Parent Update

Monday, January 31, 2011

Parent Speaker Series for Winter/Spring

Don't miss these great presentations!
Please join us for two wonderful Parent Speaker presentations offered during the winter/spring term. Parents and their student are encouraged to attend together.

Study Abroad at St. Kate’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How? Is your globally-minded student considering studying abroad? Join us for an interactive session on study-abroad opportunities presented by the Office of Global Studies and a panel of students returning from the study-abroad program. Planning ahead for these experiences is important.
Wednesday, February 9, 7-8:30 p.m., 372 CDC, Refreshments provided

(P.S. The Study Abroad Fair will take place Monday, February 14, 11 a.m.-2:00 p.m., in the Rauenhorst Ballroom, Coeur de Catherine. The fair is a unique opportunity to meet and talk with representatives from our affiliate study-abroad programs. Encourage your student to attend.)

How to Support the Career Development Needs of Your Student.
Learn about the services and programs that Career Development offers to St. Kate’s students. Experts will advise parents on how to help their student prepare for life after graduation. Staff will share information about career fairs, job shadowing, career courses, career counseling and more. A highlight of this program will feature a panel of student interns who will share highlights of their internship experiences and what they learned. Encourage your daughter to attend this program as well.
Wednesday, March 16, 7-8:30 p.m., 372 CDC, Refreshments provided

Please R.S.V.P. to Ellen Richter-Norgel at or 651.690.8730 one week prior to each event. Out state or out-of-state parents can view speaker presentations online by going to the Parent and Family website. (Click on "Parents/Families" at the bottom of the University's home page, then click on Events, then Speaker Series.) The podcasts are available within a week of the live presentation.

Housing Sign-Up Begins March 7

Housing Sign-Up for 2011-12 kicks off on March 7. Your student will be able to complete the entire room selection process online.

Now is a a great time to discuss the benefits of living on campus with your student. Students who live on campus:

Have a higher grade point average.
•Have a higher graduation rate.
•Study more hours per week.
•Report higher satisfaction with general education.
•Are more involved in co-curricular activities.

(2003 NNSE and St. Catherine IRP data)

Resident Students Acknowledge Benefits of Living on Campus
In a recent resident survey 65-78 percent of respondents acknowledged that living on campus provided more opportunities to:

Get to know other classmates.
•Meet with faculty and study groups outside of class.
•Utilize campus resources.
•Get involved in clubs and organizations.
•Attend programs and events

Housing Options and Financial Considerations
The University offers double, single, triple, suite and apartment-style housing. Students seeking off-campus housing should consider the true costs of renting and paying for amenities. Keep in mind that St. Kate’s housing fees include great amenities such as laundry, internet access, cable and phone service, all utilities and furniture. Students also share study lounges, computer labs, social lounges with televisions, and other common spaces.

Housing Sign-Up Process
Everything your student needs to know about Housing Sign-Up can be found on the Residence Life website inside Kateway beginning March 7. Students can also learn more about the sign up process through posters, e-mails and question/answer sessions. Room tours will be on March 9. If your student is currently commuting and would like to live on campus next year she may sign up at this time. She will have the same priority to rooms, suites and apartments as current residents.

Housing and Dining Agreements are due March 31. Encourage your student to visit the Residence Life Kateway website for complete details and a schedule of events (information available March 7).

Preparing for Financial Aid 2011-12: Preferred Deadline April 1

Tips for getting ready to file FAFSA
Have your 2010 tax documents started arriving? Along with tax time comes FAFSA time; a new year means it is time to renew your daughter’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and St. Kate’s Financial Aid Application. As you are opening your tax documents and preparing to file your 2010 federal and state income tax returns, you and your daughter should also be thinking about applying for financial aid for the 2011-12 academic year.

There are two initial items needed in order to apply for financial aid: the 2011-12 FAFSA and the 2011-12 St. Kate’s Financial Aid Application. Both forms must be received by the Financial Aid Office by April 15, 2011 in order to meet the priority deadline. You can access the St. Kate’s Financial Aid Application at

You can find the 2011-12 Renewal FAFSA or the standard 2011-2012 FAFSA at along with instructions on how to request a duplicate PIN (if forgotten) and a link to the PIN website. Please keep in mind that it may take two weeks from the time you sign and submit your FAFSA form before St. Kate’s receives it. For this reason you should file your FAFSA by April 1, 2011.

