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January2013 Volume 7 | Issue 6

Dear CSU Parents and Families:

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Happy 2013!

We hope you enjoyed Winter Break and had an opportunity to spend some quality time with your student.  It’s a great time to relax and rejuvenate.  We also know five weeks is a long break and that some students (and families!) may be “chomping at the bit” to get back to campus.  The residence halls reopen for returning students on Saturday, January 19, so those who want to be back for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrations are welcome to do so.

We love the fresh energy that comes with the spring semester and oftentimes coincides with students’ resolutions to do better or do more with their CSU experience.  We look forward to students being more studious, more productive, and more successful and hope to work together to make those resolutions stick!  To that end, we’ve talked with many parents and family members who are concerned/upset/disappointed with their student’s grades at the end of fall semester and are happy to offer ideas and resources to other families who may be in this situation.  Please know lower than expected grade point averages can be a common occurrence for students dealing with the transitions of going to college. It takes time to feel fully settled and integrated in a new environment. We believe support is crucial and so are consequences.  Please continue your positive messages of support and love for your student.  Balance these messages with accountability and high expectations for academic success.  On the other side of that coin, if your student was academically successful, be sure to celebrate the achievement.  Students work hard over the semester to achieve their goals, so a pat on the back (or a nice family dinner at a favorite restaurant!) is always appreciated.

We want to especially welcome the parents and families of the spring start students (those new students who are just beginning their Colorado State journey this January).  Welcome to the Ram Family!  We hope you’ll become involved through the facebook page and/or group and the RAMFAM Association.  You can learn more about both opportunities on the Parent and Family website and are always welcome to contact us if you have questions.

Included in this e-newsletter are tips and strategies for planning a successful semester, information on financial aid, scholarships and eBilling, Fort Collins Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events, and, as is always popular in the spring semester, we’re beginning a series on housing options for students in the next academic year.

Best wishes for a successful spring semester!

take care,

Jody & Kacee

Jody Donovan, Ph.D.
Dean of Students/Executive Director of Parent & Family Programs
jody.donovan@colostate.edu

Kacee Collard Jarnot, M.S.
Assistant Director of Parent & Family Programs
kacee.collard@colostate.edu

Parent and Family Programs
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Colorado State University
201 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(970) 491-5312

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Academic Advising Insights: Celebrate Academic Success, Strategize for Improvement

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Paige Jacobson

By Paige Jacobson, Academic Advisor, Center for Advising and Student Achievement

The first semester of the academic year has come and gone - how time flies!   After five weeks away it is time for your student to get back into the swing of lecture halls and library visits.  Yet in the midst of syllabi and social life awaits a pivotal opportunity – the process of reflection.  All too often neglected, personal reflection is critical to celebrating our successes and learning from our mistakes. 

Now is the time to encourage your student to reflect upon what went well during the fall semester.  How did she apply her strengths? What skills did he develop?  What challenges were overcome?    Applaud those specific successes.  Celebrating success is fun AND is key to developing academic confidence and self-knowledge. 

Strategizing for improvement is equally significant.  Initiate this concept with simple questions like: ‘What would you like to do differently?’ or ‘What are some of your academic goals for the semester?’  A student who struggled can benefit from developing and applying specific goals and objectives to create change.  Ideas for improvement can include intentional planning for study time vs. defaulting to late night efforts when roommates or floor mates are a distraction.  In another vein, students can enhance learning through involvement in major-related clubs, undergraduate research opportunities, or career-related experiences.  

