Mother kisses daughter on the cheek

Welcome, SVSU Parents and Family Members!

As president of Saginaw Valley State University, welcoming new and returning students back to campus in the fall is one of the highlights of my year. As a parent and grandparent to several former and current college students — and the uncle of an incoming SVSU freshman — I understand the mixed emotions that accompany sending off a student to embark on the next chapter of their academic journey. There is a sense of pride for all they have accomplished and have yet to achieve, as well as apprehension about sending them into a new environment.

These reservations are especially true this year. We have developed a detailed plan — we are calling it the Cardinal NEST (New Expectations for a Safer Tomorrow) initiative — that provides guidance and clarity for the SVSU community as it relates to health, safety and education during that return to campus.

I want to assure you that our students’ safety, well-being and success are the top priority for our SVSU family. It is our mission to provide a supportive, community-minded environment that allows our students to learn, grow, and thrive at their university. We are dedicated to empowering our students by providing the support, resources and opportunities they need to accomplish their goals.

At SVSU, we believe in building personal connections and engaging our students with the rest of their Cardinal community. We have always excelled with small class sizes and dedicated professors who are committed to your child’s success. We will all need to continue adjusting to remain safe, but one thing that will never change is our genuine commitment to our students and their families.

We also understand that college is a significant financial commitment, and we are committed to providing your student with the best quality education and student experience. We offer merit-based, need-based, and private scholarships. We want to give all of our students the best chance to succeed. You can get an estimate of your family’s expected cost by visiting

We are proud to welcome your child — and you — to our Cardinal family because, at SVSU, we are a community that understands the importance of working together to rise to new heights. We are here for you every step of the way, from dropping off your child on the first day of freshmen year to cheering them on as they walk across the stage at commencement to receive their academic degree ... and beyond.

Thank you for joining our Cardinal family and thank you for entrusting us with the personal and professional development of your child. I hope I get the chance to meet you in person to tell you how much it means to me that your family is now part of our SVSU family.

Donald J. Bachand - President

Donald Bachand Portrait

The primary emphasis of the SVSU experience has always been, and will always be, on student success.

— Donald J. Bachand

Offices and Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

For many students, attending college is the first taste of adult responsibility. For many parents, it’s the first real separation and change from managing your student’s life to supporting it. Encouragement, awareness, empathy and involvement are ways you can support your student to make their SVSU experience the very best. We have categorized some of the most common questions parents and family members have, to help you provide guidance to your student. 

FAQ - Academics

After logging in to their mySVSU portal, students can view all required textbooks and materials by selecting “My Class Schedule” from the Student Menu of Self Service.  Below the listing of courses, there is a “Click here for Textbooks and Materials” link which opens a new window and lists the books required specifically for those courses and instructors. From here, students can order their books new, used, or as rentals from the SVSU Bookstore. For more questions regarding textbooks, please contact the Bookstore at 989-964-4277.

The Center for Academic Achievement offers tutoring services for a variety of subjects including Accounting, Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics, History, Psychology, and more! Encourage your student to visit their website or contact them at 989-964-2221 to schedule an appointment with a tutor. In addition to subject-specific tutoring, SVSU also has a great Writing Center where students can seek help with writing papers for any course.

Professors and instructors will always include the best way to contact them in their syllabus, as well as their office hours. Students can also search the campus directory to find faculty email addresses and campus phone numbers.

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) that applies to educational agencies and institutions that receive federal funds under any program administered by the Secretary of Education.  FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches age 18 or attends a postsecondary school.  Students to whom the rights have been transferred are “eligible students.”  Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student before releasing any identifiable information from a student’s education record.  The consent must specify the records that may be disclosed, state the purpose of the disclosure, and identify the party to whom the disclosure may be made. 

  • If your student chooses to do so, they can add parents/guardians to their Personal Information Release to authorize access to academic and/or financial records. To Set-up the Personal Information Release Access, students should log in to with username and password, go to Self Service, select Students, select Privacy Settings and select Personal Information Release. Once release access is established for an individual, that access will remain in effect until it is removed by the student.

Students can receive accommodations and assistive services through the Office of Accessibility Resources and Accommodations. To apply for these considerations, please visit their website and create a profile.

