In This Issue
  • COVID-19 Updates
  • Bursar's Office
  • Career Center
  • CarolinaCard
  • On Your Time Initiatives
  • Postal Services
  • Student Life
  • Substance Abuse Prevention and Education
  • UofSC Alumni Association
  • Parents Annual Fund
  • UofSC Parents App
  • University News
Hello Gamecock families!

The semester is officially in full swing, students are back in the groove and campus is lively. We've been lucky to have some wonderful sneak peeks of spring, allowing students to soak in the sun on the Horseshoe, at ball games, and around town. However, we know winter can still be tough as daylight is limited and chilly temperatures encourage bundling up and hunkering down. It's important to remember the university offers many mental health resources for students year round. My team in Student Life and my colleagues across campus have prepared great engagement opportunities for UofSC students to beat the dreary days and keep a sunny outlook this semester. This monthly newsletter details many of these opportunities.
Speaking of engagement opportunities: Did you know UofSC is a national leader in supporting students through tracking and making meaning of their activities outside the traditional classroom? My UofSC Experience helps ensure students articulate how their beyond the classroom engagements have contributed to personal and professional growth – something employers and graduate schools value.
I hope you find this newsletter to be a great resource in supporting your student. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to the Office of Parent & Family Programs by phone (800-868-6752) or email (scparents@sc.edu). We are excited to welcome Leena Holt to our office as our new director of parent and family programs! We will continue evaluating how we streamline information, support and communication to our parents and families. Let us know how we can help you! 
Anna C. Edwards, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Student Life
Stay updated with our office throughout the summer by downloading the Parent & Family Programs mobile appliking us on Facebook, following us on Instagramand visiting the Parents & Families Gateway for timely posts and monthly tips to supplement this newsletter.
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Spring 2021 Testing Update
In an effort to keep your student and the campus community safe, the University of South Carolina is requiring certain students to be tested once every 30 days over the course of the semester. Students who are required to test have been divided into four testing groups and will receive an email notification on the Sunday of the week their group is scheduled for testing. Your student could receive a fine or suspension if they are non-compliant with their monthly test requirement. To learn more about testing requirements, testing groups, sanctions, and exemptions, click here.
COVID-19 Dashboard
The university is continually monitoring conditions to determine what additional mitigation actions the campus community should take to keep themselves and others safer. These conditions contribute to the current campus status. The dashboard is updated Tuesday and Friday afternoons.
Bursar's Office
1098T Educational Tax Credit Statements
Beginning with the 2018 tax year, the IRS is now requiring schools to report the total amount of payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses from all sources during the calendar year in Box 1. Because of this change, the University Of South Carolina will report payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses in Box 1 of the form, whereas in previous years, we reported amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses in Box 2. Box 2 is no longer an option. IRS guidelines require that student transactions must be reported in the calendar year in which they occur. The calendar year begins January 1st and ends December 31st.

Via Self-Service Carolina (SSC), we urge you to advise your student to opt into the online version of the 1098T statements so they can be conveniently printed from a home/school computer. Due to the sensitive nature of the information contained in the 1098T statement, we cannot email or fax them.

Spring 2021 Payment Plans
If your student has a Payment Plan for Spring 2021, please remember the next payment is due Feb. 10.

Changes to Your Student's Bill
Please remind your student to frequently review their bill on SSC. Each time a change is made to the account, i.e., dropping/adding classes, changing meal plans, changing housing, and adding optional fees – additional/unexpected charges can be added. Unpaid balances on your student's account can result in course cancellation.

Dropping Classes
Please advise your student that dropping classes at this point will likely result in some financial liability for the course even though your student may no longer attend the course(s). "Parts of Term" should be carefully examined for the refund deadline details before a course is dropped. We strongly advise that students contact our office to discuss dropping courses before doing so.

Authorized Users
Students can assign Authorized Users to their account in SSC. This authorization will allow the Authorized User to see the student's bill, payment history, 1098T information and Payment Plans, receive emails, as well as speak with the Bursar's Office staff about the student's account. We strongly encourage students to set up Authorized Users on their account.

Direct Deposits
If your student expects to receive a refund, which includes excess financial aid, please have them set up direct deposit via SSC.

If your student is expecting a refund and they have set up a direct deposit, please allow at least 72 hours for the funds to be deposited. If a direct deposit is not in place, your student will receive a paper check via mail to the current address on file, which could take up to 5-7 business days, or more, depending on U.S. mail service.