Whatever your student’s situation, he can benefit from seeking out staff and faculty members for guidance and direction.  Encourage your student to schedule a meeting with her academic advisor to discuss and develop academic goals.  Advisors love to see their students succeed and often have a wealth of knowledge regarding successful habits and helpful campus resources.  When talking with your student about setting goals with academic advisors:

  • Encourage your student to see his advisor early-on in the semester (February is ideal)
  • Help your student to consider what else she might want to discuss  –  academic challenges and successes,  study-habits, extracurricular involvements related to her field of study, long-term academic or career goals
  • If your student is questioning his major suggest he bring it up with his advisor (a visit to the Center for Advising and Student Achievement for an exploring-majors appointment may be appropriate as well)

Faculty members can be an incredibly valuable resource to students as well.  It is common for students to feel intimidated at the idea of approaching a faculty-member, yet they are often pleased at the interaction once that first step is taken.   Faculty members often bemoan the fact more students don’t utilize their office hours.   Encourage your student to consider the following tips to develop positive relationships with her instructors: 

  • Initiate conversation in person when possible
  • Introduce yourself specifically – share your full name and what class and section you attend
  • Utilize your instructors’ posted office hours
  • If office hours conflict with your schedule, kindly request an alternate meeting time
  • Come to the meeting with specific questions prepared – i.e. instead of “I didn’t understand your lecture,” bring class notes and point out certain concepts for which you need further explanation
  • Respect stated class policies - don’t push for exceptions outside of extenuating circumstances

Now is the time for your student to expand her comfort zone, develop new skills, and pursue valuable opportunities.  Intentional conversation from you can spur reflection and strategic goal setting for a successful spring semester. 

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Assessment Results: eBilling and Financial Aid

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Money
By Christie Leighton, Associate Director- Client Services, Student Financial Services

It's time to file your 2012 federal income tax return and apply for financial aid for 2013-2014.  Colorado State University’s priority deadline to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is March 1, 2013.

Step 1 - Complete your federal income tax return and submit it electronically to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Step 2 - Approximately 3 weeks after filing your federal tax return, go to the FAFSA website to complete the FAFSA.  CSU’s school code is 001350.  We encourage you to use the IRS tax data retrieval process to import your federal income tax information into your FAFSA.

Information on the financial aid application and IRS data retrieval process is available on our website at http://sfs.colostate.edu/applying-for-financial-aid.

Step 3 - After Student Financial Services (SFS) at CSU receives your FAFSA data, we will review the application and contact your student by email if we need any additional documentation.  If you are asked to verify the accuracy of your financial information you MUST either go to the FAFSA website and complete the IRS tax data retrieval process or submit a federal tax return transcript from the IRS to Student Financial Services.  This can be requested on the IRS website or by calling the IRS Federal Tax Return Transcript Order Line at 1-800-908-9946. 

Step 4 – After SFS has reviewed the FAFSA (and any requested documentation) we will award financial aid to your student.  We will send them an email directing them to RAMweb where they will be able to view their financial aid awards and meet their financial aid requirements.

TIPS FOR COMPLETING THE FINANCIAL AID PROCESS

  • Submit the FAFSA by March 1 based on completed federal income tax returns
  • Check email and RAMweb (financial aid section) often
  • Complete all financial aid requirements in a timely manner

To be eligible to receive financial aid, students must be admitted to the University and be making satisfactory academic progress.

We anticipate that in the near future financial aid information will be available on FAMweb.

If you have questions, contact Student Financial Services. You may visit us in Centennial Hall or call us at (970) 491-6321.  You may also follow us on Facebook.


IMPORTANT BILLING AND FINANCIAL AID DATES FOR SPRING 2013

Spring Semester Billing Information Available Online in January

  • Tuition/fees, residence hall charges, health insurance, and other spring charges can be viewed on RAMweb and to authorized users on FAMweb starting January 3.

Spring Semester Payment Due Date

  • eBilling emails for tuition/fees, residence hall charges, health insurance, and other spring charges will be sent January 16.
  • The spring semester billing due date is February 11.
  • Any charges billed on a subsequent statement will be due on the 10th of the following month.

