Dear Parents and Families,
Dear CSU Parents and Family Members,
We hope you are well. We also hope that many of you were able to visit with or hear from your student(s) over fall break. With a chill in the air, we are beginning the last few weeks of the fall 2016 semester. Please note our helpful end of semester reminders below.
For families with students who are graduating this fall, congratulations!! Here are some helpful links:
For families of new and “returning for spring semester” CSU students, here are some end of semester helpful links:
Our staff would like to take a moment to recognize our RamFam Preferred Business partners. These local businesses are a huge support for CSU students, parents and family members. Not only do they provide services that can meet the needs of students (e.g., snow tires, support for a move, tasty treats, hotel accommodations for family, etc.), but they also support the Parent and Family Transitions Guide and Parent and Family Calendar. Without these businesses, Parent and Family Programs could not support you – CSU parents and family members. Please consider supporting these businesses!! Thank you, RamFam Preferred Business Partners!!
RamFam Preferred Business Partners
We hope you have a wonderful winter break with your students! As a quick reminder, Parent and Family Programs does not send a January Parent and Family electronic newsletter – so you have a little time before you’ll receive our February 2017 newsletter.
All the best!!
Parent and Family Programs Staff
back to top
- December 1: CSU Scholarship Application Opens (Deadline is March 1)
- December 5: Final Exam Preparation- TILT (4-4:50p)
- December 6: Final Exam Preparation- TILT (5-5:50p)
- December 8: Final Exam Preparation- TILT (6-6:50p)
- December 9: Last Day of Classes
- December 12-16: Final Exams
- December 16: Housing Check-Out for Students w/o Late Departure (10pm)
- December 16 & 17: Commencement (Different Times and Locations Depend on Students’ College)
- December 20: Fall Grades are Due
- December 21: Fall Grades on Ramweb
back to top
Update on Policy – Tuition Assessment Model:
Parent and Family Programs would like to share an update to the tuition assessment model at CSU. Below you will find the update to the policy, as shared with the campus community. Also, a list of frequently asked questions from students regarding a University Withdrawal are answered below. Often families are consulted as a valued partner, when a student is considering a withdrawal, we hope that by sharing this information you feel as though you have additional information to help to support your student.
Effective spring 2017, a new tuition assessment model will be in place for students opting to withdraw from the University. There is no change to the process of withdrawal, which is initiated by the student on RAMWeb, nor to the appeals process. Please review the Frequently Asked Questions section for more details.
Week 1 – 0% assessment, including all tuition and fees, course fee refunds are at the discretion of academic departments
Week 2 – 25% assessment
Week 3 – 50% assessment
Week 4 – 100% assessment
QUESTIONS FREQUENTLY ASKED BY STUDENTS
When may I withdraw from the University and what are the costs?
You may withdraw from the University at any time. If you cancel your registration on RAMweb before the first day of the semester, you will have no academic record or tuition and fee assessment. If you withdraw on the first day of the fall or spring semester you will follow the tuition and fee assessment policies on http://registrar.colostate.edu/registration/registration-changes/. A University Withdrawal (withdrawing from all courses to be at zero credits for a term) is different from an individual course withdrawal (withdrawing from only one course while having at least one other credit for a term). You may withdraw from an individual course without ramifications during certain dates only. For more information on course withdrawals, also refer to the website listed above.
What will happen to my financial aid if I withdraw from the University?
If you received a financial aid disbursement for the semester, Federal, State, and Institutional guidelines require that the University determine the amount of financial aid you have earned, relative to the length of time you were enrolled prior to initiating a University Withdrawal. A withdrawal may require an immediate return of financial aid funds in excess of the earned financial aid. If you received a financial aid refund from your University student account, you will have to repay any funds that are in excess of the earned financial aid. More information regarding the impacts of a University Withdrawal on financial aid eligibility can be found here: http://financialaid.colostate.edu/withdrawal.
What will happen to my financial aid if I leave during the semester without formally completing a University Withdrawal?
If you leave the University during the semester without officially withdrawing, we are required to verify the last date of attendance and you may have to repay up to 100% of the financial aid you received for that semester. It is important to officially withdraw from the University if you do not plan to continue your studies for the semester.
