This page hosts the content of the Billiken Bulletin, Saint Louis University's parent and family newsletter. We recognize the importance of transparency and accuracy to families as it relates to the University and your students. This monthly newsletter will hopefully provide additional insight into life on campus and more details about the resources we provide.
February Billiken Bulletin
Greetings Billiken Families! In this month’s Billiken Bulletin, we focus on how you can encourage your student to get involved on campus, how your family can finance a college education, and information on Student Mail Services.
The Student Involvement Center, located on the top floor of the Busch Student Center, functions as a sort of command center for the activities that fill our students’ lives outside of the classroom. The staff provides advising, mentoring and support to hundreds of students participating in campus clubs and organizations, the Student Government Association and 20 fraternities and sororities.
You can get a taste of the broad range of opportunities available on campus by visiting the one-stop engagement platform, SLU Groups, which students access through their MySLU log-in. This online portal allows students to explore a searchable list of activities including clubs built around shared interests in academics, arts, sports, faith, performance, personal identities and service to others. SLU Groups also provides student organizations access to all the tools they need to plan their calendars, strategize their budgets and pull off successful events that enrich the campus community.
Along with supporting SLU’s student clubs and organizations, the Student Involvement Center also plans events during the year to promote community and connection and to provide emotional support during the more stressful stretches of each semester. Other events, such as baby goat yoga on the quad and the PaintSLU glow-paint concert during freshman Fall Welcome, are just plain fun!
Remind your students that we will be partnering with many other departments on campus to provide a variety of optional activities and events on the Feb. 10 Wellness Day, as a brief mental respite before midterms begin.
We consider ourselves blessed to work with your students. It’s a privilege to be part of their journey as they find their footing in a new community, gain confidence in their own potential and learn valuable leadership skills to carry with them through graduation and beyond. We invite you to get a glimpse of student involvement at SLU through our Instagram and Facebook accounts, which feature a #BusyBillikens sampler calendar of what our clubs and organizations have planned each week.
Greetings from Student Financial Services!
Our goal is to help families navigate the process of financing a college education by providing this article as a follow-up to the financial aid webinar we did in December. It is our goal to provide more webinars and regular contributions to this newsletter on timely financial aid topics throughout the year.
My name is David Rice and I write to you as a “seasoned” (old) financial aid professional and as a dad who knows what it’s like to put three kids through college. Let’s just say I’m living the dream with all of you. Simple, easy-to-understand information that will help your family make the best decisions for your students.
|October 1||The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened for the 2023-24 Year. The application is available at studentaid.gov. You will need your 2021 taxes to complete.|
|December 19||Winter term began|
|January 17||Spring term began|
|Financial aid began disbursing 10 days prior to the beginning of the term, in accordance with federal regulations.|
|February 1||Priority FAFSA filing date for need-based financial aid|
|February - April||2023-24 Academic Year Award Notices are issued|
|July||The first bills for 2023-24 are issued|
|Anticipated financial aid is listed, though it will not actually disburse until 10 days prior to the beginning of the fall semester. This will allow you to make payments or set up payment plans anticipating the balance after the aid is subtracted.|
|August 1||First Fall semester payment is due|
|Late August||Fall semester begins|
In our December webinar, we talked about several important topics: renewing financial aid, paying for a degree and understanding that a good academic plan is the best financial plan. Here are a few quick takeaways:
- Information on renewing financial aid is available here.
- SLU Aid Renewal:
- Eligibility for SLU aid is only measured one time per year after the spring semester.
- Students failing to meet renewal criteria will only go on warning after the first year.
- Students failing to meet renewal criteria after the second year will lose their SLU aid, but they can appeal.
- Federal Aid Renewal:
- Per federal regulation, eligibility is measured after each term.
- Students failing to meet renewal criteria after one term will only go on warning.
- Students failing to meet renewal criteria after a second consecutive term will lose eligibility for federal aid but may appeal.
