February 2011 Parent E-Newsletter
February 2011 Parent E-Newsletter
• Greetings from the Parent Council
• Important Dates
• How PLNU is Keeping Your Student Involved
• Offices of Strengths and Vocation – New Program, Strengths on Point
• Important Student Financial Information
• Study Abroad
• Helping Your Student Prepare for Summer and How To Get A Head Start
• Sweet Celebration Treat! Remember Valentine's Day!
I know your returning students are “back in the groove” of the second semester and are once again adjusting to their new classes and professors and eating in the cafeteria. They are also rejoining their friends as well as meeting new transfer students and welcoming the return of those who have been studying abroad. Even though it may feel like an “early start” now is an opportune time to begin planning for the summer.
This edition of the Parent Newsletter includes an article entitled “Study Abroad” and includes programming to enhance your student’s experience and education in another country. We also have great advice on what I call the “front edge of the battle field” from our very experienced Residence Director on making plans for a productive summer. Also don’t forget to send your student a token of love for Valentine’s Day by ordering a cake through the Women’s Auxiliary. Remember that all the proceeds will go to buying new chairs for our students to use in Ryan Library.
Jeanne Cochran, Director of Parent Connection
Greetings from Parent Council
Hello Point Loma Parents!
I imagine you have finally put the last of the holiday boxes in storage and are just sitting back with your feet up ready to enjoy a quiet stretch of winter's peace. But guess what? It's time to prepare for your college kids to come home for the summer! Don't panic! We have just found that it will serve you well to put some planning into their return now, during this quiet time, both for their best interests and also for yours.
We have a daughter who is a junior and also a son who is a graduating senior this year. We are mindful of our daughter returning home, seeking summer employment and a chance to rest after this rigorous academic year. We are encouraging her to begin now in looking for her place of work, to send out her resume and to do physical interviews, not relying on the passive online application process. We are keeping our ears open among our friends at church, relaying information to our daughter when a possible new job is talked about. We are working together as a family to help network for possible summer employment.
We are also considering our son who will be experiencing a big change as he leaves his college years behind and enters the working majority. As parents, we want to be sensitive to getting him prepared to embrace his post-college life by communicating well and mentoring him through the challenging months ahead. We are already discussing together as a family what his best options are concerning where he is going to live. He has enjoyed a great deal of freedom sharing a Flex apartment with a Loma buddy, but he certainly understands the difference between us paying his bills and him being responsible for all the expenditures. He's been telling me lately, "Write down every single thing you spend money on for me, Mom, so that there aren't any surprises!" What has been surprising to me is how much money I spend on him! I am greatly appreciative that his Dad has so far refrained from yelling, 'I told you so!' As I am a living example, an unbridled life can prove expensive! This fact has us dialoging about budgets and money-saving tips, and even grocery shopping and cooking lessons as it has become clear that a young budget cannot live on Taco Bell alone. And what if he realizes when the math is done and the budget is set, that he can't afford to live on his own right out of college? What if it would be best for him to return home for a few months while he gets settled in his new job and starts saving some money? Being back in mom and dad's house will certainly be an adjustment for him after the independence of living in Flex. And let's be honest just between us parents, after the initial shock had worn off , his dad and I have really enjoyed the empty nest. Its quiet and it’s clean and no one is pounding up the stairs at 3 a.m. We love our kids to the very depths of our souls, but they are vibrantly dramatic and energetic in ways that put our nervous systems on red alert!
So what is healthy, supportive and responsible in this new stage of all our lives? That's what we are preparing for during these winter days! Wise Solomon said there is not only 'a time to weep and a time to laugh', but there is also 'a time to be quiet and a time to speak.' Let us use this quiet time to consider what good council we might give our children, and then speak wisely.
God's blessing to each of our families!
Ted and Nancy Ballou, Parent Council Members
Last day to apply for Graduation – Friday, February 11
President’s Day – Monday, February 21
How PLNU is Keeping Your Student Involved
February 1-5 Play, Doubt – Salomon Theatre at 8:00 a.m.
February 14 ASB Valentine’s Event
February 16-18 Symposium by the Sea
Interviews: Mary Karr (Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.), Chris Hillman (Thursday, 7:00 p.m.), and Rob Bell (Friday, 2:00 p.m.)
February 19 Brewed Awakening - Film, Friendship at the Border (Colt Hall at 6:30 p.m.)
February 22 Film, Killing Me Softly and Eating Disorders Awareness Presentation
February 25 PLNU Concert Band Spring Concert (Crill Performance Center at 7:30 p.m.)
February 25-27 Senior Women’s Forum Retreat (Palomar Christian Conference Center)
February 27 PLNU Cultural Events: Ryan Anthony, Trumpet (Crill Performance Center at 3:00 p.m.)
