Resources for Parents and Families

welcome center lobby

Welcome, Riverbat Families!

At ACC, we know how important parents and families are to every college student. No one makes the decision to go to college alone, and for more than 75,000 ACC Riverbats, their success is our shared success. From parents and siblings to step-parents, grandparents, partners, and loved ones, the Parent and Family Engagement Office at ACC helps you understand your student’s needs, getting them ready to start college and to succeed.

Our Mission - Empowering ACC Parents & Families

  • Bridging the gap between families and students by helping you understand the Riverbat experience.
  • Engaging and educating families through community events and 1-on-1 support
  • Establishing a culture of belonging and inclusiveness for families as they help their students succeed.

Information for Parents and Families

Whether your student is a first-generation college student or comes from a family with college experience, every student journey is different. ACC offers free parent and family orientation sessions and workshops every semester to help you and your student get the best start to college.

  • Admissions & Advising
  • Important Dates & Deadlines
  • Financial Aid & Payment Plans
  • Registering for Classes

Visit ACC

Parents and families are welcome to tour ACC with their student!

Have you heard about how fabulous ACC is? Come see for yourself everything Austin Community College has to offer your student. From the Make-It Center to state-of-the-art classrooms and equipment, ACC ensures your student experiences the best possible learning environment with world-renowned professors. Parents and families are welcome to tour ACC with their student and encounter the Riverbat experience for yourselves.

Learn more about ACC campus tour opportunities here.

Family Orientation

Family orientation is a time for parents and family supporters to learn about their student’s transition to college life, as well as the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Family members will gain a better understanding of ACC programming, resources, and processes. The program is offered in conjunction with select New Student Orientation sessions and is optional, but highly recommended. There is never any charge for attending a family orientation. 

Family members are welcome to review the online student orientation to gain a better understanding of the ACC student experience and Riverbat culture. By clicking through the slides, reading the student success tips, and watching the videos, you will have many of your questions answered, even those you did not know you had!

Parent and Family Workshops

The Parent and Family Engagement Office is excited to offer workshops designed to help parents and family members gain a deeper understanding of their student’s college experience. These workshops offer a general insight into the world of higher education and ACC’s student resources and services. The workshops are always free and are meant for any parent or family member who wants to learn more. View Workshop Schedule

  • Workshop 1: How College Works
    • Get the answers to questions you didn’t know you needed to ask! This free workshop will help parents and family members talk to their students about college and everything that is involved: from selecting a major, to what to expect that first week of class, to tuition and registration deadlines, and much more. 

      Workshop Topics:

      • Exploring 11 unique ACC campuses.

      • Selecting an Area of Study or career path at ACC.

      • Choosing the right general education and career courses.

      • Using the academic calendar.

      • Registering for classes with an academic advisor.

      • Understanding your payment deadlines

      • Preparing for first week of classes

      • Getting your class syllabus

      Register Here

  • Workshop 2: Resources Galore
    • ACC resources range from academic coaching to financial aid, career guidance, personal resources, technology, and more. Students are more successful when their family support network is familiar with the tools and resources available, both in person and online. The information in this seminar is intended for parents and family members who want to encourage their students to seek out all the support they need to succeed. 

      Workshop Topics:

      • Academic resources: Learning labs, success coaches, librarians, ACCelerators, and tutoring. 

      • Financial resources: Federal aid, scholarships, zero-textbook degrees, and money management.

      • Personal resources: Food access, transportation, child care/family support, mental health, rent/housing, and utility assistance.

      • Tech resources: Access to technology devices, free software, WiFi, and tech support.

      • Career resources: Job search classes, career counseling, resumes, internships, and interviewing skills.

      • Social resources: ACC Student Life, clubs, volunteering, getting involved, and intramurals.

      Register Here

  • Workshop 3: College Conversations
    • The “College Conversations” workshop will help you and your family member explore how to balance the new relationship that is developing between you and your student. Together, you will examine what boundaries to set, what are realistic expectations, and how to communicate your needs. The workshop is perfect for students, parents, and family partners. Please note that family is a broad term. You can invite anyone you consider part of your support network, including a parent, sibling, extended family member, friend, guardian, spouse, or anyone you call family. This workshop is intended for family members to attend TOGETHER!

      Register Here

Note: Students are welcome to attend sessions 1 and 2 with their family, but these workshops focus on parent and family member needs. Students should be certain to attend a student orientation sessions. Workshop 3 is designed for both student and family members to attend together.


