Dear Parents,

We are finally seeing some cooler days (thank goodness!) as fall welcomes us with breezy skies and a brilliant sun.

Advising and Registration for spring classes is well under way. All students should have met with their advisors by now to pick out a curriculum for the spring. Please make sure your student's account is paid up to date. A Hold on an account will slow down registration and I know your students are anxious to make a spring schedule.

I am so very thankful today, particularly for the blessing of being able to spend my days helping you help your student. I know you care. I can hear it in your voice and see it in your correspondence. Y'all teach ME every day how to be a better parent. Your students give me hope for the future. I see in them qualities I hope my own children possess one day. Thank you... We truly value parental involvement and studies continue to show a positive correlation between parental involvement and student success. If you are ever on the fence about a certain situation, please give our office a call and we can work together to "figure it out".

Don't forget, registration for Bulldog Family Weekend is NOW OPEN. Please make plans to join us February 17-19, 2017 as the Office of Parent Services hosts a True Maroon Family experience at Mississippi State University. Come find out why your student loves being a part of the Bulldog family! To register, visit: www.parents.msstate.edu/familyweekend/ The cost is set at $50 per person ($38 without a commemorative t-shirt) and will tentatively include the following: a Welcome Reception Friday night for parents, a pass to the entire baseball series (including a s'mores/hot chocolate bar in leftfield lounge during one of the games), breakfast Sunday for parents and students, and a Family Weekend t-shirt. You may want to go ahead and register and book early as hotels tend to fill up quickly around Starkville.

And before your student heads home for the holidays, check out our November calendar for ways you can help your student. parents.msstate.edu/resources/calendar/

A few important dates to note:

Please do not hesitate to call or email me (662.325.3611/parents@saffairs.msstate.edu) with any questions or concerns.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Dr. Cat Walker, Office of Parent Services


A Note from Housing & Residence Life

It has been a great fall semester in the Department of Housing and Residence Life with exciting programs, valuable educational and awareness events, and thriving community in all of our residence halls! As we quickly approach Winter Break, below is important information for students regarding closing in the residence halls:

RSVP (Renewal Selection Verification Process) takes place each spring semester (January/February) where current residents can apply to renew their housing contracts for the next academic year (2017-2018). Additional information will be available in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned to housing.msstate.edu for current updates. Emails and reminders will also be sent to your student regarding this process via their MSU Bully Mail account.


Student Account Payment Changes

Dear Parents,

Effective January 1, 2017, all credit/debit card payments must be processed online. Credit/debit card payments will no longer be accepted in person or over the telephone. This applies to payments made at Account Services in Garner Hall on the Starkville campus as well as payments made at the Business Office on the Meridian campus. This change is necessary in order to adhere to evolving industry regulations concerning the handling of cardholder data and to ensure your cardholder data continues to be processed in a safe, secure manner.

Student Online Payments

Students who wish to make a credit/debit card payment may follow the instructions found at http://www.controller.msstate.edu/accountservices/paymentinfo/.

Parent Online Payments

Parents may process online payments using the QuikPAY® system. In order to access the QuikPAY® system, parents must be set up as an Authorized Payer. Steps for becoming an Authorized Payer may be found at http://www.controller.msstate.edu/accountservices/paymentinfo/setup/.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this change in procedure, please do not hesitate to contact us by email, studentaccounts@msstate.edu, or by phone, 662.325.2071.

Sincerely,

Account Services Staff
Mississippi State University


A Note from the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center

We have MOVED!

The Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, opened in 1979 as the Office of Minority Affairs under the Division of Student Affairs, is excited to announce that it is expanding! Now with over twelve (12) organizations that promote diversity and inclusion among the students at Mississippi State University, the addition will make the office a total of 3,475 square feet - an 85 percent increase. The expansion of the HCDC office will go beyond providing more physical space. This expansion symbolizes the commitment MSU has for diversity and inclusion and its desire for all students to find a place to call home. Until the renovation is complete, staff members of the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center can be found on the 1st Floor of Hebert Hall. For more information please contact the Center at (662) 325-2033.