February 28 Celebration of Black History Month in Rec. Room, Gospel Fest from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Offices of Strengths and Vocation ~ New Program, Strengths on Point
Strengths on Point - Designed to power your potential
The Offices of Strengths and Vocation is offering undergraduate students a Strengths on Point coaching session. Melissa Burt-Gracik, the Certified Strengths Coach and Director of Co-curricular Strengths Initiatives, has created this program that will afford PLNU students a full hour session with a trained staff or faculty volunteer to explore their strengths.
All interested students need to contact Debra Lively at firstname.lastname@example.org in OSV to schedule their personal sessions. It is important for students to not only know their strengths, but even more importantly, how to apply them in their academic studies, personal relationships, and in search of their future careers.
Brittney Swindells, a PLNU student, was quoted as saying, “My Strengths on Point session really helped me see how to use my strengths to their fullest potential in my everyday life.”
Parents, please encourage your students to take advantage of the incredible opportunity to have one hour of individualized life coaching.
OSV February Events
February 9 – Summer Camp Job Fair
You can also join us on Facebook and get the latest updates and pictures from these events! All you need to do is say you like us!
Important Student Financial Information
February 4 Deadline to Waive Health Insurance
February 8 5% Late Fee Applied to All Unpaid Balances
February 21 President’s Day – Offices Closed
March 2 FAFSA Priority Deadline
March 18 Financial Holds Placed on Delinquent Accounts
SPRING 2011 STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT
If your student is registered for the spring semester, s/he should already have received a statement of account in the mail. If you have not seen the spring statement, please contact your student or visit the parent portal to view the statement. All future bills for the spring semester will be made available on the student and parent portals. Payment for Spring 2011 was due January 4, 2011.
If your student has provided you with financial information releases, you will receive a postcard each month that a bill is generated, notifying you that the bill is available to be viewed online through your parent portal. If you’d prefer to receive this notification by email, please update your “Notification Preferences” through your parent portal (on the same page as the statement of account, under Financial Services). Please be sure that we have a valid email address on file for you.
2011-12 SFS NAMED SCHOLARSHIP
The SFS Named Scholarship application allows current students to apply for multiple endowed scholarship funds with one easy application. The online application for the 2011-12 scholarship will not be accessible through your portal until early March. Watch for announcements!
TUITION MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
If you have a monthly payment contract with Tuition Management Systems (TMS), please check to ensure that the amount of the contract covers the balance owing on your PLNU account. If you need to make any adjustments, contact TMS directly at http://www.afford.com/ptloma or (888) 285-3052. TMS does not have access to your PLNU account balance, but they can help you adjust the amount of your contract based on information you provide to them from your statement of account. You’ll want to be sure to keep an eye on your PLNU statement, in case there are changes to registration or any additional charges added to the account (such as fines). Any remaining balance owed can either be paid directly to PLNU or added to your TMS contract.
Fall 2010 Chapel, Dorm, and Wellness Center charges have recently posted to students’ accounts. Please view your student’s account online to make sure that the account is paid in full.
On February 8th, a 5% late fee will be charged on all outstanding balances, after taking pending aid into consideration.
Financial Holds will be placed on all delinquent accounts on March 18th. This hold will prevent registration for any subsequent semesters, and will prevent participation in housing draws. Note that pending aid will not be taken into account, so please be sure to follow up on any sources of pending aid to ensure that it posts prior to March 18th.
1098-T TAX FORMS
PLNU has contracted with ECSI to provide 1098-Ts electronically for 2010, and these tax forms are now available through your student’s portal. Form 1098-T is a tax summary issued by PLNU to all students registered during a specified tax year, and includes tuition and required fees, adjustments made for prior years, and scholarships or grants received by the student. Room and Board, living expenses, and textbook costs are not included.
Information on Form 1098-T is reported to the IRS and can be used by students to claim certain tax credits or deductions. More information is available on our 1098-T telephone line: (619) 849-2799.
To view and print the 1098-T, students will login to the student portal and click on the “Students” tab.
· Click on “Financial Services”
· Click on “1098-T” on the left hand side navigation bar.
· Follow the instructions to access the 1098-T tax form through ECSI’s website.
If you run into any difficulties, please call ECSI at (866) 428.1098.
Note that Box 2 of your 1098-T will reflect amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses during the 2010 calendar year. Box 1 should be blank. We recommend that you provide this form to your tax preparer, as neither PLNU nor ECSI is able to provide you with any tax advice.
If you have any questions regarding your student’s statement of account, please feel free to contact the Student Financial Services Office at (619) 849-2538 Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. or by email at email@example.com. We are here to serve you!
There is certainly a lot to be excited about in the world of Study Abroad at Point Loma. Between the students recently returning to campus, those who are currently studying around the world in 15 different countries, and those preparing to embark on a life-changing journey this coming summer and fall, the PLNU campus has become a hub for students who are more globally aware than ever before. As the semester jumps into full swing, we are busy walking with dozens of students through the process of choosing the right international program, selecting coursework that will enhance their overall academic endeavors, and eventually sending them off to experience the semester of a lifetime. Recognizing the ever-growing interest in study abroad among our students and faculty, we are continuing to expand our list of faculty-led international programs, in addition to our many partner programs. In the summer and fall of 2011, we will be taking groups of PLNU students to study Biology in Costa Rica, Economics in Ghana, Justice and Reconciliation and Economic Development in South Africa, History in Vienna, and Art in Paris, London, Rome, Florence, and Venice!