Student Email
Please encourage your student to check their student email account frequently. We communicate via email with students about financial activity on the student account. We find that too often, students do not connect this email account to their phones, nor do they check the email account. As a result, communication about drop deadlines, payment deadlines, and statement information goes unread and uncommunicated to family members.
Career Center
Spring 2021 Virtual Career Fairs & Events
We are excited to connect your student(s) to employers looking to hire for various positions and career opportunities. All virtual fairs will take place via Handshake, the university’s career management platform, and will allow interactions to be done in a one-on-one text and video chat format.

February 4, 2021 | 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
UofSC Virtual Career & Internship Fair: STEM
Register here.

February 9, 2021 | 3:00 PM - 8:30 PM
UofSC Virtual Career Fair: Education Recruitment Day
Register here.

Parent/Family Virtual Career Sessions
The Career Center strives to provide support for our students when it comes to their success at UofSC and beyond! We know that you (as parents and/or family members) play an integral role in our students' lives and decisions. We are excited to bring you into the fold through our live, virtual sessions this semester for information and conversation to better help you help your student. You can register for any of our sessions here
Deposit CarolinaCa$h as a care package gift, so your student can take a trip to visit our off-campus vendors. Family members can deposit funds 24/7 by using GET. You will need the following information: Student’s VIPID, Birthday, and Last name. Funds can also be added by calling the CarolinaCard Office at (803)-777-1708 or in person by visiting our office in the Russell House Basement.

CarolinaCa$h can be used at all UofSC dining locations, on-campus parking garages, print labs, vending machines, Center for Wellness (COVID Testing), UofSC Barnes & Noble Bookstore, concession stands at Colonial Life Arena, 40+ off-campus vendors, and much more!
On Your Time Initiatives
Summer Session Courses
Summer Semester has always been a great way for students to get ahead with their educational goals, but it just got even better. Your student can now earn a minor in Hospitality, Retail, and Tourism or Retailing in one summer! The College of HRSM has put together a special curriculum during Summer Semester to allow students to easily add a minor without delaying graduation. Minors help students build new skillsets for their future careers and give a competitive edge for graduate school and job applications. Stay tuned as more colleges add minors to Summer Semester.

To learn more about Summer Semester and find out how your student can get ahead or stay on track for graduation, visit sc.edu/summer.
Postal Services
There are now seven Amazon locker locations on campus. The lockers are fully automated and allow for package pickup and returns for all Amazon customers. Students can select these pickup locations at checkout for many of their Amazon purchases allowing them 24/7 access with more control over pickup location. For more information, please visit the Postal Services website or email rhstumailctr@mailbox.sc.edu.
Student Life
The mission of the Department of Student Life is to advance student success by serving as the catalyst for student involvement. We provide opportunities for every student to define a unique involvement story that prepares them to lead and serve as an engaged global citizen.

Campus Recreation
Campus Recreation has so much to offer students in our facilities, on-campus, in the community, and even in their own homes. Check out our website for facility hours and how your student can get engaged and stay involved!

Fraternity and Sorority Life
The Gadsden Devine parking lot is now open for those with Greek Village meal plans during meal times. More information can be found here.

Gamecock Entertainment
Encourage your student to follow Gamecock Entertainment for FREE and FUN activities!

Gamecock Pantry
Support South Carolina students experiencing food insecurity by helping the Gamecock Pantry stock their shelves! Running to the grocery store to pick up some food to stock your student's residence hall room? Consider throwing a few extra items in your cart to donate to the Gamecock Pantry. Visit the Gamecock Pantry website for details.

Leadership and Service Center
Alternative Break Trips are a unique opportunity way to help others during the university’s fall, winter, and spring breaks. Our 2020-2021 trips will serve across Columbia where participants will collaborate with local service providers to meet specific community needs. A great way to get to know Columbia better while serving with your fellow Gamecocks. Our two Spring Break trip themes are Women and Children's Care and Environmentalism and will be taking place March 12-14. Apply by February 5th!

Nominations and applications are now open for this year's Leadership & Service Awards! These awards recognize outstanding students, student organizations, faculty, staff, and local professionals that exemplify leadership or community service. Encourage your students to learn more about each of our awards and how to apply on our webpage.