Under FERPA, you will not have access to your student’s grades or academic records unless they have completed a Personal Information Release to authorize your access.
If your student chooses to do so, they can add parents/guardians to their Personal Information Release to authorize access to academic and/or financial records. To Set-up the Personal Information Release Access, students should login to with username and password, go to Self Service, select Students, select Privacy Settings and select Personal Information Release. Once release access is established for an individual, that access will remain in effect until it is removed by the student.

The Academic Advisement Center is happy to meet with students to discuss their career interests and possible majors. Students can call 989-964-4286 or email to request an appointment with an advisor. Undecided students can also complete the FOCUS assessment to explore how their interests and personality may align with potential majors. 

Important Dates for the academic year, including finals week and commencement

Students are able to adjust their classes online at any time. However, if they are unsure of what classes to take, we encourage them to come in and meet with an advisor in the Academic Advisement Center prior to making changes. Students can call 989-964-4286 or email to request an appointment with an advisor.

SVSU’s Study Abroad Office provides support for students throughout the study abroad planning process. Study Abroad Fairs are held each semester to allow students to meet with program providers and explore options, and there is also a helpful guide to getting started here:

FAQ - Housing & Dining

An SVSU ID allows students access to many of the resources on campus, including the Library, the Ryder Center, and athletic events. If a student is on a meal plan, that plan is tied to their ID as well. It is also used for the time clock if the student is working on campus. Finally, for first-year residents, the ID card also allows for access into their Housing building.

Dining Services offers many great food options for students. From the all-you-care-to-eat Marketplace, to Subway and Panda Express, or a quick coffee run at Starbucks, SVSU students have great choices. 

Meals purchased in a block plan or as part of freshmen meal plans are used at the Marketplace at Doan. One entry = one meal. Declining Balance runs like a debit card, and is accepted as payment at all other on-campus restaurants.

Meal Plan change requests must be submitted by the end of the first week for each semester. For questions, give Dining Services a call at 989-964-4252 or email

Visit the Move-In checklistMove-In checklist for a helpful list of recommended and restricted items for on-campus housing.

Contact our Housing Office with any questions about SVSU on-campus housing options. They can be reached at 989-964-4255 or

SVSU does not require new students to live on campus at any time. However, over 70% of incoming freshmen choose to live on campus each year!

To send mail or packages to your student, simply use the following address:
(Your Student’s Name)
(SVSU Building and Room Number)
7400 Bay Rd
University Center, MI 48710

If there is a roommate conflict that is not being resolved through communication among those involved, a great first step is to reach out to their Resident Assistant. RAs receive conflict management training, and can often assist in finding a solution or setting up a roommate agreement. If this does not solve the problem, each community on campus also has a full-time, live-in staff member called a Resident Director who can assist as well.

The Student Counseling Center offers a range of free, confidential services to support student wellness. If your student is struggling with homesickness or any other issue and would like to talk to someone about it, there are walk-in hours Monday-Thursday from 9 to noon. Students can also schedule an appointment if they would prefer by calling 989-964-7078 or emailing

FAQ - Campus Safety

All universities are required to publicly disclose information about crime on and around campus under the Clery Act. SVSU’s Annual Security Report can be found at and monthly crime reports are also posted online at University Police do often assist other matters in areas surrounding the University, so please note that the reports list both on-campus and off-campus incidents.

Among many other safety and crime prevention initiatives, the University Police will provide an escort to an individual who feels uncomfortable walking alone to their vehicle or resident hall. Individuals can request an escort by calling University Police. A service officer or police officer will escort an individual as soon as they are available.

SVSU Campus Alert is an emergency notification system that provides University administrators the ability to send text and voice messages to cell phones, campus phones (including classroom phones), home phones, and email accounts. SVSU faculty, adjunct faculty, staff, and students are automatically registered through their SVSU email account, however, they are strongly encouraged to register additional contact information to increase the likelihood of receiving a given broadcast alert message. Contact information can be updated here:

If students accidentally lock their keys in the vehicle, have a dead battery, or need jumper cables, assistance can be requested by contacting Parking Services at (989) 964-4141.

