Crusader Connection Newsletter

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Financial Aid Applications

This month as both students and families prepare to file income tax returns, you also will likely be working on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the document that helps us ensure that you receive all possible financial aid. The FAFSA form can be completed at www.fafsa.ed.gov and does NOT require your 2014 taxes to be filed in order to submit the form. You can use last year's tax info or estimate 2014. If you filed your FAFSA in 2014-2015 you can import last year's information, rather than starting a new application. We recommend you have the following information available:
  • 2014 Federal taxes (2013 if 2014 has not been filed)
  • 2014 W2s
  • Checking/Savings, asset information
  • Parent & Student PIN #

Alvernia encourages students and families to file as early as possible. If you are a PA resident your FAFSA must be filed no later than May 1, 2015 to be considered for the PHEAA State Grant Program. A link to this application will be available on the confirmation page once your FAFSA is submitted. Additional instructions and helpful hints are located on your student portal under the Finance Tab and Financial Planning. Additionally, the Office of Student Financial Planning will be hosting a FAFSA completion day on Saturday, February 14, 2015 from 1:30 to 3:30 in Bernardine Hall and all are welcome to attend.  We are here to help so stop in, call 610-796-8356, or email financialplanning@alverna.edu.

Student Housing Selection

Now is the time to start preparing your housing applications and making your selections for next year, a process closely associated with registration for fall semester classes. (Registration for fall semester classes is required in order to finalize the housing application.) Living on our campus is an integral part of your college education. In fact, results from research conducted on our campus shows just how important living in on-campus housing can be to a student’s success. Students who live in university housing at Alvernia:

• earn higher grades
• are happier with their college experience
• have more positive contacts with faculty and staff
• use academic support resources more frequently
• feel a greater sense of membership in the University community
• report greater improvement in multiple areas of academic and personal growth
• feel less overwhelmed and more able to manage their time

As residents, students also have more opportunities to get involved with the social, cultural, and extracurricular activities on the University campus. And the more connected students are to the University’s community, the more relationships they develop. As a result, the more satisfied you tend to be with your total college experience.

As the deadlines for applying for on-campus housing come closer there are a few details you should be aware of. In order to be eligible for campus housing, students must complete the following steps:  1) complete our online housing application 2) pay the housing deposit 3) register for 12 or more credits for the fall 2015 semester.

The deadline for all three steps is April 1st.

In addition to our traditional housing options students can become even more involved by participating in a number of co-curricular and interest based communities (CHOICE Housing). For returning students, those communities include Sophomore Serve, Interfaith, Academic Village, and Affinity Housing.

• Sophomore Serve is a community that will work with the Holleran Center for Community Engagement to continue engaging in service opportunities in the local community.
• Academic Village is a community that centers on dedication to academic rigor through extended quiet hours and extra learning support.
• Interfaith is a community that will work with Campus Ministry to challenge student to explore their own spirituality and to gain a more diverse understanding of faith.
• Affinity Housing is designed for a group of students who want to live together under a theme of their choice (Cancer Awareness, Men's Baseball, Berks Animal Rescue League, etc.) and complete at least one service and community project each semester. Students interested in this housing option will need to pick up an application starting February 2nd and complete the application by the affinity housing deadline of February 27th.

If you are interested in CHOICE housing, you must complete additional paperwork, due February 27th.

If you have any questions about our housing selection process, housing options, or the advantages of living on campus, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Residence Life at 610.796.8320.

Alternative Break Trips Planned for March 1-7, 2015 and May 10-16, 2015

Nearly 100 students participate in an alternative break trip each year to learn about and, more importantly, meet those who are disenfranchised by society. Students participate in hands-on service opportunities for a week and reflect upon their experiences so as to better understand the causes and effects of poverty. Trips are planned over spring break to Reading and West Virginia, where students will be able to examine the cycles of urban and rural poverty. Student fee* to attend Reading trip is $100 and $150 for West Virginia. A trip to Tennessee is planned for May 10-16, 2015, where students will care for the environment and learn about the struggles of the Cherokee nation; student fee* to attend is $250.

*Students will work together on fundraising efforts to lower the fees, as well!

