Parents- Common Questions

Common Questions

Below is a list of common questions had by Messiah parents.  Don't see the answer to your question?  Please contact us at (717) 796-5252 or via e-mail at

When should I make travel arrangements for my student to come home for the holidays?

Please refer to the Campus Calendar for specific holiday dates. Check with your student regarding when tests, finals, papers and important lectures are scheduled prior to making arrangements. We do encourage you to make your travel arrangements early, especially during the holidays, so your student leaves and arrives to campus at the appropriate times.

What is my role during Move In Day?

Parents are an important part of any student’s Move-In Day experience and are always encouraged to take part in as much of the day’s activities as possible. Not only will you be an encouragement to your student but you will have the opportunity to learn a lot about Messiah as well! Visit the Welcome Week Parents page for further info on activities geared towards parents for the day.

What is my student’s mailing address?

Each student is assigned a mail box unit number during registration. The unit number stays the same during their entire time at Messiah, even if they change residence halls or move off-campus. All residential and commuter students are assigned a box that they are expected to check regularly.

If mail is sent to a student without the unit number, it will be delivered to the student's box, but may be delayed. Please note that their campus box is not a PO Box. Mail Services encourages the use of the student's box number to expedite delivery.

Please address mail to your student in this form:

Student's Name
Messiah College
One College Avenue
Student's Unit Number
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

How can I find out about possible Financial Aid?

Visit the website for the Office of Financial Aid to learn about possible Financial Aid opportunities.

What telephone service is available on campus?

A telephone and telephone service in the residence halls is provided. An active telephone jack in each student room, a voice mailbox for every room, and campus and local phone service are provided at no additional cost.

To make long-distance and international calls you will need to use a calling card.  Pre-paid, long-distance calling cards, with competitive domestic and international rates can be purchased at the Messiah Bookstore or at a local retailer.

What internet or e-mail service is available on campus?

Wireless access is available throughout all major buildings on campus. It is also available in select outdoor locations where benches and tables are close to buildings such as Boyer, Larsen, South Complex, and North Complex patios.

Each residence hall room and each campus apartment bedroom has only 1 live network jack. The majority of network jacks are marked with a big black C. If it is not marked, the live jack is normally the one opposite the phone jack. In the apartments, a network jack is available in each bedroom only. The jack in the living room is for the phone only.

What services are offered to parents of Messiah students?

The Office of Alumni & Parent Relations is available to address concerns that parents may have and to provide services while their student is at Messiah.  Parent Relations may be reached at (717) 796-5252 or at

Special events are planned for parents during Welcome Week and also during Family Weekend in September.  Visit Student Involvement and Leadership Programs for more information on these important events.

Parents may also order special gift cards or care packages for their students.

When are Messiah’s vacations?

Please refer to the Academic Calendar for specific holiday dates for each academic year. The College is closed on the following holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Martin Luther King Day, Good Friday and Easter. Classes are not in session on Service Day in April, however students are strongly encouraged to participate in on or off campus service projects that day.

When are Residence Halls closed?

Residence Halls are closed over winter break during the academic year.  Residence Halls close at the end of the year on May 14 for non-graduating seniors and May 17 for graduating seniors.  Students staying for spring break are required to register to stay.

Where can we purchase items for my student's room once we arrive on campus?

Many items your student may need can be purchased at the Campus Store. Stores in close proximity to campus include: CVS, Weis, Giant, Staples, Capital City Mall, Walmart, Target, Kohls, and more.

Can my student store boxes or other items on campus during the summer months?

Students who live over 300 miles away can store boxes on campus.  View our storage policy here.

What churches are near the campus?

There are many churches local to campus of varying denominations, styles of worship, etc. For a list of local churches visit the College Ministries Local Churches page.

How can my student get around town if they don’t have a car?

While almost all student needs can be met here on campus, there are several options for students on campus without a vehicle:

Public Transportation (cabs, etc.):  For a list of public transportation options click here.

Break Shuttle/Transportation:  The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Programs (SILP) offers a free shuttle transportation to the Harrisburg Transportation Center (Amtrak, Greyhound Lines, Fullington Trailways, Susquehanna Trailways, the Harrisburg International Airport and the Harrisburg MegaBus lot). Click here to learn more.

The Harrisburg Shuttle: The Harrisburg Institute, in partnership with other campus departments provides a regular shuttle service between Messiah college's main campus in Grantham and Messiah College's Harrisburg Institute.  The free shuttle service is offered to all Messiah College students, faculty and staff.  For the latest schedule, visit the Harrisburg Institute's shuttle schedule

Church Transportation:  Messiah College encourages all students to connect with local churches.  College Ministries maintains a database of local churches on its website.  The database lists many churches in the Greater Harrisburg area as well as those that provide transportation for Messiah College students. 

Medical Transportation:  For more information on medical transportation, click here.   

Who should I contact in case of crisis situation, i.e. earthquake, fire, flood, etc.?

In case of emergency, please visit the College’s online crisis communication hub. Other methods of communication the college may use in case of emergency include:

Where should I stay when I visit my student?

There are several off campus options for lodging, many of which can be found here.

What are Messiah’s school colors and mascot?

Messiah’s school colors are blue and white. The mascot is Fandango the Falcon. For more information about Messiah athletics visit To order Messiah insignia items, visit our Campus Store.

When is Family Weekend and why should I attend?

Family Weekend is hosted in September of each year. This family oriented weekend is strategically placed about six weeks into the semester, a time when many students are beginning to feel homesick.

Family Weekend is a wonderful time to see your student’s environment, learn what they love about Messiah and meet some of their friends. Parents, siblings and grandparents are all encouraged to join in the fun. It's a valuable time for both you and your student to interact and help you understand more fully their Messiah College experience. Look for more details on this year's Family Weekend.

Will I receive a copy of my student’s grades?

No. Due to a federal privacy regulation called FERPA, only students are given their grade report. FERPA requires a signed written release authorizing the disclosure of an education record to a parent(s) or legal guardian. Without this signed release, the College cannot share information from a student’s education record.

To learn more about FERPA click here. 

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

To learn more about FERPA click here.

Are there health services available on campus?

The Engle Center for Counseling and Health Services provides students with on campus support for the physical health and emotional well being. For more information about services, costs, hours, wellness and more, visit their homepage.

What details do I need to know about my student’s graduation from Messiah?

Visit our Commencement information page to learn more about Commencement ceremonies at Messiah College.