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MADISON family newsletter Brought to you by the JMU Office of Parent Relations | November 2019

In this issue:

  • Reasons Financial Aid Awards Can Change
  • JMU Football Information
  • Wellness Advice from the University Health Center and Counseling Center
  • Madison Trust: JMU's Premier Philanthropic Investment Competition
  • First Long Visits Home
  • Career & Academic Planning: Internships

Reasons Financial Aid Awards Can Change

Submitted by: Brad Barnett, Financial Aid Director

When students are awarded financial aid funds in a semester, it’s important to keep in mind that there are situations when financial aid awards can be reduced or canceled. This applies even after funds are received. The majority of these situations will be triggered as a result of action taken by the student, and we’re providing a list of some of the most common reasons this occurs.

  • Changing Registration – Financial aid eligibility is based, in part, on the number of “’financial aid eligible” hours a student is taking during that enrollment period. If the registration changes, financial aid can also change. This is especially important to note during the add/drop periods of each term.
  • Failure to Begin Classes – Students receiving financial aid must begin attendance in classes for which they were awarded financial aid. If that does not happen, adjustments could be made to financial aid awards.
  • Receipt of Additional Aid – If a student receives additional aid that the Financial Aid Office was not aware of when the JMU financial aid package was created, then it might be necessary for some of the awards made through JMU to be reduced or canceled. This is called an “overaward” situation.
  • Failing Classes – At the conclusion of a term the Financial Aid Office will evaluate grades for students who received financial aid funds. In some cases, a failed class could lead to a reduction or cancelation of certain financial aid awards.
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) – If a student is receiving financial aid under the terms of an Academic Plan associated with a SAP appeal, and if the student does not meet the terms of the plan, aid may be reduced or canceled.
  • Repeating Classes – There are limits on how many times a student can receive financial aid for repeating courses. If we discover a student has exceeded those limits, then financial aid awards may change.

While the items above do not represent an all-inclusive list, they do provide information on the most common reasons that cause a financial aid package to be modified. With that said, generally speaking, if students receive a financial aid package and complete all of the classes for which they registered, then the likelihood of the financial aid package changing during the term is significantly reduced.

You can learn much more about the rules associated with financial aid eligibility by reviewing JMU Terms and Conditions for Financial Aid – Consumer Information.

Wellness Advice from the University Health Center and Counseling Center

Submitted by: Angela Ritchie (Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing, University Health Center) and David Onestak, Ph.D. (Director, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Counseling Center)

As a parent, it can be hard to not be there with your student when they aren’t feeling well. At this point in the semester they may be experiencing illness, stress, homesickness and other challenges. Sometimes they just need to talk, other times they may be open to your advice. Here are a few tips for you to share:

Consider self-care.

For illness, the University Health Center has self-care guides to help students understand their health condition and symptoms. Over-the-counter medication is available at the pharmacy in the Student Success Center.

For mental health concerns, the Counseling Center has The Oasis which is a quiet, soothing space to relax and The Studio which is a great space to engage in expressive arts. They also provide an online counseling software called TAO which provides 24/7 accessibility to treatment interventions that students can access when it is convenient and complete them at their own pace. There are additional self-help resources that may also be helpful to your student.

Seek help when needed.

Students can make an appointment at the Health Center by logging in to their MyJMUChart account. They can see all appointments available and choose the one that works best with their schedule.

Reflections is an early intervention program for students to assess their use of alcohol and cannabis and consultations are available for students interested in giving up nicotine (smoking or vaping). These services and others are available in The Well.

For the Counseling Center, a good first step is to take their free online assessment. It may highlight some potential areas of concern. Students who are interested in accessing Counseling Center services for the first time can discuss their concerns with a clinician during an initial assessment. There is no need to make an appointment; walk-in hours are Monday-Friday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

If needed, a clinician is also available to assist students in emergency mental health situations.

Know you’re not alone.

JMU’s campus is filled with people who care; please encourage your student to reach out for help.

First Long Visits Home

Submitted by: Alicia Lamb, Social Media and Marketing Coordinator, Residence Life

Thanksgiving and winter breaks are just around the corner for your college student. The first long trips home can be both wonderful and stressful experiences. After being away at college for a few months you will realize quickly your child is no longer the same person who arrived at JMU in August. A few things to plan and ponder prior to the residence halls closing and for the time at home during this first extended break home include: travel plans, changes, and parental and student expectations.

If your child is flying home or using some other form of public transportation you have probably already made arrangements, however if you haven’t begin as soon as possible to avoid any issues with your student not being able to leave per the university’s guidelines. If you are coming to campus to pick up your student, build in additional time. Your student may still be packing when you arrive, have a lot of dirty laundry to gather up, and may want to say additional goodbyes to friends and hall-mates. There will also be a large number of other parents coming to pick up their child and this may cause some congestion on campus. Prepare by bringing some snacks and drinks for the ride, although don’t be surprised if your student sleeps the whole trip home.

As you are preparing for the break, make sure your student knows of any changes at home. Knowing about these and any other family changes will help ease your student back to home life. You've sent them to college to help them become independent and to grow and develop so don’t be surprised if they have changed. To avoid any awkward moments, ask them about any changes prior to picking them up. The important thing to remember when dealing with change is to be accepting and understanding. This will help you and your student have a successful and wonderful break.

Expectations about curfew, and the holiday schedule that you have prepared may ultimately be juxtaposed with your student staying up and out at all hours and having already made plans to spend time with friends from home. Your student may chafe against some of the rules of being back home because of the freedom and independence they’ve experienced while away at school. Discussing expectations and having clear, open, and honest communication prior to break may ease the transition home.

The act of leaving home and coming to college usually necessitates the evolution and development of the parent/child relationship. The ability to come and go as they please, making their own decisions, and having a different sense of time may not align with curfews, someone asking where they are going and when they will be returning, sleeping in and/or being up at 3 am. You have instilled in your student your values, morals, and integrity. Now is the time to experience this new normal and see the growth and development in your soon to be adult child.

The Madison Family Newsletter is put together each month by the Office of Parent Relations in partnership with many members of the JMU community. It's designed to help parents & families keep up with what's going on here at JMU! Please email Heather Davis at davis2hr@jmu.edu with any questions regarding the newsletter.

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