Parent E-News: December 2017
Greetings!

How is it already December? It feels like just yesterday we were welcoming parents, siblings, grandparents, and family friends to campus for Parents Weekend!

As the semester winds down and the last day of classes quickly approaches (Dec. 8), encourage your student to start studying and preparing for final exams.

The Student Success Center is a great resource for students as they seek extra tutoring or exam review with Supplemental Instruction. While the Thomas Cooper Library is open day and night for the remainder of the semester, encourage your student to practice self-care and rest as they prepare for final exams and presentations. Students can also utilize Success Coaches offered through the University Advising Center to develop academic goals and set a strong foundation for the spring semester.

We hope you enjoy having your student at home with you over the break. Our team wishes you a wonderful holiday season and a fantastic new year!

Make sure to like us on  Facebook , follow us on  Instagram  and visit the  Parent & Family Programs website  for timely posts and monthly tips to supplement this newsletter.

Pictured above: Cocky enjoying a previous Tree Lighting Ceremony. This year's event will take place Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. on the Horseshoe.
Exciting Changes in 2018
As we move closer to the new year, we are excited to announce we will be transitioning to the Office of Parent & Family Programs in 2018. This change in name reflects the University of South Carolina's continued commitment to serving our students and the family members who support them!
Reminders from Off-Campus Student Services
The housing search is currently underway , and there are several ways you can assist your student. There is plenty of time and there are many options for your student's housing search, and it is important that they consider key factors such as location, roommates and budgeting. The Office of Off-Campus Student Services provides many resources online, and we encourage you and your student to look through our "Steps to Find Off-Campus Housing." We are available Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. to answer your questions at (803)777-3366 and saocss@mailbox.sc.edu.

Before students return home for the holidays , it is crucial they take some time to secure their home and belongings. Please encourage your students to adhere to the safety tips below to best protect their property:
1. Lock all doors and windows
2. Close blinds and curtains
3. Lock cars, and do not leave valuables in vehicles
4. Secure bikes, mopeds and scooters
5. Leave a vehicle parked on the property if possible
News from the Bursar's Office
Spring 2018 Fee Payment and Bills
Spring 2018 fee payment will begin Jan. 2 at our new location - 1244 Blossom Street. Once your student registers, bills will be available via your student’s Self Service Carolina (SSC) account. Please be sure your student reviews their bill thoroughly, ensuring that all charges are present and accurate. If discrepancies are identified, contact our office. The payment deadline for spring 2018 is Jan. 10. The deadline for payment by mail is Dec. 13. Failure to pay the spring balance in full, or set up a payment plan by the Jan. 10 deadline, can result in the course schedule being dropped. If a student is dropped from courses for non-payment, a $75 reinstatement fee will be assessed.

Payment Plans
Payment plans for the spring semester are available through your student's SSC account. These plans will allow your student to pay throughout the semester, per a monthly schedule, until the balance is paid in full. To facilitate the payment plan process, an initial payment of 25% of the total balance is to be paid after all financial aid has been applied, plus a $75 administrative fee. This is due at the time the student enrolls in the payment plan. Three additional payments are due over the next three months, resulting in a total of four payments per semester. Spring 2018 deadlines: Feb. 12, March 12, April 10. A late fee of $100 will be applied if your payment is not made on time. Payment plans can be set up with scheduled payments, or one time payments where each monthly payment is submitted manually by the student/authorized user.

The payment plan covers tuition, housing, meal plans, and technology and program fees. Any charges that are not captured in the payment plan, i.e., parking citations, health service charges, student conduct charges, etc., must be paid manually by line item via the student's SSC account. The monthly payment can be paid in person, mailed to the Bursar’s Office, or online with an e-check/credit card via SSC. The payment plan does not carry over to the next semester. The student is required to enroll in the payment plan each semester. Contact our office or visit our website for more information.

Refunds
We strongly urge your student to set up a direct deposit account for potential refunds in order for funds to be received most efficiently. This can be done through SSC. If direct deposit is not set up on the student account, a paper check will be issued and mailed to the address listed as current on the student record.

Authorized Users
Students have the ability to assign authorized users to their account via SSC and only they can do so. This authorization will allow the user to view the student's bill, payment history, 1098T information and payment plan, receive account communication, and most importantly - speak with the Bursar's Office about the student's account. If your student does not authorize you/others as authorized users, we will be unable to discuss the account activity with you per FERPA regulations.

