Parents & Family eNews: Spring 2010

This spring 2010 edition of the SF State Parent & Family Program eNews includes important information about the following topics:

Read more on outstanding achievements and recognition received by SF State faculty, students, and alumni at SF State in the News, including the following articles:

For Spring Break and other holiday schedules, take a look at our University Calendar.

SF State Adds More Study Abroad Options in Spring 2011

Although most students participate in certified California State University study abroad programs (CSU International Programs), more opportunities are opening up for students to study overseas through SF State’s own bilateral exchange programs. Students are finding that in many locations the cost of the program is less expensive than studying and living on campus at SF State. More courses may be available and quicker progress may sometimes be made toward degree goals through enrollment in an overseas study program.

Some of the new programs which have been recently added as certified study abroad options through SF State include:

  • Central European University, Budapest, Hungary (Sponsored by the College of Business)
  • Modul University, Vienna, Austria (Sponsored by the College of Business)
  • Mohidol University, Bangkok, Thailand (Sponsored by the College of Business & the College of Ethnic Studies)
  • Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China (Sponsored by the College of Creative Arts)
  • Zaragoza University, Zaragoza, Spain (Sponsored by the College of Health and Human Services)

Application deadlines for the next cycle (spring 2011) are September 15, 2010 (priority) and October 1, 2010 (final). For more information, check the SF State study abroad web page here.

Campus turns up the heat on smoke-free policy

University Police will begin enforcing the SF State Smoke Free Campus policy -- which allows smoking only in designated areas -- with $58 fines for each violation. Enforcement begins April 12, 2010.

The smoke-free campus policy originally went into effect on Aug. 23, 2004. It prohibits smoking on all University-owned and leased property with the exception of designated smoking areas. In conjunction with the new stronger enforcement, the number of designated smoking areas on campus has been reduced. Four designated smoking areas remain on campus effective April 12.

Learn more about SF State's smoking policy here.

Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 Financial Aid Application

To receive financial aid next school year, students must reapply using the 2010-2011 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Students may access the FAFSA online here. Priority Filing Period was January 1, 2010 - March 2, 2010.

If your student has not already completed the 2010-2011 FAFSA, please encourage him or her to file online as soon as possible.

E-mail Communications to Students in 2010-2011 Academic Year

Students should keep their e-mail address current on MySFSU. Office of Student Financial Aid will send information regarding the status of student applications and award offers via e-mail. Financial aid award offers will not be sent in the mail. Beginning late March 2010, students should receive an e-mail communication from the Financial Aid office. Beginning late March 2010, students can check their status online here.

Fall 2010 Fee Deferment

To be eligible for a financial aid fee deferment at the time of priority registration for Fall 2010, students must have a valid 2010-2011 FAFSA on record with the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Encourage Students to Sign Up for Direct Deposit

Fiscal Affairs offers online direct deposit to students receiving financial aid disbursements. Students may choose to have their funds transferred electronically to their bank or credit union accounts. If your student hasn't already signed up, the Office of Student Financial Aid strongly encourages signing up today for direct deposit online. Definitely a more secure process, direct deposit will expedite transactions at the beginning of a semester. The Office of Student Financial Aid also encourages students to check the status of their direct deposit account on the same website to make sure bank information is current and correct.

About Scholarships at SF State

Are you interested in applying for scholarships? Spring semester is the most opportune time to search and apply for scholarships for the next academic year. Many scholarships have application deadline dates during the Spring semester and early Summer months. Below are SF State scholarship resources available to assist you:

  • SF State Office of Student Financial Aid scholarship website, where there are over 700 campus and outside scholarships listed on our "5 ways to search" database. The "Quick Search" and the "Campus Scholarship lists" are good resources as well. There are essay and recommendation letter tips, along with other information.
  • At the Student Services Building's One Stop Center, visit our scholarship bulletin board for up-to-date postings and fliers.
  • Scholarship 101 workshop is presented every semester. Check our website for the spring 2010 workshop date and RSVP information.
  • The Academic Honors and Fellowships Office provides advising for students who are interested in applying for nationally competitive and CSU system-wide scholarships and fellowships. Successful applicants will generally have a GPA of 3.7 or above. Check the Fellowships Office website for contact information and scholarship/fellowship lists. Note that the Fellowships Office is sponsoring five informational workshops this spring on the Fulbright, graduate fellowships to fund master's and doctoral level work, and on undergraduate scholarship and fellowship opportunities. Click the "Workshops" link on the Fellowships website for more information.

