Little yellow directory book with colored tabs sitting on white laptop keyboard

Who Can Help: The Ultimate Directory of Important Resources on Campus

In your college search and those first days on campus, you may be unsure of where or who to turn to with questions. That's where this handy guide comes in!

Everyone has questions. Not everyone seeks answers. But in your college search and those crazy first days on campus, maybe you’re just unsure where to turn. Of course, if you have a basic question, like when baseball starts or what night is free pizza night in the student union, always check the school’s website first. You’d be surprised how many answers you’ll find with a little research! But, if after a solid search you’re still in the dark, or if you have a unique issue, it’s time to send an email or make a phone call. So don’t be shy. Remember that these offices exist for this very purpose: to help students just like you!

Applications and admission

Seek out these people at your college of interest or current institution for issues pertaining to campus visits and tours, admission interviews, information requests, and application questions or errors.

Admission counselors

You can often find a designated admission counselor for your state or even high school. Counselors are there to answer your questions regarding applications, deadlines, or the overall college search process. Establish a good relationship with your counselor(s) from the very beginning; the more your counselor gets to know you, the easier it is for him or her to help you in the future. However, be careful not to take advantage. Make sure you do the necessary research on your own, especially if you have a simple question that can be answered by a quick search of the school’s website.

Registrar

Support services, such as academic record management and enrollment, can be found at your university registrar’s office. The registrar maintains the master course list and builds the course schedule for each term. On the registrar’s website, you may view academic calendars along with course catalogues to find information about adding and dropping classes and the requirements needed for graduation. Thinking about transferring? The registrar has everything you need. They will process official transcript requests and evaluate all transfer course work. If for any reason you need to withdraw from college, or you are returning after a leave of absence, the registrar is where you should head first.

Related: How to Correspond With a College

Financial aid

Reach out to individuals in the financial aid office for issues pertaining to financial aid applications, financial aid allocation, scholarships, tuition payment plans, student loans, and work-study. (It's important to note that work-study questions may also need to be directed to a career services office, which we'll get into later.)

Financial aid officers

In addition to the FAFSA, you may encounter additional institution-specific financial aid applications. These forms can be tricky to navigate, but financial aid officers are there to help you through the process. However, they aren’t going to do it for you. Be respectful and ask for their guidance only. It is important to know financial aid officers cannot give award estimates on the fly, nor can they calculate your FAFSA results. Your financial aid always depends on the completed results of the official forms, but these counselors can help you decipher award offers after you’ve received them. Also, if you or your family’s situation suddenly changes drastically after you have submitted your applications, you should contact the financial aid office to inform them of the situation; it may impact your award.

Bursar’s office

Many students graduate without ever knowing the bursar’s office exists, but the people in this office perform some crucial tasks: they manage all student accounts and issue bills for tuition and fees. They are also responsible for crediting your account for payments received through financial aid and administer funded scholarships and approved third-party tuition payments.

Jobs and internships

These are the career development people you want to have a conversation with if you have questions or queries pertaining to work-study, campus employment, and co-ops. 

Career services

This office is responsible for many helpful student resources like career fairs and job search workshops. They can set up on-campus job interviews for students and provide one-on-one counseling. If you need help exploring your options and identifying your interests, careers services can help point you in the right direction to pursue employment or graduate school.

Co-op/internship advisor

Co-ops and internships allow you to test the waters of different occupations before you graduate, and having an internship or co-op on your résumé helps you stand out to potential employers as well. But you’re also probably new to the internship search and application process—that’s why you’re likely to find a co-op/internship advisor within the career services office that can help!

Related: 8 Reasons to Use the Career Center Before Senior Year

Campus life

There are many different offices, administrators, and other campus personnel you may need to reach out to about issues pertaining to housing, student clubs and activities, athletics, off-campus living, social events, and meal plans. 

Student life office

Want to start a new club or organization on your campus? The student life office has everything you need. Acting as the hub of activities on campus, student life can help you create a club of your own. By filling out a proposal and getting signatures of potential club members, you are on your way to starting your own campus organization.

Athletics/intramurals director

Intramurals are a great way to be a part of your favorite sports with reduced commitment and competition. The intramural director can give you information on which sports are offered as intramural teams and which team might suit you best. Students can sign up for teams—usually on a first come, first served basis—with no required tryout. Intramural events are usually supervised by the athletic staff and officiated by student employees.

Residence hall director/advisor

Every residence hall has one or more resident advisors (RAs) and usually one resident director (RD). RAs are easily accessible to students (often 24/7), and they are there to make sure all residents are abiding by dorm rules and to assist with any issues they may have. RAs may also organize monthly social events within their dorms to foster community and may simply check in with their residents to make sure everything is going smoothly. RDs oversee the resident advisor staff and are also available to students if needed. However, it is better to approach your RA with any problems first, and if they need further assistance, the RDs will jump in.

Safety

For issues pertaining to dorm theft, sexual assault, late-night transportation, and other issues of personal safety or crime, here's who to seek help from. 

