Parents of Current Students



Welcome, Parents and Families!

Spring Semester 2021 Update 

2020-2021 Academic Calendar (Updated 10/14/2020)

Fall 2020 Updates

As a parent or guardian of a Ringling student, you have a lot of questions. We are here to provide you with accurate, up-to-date information about Ringling College and programs, resources, policies, and procedures offered. Here, you'll find information as well about engagement with our Parents’ Association. 

Thank you for your active involvement with Ringling College of Art and Design and supporting your student’s educational experience with us!

Parent Association Ambassador Signup Form

Get Socially Connected

For questions or comments, contact



Dr. Thompson Fall Family and Friends Session


You're Invited

Each academic year, Ringling College hosts a variety of events for students and their families.

Be sure to check back often and join our mailing list to receive updated information and invitations.



Family Weekend

We are pleased to invite you to Ringling College of Art and Design’s Family Weekend!  Spend a weekend on campus with your child or sibling exploring our facilities, participating in workshops, and meeting our faculty and staff. Registration at check-in required.


Learn More About Family Weekend

Accepted Students Day

We welcome your student to the Class of 2023! This day is a celebration for accepted students and their families. It's a great way to meet each other, mingle with faculty, participate in hands-on activities and demonstrations, and begin the Ringling College experience. This event is by invitation only.








Parent FAQs

Does the college have a new student orientation program for parents and families?
Yes! Ringling College believes that going to college is a family affair, and we want to make sure parents and families are as educated about the college process as their students. The parent/family sections of the Orientation are geared toward staying connected to and informed of College happenings, coping strategies and transitional issues, academic progression, and student support services. Additionally, we have a vibrant Parents’ Association that sponsors social gatherings during the New Student Orientation program—always a great time to meet and talk with other Ringling College parents!

Will I be with my student at any time during orientation?
The parent and student schedules do overlap during parts of the New Student Orientation, and we encourage parents and students to participate together; however, during times indicated on the schedule as “student only,” we respectfully ask parents to allow their students to meet and explore Ringling College on their own.

How can I keep up with what’s happening at Ringling College?
Be sure to visit the Ringling College Parents’/Guardians’ Portal on the website frequently as the website is always updated with news and events. You can also sign up to receive a quarterly newsletter for parents/families that provides current information about happenings at the College. Additionally, you can join the Ringling College Parents’ Association Facebook site and stay connected technologically. Lastly, make sure to stay tuned for information on upcoming family weekend!

What is the campus like?
Unlike most art colleges, Ringling College has a self-contained, residential campus that closely resembles a liberal arts college. It consists of 78 buildings on 35 subtropical acres.

Where do students live?
First-year students are encouraged to live on campus to experience all Ringling College has to offer. 70% of our students live in one of 10 different residence halls or apartments.

We have found that students seeking information for off campus housing have had good results by using commercial property managers, rental agencies and web-based apartment listings. Email us at if there is any way we can be of assistance in your search!

What is campus housing like?
We offer a variety of residence hall and apartment options depending on the student's year in school. 

Is campus housing guaranteed?
Yes, for first-year students who complete housing contracts and confirm their intent to enroll prior to May 1 for the following fall semester. Upperclass students are assigned apartments by a lottery system. 

What about campus security?
We’re proud of our safety record at Ringling College. To access information, including crime statistics, go to our Public Safety page.

What do students do outside of class?
The Office of Student Life supports a myriad of clubs and activities designed to engage, entertain, and enlighten students. Approximately three dozen academic, leadership, and leisure clubs exist, including a number of special-interest groups, providing a balanced calendar of co-curricular events throughout the year to suit a broad spectrum of interests. Special opportunities exist for students as Residence Hall Advisors, Ringling College Ambassadors, and community volunteers.

What about student organizations?
From our Student Government Association, to intramural sports, volunteer organizations, student theater and dance groups—you can expand your mind and meet new friends by participating in approximately three dozen student groups on campus.

There's simply never been a better time to be creative. 4.7 million Americans are employed in the arts and cultural sector. Businesses that produce software, films, television programs, and other audio, visual, and printed media account for11.1% ($1.63 trillion) of U.S. gross domestic product. Many leading economists argue that new ideas, rather than machinery or natural resources, are the true source of economic success today. The creative economy is changing lives, fundamentally rewriting tried and true ideas about where people want to live and work and what they value most. That’s a trend that isn’t slowing down any time soon. 

Whether the focus us in art, design, animation, photography, or any of the other majors, we'll help you prepare for a rewarding career. Here are just a few of the many career paths a creative person can pursue.

The moment your student sets foot on our campus, they embark on a journey toward a fulfilling career where they can use their talents to do big things. All of our classes and programs are catered to the art student, from our liberal arts courses to our hands-on studio courses, from their first day on campus. 

To shape and support the career path of every Ringling student, we provide the following:

• Freshman courses tailored for each area of study, so students begin focusing on their major in the first year.
• An award-winning faculty comprised of practicing professionals with understanding of cutting-edge industry practices.
• A Career Services Center that keeps students on track to deliver a professional portfolio at graduation.
• Professional experience and client-based work opportunities.
• Recruiter visits from over 70 leading creative companies every year.
• A job network and career services that are available to Ringling College graduates for the rest of their lives.

Our entire curriculum is designed to prepare your student for success in the creative field of their choosing.

At Ringling College of Art and Design, we realize a college education represents a significant investment in the future and a fulfillment of your student's dreams.