How do I withdraw from the University?
On RAMweb, under Registration, select the University Withdrawal. This page includes information about all aspects of withdrawing and provides resources and contacts for any questions you may have.
If I experience a traumatic health or life event during the semester is there a way to request a break in the tuition assessment?
All university withdrawals begin using RAMweb (see above) and students who experience a traumatic life event have the option to request an appeal for the tuition assessment. Please contact the Center for Advising and Student Achievement for more information, at 970-491-7095.
If I withdraw from the University how long do I have before I need to vacate the Residence Halls? What are the costs?
Housing and dining charges are subject to your housing contract and/or lease you have with Housing & Dining Services. If you reside in a residence hall, please work with the front desk of your residence hall to vacate properly and within 72 hours after withdrawal. If you reside in University apartments, your lease requires 60-day notice to vacate. Contact the Apartment Life office or Community office to complete the Notice of Intent to Vacate.
May I take a semester off and return to CSU? What is the process for returning?
Yes. If you have not been dismissed, you have two options: If you are planning ahead, you may request a Planned Leave through RAMweb. This option entitles you to take a semester off (one-time option only), while being able to register for the next semester in a timely manner. Visit http://registrar.colostate.edu/academic-resources/requesting-planned-leave/. If you are not sure about returning, you may easily submit an online Intent to Return. Visit (http://admissions.colostate.edu/apply/returning/). If you have been dismissed, please refer to the same site to learn about the standards to return.
May I access CSU resources while I am not attending?
While services are provided for fee paying students only, you may always contact your academic success coordinator or advisor with questions about academics such as planning for returning, graduation requirements, transferring courses, etc.
What happens if I take community college courses and want to transfer them back to CSU?
Community College can be a good option for many students. Please work with your academic success coordinator or advisor to discuss your plans and check with Transferology.com to determine how the courses will transfer to CSU. (Additional information at http://registrar.colostate.edu/transfer-credit/). And note, that while you may gain credit towards graduation, transfer credits are not calculated into the CSU GPA.
Starting the Process: Off-Campus Living
By the Office of Off-Campus Life
As the fall semester comes to a close there’s a good chance that you are starting to wonder where your student wants to live next year, who their roommate(s) will be and when they will need to sign their lease. First of all, a reminder from October’s article “Your Students Have Time Before They Sign (a lease)!” that your student doesn’t need to be locked into a lease yet. One of the most frequent questions students ask Off-Campus Life is: “when should I start looking?” It’s never too early to LOOK, but signing a lease too early can have negative impacts for your student (like being locked into a high rent, wanting to change roommates, finding problems with the residence after signing and more). Your student has plenty of time to research and explore the Fort Collins rental scene -- and should take it!
Once your student does start the process, here are some things to consider:
- Off-Campus Life is always available to provide resources and information to students who are looking to live off-campus and be active participants in the Fort Collins community. Our office is located in the Lory Student Center, room 274. We are open for in-person assistance Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and are also available via email (email@example.com) and phone (970-491-2248). Our office is dedicated to helping your student feel comfortable and confident when moving off-campus and supporting them once they make the move.
- Students should check their on-campus mailboxes, or swing by our office, for an Off-Campus Life Student Handbook. The handbook addresses valuable topics such as where to search for housing, budgeting, leases, roommates, utilities, safety, good neighboring tips, city codes and ordinances (noise, occupancy limit, nuisance gatherings, parking, snow shoveling, etc.) and more.
- Off-Campus Life hosts a Housing Fair every year that allows students to talk, in-person, with landlords, Student Legal Services, apartment complexes, property managers, utilities companies, city resources, and more. This is a great time and place to start looking for somewhere to live. The fair will be held on Tuesday, February 7th in the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There is no cost to students or family to attend the fair.
- BEFORE signing a lease, we recommend that students visit Student Legal Services in the LSC, room 284. In the state of Colorado a lease becomes binding the moment your student signs it – Student Legal Services will look for any discrepancies, inconsistencies and lease problems before your student signs. Appointments are free, confidential and are one-on-one consultations.
- Students can also live on campus. CSU Housing and Dining Services provides great opportunities for students to continue to live on campus after their first year. Find more information at http://www.housing.colostate.edu/liveon or call 970-491-6511.
