Family Checklist

1. Get to know technology

  • Student Email: The most helpful thing you can do for your student is to remind them to check their UMass student email. UMass email is the primary form of contact between your student and the university, and any announcements, updates, and information will be emailed to their student accounts.
  • SPIRE: SPIRE is the University's secure online student information system. This system houses academic and financial information. Students have the ability to grant parents/family members access to their information with you. You can learn more here.

2. Review the New Student Checklist with your student to make sure they are up to date.

3. Sign-up for on-campus housing

  • New undergraduate students will request on-campus housing using the Housing Preference Application on SPIRE. For step-by-step instructions on how to submit the Housing Preference application, please watch the Online Video Tutorials.

4. Access Guide to the U

  • The Guide to the U is an interactive online guide that introduces new students and family members to the university's values, resources, and departments. Families can now access the Guide to the U. Family members must use the Guest Login Page and create a Guest Account.

5. Register for Family and Guests Ready for the U

  • Information about supporting your student is available through both Guide to the U and Ready for the U. We offer two modalities to provide parents, family members, and supporters increased flexibility to access information. 

6. If applicable, Register with Disability Services

7. Ensure that your student has Uploaded their UCard (student ID) photo prior to Ready for the U

8. Review Meal Plan options with your student

9. Complete the University Health Services New Student Checklist

  • Visit the UMass Patient Portal. You will use the Patient Portal to submit immunization information and more required forms. To get started, go to and select "I have a UMass NetID" to login with your NetID and password. If you have trouble using the portal, review our Patient Portal FAQs.
  • Submit your immunization records. Visit our immunizations page to learn how to submit your immunization records. Immunization records are due September 11. However, if you will attend an on-campus Ready for the U session, your records are due no later than June 12.
  • Decide if you will keep or waive the Student Health Benefit Plan by September 18. The waiver will become available in mid-July. When it becomes available, you can visit to waive the SHBP.
  • If you keep the SHBP, be sure to print a new copy of your insurance card each academic year. If you will use a family member's insurance, obtain copies of your plan ID, prescription drug and health savings account cards. Learn more about health insurance at
  • Enter your health insurance information, and upload a photo of the front and back of your insurance card, on the UMass Patient Portal under "Insurance."
  • Complete required forms on the UMass Patient Portal. Required forms include:

*If you are under 18, these forms must be printed, signed by a parent/guardian, and uploaded on the portal "Upload" page. If 18+, forms can be submitted electronically on the portal "Forms" page.

10. Sign-up for campus emergency notifications

  • Parents/guardian, text UMassAlert to 78015 and your number receive emergency alert text messages indefinitely.

11. Start (or continue) family conversations about your student's transition to college

  • Start talking to your student to establish mutual expectations about their transition to college. This can include talking to them about how your student will communicate with you while they are away, as well as conversations about difficult topics like budgeting/money, drinking, sexual health and safety, and mental health. You can use our Crucial Conversations Guide for these conversations.

12. Make hotel reservations for move-in

13. Subscribe to the e-newsletter for updates on campus happenings, deadlines and events!