Applications are being accepted now and more information is available in the Campus Ministry office or by emailing campus.ministry@alvernia.edu

   

Career Fair

Our annual Career and Internship Fair will be held on March 18th this year and you might be wondering how you can prepare for this great opportunity. With Spring Break right around the corner (March 2-6), there are a few ways you can start preparing before heads back to campus!

  • Inform yourself about the Career and Internship Fair.
  • The Career and Internship Fair will be held on campus from 12pm-3pm on Wednesday March 18th in the PEC (gym). Last year we hosted more than 40 companies and organizations that were looking to welcome interns to their programs or were interested in hiring students as full or part time staff members. The Career and Internship Fair is not major specific, meaning all majors are welcome to attend!
  • Remember what to bring to the Career and Internship Fair.
    • A résumé is essential. We strongly suggest that you visit our office to have a résumé developed or revised prior to handing it over to future employers. Our services are free to students and alumni of Alvernia. We can also provide you with a list of employers that are registered to attend as well as what positions they are looking to fill.
    • Dress for this event is “professional”! We expect suits, ties, blazers, dress shoes, and simple jewelry. You may need to have a suit pressed at the dry cleaners; make sure clothes are not too snug or too loose.

Thank you for taking an active part in your success! If you have any questions, feel free to contact Career Development at 610.796.8225!



IMPORTANT DATES

Spring Semester


February 27 - CHOICE (Affinity, Academic Village and Sophomore Serve) housing applications due
March 2 - 6 - SPRING BREAK – no day classes (MOD 4 and Saturday are in session)
March 16 - MOD 4 Begins
March 16 - 20 - Students meet with Advisors during Advising Week
March 18 - Alvernia Career & Internship Fair 12:30 – 3:00 p.m. (PEC)
March 23 - 27 - Pre-Registration for fall semester
April 1 - On-campus housing application deadline
April 2 - 6 - Easter Holiday
April 7 - Day Classes Resume
April 22 – 25 - Tuberculosis Screening Clinic (freshmen Nursing/AT majors and students entering internships in healthcare fields)
April 26 - Honors Convocation
April 28 – 30 - Tuberculosis Screening Clinic (upperclassmen Nursing/AT majors and students entering internships in healthcare fields)
April 30 – May 1 - Spring Fling
May 16 - Baccalaureate and Commencement

Registration for Fall (and other) Classes

Registration for classes at Alvernia in Summer and Fall 2015 is fast approaching. It begins on Monday, March 23 with current seniors. Juniors may begin registering on March 24, Sophomores on March 25 and Freshmen on March 26.

Prior to registering, students must meet with their academic advisors. They will discuss grades, classes, majors, plans, transfer credits, study abroad, internships, employment, future schedules: anything that is relevant to the student’s academic progress.

In some cases, adding courses in Summer or in the evening format (a new “Mod” begins March 16, for example) is a good idea in order to maintain satisfactory progress or to improve grades. You will not be able to register until the advisor has authorized it and until all holds on your account (signified by “stop signs” in your record in our Self-Service system) are removed. As well, if you do not have a grade point average at the level required for satisfactory progress in your major or overall you will have been notified by a letter sent to your home address. This letter will have come from the Provost, the Educational Planning Center, or the Chair of the major department.

Help is available for all students, year-round, in many places: Office of Residence Life, Student Financial Planning, Student Billing, Registrar, Public Safety, Athletics, Educational Planning Center, and from many individual staff and faculty members who are ready and even eager to assist every student to succeed. Please take advantage of all the opportunities at Alvernia. Below you will find some of the web links for more information:

•         EPC: http://www.alvernia.edu/student-life/educational-planning/index.html

•         Student Billing: http://www.alvernia.edu/parents/student-billing/index.html

Health & Wellness

If you receive a letter from the Health and Wellness Center regarding completion of health requirements and do not complete those requirements by March 1st, a hold will be placed on your account, preventing you from registering for fall classes.  Contact Health and Wellness as soon as possible to complete the requirements.

Alvernia's Got Talent

Get ready for an exciting night, filled with tons of talent and fun! Mark your calendars for Thursday, March 19th at 8pm in the Francis Hall Theater!




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