Remember, Off-Campus Life is here to help your student successfully live in the great City of Fort Collins. Visit us in room 274 of the Lory Student Center, www.ocl.colostate.edu, call (970) 491-2248, and follow us on social media for updates/event reminders/important off-campus living tips, etc. on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
back to top
The End is Only the Beginning: Ensuring a successful end of fall semester and a positive start to the spring
By Juan Rivas, Collegiate Success Coach, Outreach & Support, Center for Advising and Student Achievement
We have come to the end of the fall semester and with it the knowledge of having to prepare mentally and emotionally for final exams which can be a bit overwhelming. Fall final exams can catch a student off guard if they do not prepare ahead of time. Here are some tips to help students finish strong this semester, and some resources that may be helpful in preparing for the “big” exams.
Tips for students finishing the semester strong:
- Verify date, time and location of final exams. There are many final exams administered during the final week of the semester. The day, location, and time of the exams are often different from when the classes met throughout the semester. Make sure you read your syllabus to confirm times/dates/locations, and double check the Fall 2016 Final Exam Schedule for any new updates.
- Be prepared. Planning ahead goes a long way in reducing stress and anxiety. When you prepare for an upcoming test or for the upcoming semester you are physically and mentally preparing yourself for any “hiccups” in your schedule. In addition, you will be able to adapt to a fluctuating work schedule by blocking out time that you need to study or catch-up on homework.
- Apply different studying techniques. “I have tried every study method…” Let’s be honest, some studying techniques may not work. Does that mean you should just give up? No! Since we are on the topic of honesty, ask yourself…have I taken advantage of all the academic resources CSU has to offer? Have I made an attempt to speak with the graduate assistants or the instructor? Have I made every effort to address my grade with an advisor or someone within CSU to obtain better study tips or advice? Chances are, you answered “no” to one of these questions. While CSU makes every effort to ensure our students thrive in this academic setting, part of the academic ownership falls back on the student. Engage in your learning and you will see how fruitful it can become!
- Chat with your advisor. Do you fear that one class (or more) have fallen by the wayside? Visit with your advisor to take appropriate steps and explore your options. Students should have already met with their advisor to sign-up for Spring courses. If you haven’t registered yet, do that now to be better prepared for what classes come next.
- Eat well and get good sleep. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” as the saying goes. While there may not be a lot of medical validity to this, it does suggest that we should make a conscious effort to take care of ourselves. Getting plenty of rest and eating a balanced meal will help your body ward off illnesses; especially during finals! Students that lack sleep or are unable to eat due to anxiety or other stress related factors are strongly encouraged to connect with the CSU Health Network.
- Manage your stress levels. What helps you relax? Hiking? Playing sports? Watching movies? Playing videogames? Whatever helps you manage your stress and allows your mind to process all that information is extremely helpful. Don’t let your activity consume your ENTIRE time, but let it be that mental break from your studies.
Tips for parents & families showing support during finals:
- Check-in with your student(s). College can have its overwhelming moments especially during final exams week. Students may feel nervous or underprepared. Checking-in with your student(s) may help put their mind at ease. Encourage your student to connect with campus resources if they feel inundated with information. If they are just tired and ready to be done, remind them that final exams are the end point of the semester and that they will soon be on a long well deserved break. The key here is to give your student time to vent, while coaching him/her through difficulties and celebrating their victories!
- Acknowledge that it may be new but it is manageable. Is this the first time your college student(s) will be taking a final exam? Taking a final exam for the very first time in college can be nerve-wracking! Assure your student that with adequate preparation and study, they can do well. Reminding them that cramming for exam isn’t the best idea doesn’t hurt either. Alternatively, if your student has taken college level final exams before, remind them that they’ve been through this before. Encourage them to ramp up techniques that have helped them to do well in the past. Having a plan-of-action can alleviate many of the anxiety inducing factors that happen right before an exam.
- Show that you care. Small tokens of care and appreciation go a long way with students who are facing a final exam. Greeting cards, care packages, or gift cards from a family member can make a huge difference in their approach to their final exam. Even something as simple as a text, e-mail, or phone call can remind them that your thinking of them and rooting for them.