Campus safety/police

Every campus has a safety department, usually run by campus police officers you may see on foot, bicycle, or in a patrol vehicle. Had a late night in the library and don’t feel comfortable walking back to your dorm alone? Don’t be afraid to contact campus safety for a ride. Witness a troubling confrontation between students on your way to class? Instead of getting involved, let campus safety know and they can handle it in a professional manner.

Residence hall director/advisor

For problems occurring within your dorm, you should approach your resident advisor first. Minor arguments with another resident or issues with broken furniture in your room don't need more serious involvement than your RA. But if needed in more pressing circumstances, they'll help you seek out campus safety for assistance.

Related: 5 Smart Personal Safety Tips for Students

Health and wellness

For issues pertaining to sexual assault, depression, anxiety, stress, minor illness, and any other health-related concerns, these are the best people to give you what you need.

Campus health center

Staffed by nurse practitioners and physicians, campuses almost always have a health center for student use. Services are usually covered by tuition, regardless of health insurance. However, there may be additional fees for lab tests, medications, X-rays, or off-campus referrals, which may be covered by your insurance. Services provided by each campus health center vary, so check your school’s website to see what’s available. In case of an emergency, visit the nearest hospital.

Counseling center

Found on most college campuses, these offices are available for individual counseling, group therapy, or stress management. Professional clinicians work with students, parents, staff, and faculty during orientation or at health and wellness fairs. Again, services provided vary. If your campus doesn’t have its own counseling center, you can find more information and resources through campus health services. 

Academic support

These are the top people to reach out to about issues pertaining to classes and homework, class scheduling, tutoring, majors, minors, concentrations, and interdisciplinary or independent study.

Academic advisor

You'll usually be assigned an academic advisor who works in your college or department of study. They're there to help you plan your class schedule each semester and answer questions about graduation requirements, study abroad, and anything else you may need help with on the road to earning your degree. Don't be afraid to reach out and schedule an appointment anytime—and if you find that they're not exactly helpful, don't be afraid to make a request to change advisors.

Professors

If you feel uncomfortable asking a question in class or you just need extra help, your professors should have set office hours when they’re available to their students. Office hours vary with every professor, but it is an opportunity for you to talk to them one-on-one, usually with no appointment needed.

Tutoring center

If you need a little extra help figuring out your calculus homework or writing the intro to your research paper, visit the campus tutoring center. They tend to specialize in math and writing, but other subjects may be available. Remember that tutors are available for a reason and included in your tuition, so take advantage! It may be the difference between getting an A or a B on that final paper or exam.

Related: How Students Can Find Supportive Mentors in College

There are so many kind and supportive people working at colleges who are there because they want to see students like you thrive and succeed. Don’t be afraid to reach out and take advantage of the services and support they offer. Despite being a time of independence and self-discovery, college isn’t a solo journey. Each campus is a community designed to foster growth, so utilize every part of it on your way to a fantastic future.

If you want a more in-depth look at important resources you should be taking advantage of on your campus, check out our blog on 5 Great Campus Resources Students Should Know About.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Jada Bohanon

Jada Bohanon

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me find scholarships for the colleges I applied to. It was very hard for me to find scholarships in the beginning that I was qualified for. My teachers recommended this website to find some, and not only did I find some scholarships but I also got to look into some schools I hadn’t heard of before. I was very happy to have discovered this website, especially with the coronavirus spreading all over as I can’t really go visit many colleges.

Elizabeth Stafford

Elizabeth Stafford

High School Class of 2021

As a UK student moving to California due to my dad's job in the military, when I first signed up for CollegeXpress a few months ago, the college process ahead seemed daunting and incredibly stressful. That all changed after I started to explore what this website had to offer. Not only was I helped by the vast array of resources available to me, but through being a CollegeXpress member, there have been so many more benefits. There have been emails with college tips—all of which I found incredibly helpful—as well as invitations to events and notifications of scholarships that'll make college possible for me. Overall, I'm very grateful to CollegeXpress for all of these things and more. Not only have they helped me grow my understanding of the college process, but they've also helped me to grow as a person, giving me new skills that I can take with me through life.

Ida Akoto-Wiafe

Ida Akoto-Wiafe

High School Class of 2022

I wanted a school that wasn't too far away from home and could provide me with a full-ride scholarship. CollegeXpress helped me put into perspective the money I had to pay to attend those schools, which ultimately drove me to choose to attend a community college first to get used to being in college before transferring to the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, one of the colleges I was able to research further on CollegeXpress.

Priscilla Yeboah

Priscilla Yeboah

High School Student

I was afraid and timid throughout my search for colleges, but I finally found the college that was fit for me and luckily I got accepted. One of the most influential things that helped me was the articles and advice on CollegeXpress. They've helped me a lot and benefited me as a senior to make the right choices in life. Thank you!

Victoria Fuss

Victoria Fuss

March Madness Scholarship Winner, Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has helped me dramatically. Moving on to the next level has been a dream of my mine since I was just a young kid, and the support and help CollegeXpress has given me will help me further my education. I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone at CollegeXpress!

College Matches