In the event that weather or other adverse conditions necessitate closing the campus and/or canceling classes and other activities the decision to do so will be made prior to 6:30 a.m. for day classes and 2:30 p.m. for evening classes and will generally be based upon road conditions on and off-campus, weather reports, and the condition of utilities on campus. These announcements are posted on the SVSU homepage and sent out via the Campus Alert. In the event weather conditions in a local area are more severe than in the campus area, each person should use his/her own judgment about driving to the campus and should avoid any unnecessary risks.

The University Health Center provides walk-in primary medical care, disease prevention, health education and various specialty services to SVSU students. The Center is located on campus property at the corner of Bay and Pierce roads, within the Covenant MedExpress Building. 

The nearest hospital is located in Bay City: Bay Regional Medical Center (11 minutes). There are also two hospitals in Saginaw: Covenant Healthcare (13 minutes) or St. Mary’s (now Ascension) (14 minutes).

FAQ - Finances

Available payment methods include online, mail, and in-person payments. Details and step-by-step instructions can be found here:

Cost of Attendance information is available on the Campus Financial Services website. A Net Price Calculator is also available. Should you have any questions about the cost of attendance, please contact the Campus Financial Services Center at or 989-964-4900.

The U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid provides billions in grants, loans and work-study funds to help pay for college.  In order to apply for federal student aid (including loans), state and SVSU aid, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine student eligibility.   The application is based on income records from the prior tax year and requires parent information for dependent students. The FAFSA must be completed each year the student wishes to apply for financial aid. Visit for more information, or to complete the FAFSA.

SVSU offers a wide range of grants, loans, and private and public scholarships to our students. 

Students can complete an Enrollment Certification form with the Registrar’s Office, indicating which information can be released, and to whom. This form can be found online and printed for submission to the Registrar for certification.

The SVSU Career Services Office assists students in seeking on- or off-campus employment opportunities, including internships and co-ops. For on-campus and local part-time jobs, students can search the Cardinal Career Network and apply to postings online. 

Independent Bank has a staffed lobby right next to the Marketplace in Doan Center. 

FAQ - Student Life and Engagement

The first stop for students hoping to be involved on campus is our Office of Student Life. This office is the home to all RSOs (Registered Student Organizations), service opportunities such as Alternative Breaks and Habitat for Humanity, and leadership development experiences. 

Community and connection are so important, and we understand why this would be discouraging or difficult. Encourage your student to keep trying new RSOs (Registered Student Organizations) or events until they find something that is interesting to them. Whether it is an academic organization, a special interest club, Greek life, or a service trip, there are so many options. They can explore organizations or can also stop by Student Life and talk to one of the staff members there about upcoming events or recommendations for a group that may be a fit.

Each semester, the Greek organizations on campus will hold a Rush Week or Recruitment Week. These events are a great way for your student to learn more about the organizations they may be interested in!

Your student’s SVSU ID card allows them access to the Ryder Center, which includes the Campus Recreation Center, Gerstacker Regional Aquatic Center, Cardinal Gymnasium, James E. O'Neill Arena, indoor turf fieldhouse, racquetball courts, and a dance studio. Specifically, within the Campus Recreation Center, there is an elevated track, two-level fitness center, locker rooms, two group fitness studios, and three multipurpose courts used for basketball, volleyball, or tennis. The outdoor facilities include soccer fields, flag football fields, sand volleyball courts, softball field, club fields, tennis courts, archery range, and a walking/running path.

Campus Recreation also offers Cardinal Fitness group exercise classes and Outside SVSU trips throughout the semester to encourage outdoor recreation. Intramural sports leagues and club sports for those who would like to compete in specific events are also available.

The Student Counseling Center offers a range of free, confidential services to support student wellness. If your student is struggling to cope with loss or tragedy and would like to talk to someone about it, there are walk-in hours Monday-Thursday from 9 to noon. Students can also schedule an appointment if they would prefer by calling 989-964-7078 or emailing

If your student is living on campus, they can register their vehicle online at Commuter students do not need a parking pass, and can simply park in the free lots across campus. 

Come join your student and take in a theatre performance, a concert or an athletic event. Information on the many campus events can be found on the SVSU Calendar of Events.  Some events are for students only, while many are open to the general public.


SVSU Main Line
7400 Bay Rd. University Center, MI 48710