By Emily Freer
Congratulations! You’ve made it halfway through the semester! Pat yourself on the back! As the second half of the fall semester begins, there are a few important things to have on your radar. To start the second half on the right foot, here is your William Peace University’s check-in checklist.
Apply for FAFSA
October 1. Sound familiar? That’s because that’s when the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as FAFSA, opens. Valerie Clem-Brown, the Director of Financial Aid at WPU, urges students to fill it out as soon as it opens. FAFSA determines every aspect of your aid, including the parts given on a first come, first served basis.
Brown has a few thoughts for students when it comes to their financial aid packets.
First, every student’s financial aid packet looks different. Second, submitting early ensures that there is time for your application to be processed, not that it is automatically reviewed. Third, if you believe you qualify as an independent, check with FAFSA first.
Brown encourages students to stop by the office and ask any questions they might have.
“Financial aid is one of those things where there are no dumb/bad questions,” Brown says, “I would rather answer 20 questions from a student/family and have them walk away with good information as opposed to them guessing, asking friends, or relying on information they found online.”
Prepare for your advising appointment
Students are encouraged to set an appointment with their advisor to review their spring semester schedule within the next two weeks.
To have a successful meeting, Jennifer Anderson, the Assistant Director of Academic and Career Advising, shares that students should be prepared. Students can review sample four year plans online.
“Prior to their meeting, students should review their academic progress in self service and go into the class catalog to plan some courses for the spring semester.” Anderson says.
Anderson also stressed the importance of clearing any holds on your account. Failure to resolve holds will stall registration and required classes may be unavailable. Be sure to check your account before registration begins on November 1.
Each student will have a different registration date based on the number of credits they have completed or priority status. Check self service in MyPacerNet once advising opens to determine your registration date.
Fall 2021 TUG course withdrawal deadline has passed. However, if you have any questions or concerns, contact your advisor directly or email email@example.com. Seniors-the deadline for fall graduation applications has passed! If you missed the deadline or still need a class, contact the registrar’s office ASAP!
Kasha Klinegores, the Director of Academic and Career Advising, encourages students to continue “checking WPUConnect for flags/kudos, checking grades in Moodle, and also scheduling tutoring appointments” as the semester continues.
Set up a tutoring appointment
Our Peer Tutoring program at WPU consists of students who have excelled in classes and are trained to tutor their peers. This Level 1 Certified program by the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) has a goal of helping as many students as possible. If the course you are taking has a Peer Tutor, then they will appear in student’s success networks on WPUConnect.
Deanna Rogers, Director of Academic Support, shares that students who utilize peer tutors on a frequent basis show improvement in their overall GPA and gain confidence in their study skills. She adds that on our campus, 100% of students surveyed strongly agreed/agreed that they would recommend peer tutoring to another student.
“As the semester reaches mid-term and moving toward finals, it is highly recommended that you make an appointment if you want peer tutoring.” Rogers says, “We start to ramp up and get really busy by midterms. Making an appointment reserves your spot and makes sure that you are able to work with the tutor(s) you want.”
Our Peers Tutors have over 375 appointments each fall, so schedule yours today. If you have any questions or trouble creating an appointment, contact Dr. Deanna Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take care of your mind and body
Whether you’re worried about your final project or catching the flu, it is important to prioritize your mental and physical well being as the semester wraps up. Nicole Davis, Director of the Wellness Center, states the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 and the flu this fall is to get vaccinated. As for mental health, she says students can start by setting boundaries.
“Allow yourself time for self-care and relaxation. Say ‘no’ when you need to. Prioritize sleep, nutrition and exercise,” Davis says, “Engage your support system and have honest conversations about how you are doing mentally and emotionally.”
The Wellness Center provides support for students in three areas: health, counseling, and disability services. To learn more about these services and how to utilize them, drop by Joyner House during business hours or email them at HealthServices@peace.edu, Counseling@peace.edu, or Disability@peace.edu.
Save the date for campus events
It is never too late to get involved on campus according to Ashley Borders, the Assistant Director of Student Involvement. Just this past month we had Traditions Dinner, Latinx Heritage Month Movie Night, FreeQuency Writing Workshop, and more! Mark your calendars for events such as Sophomore Kickback on Oct. 21, Zumba on Oct. 26th, and “All Boys Aren’t Blue” Book Club on Oct. 28.
“Students can make sure they are checking/reading “The Pacer” which is sent via email each Monday and they can also be checking PacerEngage.peace.edu for events, RSO information, and other campus happenings!” said Borders.
You can also follow Student Life and SGPA on Instagram to stay up to date on campus activities. Borders also adds that you can reach out to email@example.com if you ever have any questions about getting involved or to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions about events, programs, and advocacy on campus.
Remember, you don’t have to conquer this checklist in one day but it’s important that you don’t wait until the last minute to check off the boxes. Try taking one task a day! In just five days, you’ll be set up for success.