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Parent Email–November 21, 2011

  • Adopt a Family for the Holidays
  • Financial Update
  • Video Scholarship Contest
  • Spring Semester Parking Lottery
  • Winter Outdoor Adventure Gear Sale
  • Freshman Seminars Abroad
  • Family Service Learning Abroad
  • Miscellaneous

As we finalize Thanksgiving dinner menus and make plans for the upcoming four-day weekend, the Parent Program staff wants to thank all of you for the support, encouragement, and love you give your students every day. It is a privilege to work with U of M families.

To see how your students are faring this week, here is the Northrop Mall webcam.

Adopt a Family for the Holidays

Just down the hall from the University Parent Program in Appleby Hall is a separate office that serves students who are parents, the Student Parent Help Center (SPHC). The students who are served by SPHC are dedicated, hard-working students who have children of their own. This is the fifth year that we're inviting our University Parents to consider supporting a family or making a financial contribution to help U of M student-parents and their children to have a happy holiday.

These young parents are making significant sacrifices to complete their education and provide a home and a good future for their children. All of the student-parents served by this program are low income as verified by information provided on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and the vast majority are single parents in the lowest income bracket. Please visit  the Adopt-A-Family website for more information on how you can adopt a family.

Financial Update

The third fall 2011 bill was sent to students' e-mail accounts on November 5 and is due on November 30. The University of Minnesota does not mail bills for tuition and fees. Students can authorize parents to receive, view, or pay their bill online. Contact One Stop Student Services with any questions regarding billing and payment.

Video Scholarship Contest

As part of the current Driven to Discover student campaign, the University is hosting a student video contest with $30,000 in total scholarship awards. Students will be asked to submit 30 second videos describing what they are driven to discover. The videos will be posted to the University's official Facebook page and winners will be chosen based on "Likes." The top sixteen most liked videos will receive scholarships. Contest rules and entry form are available at

Spring Semester Parking Lottery

Students can enter the spring semester parking contract lottery for the chance to buy a guaranteed space in a specific parking lot, ramp, or garage. The deadline to enter is December 1.

Winter Outdoor Adventure Gear Sale

Students can buy or sell outdoor gear at the upcoming annual Center for Outdoor Adventure (COA) Gear Sale. COA will be selling some of its own winter rental equipment as well as hosting the event for others to sell and purchase equipment. There will be cross country skis, snowshoes, downhill skis, snowboards, boots, poles, ice climbing equipment, winter camping, and mountaineering equipment and more. Students wishing to sell gear can drop off items on December 5 and 6. The sale will take place December 7 and 8. For more information and hours for drop offs and sales, visit the COA Gear Sale page.

Freshman Seminars Abroad

Freshman Seminars Abroad are opportunities for first-year students to participate in programs specifically designed for them. Seminars are taught on campus during spring semester with a study abroad component during spring break. For Spring 2012, the Freshman Seminars Abroad are:

Modern Paris from the French Revolution to the Present, Paris, France: Led by Kim Munholland, Department of History.

Experiencing the Creative Arts in Ghana, Accra, Ghana: Led by Akosua Addo, School of Music.

Explore the Borders: Scotland & England in Text, Image & Print, Glasgow, Scotland & Newcastle, England: Led by James Boyd Brent, Graphic Design.

Family Service Learning Abroad

Parents have told us that they envy the travel abroad opportunities students can experience, and they wish there were opportunities for families. This year we are working with the Learning Abroad Center and a community service group, Common Hope, to sponsor our second Vision Team to Guatemala. Parents, students, and siblings will have the opportunity to travel to Guatemala, build a house, visit families in their homes, work in schools, and meet local residents. Vision Team members will work side by side with their own family and with other U of M students and families to make a difference in the lives of others.

This year's Vision Team will be in Guatemala from May 13-20. For details, see the Parent-Student Service Learning Opportunities webpage.


Please be sure to visit our University Parent website. The pages on that site provide information to help you understand your student's college experience, familiarize you with campus resources, and connect you to the University campus.

While you're visiting the website, please respond to the Parent Question of the Month.