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Issue 6: March 9, 2011

You are now nearing the middle of the semester and you should be concentrating on upcoming midterms, papers, and starting to prepare for spring semester finals.  It is time to think about a number of tasks pertaining to next fall semester such as registering for classes and solidifying your housing for next year.  Figure out what your next steps are and write a timeline in your Gopher Guide, Spring Break is a great time to work on large course projects or to take care of some time intensive tasks like looking at apartments.

THINGS TO DO

  1. Your second spring 2011 bill will be due on March 16th. Go to Pay the University to see all the ways you can pay your bill, as well as future billing dates and deadlines. Contact One Stop Student Services with any questions regarding billing and payment. 

  2. Course registration for fall semester begins on April 14th.  In the next few weeks you should meet with your academic adviser and create a course schedule for next semester.  If you have not decided on a major yet, set up an appointment at the Center for Academic Planning & Exploration (CAPE) before you meet with your adviser so you have some direction when choosing your courses for fall.

  3. If you have decided on a major, utilize the Graduation Planner prior to meeting with your academic adviser.  Plan out your course progression to graduation so that your adviser can help keep you on track.

  4. If you are still looking for off-campus housing for next fall, visit the Off Campus Housing website for helpful tips.  Before signing a lease, bring a copy of your lease to Student Legal Services and have it looked over.  They will help you understand all of the legal ins-and-outs of the lease before you sign it.

THINGS TO KNOW

Academics

Changing Your Major
Are you thinking of changing your major or your college of enrollment? Each college has its own policies and procedures for changing majors. The steps to complete this process are all readily available for you online.

Stress Management
With papers due, campus activities happening and midterms just around the corner, students across campus are beginning to feel stressed out. Check out resources on the Student Mental Health website for information on identifying and dealing with your stress.

Using Google Docs to Help With Your Courses
With Google Docs, you can create and share word processing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online, and collaborate with others on group projects.  Learn how to use Google Docs effectively with your courses this semester!

Research Support Assistance
University Libraries offers assistance for students writing research papers.  If you are working on a research paper and need help finding sources or information, make an appointment with a Peer Research Consultant.

Improve Grades On Your Papers This Semester
Did you struggle last semester with your papers? The Center for Writing can help.  Make an appointment or drop in and ask for help with your writing.  You will receive feedback on your writing and help learning common errors that you make.

Online File Storage
The Office of Information Technology's NetFiles online file storage offers each student 5GB of storage through an easy-to-use Web interface. Activation is required. So quit carrying around your jump drive and activate now!

Do you need to drop a class?
March 11th is the last day to drop a class without college approval for spring 2011. You will receive a "W" on your transcript. It is always a good idea to talk with your adviser and a One Stop counselor when you want to make a change to your registration  as there can be large impacts on several other parts of your student record.  Look at the Cancel/Add and Refund Deadlines calendar for all important class deadlines.

Finances

FAFSA Available
Have you filled out your 2011-2012 FAFSA yet? The priority target date for all returning students is April 1st. You can easily fill out your FAFSA online.

Can you afford that spring break trip?
Financial aid is intended to cover a modest student lifestyle, including only the basics: tuition and fees, room and board, books, and a small amount for personal expenses, not a spring break trip. If you want to go on a spring break trip, look carefully at your budget and think about how you can cut costs in other areas to pay for your trip without using loan money or a credit card that's collecting interest.

Consider this....You spend $750 on a spring break trip on your credit card (15% interest rate), and you can only afford to make a required minimum payment. It will take you six and a half years to pay off your trip, and you will have paid $434 dollars in interest. That spring break trip now cost you almost $1,200! Find more information on spending responsibly, and managing your finances by visiting the money management section of the One Stop Web site.

Free Money for Study Abroad
Don’t let the economy get you down. We’re here to help with your education abroad experience with a variety of scholarships ranging from $750 to $3000. Find out more at our scholarships page or the learning abroad scholarship database. Be sure to get your applications in by April 20.

Housing Employment Opportunities
Housing & Residential Life will have Information Desk employment opportunities available in many of its buildings for 2011-2012. If you're interested or would like to know more, connect with the Business Operations Supervisor in your building today. You can meet hundreds of new people and work conveniently near where you live!

 

Engagement

We Care About You, Please Give Us Feedback On Your Experience On-Campus
All freshmen received an email to participate in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).  We need your input!  The data collected is used to help assess programs and academic policies and improve the student experience and campus climate. If you have lost your login id you can request another by clicking here.

Commuters: Get Involved!
Avoid the spring semester slump by getting involved with the Commuter Connection! As a student group for commuters, we provide events and services that fit commuter needs. Visit the Commuter Connection website to learn about upcoming events. As always, feel free to stop by 236 Coffman to check out the lounge space!

Community Council Opportunities
Are you returning to University Housing for 2011-2012? If so, consider a leadership opportunity within your Community Council. You can run for positions in your 2011-1012 building even if you don't live there now. Talk to your CA or Residence Director for more information.

Film Fest
Interested in filmmaking? Submit your creative piece into the U of M Student Film Festival! Deadline for submissions is March 21. Multiple prizes are awarded. Find more information including requirements and prizes online.

Sarah Silverman
On March 23, Sarah Silverman will be coming to campus to perform a comedy bit, share stories from her new book, and host Q&A. Student tickets are available for $15 (includes service fees).

Spring Jam
Mark your calendars; Spring Jam is April 28-30! This 3-day music festival won’t disappoint with a killer band lineup and other events to celebrate warm weather and the end of the semester. 

Spring Outdoor Trips
Looking for an outdoor adventure this spring? Join Rec Sports and the Center for Outdoor Adventure (COA) on one of these fun trips! All trips fees include 2 trained student trip leaders, 15 passenger van transportation, and all necessary permits. Space is limited, so contact the COA office to secure your spot.

Staying in The Twin Cities for Spring Break?
Take some time to explore the community you live in!  There are volunteer opportunities all over the metro area doing a wide variety of activities. Visit the Hands On Twin Cities website to find an opportunity that interests you.  If you enjoy the experience, take a look at other service related experiences that you can take advantage of at the U of M!

Health & Wellness

Spring Break Health & Safety Tips
Are you taking a spring break trip to escape the Minnesota winter? Check out these health and safety tips provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

On-Campus Pharmacy
Boynton Health Service Pharmacy dispenses prescriptions and over-the-counter medications at competitive prices–often lower than retail–as well as select merchandise related to health and wellness.

Student Healthcare on Campus
All University of Minnesota students are eligible to use Boynton's services. Students who pay the Student Services Fee and have health plan coverage from any health plan carrier receive most services at Boynton Health Service at no out-of-pocket cost or at reduced cost after the bill has been processed by their health plan.

 


Orientation & First-Year Programs
612-624-1979
ofyp@umn.edu
www.ofyp.umn.edu



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