International Education Week

The Holmes Cultural Diversity Center and International Institute will celebrate International Education Week (IEW) festivities November 14th-18th. This week of events will focus on providing a place to celebrate the benefits of worldwide educational exchange. This year's event offers unique opportunities for faculty, staff, students and community members to interact with people of various nationalities and backgrounds to develop a broader understanding of today's globalizing world. For more information concerning the week's events please contact the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center at (662) 325-2033 or International Institute at (662) 325-8929. For a list of specific events, please visit http://international.msstate.edu/pdf/iew2016.pdf.

Fall Gospel Concert

A FREE Gospel Concert will take place at 6:45 pm in the Foster Ballroom of the Colvard Student Union on Saturday, November 12th. For more information contact the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center.

Last Football Game Tailgate

Join our Peers Assisting with Students (PAWS) program for the last football game tailgate on Saturday, November 19th from 1:00-3:00 pm at the tent in front of Moe’s. There will free food, fun, and activities.


A Note from The Learning Center

Final exams will be December 5-9. The Learning Center will be offering free tutoring and private tutoring to prepare students for the exams. Tutoring is available Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am - 7:00 pm and Fridays from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm. The Learning Center will follow this tutoring schedule through December 2nd. Feel free to call us at 662-325-2957 or email us at tlc@colled.msstate.edu if you have any questions.


A Note from Roxie Raven, MSU Student Association President

As our fall semester comes to a close, the Student Association is still hard at work to provide our students with events and initiatives to better their Mississippi State experience.

The Bulldog Table is a new initiative created by Freshman Council Director Michael Poole. The Bulldog Table serves as a space for strangers to become friends. The seats at this table are for all who choose to sit there. The goal is that students will form new relationships among their peers without the pressure of a structured meet-and-greet.

On Tuesday, November 8th, the hard work of the Community and Governmental Relations committee was rewarded when hundreds of students voted in Starkville for the first time. The Voter Registration Drive was a huge success, registering 1615 students to vote.

On Saturday, November 12th, the SA Fan Bus to Tuscaloosa depart at 7 a.m. to see the Bulldogs take on the Tide. Athletic Affairs has already led one fan bus this season, and its success prompted this trip.

On Tuesday, November 15th, Donald Zacharias Leadership Conference Application will go live. Freshman Forum works all school year to put on this conference for high school juniors and seniors.

On Wednesday, November 16th, at 5 p.m. Diversity and Outreach will host Diversity in the Dark ;in Foster Ballroom S, an event taking place in the dark where students may feel more comfortable asking questions about diversity.

From 11 am to 1 pm, Special Initiatives will hold Office on the Drill. Student Association Executive Members will be stationed in the Drill Field to be available for any questions that students might have about their role in this university or suggestions for how they can better our school.

On Wednesday, November 30th, History and Traditions committee will host Holiday in the Junction to celebrate winter holidays and the end of our semester.

On Monday, December 5th from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Late Night Events will host Cram Craze, a finals study break with donuts and coffee.

We are so grateful for the dedication of so many students and faculty to our efforts in bettering the bulldog experience for every student this semester. We are expectant and hopeful of an even better semester to come.


A Note from the Office of Financial Aid

Apply Now for 2017-2018 Financial Aid

You can complete the FAFSA beginning October 2016! Beginning with the 2017-18 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), students will be required to report income information from an earlier tax year. For the 2017-18 FAFSA, students and parents will report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income. Don't forget to transfer the tax information directly from the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to your FAFSA. Doing this will minimize the documents you are requested to submit.

File a FAFSA at https://fafsa.ed.gov. For information call Student Financial Aid at 662-325-2450 or visit www.sfa.msstate.edu/aid/fafsa/NEWFAFSA.php .

State Aid

Receive financial aid from the state of Mississippi? Beginning Fall 2016, students must enroll in & complete 15 hours per semester to maintain eligibility for the following programs

For more information, please visit http://riseupms.com/state-aid/

State Aid Programs - Full-time Enrollment Requirement

In an effort to encourage on-time completion, the Mississippi Postsecondary Education Financial Assistance Board changed the definition of full-time for the purposes of receiving state financial aid from 12 credit hours per semester to 15 credit hours per semester.