Off-Campus Living & Neighborhood Relations
Is your student looking for off-campus housing?
Encourage them to stop by the Off-Campus Housing Fair on Tuesday, February 16 from 11 am- 1 pm on Davis Field and Greene Street. Apartment community representatives will be available to answer questions about their property and students can pick up resources to help them navigate their housing search.
Questions about off-campus housing?
Contact us today at saocss@mailbox.sc.edu or 803-777-3366.

Religious and Spiritual Life
UofSC is committed to helping every interested student find their spiritual home while at UofSC. Getting more involved in campus religious life in the new year? If so, please encourage them to come to the Faith Fair on 2/9 in front of the Russell House on Greene Street from 11-2 pm to connect with religious and spiritual student organizations and learn more about spiritual life on campus. More information about campus spiritual and religious life can be found here.
Substance Abuse Prevention and Education (SAPE)
Talking with College Students About Alcohol
The Office of Parent & Family Programs has partnered with South Carolina's Substance Abuse Prevention and Education team to provide an in-depth guide to talking with your student about alcohol use during their time in college. Backed by comprehensive research, this conversation guide is available to download for University of South Carolina parents and family members. Use code "UofSCfamily" as the username and password when logging in to access the guide. 
If you feel concerned at any point during your student's time at South Carolina about alcohol or drug abuse, you can refer them to receive assistance through the STIR coaching program as part of Substance Abuse Prevention and Education's many initiatives to assist students in making good and healthy choices during college.

AlcoholEdu, Sexual Assault Prevention for Undergraduates, and Bold & Brave Dialogues are required for all incoming Spring 2021 students. Part 2 of AlcoholEdu and SAPU will be available 45 days after the completion of Part 1. To access the courses, log into Self Service Carolina and follow the links provided under the Community Education tab.

For questions about AlcoholEdu and SAPU please use sape@sc.edu or 803.777.3933. For questions about Bold & Brave Dialogues please use eop@mailbox.sc.edu or 803.777.3854.
UofSC Alumni Association
Ring Week
Order your UofSC Ring during Ring Week February 1 - 5 in the second-floor lobby of the Russell House. Representatives from Balfour will be available 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on these dates. To learn more about the UofSC Ring, including who is eligible, the South Carolina Ring Saver Program and more, click here.

You must purchase your ring by the end of Ring Week (February 5) to be eligible to participate in the Spring 2021 Ring Ceremony.

Dates: Monday, February 1 - Friday, February 5
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (every day)
Location: Russell House University Union (1400 Greene St.)
Registration not required

Ring Ceremony
Take part in a time-honored South Carolina tradition by attending the Official Ring Ceremony on Sunday, April 11 at 2 p.m.! Hear from University of South Carolina President, Bob Caslen, UofSC Alumni Association President, Robin Roberts, and Garnet Circle leadership during this special ceremony. Please note the format of the Ring Ceremony (virtual or on-campus) has not yet been determined. A decision will be made by mid-March 2021 and communicated here.
Parents Annual Fund
What Is the Parents Annual Fund?
Families who are eager to demonstrate their support for the university their students chose to attend can give to this tax-deductible fund. Your gifts contribute to programs and services that directly impact University of South Carolina students and families.
Your Involvement Is What Matters Most
Your participation in the Parents Annual Fund is more important than the size of your gift. Whether your gift is $25, $250 or $25,000, we appreciate your support. Your gift means we can offer important resources to enhance the college experience and improve educational opportunities for students.
Download the Award-Winning UofSC Parent and Family Programs Mobile App
Access university resources when you need them — compiled just for you in one easy-to-use mobile app!

Download the app by searching "University of South Carolina Parents" in the app store or text the link to your phone and find out why it has been accessed more than 210,000 times by UofSC families!

This 24/7 resource is the winner of the 2020 Outstanding Parent and Family Relations Institutional Initiative Award from NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and a recipient of the 2019 Award of Excellence from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
"UofSC's budget request prioritizes students, South Carolinians"

"Our budget request allows the entire university system to focus on key state priorities, such as increasing access and affordability to higher education for the people of South Carolina, while holding down tuition cost for students systemwide."

UofSC President Bob Caslen

An endowed chair in the School of Information Science, an associate professor of higher education who directs the university’s Museum of Education, and a Gamecock football player who proclaimed “’Matter’ is the Minimum” during last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests are the university’s 2021 Social Justice Awards winners.
Please continue to visit the Parents & Families Gateway for information and resources at sc.edu/parents.

Office of Parent & Family Programs
University of South Carolina
Website: sc.edu/parents 
Parents Assistance Line: 1-800-868-6752