Parent Update

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Upcoming Parent Speaker Series: Don't Miss It!

Study Abroad at St. Kate's: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How?

Parents and their student are highly encouraged to attend the next Parent and Family Speaker Series event on Wednesday, February 8th, from 7-8:30 pm in the President's Dining Room, 372 CdC. Catherine Spaeth, Director of Global Studies and a panel of study abroad students will provide a wealth of information that you and your student will need to know. Study abroad is available to all majors and requires thoughtful planning. This program has been highly requested by parents every year. Please R.S.V.P. by February 1st to or call 651.690-8730. Please indicated how many will be attending.

Note: For parents out-state and out-of-state, we will record this program which can be viewed a few days following the live event on the Parent and Family Resource website. Click on Speaker Series for podcast.

Friday, January 20, 2012

What we learned from this year's Phon-a-thon

A big THANK YOU to all the parents of our first year students on the St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses who participated in our annual Phon-a-thon this past term. Our callers truly enjoyed speaking with parents and family members of our first-year students. We learned quite a bit; the following summarizes highlights and themes we heard from you.
  • Our callers reached 48% of our families of first year students and left messages with another 39.5%;12% of the calls made were found to be disconnected or wrong numbers.
  • Overall, parents indicated that they were very satisfied with their student's experience and the University as a whole. Eighty-seven percent indicated that the University had "exceeded" their expectations and another 4.6% indicated that their expectations were "met."
  • Callers were able to conduct conversations in Hmong and Spanish for families for whom this was their primary language.
  • A member of the Financial Aid staff was available throughout the evening to address families specific questions about their student's account and financial aid questions.
  • Parents shared the following themes/examples of how their expectations were "exceeded":
    • the fact that their student was making a very successful transition to St. Kate's environment
    • having a very positive residence life experience including the responsiveness of the Resident Assistants
    • the small classroom environment, the academic program their student was experiencing and the close relationships their student has with faculty, staff and peers
    • the level of support their student was receiving
    • the welcoming experience of orientation
    • the parent programming including the parent orientation,the resource calendar and the parent speaker series offered
Of special note, parents of student athlete's shared much appreciation for the experience their students were having with the coaches, their team and the student's overall involvement and sense of engagement.

Concerns/themes that surfaced in which parents/families noted as challenges and less satisfied with was in regards to the weekend environment and the need for developing a stronger weekend community for students who remain on campus. Some parents indicated frustration over their student not being able to work on campus or, not having enough hours to work on campus.

Following up
: Many families were provided follow-up information from specific offices either by phone or mail. Regarding the weekend atmosphere, a group of staff, students and faculty will be looking into developing strategies for addressing the weekend atmosphere issues that were shared.

If you were not able to share a concern or comment and still wish to do so, please feel free to contact Ellen Richter-Norgel, director of student retention at 651.690-8730 or

Help your senior prepare for graduation.

Your student is nearing the end of her degree and preparing for graduation. What a wonderful feeling! Know that your student will be experiencing a very full last term on campus. Sometimes the emotional transition of leaving keeps a student from taking action; she may appreciate some reminders of how she can prepare herself for life after graduation. You can help by reminding your student of the resources available on campus.
  • First step: Complete a profile on KatieClick to take advantage of employment opportunities, internships, career research, information on upcoming job search events and workshops, and much more.
  • Meet with a professional career counselor in the Career Development office and develop a job search plan. If graduate school is her goal, the staff will provide guidance to graduate school planning.
  • Let a career counselor critique your student's resume.
  • Work with a career counselor to identify a list of employers, practice interviewing skills and master effective job search correspondence.
  • Attend programming during the Backpack to Briefcase Week (February 14-17).
  • Attend the Minnesota Private College Job and Internship Fair, which hosts over 150 employers (February).
  • Education majors should attend the Minnesota Education Job Fair (April).
  • Attend the Money Management workshops to help prepare financially for life after college. This includes developing a personal budget with a financial counselor.
  • Visit the career development website often for important events and resources.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Consider becoming an advocate for Minnesota Student Aid

The Minnesota Private College Council (MPCC) is extending an invitation to interested parents to become part of a network, Advocates for Minnesota Student Aid, to help keep college affordable for low- and middle-income families. Parents involved in this network have many opportunities to take action, including signing online petitions, participating in grass-roots communication efforts and communicating with legislators. Visit for more information and to sign up. Once parents join the network, the MPCC will communicate directly with participating parents.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Financial Management series offers invaluable advice

St. Kate's award-winning financial management program will offer a wonderful line-up of free workshops this upcoming semester. As always, families are welcome to attend any of the series below. Please be sure to encourage your student to attend.