Spring Semester Financial Aid Information

  • Spring financial aid, for which students/parents have met all requirements, can be viewed on RAMweb.
    • Pending financial aid is visible on January 4.
    • Actual financial aid will disburse on January 12.
  • Financial aid refunds
    • January 17 – the first day direct deposit financial aid refunds will be in personal bank accounts
    • January 18 – the first batch of refund checks will be mailed

Payments Can Be Made Online

  • RAMweb (students), select Pay My Bill
  • FAMweb (parents and other trusted individuals), students can add authorized FAMweb users on RAMweb, select Manage Access To My Records (FAMweb).
  • Electronic check payments
  • Credit card payments will be accepted.  The Colorado.gov price includes a 2.25% portal administration fee & 75¢ per transaction fee for all credit card transactions.

1098-T Information

  • 1098-T information will be available on RAMweb and to authorized users on FAMweb by the end of January.

For more information, contact Student Financial Services in Centennial Hall or call 970-491-6321.

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Reasonable Expectations: Transitioning Back to School

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Back to School

 

By Maria Marinucci, Graduate Assistant for Parent & Family Programs and Retention Initiatives

With just over a week remaining until classes resume, most students have been on break for nearly a month, perhaps relaxing, earning some money, and spending time with family and friends. Not only is it time to start preparing for homework, test, and presentations, students are also gearing up to reconnect with newfound friends and engaging in co-curricular activities.  While we hope all students are excited to return, it is also important to note hesitation and anxiety are completely normal feelings.    

To alleviate nerves about all things academics, preparation can be incredibly helpful.  Have your student check online for his or her textbooks; your student can even compare prices from the CSU Bookstore to those from popular websites to ensure he or she is getting the best deal (be sure to factor in the convenience of it all packaged together and no shipping costs from the Bookstore, as well as the fact that revenue to the Bookstore goes back into student life!).  Ordering books ahead of time can eliminate a major task for the beginning of the semester and can ensure your student is well prepared for the first day of classes.  Your student may even wish to get ahead by perusing those newly purchased materials!

By this point, your student knows how well he or she performed in the Fall.  Regardless of whether the results were well-received, it is often beneficial to review what went well and what changes can be made to promote and happy and successful Spring semester.  Perhaps a planner and other organizational tools can be incorporated into the back-to-school shopping list to start off on the right foot.  Help your student set goals for the semester and develop steps for how to achieve them.  A little forethought can go a long way in making for an easier transition.

After spending time with friends from home and high school, it can be both exciting and intimidating to think about falling back into stride with college friends.  It is likely these college relationships are different from those developed in high school; after all, the environment can be more rigorous and often leaves less time for social interaction.  And personalities may vary widely between groups of friends, leading students to question the bonds they have formed.  This is not uncommon, and while students may feel discouraged about the thought of starting over and making new friends, being more settled and aware of his or her surroundings can make it easier to develop new friendships and foster ones begun in the Fall.  Encourage your student to think about what he or she wants in a friend, and join clubs or groups to meet people with similar interests (he or she can find a list of student organizations here).  Friendships will continue to form throughout a student’s college career, and as students progress, they are increasingly likely to meet individuals with whom they connect. 

Although returning for the Spring semester is exciting and full of opportunities, it can also be a bit overwhelming.  You can help your student anticipate these challenges and be proactive in addressing them, which may contribute to a more positive experience for both of you.

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Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

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MLK Day 2013

By Long Wu & Tiffani Kelly, Campus Activities Graduate Assistants

“I have a dream” are four words that will live through the test of time in American history.  This year marks the 30th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day being signed into law. 

Driven by his faith in goodness of people and the great potential of the American democracy, Dr. King advocated for basic rights for all in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.  He played an integral role in advocating for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the first policy in the United States that proclaimed discrimination on the grounds of race, color, or national origin shall be prohibited.  

