New Parent Orientation FAQs

Found below are definitions of terms used throughout this site.

Self-monitor: Be aware of your own health condition and note any changing or new symptoms.

Self-quarantine: Stay home and minimize social contact as a precautionary measure if you are healthy.

Self-isolate: Stay home and avoid social contact if you are ill.

Close Contact:

  • Living in the same household with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Caring for a person diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Being within 6 feet of a person diagnosed with COVID-19 (with or without masks) for at least 15 minutes throughout the course of a day.
  • Being in direct contact with droplets from a person diagnosed with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, sneezed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.).
  • The period of close contact begins 2 calendar days before the onset of symptoms (for symptomatic person) or 2 calendar days before the positive test was obtained (for an asymptomatic person). If the case was symptomatic (e.g., coughing, sneezing), persons with briefer periods of exposure may also be considered contacts.

Indirectly Exposed: Contact with an individual who has close contact with someone exhibiting symptoms, or suspected/confirmed positive for COVID-19

There is a lot you will need to know before you bring your student to campus for Student Drop Off. Online Parent Orientation will provide information on topics like: 

  • What student life will look like in fall 2020 and the commitments students are being asked to make
  • Student Drop Off and the protocol for moving your student into their residence in a way that cares for the safety and health of your student, and for your student’s roommate 
  • Campus resources available to your student
  • The integration of faith and liberal arts learning at Wheaton 
  • Kingdom diversity
  • Life outside of the classroom




Because campus will look different this fall, every new and returning parent will need to participate in Online Parent Orientation prior to their student moving to campus. Online Parent Orientation will be available at The online sessions will help parents understand what will remain the same this fall, and what will look different. There will be no Parent Orientation events on campus for new parents, other than Student Drop Off. 


Wheaton will be welcoming 545 first-year and transfer students to campus in August. Orientation is an important part of any student’s experience. Wheaton’s program will set the tone, direction, and support for beginning an intentional journey in college.  

While this year it will look and feel different than it has in the past in response to the health protocols we have developed, we are committed to creating a relational, spiritual, and formational program. Our primary goal for orientation, particularly at this time, is to support in-person small group engagement much like the small group emphasis of Wheaton Passage.  All new students will experience Orientation closely as a floor community and will be assigned to an O-group (Orientation-group) of eight peers guided by trained upper-class students and a faculty member.  Students will spend all day Friday, August 20th off campus at various local parks as a floor and in their O-groups, engaging one another in team-building, developing friendships, and beginning their pursuit of building authentic communities.  On Saturday, August 21st, students will spend the day with faculty discussion leaders learning about life inside and outside the classroom, Wheaton’s commitment to Christ-centered diversity, a vision for vocation, and other helpful support programs that will launch students to land well at Wheaton.  Some of our programming will entail small groups engaging live-streamed and pre-recorded video instruction together, and some will be conducted virtually, such as individual academic advising. 

All in all, we plan to create meaningful opportunities for students to begin building friendships and grow together in community, exposing them to the fullness of what Wheaton has to offer in formational engagement around a Christ-centered vision for the liberal arts.   

Here’s a link where you can find out more.

  • Online Parent Orientation will be available throughout the fall 2020 semester.
  • Yes! Parents are strongly encouraged to view the content prior to coming to campus. Doing so will provide helpful information to navigate the uniqueness of the fall semester.
  • All resources and videos will be available throughout the Fall 2020 semester.

Online Parent Orientation will provide detailed information about what Student Drop Off will look like, but think in terms of three things: 

  • Stop - Before arriving to campus, stop somewhere near campus to say goodbye. If you need some extra things for your student’s residence, stop at one of the local stores and get what you need. We kindly ask that you only drop off items once, to reduce population density and multiple trips on and off campus. See the Lean and Light Packing List. (Please expand the "What can I bring?" FAQ to access the list.)
  • Drop - Thundermovers will deliver your student's luggage to their residence. In light of recent changes, parents will not be able to access the residence halls. Please pay special attention to the Lean and Light Packing List. Thank you for your cooperation in helping us adhere to the Illinois regulations for social distancing.
  • Go - It's time for a final hug and to say farewell. We will take good care of your student and look forward to staying in touch with you.


  • It is best to leave younger siblings and other family members at home. 
  • There will be no gathering places on campus for guests.
  • Fall sport student-athletes will not return to campus early. First-year students should follow the guidance provided by the college for New Student Orientation regarding move-in dates and times.

    Housing for continuing students opens Sunday, August 23 from 12- 5 pm. The meal plan begins Monday, August 24 with breakfast.

Passage has been cancelled for Fall 2020. To read more about the decision, please visit the Passage webpage. All students will now arrive on August 19th and 20th. See the arrival schedule for more information.

New student arrival dates vary depending on each student’s situation. See New Student Arrival Information to determine when you should arrive.


First Year students should arrive before 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 20.


  • Several commercial shuttle companies are available for transportation to and from the airports. Visit Directions and Transportation page for a list of service providers. Mention your connection with Wheaton to qualify for any applicable discounts.


  • Wheaton does not offer shuttle service from the airports during Orientation. If you need a ride, it is best to contact Uber or Lyft.



  • Temporary, short-term parking will be available in the spaces outside your student’s residence hall. After you’ve unloaded your student's belongings, please move your vehicle to one of the parking lots highlighted on this map. Please note that overnight parking of motor homes is not permitted on Wheaton’s campus.


  • The student meal plan begins on Wednesday, August 19 at dinner.
  • Special Note: All on-campus dining options are closed to parents and guests.
  • Buildings are closed to guests. Campus and building tours will be done virtually.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many changes to CPO's operations for the fall of 2020. Please pay close attention to the new hours and package pick-up instructions. 
  • Answers to College Post Office (CPO) related questions can be found here.
  • This fall we are encouraging students to pack light and lean and only bring the necessities to allow for an easy and quick move-in process. Packing light is also beneficial in the unfortunate event that the State would ask students to return home in the middle of the semester and need to finish the semester remotely. We are excited to have an excellent year of living and learning in community. Remember, too, that you don’t have to bring everything with you at one time.
  • Because of COVID-19, students are encouraged to have supplies delivered to campus if possible. If that is not possible, there is a Mariano's Grocery and Walgreens Pharmacy within walking distance of campus. Target and Kohl's are three miles west of campus, and Best Buy and Walmart are five miles north of campus. The closest Bed, Bath & Beyond is in Downers Grove, IL. 
  • Yes! Our Wheaton Parent Facebook group is a great place to meet Wheaton parents and ask questions or get advice about student life. To find our group, type Wheaton College (IL) Parents 2020-21 in your Facebook search bar and request to join.
  • New Parents are invited to participate in virtual parent events via Zoom on Tuesday, August 25, from 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Registration is required. Register now.

There are many ways to keep in touch with us:

Contact information for many offices can be found here, but for quick access, below are emails for some of the most requested offices:

Student Financial Services –

Student Life –

Academics –

Housing –

Student Health –

Athletics –

HoneyRock/Passage –