Wednesday, February 15, CdC 370, 4:30-6 p.m.
Taxes 101: Everything You Need to Know to File
What is the relationship between a W-4, 1040, 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?
Presenter: Erin Severson, Technical Assistance Manager, AccountAbility Minnesota

Tuesday, February 28, Seminar Room, Rauenhorst/Morrison Hall, 11:30-1 p.m.
Time to File! Preparing Your Renewal FAFSA
Every year at this time, students begin filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the upcoming academic year. Many questions arise, leaving students uncertain about the assistance they will receive. When is the priority deadline and why is it important to file prior to then? Why is my tax information needed? Am I even eligible to file the FAFSA?
Presenter: Jeremy Cole, Financial Aid Counselor, St. Catherine University

Wednesday, March 14, CdC 370, 4:30-6 p.m.
The High Cost of Bad Credit
Shannon Doyle ’97, St. Kate’s own financial counselor from LSS Financial Counseling Services, will discuss the importance of good credit. In this session you will learn about the high cost of bad credit, what factors make up your credit score, how to build or improve your score, and where to go if you need help. This one free session could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime!
Presenter: Shannon Doyle, Certified Consumer Credit Counselor, LSS

Wednesday, April 4, CdC Ballroom, 4:30-6 p.m.
Funding Your Study Abroad Trip
Would you like to study abroad but simply cannot afford it? Know the facts! There are many ways to fund a study abroad trip without incurring a large amount of debt. Learn the facts about studying abroad from the Office of Global Studies and a panel of students who have studied abroad while maintaining their finances at home. Your life-changing journey is within reach!
Presenters: Global Studies, Mysee Chang and Lela Wright-Macgregor

Wednesday, April 18, CdC 362, 4:30-6 p.m.

The Real Cost of College: Student Loan Repayment
Graduating soon or trying to plan ahead? How much 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.
Presenter: Pat Pierce, Senior Financial Aid Counselor, SCU

This workshop series is sponsored by generous grants from GE and Wings Financial.

Shout Out St. Kate's Day!

Join in the fun on Wednesday, Feb. 29. It's our first annual Shout Out St. Kate's Day!

Show your pride as a parent or family member. Help us spread the word about what a great education St. Kate's provides. On Wednesday, Feb. 29, commit to "shouting out" why you are proud to be a Katie parent and what a life-changing experience your student is having at St. Kate's.

Tell a co-worker why you sent your daughter to St. Kate’s. Brag about your amazing Katie on your Facebook profile. Let everyone know why you think St. Catherine University is great! (For more information, go to:

It's FAFSA time again

A new year means it is time to renew your student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and St. Kate’s Financial Aid Application. As you are preparing to file your 2011 federal and state income tax returns, you and your student should also be thinking about applying for financial aid for the 2012-13 academic year.

Two initial items are needed to apply for financial aid: the 2012-13 FAFSA and the 2012-13 St. Kate’s financial aid application. Our Financial Aid Office must receive both forms by April 15, 2012, in order to meet the priority deadline. Access the St. Kate’s Financial Aid Application.

You can find the 2012-13 renewal FAFSA or the standard 2012-2013 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, 2012.

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 W-2s, 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

Important dates and reminders for parents

January 30: Winter term classes begin

February 8: Parent and Family Speaker Series event: "Study Abroad: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How?" 7 to 8:30 p.m., President's Dining Room, Coeur de Catherine (CdC) 372

February 17: Last day to waive student health insurance plan for students who are new to St. Kate's during winter semester

February 21: Minnesota Private College Job and Internship Fair

March 7: Parent and Family Speaker Series event: "Fireside Chat with Vice President Brian Bruess and Dean of Student Affairs Curt Galloway," 7-8:30 p.m., Fireside Lounge, Rauenhorst/Morrison Hall

March 19 through March 23: Spring break

March 30
: Payment in full due for winter term

March 31: Housing and dining agreements due. A 1 percent financial fee will be assessed on any winter term balance.

April 6 through April 9: Easter break, no classes, University holiday

April 15: FAFSA priority deadline

April 16: Registration for fall 2012 begins

May 11: Last day of classes, St. Paul campus

May 14: Finals week begins, through Friday, May 18

May 18: Last day of classes, Minneapolis campus

May19: Graduate and Associate Commencement

May 20: Baccalaureate Commencement