We celebrate this day by reflecting on the values for which Dr. King stood and the vision he had for humanity.  His belief in service, civil rights and non-violence sets a perfect example for advocating positive change in society.  At Colorado State University, we will commemorate MLK Day on January 21, 2013 by starting off with a Fort Collins Community March from historic Old Town to the Lory Student Center (LSC).  The Community March will take place at 1:00 pm and signifies acceptance and unity in the overall Fort Collins community, a value for which Dr. King stood.  At 1:45 pm, the day of celebration will continue by featuring the winners from the Poudre School District MLK Day Essay and Poetry Contest in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom.  The day will conclude with a Volunteer Fair in the LSC Food Court. 

CSU has been celebrating MLK Day for over 25 years. These celebrations have been an integral part of the CSU and Fort Collins community, bringing together students and community members to celebrate and remember what social justice leaders have done for our generation and what we are doing for our future generations.

With each passing year, we are reminded of the progress we have made as a country and how far we still have to go in living out Dr. King’s dream.  Dr. King once said “Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"  We encourage everyone to ask the same question. 

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Getting to Year 2 @ CSU Conference 

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Getting to Year 2 @ CSU
By Daniel Haddad, Graduate Assistant for First & Second Year Programs,
Orientation & Transition Programs, Center for Advising and Student Achievement

Getting to Year 2 @ CSU is a two-day conference, February 12 and 13, on campus in the Lory Student Center for first year students (in their second semester).  Research shows students begin to feel challenges associated with academics, establishing future goals, finances, and feeling a connection to campus and faculty during their second year.  The purpose of the conference is to provide students with information and resources to assist them in their transition to their second year.  Sessions are presented by faculty and staff from across campus and include a variety of topics ranging from transitioning to off-campus life, time management, stress relief, opportunities to study abroad, and many different sessions beneficial for first-year students.

Benefits of the conference include:

  • Engaging in discussion about important second year student issues
  • Networking with campus faculty, staff, and first-year peers
  • Learning valuable skills
  • Feeling acknowledged as a part of the greater campus community
  • Having greater knowledge about the resources to support students in their second year

Sessions will be offered at multiple times throughout the two days so a student can choose sessions that work with his or her schedule.  The conference is free to attend and students can still register on-site in the Lory Student Center.

Students can view more information about the conference and see the detailed two day schedule and session descriptions online.

For questions, or additional information, feel free to contact Orientation and Transition Programs at (970) 491-6011 or email orientation@colostate.edu

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Living Off Campus: Timeline & Resource Guide 

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Off Campus Life
By Emily Allen, Community Liaison, Off-Campus Life

Is your student thinking about where to live next fall?  This is the time when students are trying to decide whether to move off campus or remain in the residence halls for another year.  Should they decide to move into the neighborhoods of Fort Collins, Off-Campus Life (OCL) is here to help them successfully make that transition.  In the next few newsletters you will find a variety of information for helping your student transition to life off campus. Below is the timeline and resources that are offered throughout the spring semester to assist in making the move off campus a successful one.