- Options to Cover Any Remaining Balance:
Those options allow you to build a financial plan that works best for your family. We are here to help you choose the best option.
A good academic plan is the best financial plan:
- Most degrees are 120 credit hours
- Two semesters per year x 4 years = 8 semesters
- 120 credit hours divided by 8 semesters = 15 credit hours per semester
Even though we’re committed to keeping things simple, the information is complex. Please know we are here to serve you; don’t hesitate to contact us. We are truly blessed to work with great families and look forward to working with you and your student.
Best wishes for a great semester!
Managing Billiken Mail
Student Mail Services
Many processes of Saint Louis University’s Student Mail Services have recently changed to help our staff better serve the students and staff living on campus. We offer campus and other mail services, which includes Priority mail, Priority Express mail, selling stamps and other USPS services. For letter mail pick-up, students use the mailroom on the first floor of the Busch Student Center. For packages, Student Mail Services offers two different pick-up options: a locker system and the traditional mailroom package pick-up.
Academic Advisor Corner
When looking for important academic and career support on campus, most students think of the resources in the Student Success Center or Career Services. However, academic advisors strongly encourage students to meet with faculty to ensure success in college (and beyond!).
All faculty hold office hours for their courses, and those times are listed on your student's course syllabus or in Canvas. Visiting faculty during office hours is one of the best ways for students to get academic support and connect with their instructors. We realize this can be intimidating, but faculty really want to see students, and it can help them "stand out" in larger classes.
Each student is also assigned to a faculty mentor who teaches within your student's major and has experience in that field. Faculty mentors discuss coursework, career goals and graduate school options, and will usually work with your student for their entire time at SLU. Students can find their faculty mentor on their "Success Team" list on EAB Navigate, and can look up their email using People Finder.
Spring is also an important time for all students to reflect on their current academic plan and make plans for the future. For some students, this may mean adding or changing a major or minor, researching or preparing for a career or graduate program, preparing for law or professional health school, and exploring options like study abroad and competitive fellowships and scholarships. To support students in this process, SLU is hosting several vocation-related events during the week of Feb. 20. These events include an Academic Fair, the Career Expo and conversations around making important decisions using practical advice from St. Ignatius.
As your student begins to find their flow for the spring semester and reflect on their academic performance from last semester, one of the ways you can support them is by engaging in conversations about their goals for the spring and the resources available to help them achieve those goals. When talking with your student about their goals, you want to ensure they are setting SMART goals: (S)pecific, (M)easurable, (A)chievable, (R)elevant, and (T)imely. The following questions will help as you talk with your students about setting SMART goals.
What do you want to accomplish?
What steps do you need to take to accomplish this goal?
How will you quantify this goal? (Ex: I will attend office hours for my chemistry faculty twice a week.)
Does this goal require me to depend on someone else to achieve or is it within my control?
What is the impact of this goal? How does it support my success plan?
What is the deadline for this goal?
If you are still unsure about how to navigate this conversation with your student, the following campus resources/partners are available to assist them:
- Success Coaching: A supportive space where students can identify challenges and create a plan to reach their unique goals. Visit the Success Coaching webpage.
- Academic Advisor: Academic Advisors provide students with the support and resources necessary to achieve their academic goals.
- Tutoring and Writing Services: Both services are committed to students’ academic improvement. Learn more about tutoring and University Writing Services.
- Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources (CADR): If your student previously had an IEP/504 plan or educational accommodations. Learn how CADR may be able to support your student.
Between all of the paperwork and processes and the multitude of SLU acronyms, there's much to learn about Saint Louis University. Our webinar series What's the Scoop at SLU? is designed to give families a chance to learn more about how campus departments and offices are working to support your student. You'll meet the faces behind the names and ask any lingering questions.
- What’s the Scoop at SLU?: Health and Wellness
Feb. 8 from 7-8 p.m., Facebook Live
Counseling and Health and Well-being professionals will share the services and outreach they provide. They’ll share best practices on how families can support their students during their transition into the college community.