Beginning with the Fall 2016 semester, students must now enroll in and complete at least 15 credit hours per semester to maintain eligibility for state aid programs that require full-time enrollment. These changes apply only to the state aid programs listed below. They do NOT apply to federal aid (grants/loans) or MSU academic scholarships.

State Aid programs that require full-time enrollment:

Higher Education Legislative Plan for Needy Students (HELP)

Mississippi Resident Tuition Assistance Grant (MTAG)

Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG)

Teacher Education Scholars Forgivable Loan (TES)

William Winter Teacher and Alternate Route Teacher Forgivable Loan (WWTS/WWAR)

Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers and Firemen Scholarship (LAW)

Please note that if a student’s final enrollment for Fall 2016 is less than 15 credit hours, they will NOT be eligible to receive state aid funding for Spring 2017 unless an appeal has been approved. If a student loses eligibility for state aid, they can reapply for the 17/18 aid year.

Students can appeal the full-time enrollment requirement for individual exceptions based on the following:

  1. Student undergoes a significant personal event (serious illness, personal injury, divorce, or death of an immediate family member).
  2. Student is nearing degree completion and does not have enough hours remaining to warrant full-time enrollment.

Information on how to appeal to the 15 credit hour requirement for State Aid can be viewed online at http://www.sfa.msstate.edu/aid/fafsa/Template_Info_15_Credit.pdf.

Please contact the Department of Student Financial Aid for additional information at 662-325-2450.


Maroon Volunteer Center

It is never a bad time to GIVE.

As the semester draws to a close please consider donating any of the unused canned and boxed food goods to the Maroon Volunteer Center. We will be sending donations to local food pantries to help fill their shelves during the holiday season. Cans and other items can be brought to the Maroon Volunteer Center in Moseley Hall 306.

Another lovely opportunity to give back this holiday season is the Giving Tree at Barnes & Noble. Each year the MVC partners with Palmer Children’s Home and a few other local children’s agencies to help provide holiday gifts to children who may otherwise may not receive any. Simply grab a tag from the tree at Barnes & Noble listing what a child has requested. Purchase all or some of the gifts, wrap them and return the tag attached to the gifts to Barnes & Noble no later than December 12th.

For more information on either of these projects please contact Delilah Schmidt at 662-325-2150 or dschmidt@saffairs.msstate.edu


IS YOUR STUDENT GRADUATING NEXT MONTH???

If your MSU senior intends to graduate at the end of this semester, please remind him or her to go online and “Apply for a Degree” in myState. The initial deadline to apply has passed so late fees will apply. November 30 is absolutely the last day to apply. For more information, refer to the Academic Calendar athttp://www.registrar.msstate.edu/calendars/academic-calendar/

Once your student has applied for his or her degree, make sure the account balance has been paid in full. The deadline to pay accounts and be awarded a degree this semester is December 9 (Graduation Day!) Students owing money after December 9 will not graduate this semester and must reapply for Spring graduation.

Lastly, degree applicants who plan to participate in the Commencement ceremony on the evening of December 9 should contact Barnes & Noble bookstore or go online (https://gradsupply.com/mississippi-state-university/) to order caps and gowns. Late fees will apply.

If your students have questions about the degree application process, encourage them to contact the Registrar’s Office at 662.325.4123.

COMMENCEMENT

The commencement ceremony for all colleges will be held Friday evening, December 9. Students must be present by 6 pm to march at 6:30. The ceremony will begin at 7 pm. Tickets are not required for attendance. Visit registrar.mstate.edu for more detailed information.


State Aid

State Aid Programs - Full-time Enrollment Requirement

In an effort to encourage on-time completion, the Mississippi Postsecondary Education Financial Assistance Board changed the definition of full-time for the purposes of receiving state financial aid from 12 credit hours per semester to 15 credit hours per semester.

Beginning with the Fall 2016 semester, students must now enroll in and complete at least 15 credit hours per semester to maintain eligibility for state aid programs that require full-time enrollment. These changes apply only to the state aid programs listed below. They do NOT apply to federal aid (grants/loans) or MSU academic scholarships.