On January 26th, PLNU hosted representatives from 22 different study abroad programs offering exciting international study opportunities, in every region of the globe, to the hundreds of students who attended the Study Abroad Fair. Afterwards, the Study Abroad Office invited all students who recently returned from a fall international program to a Latin-themed Welcome Back dinner, featuring a live Latin jazz band and a delicious buffet of El Salvadorian pupusas, enchiladas, and tamales. The dinner gave students, and the faculty and staff who attended, the opportunity to share stories of their experiences abroad.
Building on the momentum of that dinner and the conversations that started there, PLNU Study Abroad will soon begin its fourth semester of “Baggage Claim.” Baggage Claim is our unique and innovate response to the need for our students returning from countries around the world to be put their global experiences to personal and professional use, and to re-engage with the PLNU community. In partnership with International Ministries, this six-week program provides a weekly venue for students to explore a variety of topics relevant to their reentry to the U.S. and share lessons they’ve learned from the people, places, and cultures they’ve encountered while abroad. Students share their personal stories from abroad and discuss such topics as reverse culture shock, poverty and economic realities, faith questions, maintaining a connection to their international communities, global views on the U.S., and more.
PLNU also co-sponsors the “Lessons from Abroad” conference for study abroad returnees on February 26th. This professional conference brings together students from all over southern California to explore strategies for managing re-entry and identifying marketable skills gained through international experiences; ones that will contribute to their professional and personal endeavors for the future. Conference attendees concentrate on what it means to be “global citizens”, network with representatives from various international organizations, and are advised on the most effective ways of articulating their experiences on resumes and in interviews. Over 150 students and presenters are expected to attend.
The Study Abroad Office and PLNU would like to thank all of you parents for supporting these students, financially, emotionally, and with great encouragement, as they embark on journeys that are sure to positively impact the rest of their lives and help them develop broader worldviews and truly international perspectives.
Frank Serna, Director of Study Abroad
Helping Your Student Prepare For Summer and How To Get a Head Start
Topics: Internships, How to Find Your Passion, and Career / Summer Jobs
I came to Point Loma as an undeclared student. My freshman year I participated in as many Great Escapes trips as I could fit into my schedule as a busy Track and Field student athlete. I went to performances, activities and events that caught my eye, and completed my Myers-Briggs assessment. I found a mentor and friend in the Director of the Outdoor Recreation who pointed me towards a summer camp job.
Looking back, the jobs, internships, and activities I was involved in over those four critical years were the tipping point to finding my passion and meaningful work. The summer camp job led to my position as the Great Escapes student coordinator, which made me decide to try a NOLS Course, which led to a summer guiding ministry, working full time during the summer for one of our departments on campus (those jobs will be posted after spring break), and a semester of study abroad. All of these pointed me towards a Masters Program in College Student Affairs, which led to my current role as Resident Director in Nease Hall.
Internships, summer jobs, and study abroad opportunities are a once of a lifetime opportunity. But, having the courage to actually take up these opportunities can be tough. Encouraging supporting of your student as he/she researches the available options is critical. Many times students will experience setbacks during the process of trying to get connected with an internship, summer job, and study abroad summer/semester placement. Those students who keep looking and keep trying don’t regret their efforts – many times it’s a matter of being open to a different opportunity than they might have originally imagined. (Case in point: I was a French student in high school, who when French study abroad opportunities didn’t pan out, had the time of my life studying German in Vienna, Austria!). The Offices of Strengths and Vocation and Study Abroad are here to help – and now is the time to be working hard completing applications, and connecting with the employers they’d like to be working for in the future. If your student doesn’t know where to start – encourage them to try talking to a student leader on campus, or a staff member they might know (like their RD!). I would highly recommend completing a Strengths on Point session where students meet with a PLNU Strengths Coach to explore what they are passionate about and how they might use their Strengths to find meaningful, fulfilling work.
Best of luck, we are all rooting for them!
Sara Morrill, RD of Nease Hall
Sweet Celebration Treat ~ Remember Valentine's Day!
Show your love and send your student a Valentine’s Day Treat or Cake. There will be a special delivery date added for February 14. For a $25 donation, the Women’s Auxiliary of PLNU will lovingly bake homemade cakes, cookies or brownies and have them delivered right to your student’s residence hall! We have even added an option for gluten-free treats by Sweet Willo May’s Bakery.
You can order and pay online at www.pointloma.edu/cake.
Proceeds from this Sweet fundraiser are being used to replace the remaining 150 aging library chairs. Two weeks advanced notice is appreciated.
Susan Brownlee, President of PLNU San Diego Women’s Auxiliary