- What’s the Scoop at SLU?: Department of Public Safety
Feb. 22 from 7-8 p.m., Facebook Live
Get to know the Department of Public Safety and how they keep our campus community safe. This presentation reviews the services Public Safety provides and how they engage with students.
- What’s the Scoop at SLU?: Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources
March 1 from 7-8 p.m., Facebook Live
Learn about accommodations, alternate course formats, diagnostic testing, lending materials, temporary situations, and parent/family engagement regarding accommodations.
- What’s the Scoop at SLU?: Housing and Dining Services
March 8 from 7-8 p.m., Facebook Live
The housing and dining teams will talk about the on-campus housing community, including the roommate change process, how to work out roommate challenges and how your Billiken can maximize their housing experience by participating within the community. Dining selections, options and processes will also be discussed, in addition to the mail process at SLU.
Bea Pollard is a proud third-generation Billiken, almost lifelong St. Louisan, former elementary school teacher, mother of three boys and sister of three boys. By being a member of the Billiken Parent and Family Association, Bea hopes to share her love of all things SLU and Billiken! She knows it’s not always easy to transition into parenthood of a young adult, letting them go while parenting from afar … even if “afar” is just a few miles down the highway, as it is for her. Bea hopes to offer a reassuring perspective for those parents who want help navigating the college, St. Louis and Billiken waters.
Some advice from Bea: As hard as it might be, let go. Let your Billiken figure it out, even if it means making some mistakes, dropping a class or changing their field of study. Let them do without so they can find a way to get it on their own. It really won’t be long at all before they are truly on their own without the luxury of university-assisted facilities to navigate their way in life. Now is the time for them to figure it out. And chances are that they will, either with the help of some friends, professors or other university personnel.
How to Get Involved in BPFA
Benefits of BPFA Membership
- Engaging with SLU administration, faculty and staff on campus initiatives
- Opportunities to volunteer in-person or virtually for campus events
- Building community with fellow Billiken parents
- Actively engaging in your Billiken's college experience
- Being integral to helping the University achieve its mission
Interested or have questions? Email email@example.com
Spring 2023 Career Expo
The Office of Career Services is seeking parent and family volunteers to assist with their Spring 2023 Career Expo. The event will be held on campus on Wednesday, Feb. 22, and is an opportunity for employers to meet directly with SLU students to talk about career paths, internship opportunities, full-time jobs and more.
MLK and Presidential Scholarship Interviewers
The Office of Alumni and Donor Engagement is looking for volunteers to help interview potential recipients of the Presidential and MLK scholarships. The dates for on-campus interviews are as follows:
Saturday, Feb. 11 (Presidential)
Saturday, Feb. 25 (Presidential)
Saturday, March 4 (MLK)
GO! Get Your Tickets For BPFA’s Trivia Night and Silent Auction
BPFA’s Trivia Night and Silent Auction is taking place on March 25. We have some exciting things planned! Doors open at 6 p.m., and trivia begins at 7 p.m. There are in-person and virtual trivia options, and proceeds will benefit the SLU community. You can also join in the fun by volunteering at the event. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Attention Billiken Families with Graduating Seniors
The Office of Career Services recently sent out a letter to your Senior Billiken providing access to a multitude of resources regarding their upcoming transition after graduation. Most importantly, there is a dedicated “Class of 2023” webpage featuring a variety of resources to assist with your student’s transition to opportunity. We encourage you and your Billiken to spend time browsing the page and using the available tools.
Additionally, you should encourage your student to schedule an appointment to meet with a career counselor. Along with self-guided work, talking with someone about post-college plans can help refine your student’s “next steps.” Your student can use their EAB Navigate to schedule an individual appointment or check the career services website for drop-in appointment hours. Students can also reach out via email at email@example.com or by calling 314-977-2828.