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November 2016

Hello Parents and Family Members!

Fall is in full swing here at Winthrop! In this edition of the Eagle Family Connection, we have important information regarding upcoming events and deadlines, as well as some tips on how to best support your student and help him or her in his or her journey to success at Winthrop. In the Course Registration article from the Registrar’s Office, you will find vital information about signing up for spring classes. The Provost’s Office has provided some information and brochure about how to help your student access appropriate resources at Winthrop in the Matching Students with Student Resources article. The Financial Aid Office has provided an article outlining changes to completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Check out the Winthrop Homecoming article for more information about this year’s Winthrop Homecoming. We would love to see our parents and family members join us at our events during this exciting time! Residence Life has outlined some policies regarding the closure of residence halls for the Thanksgiving holiday. Finally, in our Dining Services article you will find information about a Café Cash Add-On Special. As always, the Office of New Student and Family Programs is here to keep you connected and informed. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

The Office of New Student and Family Programs
248 DiGiorgio Campus Center

Course Registration

November is here, and that means it will be time to register for spring classes. If your student is a new freshman or transfer this semester, this will be a new experience: no sitting in a computer lab with 50 other new students, surrounded by Orientation personnel to help. So, what do they do?

The first step to a successful registration is to be advised. All degree-seeking students must meet with their academic advisor in order to be cleared to register. Students should look through the course offerings (found in Wingspan and on the Records and Registration page) to plan their spring schedule. The students should also be prepared to discuss their academic plan with their advisor. DegreeWorks, the online degree progress system, clearly lays out the student’s degree requirements with what they have completed and what they have yet to complete.

Second, the students should make sure they have no “holds” on their account. Are there any outstanding financial balances? Have they provided Health and Counseling with appropriate immunization information? Students can view all holds via their Wingspan account. The student will be unable to register until all registration holds are removed.

Third, the students should make note of their time assignment found HERE. Because Winthrop cannot register 6,000 students at the same time, times are staggered throughout a six-day period. Graduate students and seniors register first. Freshmen are on the last day.

Finally, what do students do if they cannot register for several of their classes because they are already full? Students should always have alternate classes picked out, but if that doesn’t work, they can contact the department chairperson for the course to request an override. Students should keep in mind that other students change their schedules all the time and seats may become available later in the semester.

The Registrar has already sent an e-mail to all students and placed an announcement on Wingspan that outlined all the items above. We understand that the registration process can sometimes be a frustrating time for students, and the Office of Records and Registration is available to assist your student with this. Please make sure they understand they can call, e-mail, or come by the office for any issues they may be having.

Gina G. Jones, M.Ed.
Winthrop University
Office of Records and Registration

Matching Students with Student Resources

Winthrop has a wealth of campus resources to ensure your student has the best chance of success in all aspects of the Winthrop experience. Each year, the Provost’s office produces a brochure called “Matching Students with Student Resources” and distributes it to faculty members. Parents and families may be interested in the approach Winthrop takes to help ensure successful outcomes for all students. Check out the brochure and see all the resources that are available to your student. 

A Message from Financial Aid

If you have a child preparing for, or already in college, you’ve probably heard that major changes have come to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in 2017-18. Those changes -- which are referred to by the terms “early FAFSA” and “prior-prior year” -- will accelerate the schedule for filling out the FAFSA. But there’s no need to worry! The changes are designed to give students and families more time, and a clearer financial aid picture before beginning the next academic year. 

The FAFSA can now be completed as early as October 1 each year, a full three months earlier than previously allowed. This change is a result of executive action taken by President Obama. More information about this change can be found on our website. A second important change is the FAFSA will now use prior year tax information. For the 17/18 FAFSA, students (and their parents) will use 2015 tax information.

We believe that these changes will be very beneficial to our students. We currently have many students who are not able to finish their financial aid file until late summer/early fall because their family’s tax information is not available from the IRS. Being able to complete the FAFSA with prior year tax data should reduce the delays students currently experience during the financial aid process.

We encourage parents to share this information with their students as soon as possible. Please keep in mind that Winthrop University still has a March 1 priority deadline to file the FAFSA in order to be considered for certain need-based aid programs. However, the sooner the FAFSA is completed the better, especially as it relates to funding that may be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If you have any questions about these changes, or other financial aid matters, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Financial Aid. An appointment is never needed to drop by the office and speak with us.