  • FREE Rental Search (Everyday, All-day!)…have your student use our online search tool to find a place to live. Our listings are updated daily and include roommating situations and vacant places.
  • Roommate Roundups (January 17, 24, 25; March7; April 8, 18, 24, 29)…need a roommate or a new place to live for summer or fall? This program is designed for students to meet potential roommates and secure a living situation.
  • Rental World Video (Tuesday evenings through the GUIDE movie program)…grab some popcorn and watch The Rental World! This video addresses issues commonly faced by students who move off campus for the first time. Filmed as a parody of MTV’s “Real World,” it traces the lives of Donnie, Elainea, Tom, Matt, and Missi as they encounter landlords, leases, police, and neighbors.
  • Bulletin Boards in Residence Halls (Month of February)…on each floor in the residence halls there will be a bulletin board that features all of this programming and more information about moving off campus.
  • Student Handbook…mid-February, all students living in the residence halls will receive a handbook titled “Off-Campus Life Student Handbook: Survival Guide.”  Topics include: where to search, budgeting, leases, roommates, utilities, safety, good neighboring tips, city codes and ordinances (noise, occupancy limit, nuisance gatherings, parking, snow shoveling, etc.), and much more!
  • Renting 101 (February 12 & March 6)…a class which will include guest speakers from Student Legal Services, Student Financial Services, and the City’s Code Enforcement office. Speakers will tackle the topics of lease-signing, budgets, city ordinances, rental housing standards, off-campus parties, renter’s insurance, and more.
  • Housing Fair (March 5)an event where your student can visit with landlords, apartment complex managers and property managers while gathering information on places to live around town. Also, other services such as storage places, renter’s insurance and city resources will be present.
  • Deck of Cards…during the month of March in the various dining centers pick up your FREE cards.  Each of the 52 cards has been specifically designed with helpful neighborhood tips, information about local codes and ordinances, and useful phone numbers. 
  • Getting to Year 2 @ CSU conference sessions: Housing Options After the 1st Year & Off-Campus Jeopardy (February 12 & 13)…this conference is designed to assist students with the transition to a second year at CSU. Our specific sessions will help with selecting the housing (on, off, Greek, etc.) and the local ordinances and laws.
  • First Time Home Buyers Class (February 5, 12, 19; March 5, 12, 26; April 9, 16, 23)…why pay rent?  If you are thinking about buying a  home for your student and don’t know where to begin, this class covers steps for finding the right realtor, loan financing options, appraisals and inspections.

All of the information, including dates/locations/signups, can be found on our office website or by calling (970) 491-2248. We are here to help your student make a successful transition to living in our great city!

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 Protecting Students From Theft

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Students Walking

By Maria Marinucci, Graduate Assistant for Parent & Family Programs and Retention Initiatives; Jake Cohen, Marketing Graduate Assistant, Campus Recreation; & Heather Foster, Service Center & Equipment Desk Coordinator, Campus Recreation

Although Colorado State University prides itself on being a safe campus (you can view the annual Safety Report online), theft is a reality on all college campuses.  As students get more comfortable with their environment and their peers, they can also become careless with their valuables.  The following tips, adapted from the College Parents of America’s 2012-2013 Parents Handbook for Student Success, can help your student prepare for the coming semester and remain safer and more secure throughout their time at CSU:

  • Determine which items are really necessary to have at school; if expensive belongings are not needed, leave them home.
  • When possible, personalize items through engraving, permanent marker, or stickers. 
  • Many valuable items have serial numbers.  It’s important to keep a list of these in a safe place, possibly at home versus on campus
  • For students living in the residence halls:
    • It’s important to not hold doors open for individuals one does not recognize.
    • Remind your student to lock his or her room at all times, even when just going down the hall to use the restroom.  Thefts often occur in easily accessible rooms, and unfortunately are frequently committed by fellow residents.
  • Never leave bags or laptops unattended, including in the library, or stowed openly in the backseat of a car.
  • Bikes are among the most commonly stolen items on campus.  Invest in a good bike lock and have your student register his or her bike with CSU police. 

It may also be advisable to ensure important and expensive items are covered by insurance policies.  Renters insurance may be an affordable option as well, particularly for those living off campus.

The Student Recreation Center is also a site of theft, but the Campus Recreation student and professional staff are committed to making every participant feel safe and welcome at the Student Recreation Center.  Access to the Rec Center requires that all members provide their CSU ID card to enter to ensure a safe and pleasant experience for all participants.  Recently, 19 security cameras have been installed throughout the facility to enhance security measures.  Additionally, lockers are available for participants to rent throughout the year, as well as day lockers that are free for members to secure their belongings while using the facility.

To ensure the safety of students' belongs in the student recreation center, we strongly encourage members to rent a locker or utilize a day locker and use a lock to secure valuables.  Locker rentals for the Spring 2013 semester begin on January 22 at 6:00 am. 

Encourage your student to adhere to these tips to increase their safety and security and that of their belongings this semester.

