Office in Blackburn Hall. Students can access bus schedules and learn more about other transportation options including GO Buses and RideShare by visiting the transit page of the Trent Central Student Association website.

Is your student planning to park on campus? Permits are required to park anywhere on campus between 7 am and 11 pm Monday to Friday (except on official holidays as designated by the university). Students can purchase parking permits from the Parking Office, which is located in Blackburn Hall. Learn more at the Trent University parking website.

Durham campus
All full-time students (students taking three or more courses per term) are eligible for a free Durham Regional Transit bus pass (U-Pass). The U-Pass - which is included in Trent student fees – can be picked up at the main office (room 101) on the Durham campus. Learn more at the Trent University Durham transit website.

Is your student planning to park on campus? Students are required to pick up a free parking permit through the Durham campus main office (room 101). Learn more at the Trent University Durham parking website.

My student’s marks have dropped since they started university. What can I do to help?

First of all, reassure your student that this kind of drop in marks is quite common. Sometimes the decline is temporary, with marks going back up once a student adjusts to the more rigorous academic expectations at the university level; and sometimes the decline is more permanent, with the student’s marks reflecting how well they measure up in comparison to a peer group that is made up of high academic achievers (the types of students who are accepted to top universities like Trent).

Second, let your student know that help is available and encourage them to tap into these academic supports. Some students feel that reaching out for help is an admission of weakness when, in fact, it’s quite the opposite—a demonstration of strength. Depending on the types of struggles they are experiencing or issues they are grappling with, your student might benefit from one or more of the following types of programs:

  • Academic Advising: The place to turn if a student has questions about course selection, degree planning, and making sense of academic policies and regulations.
  • Academic Skills: The place to turn if a student needs help with time management, essay writing, exam preparation, or other related skills that provide the foundation for academic success at the university level.
  • Academic Mentoring Program (Durham campus): The Academic Mentoring Program is a network of student volunteers who foster academic engagement by creating peer-led study groups, one-to-one mentoring, and providing strategies for academic success.
  • Rebound (Peterborough campus): The place to turn for advice and encouragement from an upper-year mentor who helps students to work on goal-setting and problem-solving while encouraging them to access campus resources designed to support their success at Trent.

My student lives in residence. How can I help my student to deal with roommate problems or other housing-related concerns?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to roommates. Encourage your student to sit down with their  roommate early in the year to talk through hot-button issues like guests, noise, sleep times, and cleanliness/chores. If your student runs into a roommate issue that is too difficult to resolve on their  own, encourage your student to turn to their residence don for help and support.

Note: Trent Housing Services does its best to place students according to their preferred location and their preferred choice of accommodations (single, double, or triple rooms). They even offer a roommate match-up service as part of the residence application process. But because demand for housing is high, not every student will be able to receive their first choice in living arrangements. It’s important for your student to understand this upfront in order to avoid disappointment.

Where else can I turn for information and support?

Still have questions?

  • Check out Trent at a Glance for additional information about services and supports that may be of interest to you and your student. 
  • Plan to attend one of our upcoming orientation sessions or to sign up for our Parents and Supporters Newsletter.
  • Contact us. We’d be happy to help.