- Avoid major family events. Major family events can be a great way for students to re-connect with loved ones; however, if the family event takes place during finals week your student may feel left out or forgotten. Worse still, some students may feel guilty for being unable to attend the family function. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, or even isolation can be devastating for a student trying to ready themselves for a final exam. Be mindful of major family events (get-togethers, family reunions, vacations) and attempt to plan such gatherings after finals week.
- Celebrate! Chances are your student has been working really hard this semester. Take the time to celebrate all of your student’s accomplishments from this semester.
Note: If your student enters Spring 2017 on Academic Probation, encourage them to contact their Academic Support Coordinator/Advisor within their academic major, or have them contact Juan Rivas, Collegiate Success Coach, to explore their options for regaining Academic Good Standing.
For questions, or additional information, feel free to contact Outreach and Support at (970) 491-7095.
As this semester wraps-up, I wish you all the best. Here is to a new beginning!
back to top
Buy Your Textbooks Today!
Studies have shown that a student’s success at the beginning of the semester is a prediction of end-of-term grades, and ultimately graduation rates. We also hear that students are not buying textbooks because of costs; that they are waiting to buy books; or that they are waiting for “cheaper books,” bought online, to arrive. By waiting, students may fall behind in coursework, and may find it hard to catch up.
Here are some tools that can help identify required textbooks for each course, and some strategies to help keep textbook costs as low as possible, while still getting what is needed before classes begin. Keep in mind that there is a difference between the cheapest books available and the best value for textbooks.
- www.bookstore.colostate.edu, click “textbooks,” then “comparison shopping,” then “start comparison shopping.” Enter your class schedule, then click “compare prices.” This will show required and optional books for your classes, as well as CSU Bookstore and online competitor prices.
- www.mytextbooks.colostate.edu shows required and optional books for CSU classes. You can look at books by course, at books for your schedule, or you can reserve your books at the CSU Bookstore.
- Start early. When you start early, you have a larger supply of books to choose from (new, used, rentals), and you are more apt to get books before classes start. The CSU Bookstore’s price comparison website shows required and optional books for CSU classes AND shows competitor’s prices.
- Buy used books. Used books can save 25% to 75% when compared to new books. Make sure you are looking at the correct edition, and that the book is in good condition.
- Rent books. Renting books provides up-front savings when compared to purchasing books. However, rented books can incur late fees if not returned by the rental deadline. Rent wisely.
- Buy books in “other” formats (loose-leaf or softbound books, eBooks, etc.).
- Library reserve. Many textbooks are available at the Morgan Library. The challenge with this is that many students may want the book at the same time (the night before the final).
- Share books with a friend, or roommate. Sometimes more than one student can share textbooks for a class. The challenge is the same as with the library reserve; who gets the book the night before the test or when an assignment is due?
- Sell books back. Recoup some of your investment by selling books back at the end of the term. The CSU Bookstore buys books back the week of final exams.
- Remember there are factors other than price to consider when purchasing textbooks. Convenience, trust, customer service, ease of returns, and purchase options also need to be considered.
The CSU Bookstore is here to answer questions, whether students choose to purchase books from the CSU Bookstore, or not. If students choose to purchase books from the CSU Bookstore, they can rest assured that they are getting the right book at the best price possible. Don’t forget, students can reserve books using the Bookstore’s free reservation program at www.bookstore.colostate.edu.
back to top
Choose to Live On!
Your student just wrapped up finals and I hope they found their fall semester rewarding and full of learning. During this winter break, we encourage you to visit with your student about housing options for 2017-2018 and choose to Live On campus next year! The higher GPAs, the increased retention rate, the prime location, and 24/7 support staff are great reasons to live in the residence halls.
Open selection will last through February 28, but you are encouraged to apply early to ensure your first choice of room! Designated, premium spaces for returning students include Laurel Village, Aspen Hall, Parmelee 4th floor lofts, Single rooms, and Open Housing. Besides selecting the choice room, students will also have access to the 10, 14, and 21 meal plans as well as the U Meal Plan, which includes 5 meals per week, 20 bonus meals, and $150 RamCash. Learn more about these options at housing.colostate.edu/liveon.