Residence Halls Close for Thanksgiving Break 

As with every extended break, residence halls will close for the Thanksgiving holiday promptly at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, November 23 and will reopen at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 27. Students will not be allowed to enter their residence hall room after the 9 a.m. closing.

As students depart, residence hall staff will check every room for general health and safety. These inspections are plain view searches. Staff will be checking for prohibited items including fire hazards (extension cords, candles, etc.) and will also check the general cleanliness of the room and suite bathrooms. Residence hall contracts state that health and safety inspections periodically occur.

Special arrangements for students to stay can be made for those students who are student teachers, participating in an internship, athletes whose names have been submitted by the Athletic Department, students with Rock Hill area jobs, and students that live more than 300 miles from the Winthrop campus.

A Break Stay form, which is passed out to all students with more instructions, must be submitted online via Wingspan and the Eaglesnest Housing link for review and approval. Students who are staying for the holiday break must make their own arrangements to stay in Lee Wicker, Phelps, Richardson, Roddey or The Courtyard, if not currently assigned. All other halls will be closed.

All approved students will be able to print a permission form that they must keep throughout the break. Students are not allowed to have room guests during the break. Students are able to call their Residential Learning Coordinator (RLC) or Residence Life at 803/323-2223 with further questions.

Winthrop Homecoming

Homecoming at Winthrop is an important part of the spirit and tradition of the University, involving students, faculty, staff, alumni and you, as a Winthrop parent or family member. We are extremely excited for this year’s Homecoming week, which will be held from Monday, November 7 – Saturday, November 12! The week will kick off with Paint the Town Garnet and Gold as we show our Eagle pride around campus, painting the windows of DIGS and the West Center Garnet and Gold. There are many other exciting events throughout the week, like the Homecoming Court events, an Election Night Watch Party, the Eagle Madness Pep Rally, a WU Got Talent? Homecoming Talent Show, our Garnet and Gold Friday, the Homecoming Step Show, and a tailgate to accompany the Winthrop sporting events taking place that weekend. Please take a look at a more detailed schedule of our Homecoming events HERE.

Overall, Homecoming is a great time full of fun that will always give alumni and current students an opportunity to reminisce over their memories at Winthrop. All of the events showcase our Eagle pride and highlight the welcoming atmosphere of our Winthrop community. With all of this in mind, we hope that you will help us continue the traditions of homecoming at Winthrop by encouraging your student to take advantage of all that this tradition has to offer. We also encourage you as a Winthrop parent or family member to support these events and help establish and build those traditions of which we are so fond and proud.

A Message from Dining Services

Greetings from Dining Services! We have enjoyed getting to meet your new students here at our dining locations. With a new selection of students, we have noticed many new trends in food habits. The managers are working hard to keep up with the latest trends and hope that your student is enjoying dining here at Winthrop University. If you should ever have any feedback or concern, please feel free to contact us – we are here for your student and want them to feel at home every meal!

We also know that students are now beginning to understand their meal plans and Café Cash. During these next few months we start to notice students getting low on Café Cash. We are now running a Café Cash Add-On Special available for a limited time only. For every $100 of Café Cash you purchase we will credit your student’s account with an additional 10% for FREE. Café Cash can be used at any dining services location on campus (including the Eagle Express convenience store). You can easily add Café Cash with a credit card on our Dining Services website. You will need to set up a user name and log-in. Remember, Café Cash will carry over into spring if your student does not use all of it.

Please make sure you check out our Dining Services website, Twitter and Instagram to see all the exciting things we are doing in the dining locations. You can find us on social media by searching for Winthrop Dining Services (@winthropdining). Our theme meals have been a hit, and we are excited to offer more – you never know, you might just see your student in our pictures!

Important Dates

Wednesday, November 2

Early registration begins

Monday, November 7 - Saturday, November 12

Winthrop Homecoming

Tuesday, November 8

Election Day (no classes; offices open)

Wednesday, November 23 - Sunday, November 27

Thanksgiving Break (no classes; offices closed)

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