Here is a sampling of some of the scholarships listed on the Financial Aid scholarship website, “5 ways to search”:

  • Gloria Spencer University Women’s Assn. Scholarship
    Brief Criteria: Continuing SF State student; must have financial need (file a FAFSA); 3.0 minimum GPA.
    Contact: Office of Student Financial Aid
    (415) 338-7000
    Deadline: Mid March
    Amount: $1,200

  • Alumni Association Scholarships
    Brief Criteria: Currently enrolled undergraduate seniors and graduate students; 3.25 minimum GPA.
    Contact: Alumni Association
    (415) 338-2217
    Deadline: Early April
    Amount: $1,000 each

  • Costco Scholarship
    Brief Criteria: Continuing junior and senior; 3.0 GPA; economically and educationally disadvantaged; financial need (file FAFSA);
    Contact: Rosalie Alfonso
    (415) 338-1694
    Deadline: Late April (Check with department)
    Amount: Equivalent to State Univ. Fees

  • Dr. Samuel and Betty Elkind Scholarship Fund
    Brief Description: To assist Theatre Arts major with cost of attending SFSU; minimum gpa: 3.25
    Contact: Ryan Jones, Alumni Association
    Deadline: Early April
    Amount: $1000

Visit the Office of Student Financial Aid website for more financial aid and scholarship information.

SF State is Major Recipient of French Government Teaching Assistantships for Students Studying in Paris

We are pleased to announce that SF State received a full quarter of the special teaching assistantships which are allocated to the University of Paris by the French Ministry of Education for the academic year of 2010-11. These prestigious assistantship positions are usually awarded through international competition and through the US government's Fulbright Program. However, a number are reserved for French universities to serve as a means to attract the best international students. The teaching assistantships require 10-12 hours per week, teaching English in French high schools or junior high schools.

Students are well remunerated for these efforts and receive approximately $14,000 in salary and benefits (including Social Security and health insurance). Out of the 40 teaching assistantships assigned to the University of Paris (all branches) through the MICEFA coordinating office, SF State students received nine (9). The recipients are: Kelly M. Bennet (International Business), Lauren Gillespie (Biology), Favien Sophia Howsepian (Cinema), Linda Carter Nguyen (International Relations), Vanessa Pan (Communications), Linda Lee Sternik (Liberal Studies), Lauren Taylor (International Relations) Bridget R. Thomas (French), Katerina Verbitchi (International Relations).

The total amounted to more than $126,000 in scholarships and financial assistance to our Paris bound students for next year. This continues to prove that study abroad is possible and accessible financially, and that SF State students are highly competitive on a national and international basis.

Congratulations to all!

Update to Parents from University Housing

An update produced for parents by University Housing for Spring 2010 is located here.

While most of the information is geared towards parents of students who are currently living on-campus, there are some interesting general articles that everyone can appreciate about overnight stays for parents, summer options, and low-cost dining at the City Eats Dining Center.

CSU Reaches Out to African American Community

The California State University is proud of the success of its 5th annual Super Sunday event, a critical piece of the CSU’s African American Initiative focused on educating future students about how to prepare for college. This year’s event expanded to over 100 churches over a 3 week period in California and reached more than 100,000 families.

Chancellor Charles B. Reed and Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies Kenneth P. Monteiro, CSU alumni, and others spoke to congregations across California stressing the importance of higher education and providing families with information about academic preparation, college admission and financial aid.

Over the past 5 years the CSU has made positive strides in conveying the importance of going to college, particularly among African Americans, who as a population remain underserved in California colleges and universities. Since the CSU started its Super Sunday efforts, it has seen a 78 percent increase in the number of African American students applying for freshman admission at CSU campuses. Moreover, there has been a 20 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment by African American students within that same time period.

The CSU, along with community leaders, developed the African American Initiative to educate K-12 students, parents and families about what they need to prepare for and to succeed in college.

Controlling School Expenses

You can use Gator Dollars, Baybucks, and SFSU Bookstore Gift Cards to help control school expenses. Enroll your students in the Gator Rewards Club here for weekly discount updates, or add Gator Dollars and Baybucks directly to a student’s university ID card to be used to purchase on-campus meals, groceries and snacks. SFSU Bookstore Gift Cards can be purchased online here. 100% of SFSU Bookstore surpluses are reinvested in campus community, "What’s Spent On Campus, Stays On Campus."