Questions & Answers About Grandparents University®

Winona State University (WSU) welcomes participants to campus for a taste of college life.

With an opportunity to stay in the Haake Residence Hall, learn in WSU classrooms with WSU professors and sample the many summer highlights of Winona State University!

Grandparents University® is a fun-filled experience that actively engages children in academics at WSU while creating special memories for grandparents and their grandchildren.

Please review this information before you contact us. We get many of the same questions, so chances are you'll find what you need right here.

Q. Can one adult bring two children?
. Yes! A grandparent may bring two (2) grandchildren. All three must be enrolled in the same major. The cost for this option is $450 if staying in Haake Hall and $390 if not staying in Haake Hall.

Q. Can two grandparents bring one grandchild?
Yes! Two grandparents* (or another special adult pair) may bring one grandchild. All three must be enrolled in the same major. The cost for this option is $450 if staying in Haake Hall and $390 if not staying in Haake Hall.

*This is a wonderful option if the paternal and maternal grandmothers or grandfathers wish to participate (or perhaps a special aunt and uncle or Godparents)

Q: Must the adult be the child's grandparent?
A: While this program is designed for grandparents and grandchildren, we recognize that some situations may arise where a grandparent is unable to attend and a child's parent, Godparent, relative, or special family friend(s) may accompany them in the program. The child's parent or legal guardian is required to sign permission forms prior to the event.

Q: What are the age requirements?
A: Children must be 8-14 years old.

Q:  What is a tentative schedule for the two days as part of Grandparents University®?

A: Grandparents University is held on the fourth Thursday and Friday of June each year.

Q: How do we get to campus?

A: You can find driving directions to WSU as well as a campus map online.

Q: How do we get around campus to attend the classes?

A: Winona State University is a closed campus with education buildings within walking distance of two blocks.

Q: Can we bring bicycles?

A: Yes, and be sure to bring your bike locks and helmets. Bikes must be left outside of the buildings, either in a bike rack or in your vehicle. They are not allowed in the residence hall if staying overnight in Haake Hall. The Purple Bike Rental Program has adult-size and some youth-size bikes available to rent on a first-come, first-serve basis. For information about bike rentals, contact the Purple Bike Rental Program at 507.457.2456.

Q: Where do we park? Can we buy a parking permit?

A: Parking spaces will be reserved for Grandparents University participants in the Minne Gold Lot on Mark Street, directly across from the New East and West residence halls.  Volunteers will be on hand to assist with parking and unloading vehicles.

Q: Where can we park if we have a handicap permit?
A: If you have a valid state-issued handicap parking permit you may park in designated sites on public streets. You will still need to obtain a parking pass in order to park in a campus parking lot handicap site. A limited number of spaces are available near Haake Hall. Please indicate your special needs on the registration form.

Q: What special accommodations can be made for me?
A: Haake Hall has a limited number of rooms for guests with special accessibility needs. Haake Hall is barrier free for wheelchair users. Please be sure to indicate any special requests on your registration.
For information about registration visit our Registration page.

Q: How can I make sure my child gets into a specific major that they really want?
A: Some of the majors are limited in size due to availability of equipment or size of the room. Major assignments will be made based on the date registration was received. Availability is on a first come, first serve basis. No guarantees can be made for any class.

Q: How do I know what classes I will get?
A: Major assignments will be made upon receipt of registration on a first come, first serve basis. Once all the major assignments are made, each participant will receive a personal schedule with details on the specific classes and times.

Q: How do I tell my child they didn't get a specific major that they really wanted?
A: Unfortunately, some class sizes are limited due to faculty requests to assure quality programming for participants. Grandparents University® is all about the inter-generational experience of going to college, living in the residence hall, going to class, eating in the cafeteria, exploring campus and building quality memories for children and grandparents. Many participants find that while the classes are a major part of the program, the entire experience is what they find enjoyable.  We have often heard from children who attended classes they didn't think would be enjoyable, and soon discovered it was an amazing experience.    

Q: Who decides which majors to offer? How come there is not one from my college?
A: Grandparents University® program is a partnership between many academic programs on the WSU campus, yet not every college or program elects to participate. For those programs which do participate, faculty and staff specialists are contacted and encouraged to conduct classes.

Q: Can my grandchild and I take different majors?
A: No, you must take the same major as the grandchild you are bringing.

Q: Can we register for a major not in our age range?
A: No, age ranges are set so that the instruction is appropriate for that group.

Q: Can I call to find out my major?
A: No, major placements will not be given out over the phone. You will need to wait until you receive your registration materials.

Q: What if I don’t get the major that I wanted?
A: We believe strongly in the quality of every major offered and that even if you do not get into your first choice, you will still have a great experience at Grandparents University®.

Q: Is there another date and time that this program is being offered?
A: Grandparents University is only offered one time each summer.

Q: What time should we arrive? When can we move into the residence hall?
A: Specific details will be sent to all participants several weeks before the event and will include instructions and times for move-in, what to bring and all the other details involving this experience. Until then, see the Tentative Event Dates for an estimated times and activities.

For information about housing visit our Housing page.

Follow this packing list (PDF) as you prepare for the two-day experience. This list is based on recommendations from past camps participants.

Specific details will be sent to all participants several weeks before the event.

Q: I have food allergies. What special precautions are being taken in the cafeteria?
A: WSU Housing and Chartwell’s Food Service operates the cafeteria and are experienced in dealing with food allergies. There will be several food options for every meal, so participants will have a choice of which foods they eat. The cafeteria staff is good at avoiding cooking with items that are common with allergies. Cafeteria staff will be available at each meal to help you make the appropriate choices.

Q:  If classes are cancelled, do I get a refund?

A: Classes may be cancelled due to low enrollment or inclement weather. In case of cancellation, you will be notified as soon as possible and receive a full refund of your tuition or transfer to another course of your choice and equal value, space permitting.

Q: If I can't attend Grandparents University, do I get a refund?

A: If you need to withdraw from Grandparents University, you will receive a credit or full refund of the program fee if you notify us by June 1. No refunds or transfers are allowed if you notify us after the stated cancellation deadline. If you have any questions about cancellation deadlines, please contact us at 507.457.5565 or e-mail us at

Q: What is the cost of Grandparent University®?
A: $300 - Grandparents University® experience including a one night stay for grandparent and grandchild in a WSU residence hall.

$260 - Grandparents University® experience not including housing (intended for local participants or those who have needs that can’t be met by the accommodations available in WSU housing).

Meals are included for the grandparent and grandchild throughout the program with both price options.

We also welcome two (2) grandparents and one (1) grandchild or one (1) grandparent and two (2) grandchildren at an additional cost. It is $450 if you stay in Haake Residence Hall, and $390 if you do not stay in the residence hall.

Q: How did you determine the rates for this event?
A: This program is self-funded so that it does not take away any necessary support from the colleges involved in the program. Rates are set based on the actual costs of conducting this event, including food, lodging, promotion and other ancillary items.

Q: What is included with the registration fee?
A: Your registration fee includes admission to Grandparents University® classes, meals and snacks, admission to evening activities, an event t-shirt, and other event items. You may wish to bring money for vending machines (the cafeteria has limited hours) and souvenirs.