All students who apply by February 28 will be entered into a drawing for:
- 1 grand prize of free room & board for the academic year
- 5 prizes of $500 - choice of credit to the CSU Bookstore, discount on Room & Board, or an iPad
Click here to check out a video of a family who won free room and board last Fall semester!
Visit housing.colostate.edu/liveon to get all the details, including housing rates, and to apply. We hope to see your student Live On campus next year!
back to top
Start Planning Now for Winter Break
By Sylvia Cranmer, Housing & Dining Services Communications
We’re barely back from Fall Break, and it’s already time to prepare for the end of the semester and Winter Break. This is a busy time of year for all of us – especially for students, who are preoccupied with finishing work for their classes, preparing for finals, and getting ready to leave campus. Some helpful information as students make plans to either stay or leave for Winter Break:
Winter Break On Campus Housing Information
Winter Break: Dec. 17 – Jan. 16. If your student is planning to stay in the residence halls for all or part of the break, be sure that they apply and sign-up by Wednesday, Dec. 14 – information is available at this link: www.housing.colostate.edu/winterbreak. The cost is $35 per day, which includes housing and $15 RamCash to purchase food at Durrell Express or other campus outlets.
Only Parmelee and Westfall halls will be open during Winter Break. Residents of these halls may stay in their current room over break if they sign up ahead of time. Residents of other halls may stay in limited available spaces in the open halls, also by signing up in advance at myhousing.colostate.edu. Food will be available at Durrell Express during the break period, and will be open 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily. Breakfast items will be available at Durrell Express as to-go options, which can be purchased the night before with cash, RamCash, or credit card.
- Residence halls close at 10:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16.
- Dining: The last full service dining center meal will be on Friday, Dec. 16 for lunch. Students may request a to-go container for a dinner meal by 2:00 p.m. at all dining centers or visit Durrell Express until 7:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16.
- If a student needs to stay Friday night, Dec. 16 there is no cost but they must submit a Late Departure Agreement online no later than 12:00 p.m. on Dec. 14.
- For a checklist of what to do to prepare rooms for leaving, visit housing.colostate.edu/winterbreak
- Residence halls re-open Thursday, Jan. 12 at 8:00 a.m. with limited dining centers and hours until Monday, Jan. 16 – at which time all dining centers resume regular schedules with breakfast.
- Early Check In: Students needing housing anytime between Jan. 7 - 11 can request Early Check-in through the Winter Break application at myhousing.colostate.edu at a cost of $60 per day, which includes housing and three meals at the Durrell Dining Center.
- If a student is not returning to the halls next semester, they must officially check-out before leaving for break. Check with the hall office regarding proper check-out procedures. Students may be charged for improper check-out if procedures are not followed.
Questions? Contact the hall front desk Community Desk Manager, Residence Director, Assistant Residence Director. For more information: www.housing.colostate.edu/winterbreak or call the Residence Life office, (970) 491-4719.
Live On Campus Next Year
As we wind up the semester, the student chatter around campus is beginning to focus on where to live next year. Here are a few reasons students may want to return to the residence halls:
- Students who live on campus have a higher GPA than students who live off campus
- Students who live on campus are more likely to be retained by CSU
- On campus residents report a higher level of campus support than students who live off campus
- On campus residents report a higher quality of relationships with faculty members and other students than students who live off campus
- Location, location, location – on campus living is the only option that puts students in the heart of campus with easy access to our award-winning Rec Center, library, classrooms, and athletic and cultural events
- Room and board includes all utilities, high speed internet, and cable. All of this is billed directly to CSU student accounts, where it will be covered by financial aid, if applicable.
- $0 due at signing (deposit from this year will roll over to next fall)
- Applications submitted by February 28 will be eligible for a drawing that includes many great prizes, including a grand prize of free room and board for one year
- Sign up by January 31, 2017 for the best housing options
For more information about living on campus next year, keep an eye out for the January Parent & Family newsletter, or visit www.housing.colostate.edu/LiveOn
back to top
Transportation Options for Your Student’s Winter Break
By Aaron Fodge – Alternative Transportation Manager
Wow, the Fall Semester has flown by and now it is time reunite with your student for winter break. Transportation options abound as your prepare to pick your student up in Fort Collins or seeking to find them a ride home.