Although the primary responsibility for financing a college education lies with the student and family, the Office of Financial Aid is committed to helping make your Ringling College education as affordable as possible. We are here to help you navigate through the many financial aid options available. Most financial aid at Ringling College is awarded to you based on demonstrated financial need, which is the difference between the cost of attending Ringling College (tuition, fees, supplies, etc.), and what you and your family are able to contribute. Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and student employment. You can be confident in knowing the Office of Financial Aid will treat you with customized service for your individual needs. Each student who applies for financial aid receives a financial aid "package," incorporating one or more forms of assistance.

You should know that more than 70% of our students receive some form of financial aid each year.

Learn more about financing your student's education here.

Ringling College expects students to take ownership of their education, so it makes sense to talk directly with your student first. There are a number of resources on campus that students can contact for academic assistance, including their instructors, their Academic Advisor, and the Academic Resource Center (ARC), which offers free reading, writing, and study skills assistance and time management training to all students.

If you continue to have concerns that may be more involved than academic issues (such as adjustment issues, homesickness, etc.), please contact the Office of Student Life at 941.359.7505 or Public Safety in an Emergency at 941.359.7500. In some cases, you may also wish to encourage your student to visit our on-campus Peterson Counseling Center. Students can reach our Counseling Center at 941.893.2855 or by email to to schedule an appointment. While the Peterson Counseling Center is able to receive information from parents and happy to answer general questions, we are not legally able to share details about individual students including whether or not they are receiving services without a release of information.

Find out more about our counseling and health services at

Ringling College Public Safety seeks to provide service, safety, and protection of persons and property within our community. Certainly, no one can predict emergencies, but the College does have a Guideline for Emergency Preparedness protocol to assist in the event of an emergency. The College also uses an emergency notification system to notify students, faculty and staff of emergency situations, by sending messages via various formats, including cell phones, text messages, email, office phones and home phones.

Most common illnesses and conditions can be diagnosed and treated at our on-campus Health Center through an arrangement with the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System. Students may walk in MWF 8-1pm or T/TH 11am-4pm without an appointment to receive medical services. Non-urgent medical questions may be directed to 941.309.4000 or to Any services that cannot be provided directly on-site can be coordinated within Sarasota Memorial’s comprehensive network that allows all our students to see a provider for a general medical office visit at the off campus University Parkway Urgent Care Center (5360 University Parkway, 941.917.1234) open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week) with no out-of-pocket costs.

Students can schedule a no-cost confidential counseling appointment Monday-Friday by calling 941.893.2855 or by emailing with their schedule. Our Student Health and Counseling Center is also available for consultation at 941.893.2855 and can help you in the process of deciding how you might speak with your son or daughter to encourage them to make an appointment. For more information, visit

All Ringling students must have insurance that provides comprehensive benefits from providers available in Sarasota. If you wish to enroll in the student group insurance plan you need to ACTIVELY ENROLL at If you have other coverage and wish to remove the charge, complete the ONLINE WAIVER showing comprehensive health insurance (foreign traveler’s insurance does not qualify) before the end of the first week of classes. If you fail to take action the charge will remain on your bill and you will be enrolled a month after classes begin; ACTIVE ENROLLMENT is required to ensure you can begin using your insurance if needed immediately. For more information, visit

Residence halls do not close for Thanksgiving Break. They do, however, close for both Winter Break and Spring Break, except for “Break Housing.” If you anticipate the need to stay during Winter and/or Spring Break(s), please state preference in “Break Housing.”

The College does not provide transportation to/from the airport. Transport via taxi to/from the Sarasota/Bradenton (SRQ) airport is reasonable, in the range of $10 each way. While airfare can be less expensive to surrounding airports, such as Orlando International (MCO) or Tampa International (TPA), transportation to/from those airports can sometimes be cost prohibitive. We encourage our students arriving via air to use Sarasota/Bradenton Airport whenever possible.

Unfortunately, no. All students who have a room in campus housing for the next fall semester must remove or store their belongings off-campus over the summer months. For more information or recommendations on storage services in Sarasota, please contact the Residence Life Office.

All deliveries are made to the Mail Services Center in the Ann and Alfred Goldstein Hall. No deliveries are made to the residence halls. All mail and deliveries should include the student’s name and college mailbox number using the format below:

After Assigned a Mailbox #
Student’s Name
Ringling College Box #
1130 Greensboro Lane
Sarasota, FL 34234

Items shipped for New Students  
Student’s Name
1130 Greensboro Lane
Sarasota, FL 34234 

*When indicating your student’s mailbox number, please do not write it as a PO BOX number. Ringling College Mail Services is not a Post Office and the mail will not be delivered.*

Items that cannot be put in the student’s mailbox are held in the Mail Services Center and electronically scanned in; the student receives both an electronic email notification and a paper package notification slip in their mailbox. Flower arrangements or other deliveries are also delivered to Mail Services, logged in, and a notification slip is placed in the student’s mailbox. In case of overnight deliveries or perishables, we also attempt to contact the student by phone.

Students access their grades online through Self-Service; however, FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) prohibits the College from releasing student records to a third party without that student’s written consent. FERPA will be explained in more detail during Orientation. Open communication with your student is the best way to know how your student is doing.


Ringling College Parents Association

The Parents Association offers parent-to-parent mentoring, assistance for parents of prospective students, and access to student employment and internship opportunities. These initiatives are implemented and communicated with a host of creative options, including an online Parents' Portal and a quarterly newsletter sharing insights about campus life. Yearly association meetings and receptions create fertile brainstorming sessions between Ringling staff and parents. We are here to provide information, yes—but we also want to start a conversation with you.

Who can join?
Dr. Tammy Walsh, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of students, says that all parents of enrolled students are considered members of the Parents’ Association, adding that those who want to become more involved are enthusiastically welcomed. Contact Tammy Walsh,


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