Financial Aid applications will be processed in the order they are received. In the event that we are required to collect additional documents, such as federal tax forms and W2s, we will contact your daughter via her St. Kate’s e-mail. The St. Kate’s e-mail address is an official means of campus communication and your student is responsible for checking and responding to e-mails from the University. It is extremely important that your student continue to check St. Kate’s e-mail all year long – even during the summer, or while studying abroad.

If you have any questions about completing the FAFSA application with your student, please feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office at 651.690.6540 or e-mail us at

Money Doesn't Grow On Trees: Speaker Series Events for Winter/Spring

St. Kate's Money Management program is excited to announce the upcoming Money Doesn't Grow On Trees speaker series for winter/spring term. Parents and family members are invited to attend any of these events with their student. Three programs in particular may be of special interest to parents as indicated below by an asterisk(*).

* Taxes 101: Everything You Need to Know to File What is the relationship between a W4 and other federal tax documents? What are the deductions for higher education? Should my parents claim me as a dependent or should I file taxes independently? How can I get my taxes prepared for free?
Wednesday, February 9, 370 CDC, 4:30-6 p.m.

Common Cents about Money Management Learn the basics about banking products: savings account, money market, certificate of deposit and more. How does my credit score impact buying a car or renting an apartment? Do I need to think about retirement plans now?
Wednesday, February 23, 370 CDC, 4:30-6 p.m.

* Relationships and Money: Can We Talk (or Why Can't We?) Different money perceptions is the number one reason why couples divorce. Parents and their children – of all ages – argue over how money should be spent. Join an engaging discussion with nationally-recognized financial adviser and author Ruth Hayden as she addresses this topic.
Wednesday, March 16, Rauenhorst Hall in CDC, 4:30-6 p.m.

* Student Loan Repayment: Everything You Need to Know How much and who do I owe? Learn about loan repayment options to make monthly payments manageable including loan consolidation, deferment and forbearance options. Get information on websites to help navigate the loan repayment process.
Wednesday, March 30, 370 CDC, 4:30- 6 p.m.

HealthCare! Demystify the Ins and Outs of Healthcare Plans A panel of human resource experts discuss healthcare plans and define the basic terms. Learn how to search the open market for plans and how to determine what is best for you and your family.
Wednesday, April 6, 370 CDC, 4:30-6 p.m.

Benefit Packages and Salary Negotiation Learn what benefit packages can include and how they can differ in the overall compensation offer. Information on salary negotiation strategies will also be included. Know this imporant information before accepting a job offer.
Wedneday, April 20, 370 CDC, 4:30- 6 p.m.

Parent Phonoathon: A summary of what you told us

An energetic team of 26 volunteers including members of the Parent and Family Advisory Council, staff and faculty of St. Catherine Univeristy contacted more than 395 families of first-year students on December 3. Our purpose was to check-in with parents and family members to learn how the fall term was going for their student. We wanted to learn how the transition to college life was going and solicit ways the University can make improvements.

It was a very productive evening, and overall, parents seemed to have great appreciation for the call. We were able to reach 48 percent of our families and left messages with another 34 percent. We offered Spanish and Hmong speaking volunteers to ensure that all families could participate.

Here is what we learned:

* 86 percent of you told us that the University has met or exceeded your expectations while 11 percent were not sure due to a question or concern that was unresolved at the time of the call. Three parents indicated that they were unsatisfied because of the limitations of what information can be shared about their student's grades, academic performance (referring to the FERPA restrictions) and frustration over competitive housing space.
* One parent shared that because of her daughter's experience, she was applying to one of St. Kate's graduate programs. Many parents indicated that the small class sizes, campus safety, and the availability of faculty/staff and the concern they demonstrate ranked high on their list.
* A general theme occurred; the more involved students are on campus, the higher overall satisfaction.
* Parents commented on the usefulness of the Parent Resource Calendar and the timely information obtained from online resources including the Parent Update.

Some of the parent's concerns included: excessive left-over food points at the end of the term, desire for more food service options on the Minneapolis campus, wishing there were more jobs for their student, and wishing that their daughters were more involved on campus. A concern for potential rising tuition costs was also shared.

What we do with the information?
Many parents were referred certain resources in order to resolve a specific question or concern. Feedback is also shared with offices/programs for improvement (no parent names were identified).

Thank you for taking the time to speak with the callers. If you were not contacted and want to discuss any comments/questions, please contact Ellen Richter-Norgel, Director of Student Retention, e-mail: or 651.690.8730.