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Questions for Parents after school has started


1. Does my student have to attend STORM Day?

Yes, in order for your child to register for Fall classes they will need to attend one of the summer STORM Days.

2. Do I have to attend a STORM Day with my student?

While it is not required, it is highly encouraged that parents attend STORM Day and take part in your child’s transition from high school to college.

3. Will I be with my student throughout STORM Day?

You will see your student throughout STORM Day, but the family member schedule differs slightly from the student schedule. Some of our programs are designed specifically for students and some are specifically for family members.

4. Why do I have to pay $20 to attend with my student?

We kindly ask that each guest pay $20 to attend STORM Day.  This fee covers the cost of lunch, snack breaks, session costs, and a GSW gift that you will receive at the end of the day.

5. Do I have to pay the $85.00 STORM Day Fee for my student?

No, this fee is paid for during your students first semester at GSW and is included with his/her fees.  Please do not send any money for Orientation fees.

6. Is there walking involved in the STORM Day program?

Yes, Georgia Southwestern is a “walking” campus and the program requires participants to walk during some portions of STORM Day. Efforts will be made to accommodate the needs of family members with mobility issues or health concerns, but because of South Georgia’s mild, summer climate we recommend that you dress for warm weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Don’t forget your umbrella!!

7. Are children allowed to attend orientation?

Yes, but this will be a personal family decision. Our program may contain some topics which you are not comfortable discussing in the presence of your younger child and because of the length and walking required in the program, we do not recommend bringing young children. Each guest is required to pay the guest fee associated with STORM Day. Each student is limited to two guests.

8. Will my student and I have the same meal times?

Our program changes some each year. Due to facility space and scheduling to best meet the needs of both students and family members, we can say that some meals and breaks may be together, while some will be separate.

9. Will I be with my student while he/she meets with their advisor and registers for classes?

Your student will receive academic information regarding his/her major during the academic college meeting.  This may be their advisor, or another advisor within the department.  Students will be provided with a more in depth conversation of what is expected as it concerns their particular major.  A schedule will be provided to your student at the end of the day.  Any changes to the schedule will be discussed with an advisor from the Office of First-Year Experience.  Should you have any specific questions regarding the major, you will have time during the academic college session to have those questions addressed.  

10. How long does STORM Day last?

STORM begins at 9:00am and lasts until approximately 4:00pm.

11. Do we have to stay the whole day?

We highly encourage students and parents to attend all sessions in order to receive all of the information being provided for you.

12. How does my son or daughter declare or change his or her major?

A student can declare a major at any time, beginning with the application process. If your student has decided on a major or changes the major, it is important that he or she declare the (new) major immediately with the Registrar’s Office to ensure proper academic advisement toward a timely graduation and to gather degree and career information. Undeclared students (students without declared majors) are assigned advisors in the Office of First-Year Experience who will work with the student to declare a focus area.  

13. Will my student leave STORM Day with a class schedule?

Yes, students register for their classes while at STORM Day. Course registration occurs at the end of the day. Registration occurs last so students will have had ample opportunities to learn about academics at GSW. Orientation staff and academic advisors will be present during registration to help with any questions or problems.

14. When does my student pay tuition and fees?

Students should check their R.A.I.N. account for their total amount of charges that need to be paid each semester.  Fees may be paid with cash, credit card, or with financial aid.  Failure to submit payment by the deadline will result in a late payment fee of $50.00. Fees should be paid in full the first day of class to avoid class cancellation.

15. My student receives financial aid that will exceed his/her tuition and fees. How does he/she receive excess financial aid?

Students will be issued their difference checks/refunds beginning mid September.    

16. Can my student check his/her financial aid/scholarship status online?

Yes, students can access their financial aid status on their R.A.I.N. account.

17. If I do not think that my student is eligible for federal aid, should I complete the FAFSA anyway?

Yes. Many families mistakenly think they don’t qualify for federal aid and prevent themselves from receiving financial aid by failing to apply for it. There are sources of aid such as Unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans that are available regardless of need. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available atwww.fafsa.ed.gov/.

18. What is a Student Aid Report (SAR)?

If you file your student’s FAFSA on the Web, the U. S. Department of Education will process your FAFSA online with in two to three business days. If you complete the paper application allow five weeks for processing. You will then receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). If you file your FAFSA online and provided an e-mail address on your FAFSA, the Federal Processing Center will send you an e-mail informing you to review the results of your SAR.

The SAR will reflect the information from your application and, if there are no questions or problems with your application, your SAR will provide your expected family contribution (EFC). This is the number used in determining your eligibility for federal student aid. Be sure to list the Georgia Southwestern State University Federal Title IV code (002440) on your FAFSA so that we may electronically receive your SAR.

