Parent & Family Newsletter
Spring 2018, Issue 1

Admissions

Open House

The Admissions office is preparing for our Spring Open House, to be held on Saturday, March 24. Open House serves as an opportunity for prospective students and their guests to experience all Penn College has to offer.

We have a full day of activities planned, which include:

  • General information sessions
  • Campus tours
  • Lab & classroom tours
  • Live demonstrations & exhibits
  • Campus life involvement fair
  • Financial Aid information sessions
  • Veterans/Military benefits information sessions
  • ….and so much more!

This event is open to the public and all are welcome to attend, including parents and guests of current students, alumni, and community members. More information is available online or by calling 800-367-9222 x4530.

Are you a parent or family of a future Penn College student?

Do you have questions you’d like to ask parents who have been through the process before? Stay tuned for more information from Admissions about their upcoming Parent & Family Q&A Facebook Live!

Financial Aid

FAFSA and Penn College Scholarship Priority Submission Deadline: March 1

Make sure that your student does not miss our March 1 Priority Deadline for submitting:

We already received thousands of 2018-2019 FAFSAs; yet there are still many new and returning students who have yet to submit theirs. There is no reason to delay since the FAFSA is based on income and tax information from 2016, not 2017. All students attending Summer or Fall 2018 or Spring 2019 semester should submit this FAFSA by March 1.

Many students also have not yet submitted their Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 Penn College Scholarship Application. It is easy to submit online. Awarding begins in early March. Ask your son or daughter if s/he has applied. What if they can’t remember? They will learn if they submitted it or not once they log into the application. Also, remind your student to check out the listing of external scholarships on the same Scholarships Web page.

Financial Aid Estimates for New Students

Has the Financial Aid Office received your student’s complete and signed 2018-19 FAFSA? If so and your student has given you access permission to the Student Information System (SIS), you can view estimates for government grants and Federal Direct Student Loans for the 2018-19 award year. After logging into SIS, select ‘Financial Information’ (large red arrow on the graphic) and then select ‘View Financial Aid Information’ (small red arrow).

Screenshot of SIS

After proceeding to the ‘Financial Aid Award Summary 2018-19’ page, you will see a shaded rectangular box labeled ‘Show Aid Estimates for 2018-19’. Click on the box and you will see the Estimates page as illustrated by the sample.

The estimates assume full-time enrollment for both Fall and Spring semesters and no restrictions on students’ eligibility that may subsequently occur. The estimates are designed for new students and their parents so that they have an early idea of eligibility.

Please note:

  • The estimates are not guaranteed aid amounts.
  • The Federal Direct (Subsidized/Unsubsidized) Loan requires a two-step application.
  • Types of aid that are not estimated include scholarships, parent and private loans, veterans benefits, etc.
  • Estimates are available until mid-May.
  • Use our award timeline to learn when actual aid is awarded.


Additional financial aid information, including ways to contact our office, is available online.

Counseling Services

Coping in Uncertain Times

Why is it that some people tend to suffer emotional and even physical breakdowns in response to stressful life events, whereas others seem to thrive while navigating similar events? Everyone experiences and copes with life circumstances differently. In light of this, it is especially important to remain aware of the role you, as a parent or family member, play in helping your student cope with difficult life events.

Let’s face it; stress is a natural part of life and often cannot be avoided. While stress creates uncomfortable feelings, it is not necessarily bad. In fact, sometimes our desire to avoid the unpleasant feeling of stress can lead to our experiencing even greater feelings of distress, which we commonly refer to as suffering. The following suggestions are designed to help you assist your student in acknowledging and accepting difficult emotions that they may feel. This act of acceptance may help improve their ability to tolerate and even mange distress in ways that are more skillful.

Keep in mind that accepting difficult situations and emotions is not the same as supporting or endorsing them. We are able to accept many things in life that we do not like. For instance, someone may accept that they have bats in their attic, but they may not like that they are there. Reminding yourself of this simple fact can help make the following suggestions seem more relevant.

  • Turn Stress Into Opportunity – Rather than viewing difficult circumstances as being unfair or unjust, recognize that often they provide opportunities for growth and positive change. Choosing to look at problems as opportunities can impact your student’s outlook and cause them to approach life with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and appreciation. Remember, change is an important part of life. Accepting change rather than fighting it is a good way to help your student better focus their emotional energy.
  • Maintain Perspective – It is often helpful to look at the bigger picture when we are faced with difficult events. This can be a challenge but encouraging your student to take a step back and try not to blow an event out of proportion can help them maintain a productive perspective. It is important to remember that most crises do not turn into insurmountable problems.
  • Develop a Plan – In the midst of stressful situations, it is often helpful to encourage your student to evaluate their options and then ensure  they are choosing options that are in line with their personal goals. You might consider asking them, “What do you want out of this situation? What is most important to you?”
  • Self-Care – It can be easy to neglect our needs and feelings when we are focused on managing stressful events. However, in order to ensure that your student has the resources needed to cope with stress, it is essential that they take good care of themselves. Encouraging them to get sleep and find time to relax can be helpful. Also, exercise and healthy eating habits help to support self-care efforts.
  • Maintain Hope – Focusing more on what they want rather than what they fear is a good way to help them connect with feelings of hope. Hope can help buffer against most negative emotions.

We will never be able to avoid stressful events in life, but by using some of these strategies, we can help foster effective coping in your student’s life. There are times when it may be appropriate to seek professional mental services. If you find that your student is struggling to cope with difficult life events, encourage them to connect with the Counseling Services office. Learn more information about mental health services available to students on campus.

