Volume 2 - Issue 4 - November 2019
In This Issue:
USC Aiken Celebrates New Entrance | Parenting a USC Aiken Pacer: Are You an Active Listener? | Scholarship Information | It's Time to Apply for Financial Aid | WORC Scholarship Recognition | Meal Plan Declining Balance: Use It or Lose It | Advancement Vice Chancellor - Mary Driscoll | Featured Student Organization - Zeta Tau Alpha | Free Tutoring | Newsletter Survey | Thanksgiving Break Information | Holiday Gifts | Gregg-Graniteville Library Finals Week Resources | Parent and Family Relations Assistance | Save the Date and Quick Links
USC Aiken Celebrates New Entrance

The next time you visit campus, you may notice a new entrance off University Parkway which was made possible by the Aiken County Commission for Higher Education.

The space showcases USC Aiken's new logo and better connects the campus to our supportive community.

Go, Pacers!

Parenting a USC Aiken Pacer:
Are You an Active Listener?
"The single most helpful thing you can do when communicating with your student is to listen." (Farber and O'Brien: 51 Tips for Parents of College Students. 2017)

When your student talks to you, are you actively listening, or are you like so many of us who multitask during conversations? Active listening means giving the speaker your undivided attention. It means processing what is being said and not formulating a response before the talker completes a thought.

Sometimes when students confide in parents, they don't necessarily want a solution mapped out for them. They just want to share a circumstance with people they can trust - their family.

The next time your student starts an in-person or virtual conversation, actively listen. Be patient so they can finish a total thought before you reply or ask questions to clarify the situation. They may appreciate your time and attentiveness as they figure out a solution on their own.
Gregg-Graniteville Library
Finals Week Resources
To accommodate student demand for study space during finals week, the  Gregg-Graniteville Library is extending hours of operation Dec. 9-13.

In addition, the library serves remote students with "chat" and Ask a Librarian resources.

If students are at the library after dark and would like an escort to their residence hall or campus parking lot, they can call campus police at 641-3319.

The library will resume normal operating hours next semester.

Scholarship Information
This link provides details on a variety of funding opportunities for current USC Aiken students. Application deadlines vary, so students should not procrastinate if they want consideration.

Note that completing the FAFSA form (see below article) is a separate application process. Questions should be directed to stuaid@usca.edu

It's Time to Apply for Financial Aid
The 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available now! 

Both the student and parent will need their FSA ID and 2018 tax information (as applicable) on hand. We highly recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA to easily and accurately provide tax information.

If you have any general financial aid questions, please call the USC Aiken Financial Aid office at 803-641-3476. If you are calling with specific questions regarding an individual student's aid, you will need the student's VIP or USC ID.

Priority deadline to submit is March 1! 

Meal Plan Declining Balance: Use It or Lose it
With finals week on the horizon, we know that students have a lot on their minds, so please remind them to check their meal plan declining balance.

Declining balance dollars do not roll over to spring semester, so it is important for students to utilize their full remaining balance before winter break, or they will lose that money.

Balances are found at the bottom of any dining receipt and can be spent at the Pacer Cafe, USC Aiken Starbucks (merchandise, drinks, and food), Domino's pizza, Pacer Cafe Late Night Grille specials, Chick-Fil-A biscuits (Monday - Wednesday mornings at The Station and in the nursing building), Chick-Fil-A sandwiches (Monday nights and Thursdays for lunch in The Market). 

Meal plan swipes renew weekly. This is different from declining balance. Read more about USC Aiken meal plans here.

Message from Vice Chancellor Mary Driscoll
As vice chancellor for advancement and external affairs and as a mom who celebrated three children who graduated from college, I am excited to see so many of our Pacer parents and families involved with their students at USC Aiken. 

In fact, I know that Sandy Talbott, coordinator of parent and family relations, takes great pride ensuring you receive timely information and resources to help you support your students. Her office, as well as all of us at USC Aiken, strives to give students the best Pacer experience possible as they transition from high school to college and from college to career. How do I know this is happening? Let me share a few initiatives:   READ MORE

Featured Student Organization - Zeta Tau Alpha
According to its website, Zeta Tau Alpha is a national women's fraternity whose mission is to build friendships, foster a spirit of love, and promote a purer and nobler womanhood in the world.