21. When and how will my student receive his/her financial aid?

  1. Student must first apply for aid (complete the fafsa)
  2. Be awarded financial aid
  3. Complete any necessary paperwork (loan addendum, loan entrance  counseling & master promissory note)
  4. Aid  comes in to Student Accounts about 10 days before the term begins and is applied to student's account
  5. Any credit balance is given to the student 

22. What expenses can I expect financial aid to cover?

Financial aid is awarded based on an average cost of attendance (COA), which includes appropriate tuition/fees for your educational program, books/supplies and other educational expenses. Other educational expenses consist of living, transportation, personal and miscellaneous expenses during the academic year.

23. Do we have to reapply for financial aid every year?

Yes. You must apply for financial aid every academic year.

24. Can my student’s financial aid change?

Yes. As stated in the student award notification, initial financial aid awards are the best estimate of what you are eligible to receive. Your award may be increased, reduced or even canceled if your family financial circumstance changes, causing your need to change. See professional judgment.

  • You receive any additional outside resource, such as a privately awarded scholarship, which was not listed on your award notification.
  • You provided incorrect data on your FAFSA or renewal FAFSA.
  • You do not maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • You are suspended by the university.
  • You do not enroll for the required number of hours to receive aid through the programs awarded to you.

25. How is my student’s financial need determined?

The federal processor determines your individual family’s ability to contribute to the cost of education. The expected family contribution (EFC) is calculated by using the information you provide on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a federal formula. The formula considers your parents’ and your income and assets, your family size and the number of family members enrolled in college. The EFC will be the same at any college you attend. After receiving your EFC amount from the federal processor, the Office of Financial Aid then subtracts your EFC from the standard Georgia Southwestern cost of attendance. The formula used to calculate financial need is:
Cost of Attendance - EFC = Student Financial Need.

Click here for a listing of GSW's cost of attendance.

30. How do I contact the Office of Financial Aid?

If you have any questions or need assistance with your financial aid, please call our Financial Aid Office at (229) 928-1378. You are welcome to drop by our office and talk with a financial aid advisor in person. We are located Sanford Hall and our offices are open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Fridays.

31. What if my student becomes ill?

If your student becomes ill, he or she can seek treatment at the Student Health Center on campus,  Monday through Friday. For after hour emergencies, students should contact Campus Safety or Sumter Regional Hospital.

32. What type of student health insurance is offered at GA Southwestern?

Student health insurance is offered for any student who is not covered by insurance. The Student Health Center staff strongly advises uninsured students to purchase health insurance from the university. For more information, please contact Student Health Center at (229) 931-2235.

33. Where can I find information about housing?

Information about student housing can be obtained from the Office of Residence Life located in the Student Success Center or by calling (229) 931-2375.

34. When is move-in day for Fall semester?

Move-in day for Freshmen for Fall semester 2019 will be Tuesday, August 13, 2019 beginning at 8am at Southwestern Oaks.  Information will be mailed to you over the summer from the office of Admissions.

35. What is the IFC? NPHC? Panhellenic?

All three are the governing bodies of the fraternities and sororities at Georgia Southwestern affiliated with the North American Interfraternity Council (NIC), National Panhellenic Council (NPC) and National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). IFC and Panhellenic participate in Formal Recruitment, while NPHC groups have Intake. The organizations on campus send representatives to these meetings where important issues concerning the Greek community are discussed.

40. Does my student have to register his vehicle?

Yes. If your student intends to park his or her vehicle on the university campus, it must be registered. Parking decals are available at the Campus Safety Office.

Parent Questions for after school has started….

42. What if my child is sick?

If your son or daughter is feeling ill, GA Southwestern has the remedy. Please visit the Health Center website for information on hours and services. If you have any questions, call the Health Center at (229) 931-2235. You may also call Campus Safety at (229) 928-2245 after hours and on weekends (24-hour service).

43. What if my child needs to see a counselor during the school year?

Counseling Services, located in the Student Success Center, offers group and individual counseling to students. Please visit the Counseling Services website for details.

44. What is the break schedule?

The Academic Calendar can be found on the front page of the GSW website at academic calendar.

45. What can I do for my student from home?

Birthdays: The Campus Bookstore at GSW offers birthday packages for students. These packages contain an assortment of options to choose from, including balloons, mugs and gift certificates. For more information on these packages, contact the Campus Bookstore at (229) 931-2366.

Exam Packs: The Residence Hall Association sponsors exam packs for students. These are offered twice times a year: welcome packs, fall exam packs and spring exam packs. For more information on these packages, call Residence Life at (229) 931-2375.

46. Do I have access to my child's educational records?

GSW complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. This act protects the privacy of educational records, establishes the right of students to inspect and review their educational records, and provides guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students also have the right to file complaints with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the act.

Please contact the Registrar’s Office with questions concerning the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

47. Does my student need to purchase a computer?

It is not required that your student purchase his/her own computer, there are numerous computer labs on campus free of charge to the student with their GSW ID Card. However, most students prefer to have their own computer. 

 

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