Student Email Account
It is critical for your student to check their USC email account often. While we understand students may have several different email accounts, it is via the student's USC email account that important financial activity is communicated, i.e., statements, balances, outstanding debt, tax information, hold information and drop deadlines.
Book Signing with
First Lady
Patricia Moore-Pastides
Join author Patricia Moore-Pastides, the First Lady of the University of South Carolina, to buy a copy of her new book for your student or graduate.

Ms. Moore-Pastides will be greeting grads and parents while signing copies of At Home in the Heart of the Horseshoe at the campus Barnes & Noble on Sunday, Dec. 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. This gorgeous coffee-table style book makes a great gift for any Gamecock fan!
CarolinaCard Office Reminders
We hope that you had a great Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the holidays! We here at the CarolinaCard Office want to make sure that your student is set for their upcoming final exams. As a parent, supporting your student during this time is key for their success ! A great way to support your student is to make sure they have available CarolinaCa$h to buy a coffee to study late, snacks to stay full, and extra pencils for exams.

Adding CarolinaCa$h is now easier than ever. To add funds to your student's account, follow these simple steps:
1. Go to: get.cbord.com/sc
2. Click “Click Here to Deposit into a Student's Account” under Parents, Guardians or Other Relatives
3. Enter in your student's information (VIPID, last name, date of birth)
4. Enter in billing information
5. Confirm information
6. FINISHED!
 
We wish you and your student the best during the holiday season!
Student Health Services Upcoming Events
Pet a Pup
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m. – noon
Students can pet away their worries and stress with service dogs in training on the Center for Health and Well-Being patio!
 
De-Stress To Be Your Best Fest
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 3 6 p.m.
Students can come and unwind with Changing Carolina Peer Leaders in their winter-themed De-Stress Fest. There will be opportunities to learn about self-care, gratitude and ways to relieve stress while studying for final exams at the Russell House first floor Information Desk!
 
Gamecocks Eat Well
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 5:30 7 p.m.
Healthy Holiday Swaps - Maintaining a well-balanced diet during the holidays can be challenging. Students will learn how to lighten up holiday recipes. Gamecocks Eat Well Cooking Classes are free and open to any university student. A registered dietitian provides knowledge of nutrition and hands-on instruction for preparation of healthy, balanced meals. Registration is required.
If Williams-Brice took a selfie!
Parents Weekend
Football Game Panorama
Reminisce about Parents Weekend 2017 through Blakeway Gigapixel's 360º panorama picture of the Gamecocks vs. Razorbacks game on Oct. 7.

You can tag yourself and your family in this massive stadium selfie, as well as purchase a framed copy to commemorate your weekend!
"How to celebrate the
holidays at Carolina"
When Anjali Amalean started school at Carolina in 2014, the biochemistry and molecular biology student began looking for opportunities to volunteer in Columbia. Growing up in Spartanburg, SC, she had been heavily involved in community service through Girl Scouts and wanted to continue to give back during college.
"Undergraduate research opens door to opportunity"
Pre-med sophomore Karlye Denner was working at a Columbia health clinic when she began to notice the high number of Latino patients who seemed at risk for diabetes. Intrigued, the Capstone Scholar from Closter, NJ, applied for a Magellan Apprentice Undergraduate Research Grant to conduct independent research.
Important Upcoming Dates
Dec. 8: Last day of classes
Dec. 9: Reading Day
Dec. 11: Final exams begin
Dec. 18, 2:30 p.m.: Fall 2017 Commencement
Dec. 19, 10 a.m.: Residence halls close
Dec. 19, Noon: Greek Village closes
Jan. 10, 8 a.m.: Residence halls open
Jan. 14, Noon: Greek Village opens
Jan. 16: Spring 2018 classes begin
University of South Carolina offices will be closed Dec. 21 - Jan 1.
We will reopen Jan. 2 at 8:30 a.m.
Please continue to visit our website for information and resources at sa.sc.edu/parents . As always, we are only a phone call or email away, and we encourage your feedback!
Office of Parent & Family Programs
University of South Carolina
Website:  sa.sc.edu/parents  
Parents Assistance Line: 1-800-868-6752