Colorado State University is served by several airport shuttles between Denver International Airport providers. Shuttle providers typically have special pickup locations on campus with special scheduling during Winter Break. When reserving, make sure to mention you are affiliated with CSU.
You can connect with Denver International Airport by reserving a seat on the Bustang and connecting to Light Rail (A-Line) at Union Station. Be sure to plan your trip as the Bustang typically serves only morning and afternoon commute hours.
Transportation to Denver Metro including Boulder
Students have two bus routes that connect into Denver metro at Union Station in Denver and downtown Boulder.
Bustang – With five (5) trips daily along with the RamsRoute on Fridays (with Sunday return), the Bustang North Route connects your student from the Downtown Transit Station in Fort Collins to Union Station. Students can purchase single ride tickets or multi-trip packs in increments of 10. Please schedule your ride early as this option has become very popular with families in the Denver
The FLEX is a bus route that travels between Fort Collins along the MAX guideway to Boulder and Longmont via Loveland and Berthoud. View the full schedule. Students can ride the bus with their Ramcard at no additional fee. Students are strongly encouraged to board the bus early as this route is popular during the Winter Break.
Visiting Fort Collins to Pick Up your Student?
Many parents take the opportunity to enjoy the winter season and the Downtown Holiday Lights in beautiful Fort Collins. CSU strongly encourages you to book a hotel early many parents have the same idea about enjoying our City for shopping and dining.
Those wishing to Denver first, may wish to take Light Rail (A-Line) to Union Station in downtown Denver. When you are ready to make your trip to Fort Collins, you can reserve a seat on the Bustang from Union Station five times daily. Be sure to plan your trip as the Bustang serves mostly morning and afternoon commute hours Monday - Friday.
If you visit Fort Collins without a personal vehicle, consider the following:
Transfort – Purchase day passes for the Transfort bus system. A day pass provides access to all routes including the popular MAX Bus Rapid Transit. You can travel with MAX every 10 minutes from Downtown to Midtown to South Fort Collins right from campus. The MAX connects with hundreds of restaurants and shopping opportunities during your visit.
Zipcar – Need a car for a couple hours? CSU has 13 Zipcars located on campus. Simply download the app, create an account, and drive away. Rates start at $7.50/hour or $69/day. Gas, insurance and maintenance are included.
Register Online to Get Started or Download App – Apple – Google
- Zagster Bike Share – Fort Collins and Colorado State University are Bicycle Friendly Platinum. Enjoy our local bike share system for trips from campus to Old Town and Mid-Town. Purchase a daily or weekly membership to enjoy riding bikes from station to station across the City.
back to top
BY RamFam Member, Monica
When our twins both announced that they wanted to attend a university in the US, I felt a sudden unease come over me. As they grew up in Norway, the idea of studying in the US was always in their dreams. I knew the possibility was real, but when they vocalized it, this wave of unease was unfathomable.
One of my first thoughts was, “How am I going to be there for them?” Growing up in a tight-knit family meant that we, as parents, had always imparted (what we considered to be) our wisdom and advice to our children. How would we do that when they were 4,500 miles away or more? I slowly felt the apron strings being ripped from behind me…However, we also knew it was time.
When the time came to say goodbye in August, we were ready. We all knew it would be tough, but our daughter, who was going off to CSU and our son, who was going off to ASU (Arizona State), were excited to be starting this new chapter and we were so very proud of them for taking advantage of these wonderful opportunities that lay before them. However, that nagging question still remained…” How would we support them being so far away?” Welcome to the wonders of technology: Facetime and SKYPE. Being able to see them while we chatted made us all feel so much closer. Of course, we had to “arrange” our FaceTime dates so that the eight-hour time difference was manageable, but as my husband and I had our early morning breakfast, we could chat with them when they returned from classes.
In the beginning, I always had my “list of things to ask and talk about” but that quickly gave way to just listening to what they were experiencing and how they were doing. It would often take a while before we were able to detect if there were any issues they were tackling that were not readily apparent on the surface. They both wanted to give the appearance that everything was working out perfectly. The key we found out, after the initial “information sharing” sessions, was just to listen. All too often, I found the urge to just tell them what to do because, of course, I knew what was in their best interests and what choices they should make…Back up…WRONG MOVE, mom!! Just hear them out!!!