  • Emergency Communications
    • ACC Emergency Alerts - Make sure your student activates their ACC Alert Emergency notifications. ACC Emergency Alert is the system that sends safety and security-related notifications via email and text message. ACC Emergency Alerts advise students, faculty, and staff of threats on campus, certain crimes that were reported, impending weather, and campus closures.
      • Students may register up to three phone numbers to receive ACC Emergency Alert notifications.
      • Family members may also text ACCFamily to 78015 to have ACC Emergency Alerts sent to their devices.
  • ACC Parent & Family eNewsletter
    • At ACC, we strive to keep parents and families informed and connected to the Riverbat experience. We encourage family members to sign up for the ACC Parent & Family eNewsletter, which shares relevant and timely information on how family members can support their student. Questions or Comments? Email us at  
      Sign Up Here
  • Conversation Calendar
    • Want to stay connected with your student, but not sure what to talk about? Check out the Conversation Calendar to guide your next chat – whether by phone, text, or at the kitchen table. View the Conversation Calendar here.


Admissions Resources: Getting the Best Start to College

Austin Community College has an open admissions policy and never charges an application fee. Applications are accepted year-round. Applying early ensures you'll be ready when it’s time to register for class. Learn more information on ACC’s admissions process.

  • TSI Assessment
    • The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) is a state-required assessment test to determine college-readiness in reading, writing, and math. All entering students must take the TSI test before enrolling in classes unless the student is exempt or complete. Here’s what you need to know.
  • Meningitis Requirement
    • The Texas Legislature requires that all incoming Texas college students must receive a vaccination or booster against bacterial meningitis, unless exempt. Here’s what you need to know.
  • Residency Requirement
    • ACC's service area encompasses 7,000 square miles. Residents located within the In-District boundaries pay the in-district tuition rate and receive expanded access to programs and services in exchange for contributing to the district tax base. Students residing in Out-of-District areas are subjected to a higher tuition rate, although the College’s Board of Trustees does everything possible to keep the tuition rates as low as possible. Here’s what you need to know.


Support Resources: Helping Your Student Succeed

  • Free Tutoring - Students can access free help in all courses either in-person at an ACC campus or online in the comfort of their home.
  • Academic Coaching - Academic coaches support your student by helping them focus on their personal academic goals while navigating the complexities of managing school, work, and home life.
  • Advising - Students receive help planning their degrees, registering for courses, and exploring career and transfer options.
  • Financial Aid - College can be expensive. The good news is that there is assistance available through various financial aid programs, including grants, scholarships, loans, or work-study.
  • Scholarships are free money to put toward college expenses. ACC has a robust scholarship program to help ease the financial burden of attending college. Encourage your student to apply.


High School Resources: Start College Early with Dual Credit

Austin Community College offers robust High School Programs through Dual Credit courses and Early College High School. Support for parents and family members whose students continue at ACC upon high school graduation will continue through the Parent and Family Engagement Office.

Glossary of Terms

We understand that having a child or family member attend college can be confusing and overwhelming at times. Below are several links to help parents and supporters understand what their student or ACC employee is talking about.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is my student in-district?
    • The following areas are considered "in-district." Residents in these areas receive the reduced, in-district tuition rate and expanded access to programs and services in exchange for contributing to the district tax base. Austin ISD, City of Austin (including portions of Eanes ISD and Pflugerville ISD), Del Valle ISD, Elgin ISD, Hays CISD, Leander ISD, Manor ISD, Round Rock ISD. Learn more about ACC District areas for Central Texas.
  • What campus should my student attend?
    • Students can attend any of our 11 campuses as long as the course is offered at that location. Certain courses are only offered at specific campuses.
  • Where should my student's transcripts be mailed?
    • You can submit your official transcripts in one of the following formats:
      • Electronic - Important: Scanned and emailed copies are not acceptable. This method is ONLY for institutions that use any of the following methods for sending transcripts:
        • Parchment
        • Credentials Solutions Inc.
        • National Student Clearinghouse
        • Scrip Safe
        • Speede Partnership
        • If the service asks for an email address, the transcript must be sent to It can take 24-72 hours for transcripts to be received.
      • Mailed - Important: Open transcripts are NOT accepted for admissions purposes. Transcripts must be in the original, unopened, sealed envelope.
        • Austin Community College
        • Admissions & Enrollment
        • P.O. Box 15306
        • Austin, TX 78761
  • What test scores does my student need?
    • The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) is a state-required assessment test to determine college-readiness in reading, writing, and math. All entering students must take the TSI test before enrolling in classes unless you are exempt or complete.

      • The following tests can be used to exempt your student from one or more parts of the TSI Assessment. Tests must have been taken within the previous five years. 

