About Us


The University of Wisconsin–Madison recognizes that you are a very important partner in your studentʼs success. The Parent and Family Program, coordinated by the universityʼs Campus and Visitor Relations, helps you stay connected to campus and serves as your ongoing resource throughout your studentʼs college career.

The Parent and Family Program was launched under Campus and Visitor Relations in 2007 as part of an institutional priority to improve communications with parents and families of UW–Madison students. With support from the UW Foundation, the program, which initially included a website, an email and phone service, and a parent notice system, has now expanded to include the Badger Parent e-newsletter, a Calendar & Handbook for Badger Families, the Badger Family Spring Visit, web chats, Chinese (中文) and Spanish (español) websites, a Spanish language email service (haga una pregunta), and Spanish phone line. The mission of the Parent and Family Program is to connect parents and families of UW–Madison students to the university so that they may support their studentʼs success.

Defining “Parent and Family”

For the purposes of this program, the term “parent” includes, but is not limited to, biological parents, stepparents, extended family members, foster parents, and legal guardians.

Reaching out

The UW–Madison Parent and Family Program serves as your central contact for important and timely information. By joining the program we will communicate with you in the following ways:

  • You will receive two online Badger Parent newsletters per semester and one in the summer. Badger Parent provides timely campus information and in-depth articles about how parents can best support their college student.
  • In the event of a critical campus incident, you will be notified through our Parent Notice system.
  • Our website offers an overview of campus resources and services as well as updates of special interest to parents.
  • The Calendar & Handbook for Badger Families is filled with important dates and resources and contains a section on the first-year experience. It is distributed to parents of new students at SOAR each summer and is mailed to parents of current students who request a copy via our online form. A digital copy of the calendar is also available for download (PDF format, 6.2 MB).
  • A few times throughout the year, we will notify you of a webchat about a particular topic. This is an opportunity to see what other parents are asking or to submit a question to campus experts.
  • You will receive an invitation to participate in upcoming Parent and Family event opportunities, such as Badger Family Spring Visit in April each year.
  • If you have a question or concern, call us toll-free at 1-877-262-3977 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or e-mail us anytime at parent@uwmad.wisc.edu.
  • 如果您希望了解有关学术、学费、健康和安全等信息,请浏览此网页 (Chinese website)
  • Para más información sobre la academia, información financiera, alojamiento, salud, seguridad, transporte, aprendizaje fuera de la aula, carreras, empleo y otros temas, visite nuestra sitio Web en español. (Spanish website)
  • ¡Haga una pregunta! (Ask a question in Spanish)

Now that more than 47,000 parents have joined our mailing list, we hope to connect parents with each other to share experiences, triumphs, and challenges. Weʼd also like to include parent testimonials in upcoming issues of our newsletter. If you are interested in sharing your experiences with other parents, please contact us.

Parent and Family Program goals for parents

  1. Parents recognize their important role as a mentor and coach. They help their student progressively take on more responsibility for academics, out-of-classroom experiences, and all other aspects of their lives.
  2. Parents have an open dialogue with their student about ways to promote personal health and balance, including coping with stress, alcohol/drugs, nutrition, sleep, exercise, and relationships. They empower their student to identify problems, develop a plan, and work toward solutions independently.
  3. Parents understand that there are limitations regarding access to student information as outlined in the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  4. Parents know about and take advantage of opportunities to engage with the campus and surrounding community.
  5. Parents generate goodwill for the university by helping spread the word about the resources and discoveries at UW–Madison, impacting both their student and society at large. They advocate for personal, state, and federal investments in higher education.