While I had always been, unfortunately, one of those “helicopter” moms, being WAY too involved in my children’s lives, I knew, intrinsically, there had to be a better way. Don’t ask why, but for some reason, I Googled, “Umbrella parent” (Okay…I mixed up “helicopter” with “umbrella”). What came up was a brilliant article by a professor that had done research into a phenomenon she labelled as “the umbrella parent,” which had a much more positive connotation than “helicopter parent.” When our children go off to college, they take with them “umbrellas” in the form of “family values and life lessons” with which we have equipped them and will help them “weather the storm of college.” Guess who was the professor that coined this term? Yes! CSU’s very own Dr. Jody Donovan, Dean of Students! What a strange coincidence that I mistakenly searched for “umbrella parent” and up-popped (no pun intended!) Dr. Donovan’s article. After I finished reading it, I could only hope that we had provided our children with the umbrellas they would need to weather the next four years.
We were blessed to be able to come from Norway to attend the Parent and Family/Homecoming weekend in October and my son came in from Arizona. At last we would be together as a family, at least for a weekend. Who was one of the first people to put green and gold-colored CSU beads around my neck? Yes again! Dr. Donovan!! When I told her that I had recently read the article she wrote about umbrella parenting, she asked if she could give me a hug. What university dean hugs parents? Well…our CSU dean does!! Right there, I had an indication of the type of caring community our daughter had entered. The weekend was full of moments that reinforced that initial feeling of a compassionate environment where students are supported, in addition to being educated. I had to follow this lead on how to parent my children from afar.
After the initial few weeks of excitement and novelty subsided, the realities of living far away without a home-cooked meal and/or someone to do their laundry soon set in with our children. Mid-term time provided a new set of challenges as they navigated the maze of exams, papers and assignments that all seemed to coincide. How would we support them when they called with frustration and fear? NOT by telling them what, how or when to study. While I knew (I thought) that I had all the answers…that would not be the umbrella parent I was seeking to be! I encouraged myself to listen to their concerns and to try and brainstorm with them ideas about how to resolve their stress. For me, this was new and I was quite proud of myself! Dr. Donovan’s article had taught me how truly vital that is as we send our children out into the world to become adults. Our children need their own coping mechanisms and we are just there to hold the umbrella while they share their feelings and find ways to help themselves.
FaceTime conversations have truly become easier for me as I have learned just to listen and gone are my “lists of things to talk about.” It is no longer just an informational-exchange video chat. Even though I must sometimes “read between the lines” about what they are saying, it is easier than trying to decide what advice to give them. Listening is something we can all do and we end up learning so much more about our children than if we try and tell them how to handle a situation. A simple question here and there may guide the conversation a bit, but when they take the lead, I hear them figure out solutions to issues as we progress through the conversations. In the past three months since we left them as children at their dorms, we have seen a maturity develop in them that calms and comforts us. We are nurturing what my husband and I have coined “AITs” (Adults-in-Training) and we know that while they have weathered the first semester 4,500 miles away from home, we have also weathered being umbrella parents to our AITs. We cannot wait to see them when they come home in a few weeks. Happy Holidays to all!
back to top
Get Your Student's Form 1098‐T Tuition Statement Online Through FAMweb
By Debbie Owens – Business and Financial Services
It’s almost tax time! Colorado State University is required to provide IRS Form 1098-T to any student who was charged for qualified tuition and related expenses in the preceding tax year. The information on Form 1098-T is used to determine eligibility for education tax credits on your federal income tax return. For more information consult your tax specialist, or see Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, on the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov
Your student can grant you access to view or print their Form 1098-T online through FAMweb. To do so, your student will need to log in to RAMweb and select Records, Manage Student Records from the drop down menu, select FAMweb, and then “Edit” your access to include Tax Information. Parents or other authorized users can then log in through FAMweb to access the following tax information:
· Form 1098-T (current and prior years)
· Form 1098-T detailed information
· Information regarding education tax credits
· Form 1098-T FAQs
Questions about the information on your student’s Form 1098-T? Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
back to top