      • SAT (March 2016 and later) 480 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, 530 Math
      • ACT 23 Composite with 19 English 23 Composite with 19 Math
      • TAKS 2200 ELA (English Language Arts) with 3+ Writing sub-score 2200 Math
      • STAAR 4000 on the English III (EOC) 4000 on the Algebra II (E0C)
      • GED 165 on the Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) for the English Language Arts Reading (ELAR) Exemption. 165 on the Mathematical Reasoning
      • HiSET 15 on the Reading subtest, a minimum score of 15 on the Writing Subtest with a minimum score of 4 on the essay, for English Language Arts Reading (ELAR) Exemption 15 on the Mathematics subtest Math Exemption
  • What if my student needs help with a class or needs a tutor?
    • Tutoring is FREE and is available in-person and online. Our tutors are faculty and expert professionals who offer assistance with academic and workforce courses.
  • Who should my student talk to about choosing courses?
    • Encourage your student to speak with their advisor. Students are assigned advisors based on their Area of Study. Advisor information can be found in their MyACC account.
  • Where can my student use the computer?
    • There are many options:
      • Student Technology Services (STS) provides open computing spaces, known as Computer Centers, to students on 8 campuses.
      • The ACCelerator is on of ACC's most innovative learning spaces with computer stations, academic and career coaching, learning lab tutors, study rooms and classes.
      • Research computers at ACC libraries are available for college-related activities or work
  • Does ACC have mental health resources?
    • Austin Community College Counselors are here to support our students’ success efforts. We offer services and programs across the district to foster life balance, develop personal and academic growth, and help maintain a safe and healthy learning environment.
  • Does my student have to have a parking permit for each campus?
    • No. While students are required to register their vehicle(s) with the ACC's Parking and Transportation office, the electronic parking permit is valid on all ACC campuses. They may need separate parking permits if they attend other educational institutions such as a high school. 
  • What if my student doesn't have transportation?
    • ACC students can ride Capital Metro Services for FREE! The Green Pass offers unlimited rides to class, work, and anywhere else on the Capital Metro transit system for one semester. Green Pass riders must show an ACC ID card upon request. Capital Metro just launched a new local rideshare option called Pickup. With the Pickup App (iPhone / Android) and the ACC Green Pass, you can arrange on-demand transit service from and to anywhere within one of the Pickup Service Zones for free! Eastview, Northridge, and San Gabriel Campuses are located within a Pickup zone.
  • Can I see my student's grades?
    • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (PL93-380), commonly referred to as FERPA, provides that all records pertaining to a student that are maintained by the college must be open to inspection by the student and may not be made available to any other person without the written authorization of the student. Your student can access their grades by logging into MyACC.
  • Can I contact my student’s professor?
    • We understand that parents and family members want to support their students and relieve some stress for them. However, whenever possible, let your student be the one to contact an office, reach out to their professor, ask a question, give feedback, and determine the best course of action. Students will be more successful when they develop relationships with faculty and staff themselves and learn to navigate, not only the physical space of campus, but the policies and procedures in place. You can encourage real-world problem-solving skills by advocating that your student do the work and relationship building themselves. 


      A good place to start is with the Student Affairs Help Desk or by scrolling down to the bottom of the ACC directory and searching for the appropriate department. Students may also call 512-223-4636.

  • What is FERPA?
    • FERPA stand for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The Parent and Family Engagement Office provides information and resources to help guide family members interested in supporting their student. This support does not include providing detailed information about a student’s enrollment status, grades, attendance, course schedule, or other personalized data. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 provides that all records pertaining to a student that are maintained by the college may not be made available to any other person without the written authorization of the student. FERPA gives parents certain rights concerning their children’s student records. These rights transfer to the student when they reach 18 years of age or attend a school beyond the high school level. Click here to learn more. A student may authorize another person to act on their behalf, according to College guidelines by completing the Student Proxy Authorization form found here. A new form is required for each new transaction.
  • Can I pay my student's tuition?
    • Students may authorize another person online access to their account by setting them up as an authorized user. Setting up an authorized user online does not grant ACC staff permission to discuss a student’s account record with the authorized user. The Family Educational Right and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law which protects the privacy of a student’s educational records. The college is unable to release information to others without the student’s written permission.
  • Can we tour the campuses?
    • We offer General Tours of the Round Rock, Highland, and Riverside campuses which last up to 90 minutes. Tours are limited to 25 students at a time and include an overview of student services, student resources and application assistance. You can request a tour of our destinations campus and explore our our other campuses via photos and videos.
  • Are there alert systems for emergency and campus closing information?
    • ACC Emergency Alert is the system that sends safety and security-related notifications via email and text message. ACC Emergency Alerts advise students of threats on campus, certain crimes that were reported, impending weather, and campus closures. Family members can text ACCFamily to 78015 and sign up for emergency alerts from ACC campuses.