Breast cancer education and awareness is the national philanthropic interest of Zeta Tau Alpha and the Kappa Pi chapter at USC Aiken. The chapter hosts an annual golf tournament to benefit that initiative.

Along with the golf tournament, the chapter host events that build strong bonds between its members, like our chapter retreat where members get colorful (see photo). Members have fun tagging sisters with color in a show of love and appreciation.

The chapter participates in several on-campus activities, and its members hold several leadership positions in other organizations like Chancellor Ambassadors, Admissions Ambassadors, Pacesetters, Student Government Association, honor societies, athletics, and more! In fact, ZTA was named Greek Organization of the Year during the 2019 Student Life Leadership Banquet.

Free Tutoring
Newsletter Survey

Thank you for reading these newsletters and for your feedback which helps us improve this effort. You may see some of your ideas in our newsletters.

Please complete this six-question survey regarding this newsletter. We appreciate your time and thoughts.
Thanksgiving Break Information
Students do not have class Nov 27-29. Most USC Aiken offices are closed Nov. 28-29. Campus Police are on duty throughout the holiday, and campus housing remains open.

For safety and security reasons, it is important for administration and campus police to know who will remain on campus. All residents were sent a request to inform Housing and Residence Life if they plan to stay on campus during the holiday. This procedure will repeat during winter break in December.

We are thankful for the opportunity to work with your students every day. We wish you a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!
Holiday Gift Ideas
Root for the Pacers with your All-Sports Pass!
Pacer fall sports are wrapping up, basketball season is underway, and Pacer baseball is right around the corner! Consider buying an All Sports Pass gift for your Pacer fans.
To purchase an all-sports pass or ask questions, contact Amanda Giordano at 803-641-3482 or e-mail her at  Amandang@usca.edu . Note that USC Aiken students with valid photo ID get in free.

Pacer Shoppe
The Pacer Shoppe has online order capabilities. Check out gifts for your favorite student!

USC Aiken Starbucks
Students LOVE our Starbucks. If you (or a family member) need to purchase a last minute gift or stocking stuffer, you might consider a Starbucks gift card, tumbler, or maybe even some Turkey Jerky!

Bonus! Students can purchase USC Aiken Starbucks merchandise, drinks, and food with their declining dollars balance.
WORC Scholarship Recognition
Recently, 26 outstanding STEM students were awarded $3,000 Workforce Opportunities in Regional Careers (WORC) scholarships. WORC is funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) and offered through the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization. The program was established to strengthen the local workforce pool needed to support the DOE Environmental Management and National Nuclear Security Administration missions.

The WORC program sponsors USC Aiken undergraduate research, Summer Scholars Institute, and WORC scholarships for individual students. Recipients major in environmental remediation and restoration, chemistry, industrial process engineering, applied mathematics, and applied computer science. The sponsors of this hope many of these students will pursue STEM careers with the Department of Energy.

Interested students should monitor this website to apply for the 2020 scholarship.

Parent and Family Relations Assistance
Dear USC Aiken parents and families,

While it is our goal to develop independent, self-sufficient Pacers, we know that sometimes parents or guardians may need guidance. Please feel free to contact me for assistance.

You can email parents@usca.edu or call 803-641-2825 during office hours, Monday Thursday,
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Please leave a message at other times, so I can reply. If you have an emergency, call USC Aiken police at 803-648-4011.


Sandy Talbott
Parent and Family Relations Coordinator
Save The Date

Fall term
November 26-December 1 - Thanksgiving holiday
December 6 - Classes end
December 9-13 - Finals Week
December 12 - December Graduation
December 24 - January 1 - Most offices closed

Spring term
January 2 - Offices open
January 12 - Move-in for residential students
January 13 - Classes begin
January 20 - MLK Day - offices closed, no classes
January 20 - Fall 2020 housing application process begins
January 22 - Last day to change meal plan
February 3 - Summer 2020 housing application process begins
February 19 - Career Fair
February 22 - Homecoming
March 9 - 13 - Spring break
April 9-10 - Scholar Showcase
April 29 - May 5 - Final exams (excluding Saturday and Sunday)
May 6 - Commencement

Stay updated with USC Aiken News.
Parent and Family Relations| University of South Carolina Aiken | 803-641-2825 | parents@usca.edu | www.usca.edu/parents