Alumni Relations

Penn College Alumni

Is your student graduating soon? The Alumni Relations Office enjoys welcoming Penn College graduates into the family of Wildcat alumni. Through networking and social events or community service and volunteer opportunities, there are many ways alumni can stay connected to the College. Curious about what is happening in Alumni Relations? Check out the archives of our monthly alumni e-newsletter or like us on Facebook.

Institutional Advancement

Last fall, we launched the Wildcat Club and are thrilled by the immediate growth and support. To date, we celebrate the support of more than 120 Wildcat Club members. Learn how to honor a student-athlete in your life.

Penn College Wildcat Club

Registrar

Parent Access to Student Records

Penn College supports the privacy of student records, as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In compliance with FERPA, the College limits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from educational records without the student’s prior consent.

SIS logoAt the same time, we understand that students may wish to share such information with parents and guests interested in supporting their educational experience. As a result, Penn College developed a “Grant Parent/Guest Access” option in the Student Information System (SIS) to allow students an easy, one-stop method to release key educational information to parents, legal guardians, and guests.

Talk to your student about using the Grant Parent/Guest Access option to give you the ability to review his or her educational records through the SIS. All your student needs to do is set you up with a user ID and password. If you lose your user ID and/or password, your student can access that information for you through the “Grant Parent/Guest Access” option on the SIS.

Commencement

If a graduating student has a guest with special seating needs (such as accommodations for a wheelchair or walker), please report this to the Registrar Office staff at Commencement Rehearsal, held April 23 and April 24 at 3:30 p.m. at the Community Arts Center. 

Sign language interpreters will interpret the Commencement ceremony. Interpreters will fingerspell graduate names, upon request. Requests for fingerspelling graduate names should be made at Commencement rehearsal.

Dining Services

Important Dates

Spring 2018

  • March 5-9, Spring Break, board and block meals are unavailable.
  • April 23-May 4, students with a declining balance and taking summer classes may request to keep their dining account open through the summer months.
  • May 4, all dining plans end for the semester at close of business.

Dining Services Offers GET FUNDS

Penn College Dining Services offers the GET application for students and parents to get the most out of the dining plan experience. GET offers options for checking account balances, adding funds, and ordering food online or from a mobile device.

GET for Parents

GET FUNDS provides a quick and easy way for parents/guests to add funds to a student’s active dining account. When your student is running low on flex or declining dollars, follow these easy steps to add additional funds to their dining account.

STEP 1 - Under the Parents, Guardians or Other Relatives heading, select Deposit into a Student’s Account.

STEP 2 - Follow the on-screen instructions to add funds. You will need the following to complete your transaction:

  • Student’s Penn College ID #
  • Student’s full name (first & last)
  • Dining plan account information –Flex Dollars or Declining Balance (If your student has a Board Plan or Block Plan, you will be adding to Flex Dollars; all resident students have a Board Plan.)
  • A credit or debit card

STEP 3 - That’s it; there is NO Step 3! You are done, and the amount has been added to your student’s account.

GET for Students

GET for students includes two options GET FUNDS and GET FOOD. Both of these options are available online or through the free mobile app available from the App store or Google Play. Once a student registers with GET, they can do the following:

  • Check their dining plan balances (GET FUNDS)
  • Add funds to their account (GET FUNDS)
  • Report their card lost or found (GET FUNDS)
  • Send an email to a parent/guardian requesting additional funds be added to their account (GET FUNDS)
  • Order meals from CC Commons, Wrapture, CE Late Nite, and Cloud 9* (GET FOOD)
  • Review/Cancel orders made through GET (GET FOOD)
  • Save and re-order favorite meals (GET FOOD)

If you have questions about GET or if your student would like more information about the GET app, managing their account through GET FUNDS, or online/mobile ordering with GET FOOD, please email or call (570-327-4767) the Dining Services office.

  *Cloud 9 ordering is for students in the Aviation program ONLY.

Career Services

Encourage your student to attend this year’s Career Fair on March 20!

Career Gear Clothes Closet – 10th Anniversary

Ten Years of Helping Students Dress to Impress

You’ve probably heard it a thousand times; you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. This is especially true when a student is interviewing for a job. 

The amount of effort, or lack thereof, students put into their attire speaks volumes, and prospective employers listen carefully to every word.  Appearance can communicate maturity, work ethic, and professionalism. Without care and attention, however, appearance can convey the opposite. Often, students find themselves in a bind – they get the interview they were hoping for, but do not have interview-quality clothing. This may be due to financial constraints or simply because they didn’t bring professional clothes with them to college. 

In the fall of 2008, Career Services opened Career Gear Clothes Closet to address this need. This decade-long initiative provides professional dress clothing donated by Penn College faculty, staff, and local community members. The purpose of this service is to empower students preparing to enter the workforce with professional attire, free of charge, so they may project their most professional image. 

Making a good first impression is a very important step in the employment process. To stand out among a group of applicants, the first impression needs to be a great impression. While it may be unfair to judge a book by its cover, the truth is that judgments based upon appearance are inherent anytime someone is interviewing. While the candidate in jeans may be as competent and intelligent as the one wearing a professional outfit, or even more so, the fact remains that some attributes will be assumed based on appearance. 

In the 10 years since its inception, this wildly popular student service has served over 875 students through employee and community donations totaling over $85,000. With hundreds of outfits available, and no appointment necessary during normal business hours, the Career Gear Clothes Closet is just one important part of the career development and support network Career Services provides in our efforts to enable our students to thrive in school, work, and in their independent young adulthood following graduation. 

Being sick and away from home is never fun. Send a care package!

Wildcat Wishes

Send your student some TLC with a Get Well Package. This care package includes chicken noodle soup, ginger ale, bottled water, Gatorade, applesauce, bananas, saltines, cough drops, and a box of tissues.

Order a Get Well Package for your student(s)

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