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Employers Hiring at the Spring Job Fair- February 6, 2013

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Financial Aid wordle
By Summer Shaffer, Associate Director of Communications and Outreach, The Career Center

Spring semester is here.  As students return to campus, summer jobs, careers, and internships begin to come to mind.  Many students begin looking for summer employment to gain skills that will help build their resume.  Other students may be looking to secure an internship or career position. The Career Center at Colorado State University is committed to helping students connect with employers, as well as discover career and internship opportunities.  This year the Career Center’s Spring Job Fair includes organizations seeking seasonal, full and part-time employees, in addition to employers pursuing candidates for career positions and internships. 

There is no time like the Spring Job Fair for students to find meaningful employment possibilities.  The Spring Job Fair is the ideal place for students to explore a wide array of opportunities as well as identify future possibilities.  Students who wait until the end of the semester are often surprised to discover that job opportunities are more difficult to find.  Encourage your student to start now and prepare for the Spring Job Fair.

“This year’s fair features a large number of employers with so many different job opportunities” Kellen Wittkop offers.  Wittkop also stated, “I see the Job Fair as one of the best places to network with employers looking to recruit CSU students for internships and career positions, I am really looking forward to it.”

The Job Fair is on February 6, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom.  Students are encouraged to bring copies of their resumes which can be reviewed by an employer panelist or career counselor during Resume Rush from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. January 29, 30, 31, February 1 & 4 in the Career Center located in the lower level of the Lory Student Center – Room 26. 

The Career Center also offers students Job Fair preparation through their workshops where students can get first-hand advice from a career counselor and get all their Job Fair questions answered prior to attending the fair on February 6.

For a complete list of workshops or on the Job Fair visit the Career Center online. 

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Healthy Student, Happy Family: A Message from the CSU Health Network

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Woman with a headache Image: Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.netBy Marie Allen, Coordinator of Marketing & Communications, CSU Health Network

Good health is essential to academic success. The CSU Health Network is your student’s partner in staying mentally and physically healthy while at college.

24/7 Nurse Helpline

The CSU Health Network is proud to announce its 24/7 Nurse Helpline. The helpline will serve as a resource to students who have medical questions or concerns after normal business hours. Students can call to determine if they need to visit urgent care, or if their needs can wait until CSU Health Network services are available. If the nurse advises a student to seek care immediately, he or she will help the student find facilities close by.

“We’re really excited to be able to offer this helpline. It was one of the most requested services by parents and students alike, and we are happy to be able to meet this need,” said Anne Hudgens, executive director of the CSU Health Network.

The helpline can be reached at (970) 491-7121 at any time. During business hours, students will be encouraged to make an appointment to see a provider, but can leave a message to have their call returned by a nurse.

The 24/7 Nurse Helpline is available in addition to the long-running CSU Mental Health Crisis Intervention line, which can be reached at (970) 491-7111.

Students should always call 911 in the case of an emergency.

Immune Boosting Strategies for this Winter Season

With winter in full swing, it is important to remind your students of some healthy lifestyle basics for peak performance, which also help fend off colds or the flu. These classic immune boosting strategies can help do the trick:

  • Sleep Hygiene- 7 to 8 hours of sleep is optimal.
  • Stress Management- Deep breathing and relaxation techniques can be helpful in managing stress. Chronic stress can make you more inclined to colds and/or the flu.
  • Physical Activity- Aerobic and strength building exercise several times a week builds long-term immunity against viruses.
  • Healthy Diet- Include plenty of fruits and vegetables each day, as well as whole grains and healthy sources of fat and protein.

For other strategies to share with your students to stay healthy and prevent the spread of colds and flu, including how to get vaccinated at the CSU Health Network, visit the Flu/Cold Prevention page on the CSU Health Network website.

Attention CSU Student Health Insurance Holders

The flu vaccination is available at no cost to CSU Student Health Insurance holders. Encourage your student to stop in to the Immunizations Clinic in Hartshorn to get vaccinated today.

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