State Aid programs that require full-time enrollment:

Higher Education Legislative Plan for Needy Students (HELP)

Mississippi Resident Tuition Assistance Grant (MTAG)

Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG)

Teacher Education Scholars Forgivable Loan (TES)

William Winter Teacher and Alternate Route Teacher Forgivable Loan (WWTS/WWAR)

Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers and Firemen Scholarship (LAW)

Please note that if a student’s final enrollment for Fall 2016 is less than 15 credit hours, they will NOT be eligible to receive state aid funding for Spring 2017 unless an appeal has been approved. If a student loses eligibility for state aid, they can reapply for the 1718 aid year.

Students can appeal the full-time enrollment requirement for individual exceptions based on the following:

  1. Student undergoes a significant personal event (serious illness, personal injury, divorce, or death of an immediate family member).
  2. Student is nearing degree completion and does not have enough hours remaining to warrant full-time enrollment.

Information on how to appeal to the 15 credit hour requirement for State Aid can be viewed online at http://www.sfa.msstate.edu/aid/fafsa/Template_Info_15_Credit.pdf.

Please contact the Department of Student Financial Aid for additional information at 662-325-2450.


A Note from the Longest Student Health Center

Pharmacy reminder:

Anyone needing prescriptions refilled before the holidays will want to contact the Student Health Center Pharmacy at 325.8205.

Flu Vaccines are available at The Student Health Center while supplies last. Call for information or an appointment at 325.7539.

Flu clinic dates are listed at our website.

http://www.health.msstate.edu/healthcenter/

MSU Student Health Insurance Plan

Open enrollment for the MSU Student Health Plan is open until January 31, 2017 for students interested in enrolling /re-enrolling for Spring 2017. For information on the MSU Health Plan go to the MSU Student Health Center website and link to Insurance.

http://www.health.msstate.edu/healthcenter/insurance_student.php

Questions: Call Robert Cadenhead 662.325.5895 or email rwc77@msstate.edu


A Note from MSU Barnes & Noble

Rental Textbooks

Did your student rent textbooks from Barnes & Noble? The last day to return rental textbooks is Friday, December 9th. Encourage your student to avoid replacement fees by returning rental textbooks by 7pm on this day. If your student is unsure as to whether or not a book is a rental, tell him/her to come by the bookstore and check before selling back any rental textbooks.

Bookstore Tip - Avoid the Line and Shop Online

Remember to check out the book list for Spring 2017 classes. Your student can place an order for books as soon as they register for classes. Remember that used and rentals are hot commodities - pre-order to save the most money. All book orders submitted by January 4th will be available for pick-up by January 7th. Also, don't forget we not only price match all of our local competitors,but also Amazon.com and bn.com on items shipped and sold by them. Please contact the bookstore at sm204@bncollege.com or (662) 325-8361 for more details.


A Note from MSU Dining

Fall is finally in the air and Thanksgiving is right around the corner!

Before campus closes for Thanksgiving Break, we will host our traditional Thanksgiving Residential Event for students at The Fresh Food Company on November 17th. Pegasus Dining at the Wise Center will also feature a Blue Plate Thanksgiving Lunch on November 15th for students, faculty, and visitors on that side of campus. We are excited to announce that The Fresh Food Company will be open throughout Thanksgiving Break for those students who will not be traveling, and will feature a Thanksgiving Menu on November 24th. Menus will include Turkey, Dressing, and all the fixings! If the family is in town, we invite you to dine with us; everyone is welcome! Check for Hours of Operation for Thanksgiving Break that will be posted on our website, www.msstatedining.com.

Meal Plan Promotion: If your student ran out of Block Meals or Flex Dollars too soon or missed out on a Meal Plan during the fall semester, it’s not too late for the spring semester! If your student signs-up for, or upgrades, their Meal Plan during the promotional time period they will receive a Discount Punch Card for 30% OFF to 5 different locations across campus! Additionally, the Dining Dawgs Team will be set up around campus during the first few days to kick off the promotion giving students the opportunity to ask questions, and sign-up or upgrade their Meal Plan. Offer will run November 14th – January 23rd. Terms and Conditions do apply.

The MSU Dining Family wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving!



Q & A...