Parents and Family News: Published by the Parent and Family Association



Wednesday, December 16, 2016




Parent/Family Association Update

Greetings Parents,

Finals are over, the first semester of the school year is finished, it’s time to enjoy the company of your student. Included in this newsletter are some tips to help you and your family adjust to having your student home for break, even if it’s just for a few weeks or days. Also check out the video of the first ever Lighting of Montana Hall. Students and community members were invited to see the historic MSU building lit up for the holidays for the first time ever. This is a new tradition on campus and will be done the first Wednesday of December for years to come. Lighting of Montana Hall

During this holiday season, we ask you to please consider giving a gift to Parent & Family Association. Previous donations in the past year have gone to support Day of Student Recognition, student scholarships, and Service Saturdays. We would love to continue giving to these programs in the coming year, we thank you for your consideration.

As always, please call if you have any questions or concerns. Happy Holidays! All the best in 2016.


Erin Macdonald

Assistant Dean of Students

Director of Parent Family Programs




Kenzie and Gabe

PFA Assistant Coordinators



Like Us on Facebook
Please like our Facebook page to stay engaged with Montana State University. Please follow this link. In January we will be launching a new closed Facebook group for you as parents to utilize as a forum to answer questions related to your student’s success at Montana State University. The page will mostly be run by you, the parents and families of MSU students but will also involve a few facilitators to keep conversation interesting. We look forward to your participation.

Office of Financial Education
Understanding how to pay for school can be a confusing and sometimes frustrating process. The Office of Financial Education strives to provide students and family the resources and knowledge they need to navigate the financial system and feel confident in their choices. The office provides free one-on-one financial coaching appointments to current students and alumni to develop a personalized financial plan that includes loan repayment and management, maintaining a spending plan, and managing credit.

In addition, financial coaches are available to answer general questions regarding different types of loans, pros and cons of consolidation, loan forgiveness programs, etc. Please reach out to the Office of Financial Education with any questions. They can be reached by phone at 406-994-4388 or by email at

Adjusting to your College Student at Home
Now that your student is home for the holidays, its likely adjustments need to be made. It is important to remember that your student has spent the last semester being independent, with no curfew, and no chores. We suggest sitting down with your student to go over your expectations as a parent over winter break. Do you want them to do specific chores? Do they have a curfew? Do they need to be home for dinner? Let you know where they are and what their plans are for the day/evening? We suggest you think these over and have a discussion, and make sure to talk openly about what you think are realistic expectations for you and your student. We recommend that you and your student also take this opportunity to discuss how their semester went: do they like their major, their friends, are they happy with the decisions they made this past semester. If your student is a senior, make sure they’re thinking about their future plans but don’t pressure them too much; every day they have people asking them what they’re going to do after graduation. Finally, take the time to get to know your student. They might have changed quite a bit since your last visit. We hope you enjoy winter break with your family!

Online Liberal Studies Degree
Did you leave college before you completed your degree? You can still complete a bachelor’s degree at Montana State University - and do it online!
Do you have at least 60 semester credits? Then the online degree completion program in Liberal Studies could be your path to completing your four-year degree, from wherever you are, on your own schedule.
"I am a single mother and I work and wanted to go to school full time," said Shanna Stanley of Conrad, MT, who finished her bachelor's degree through the program. "I couldn’t go to Bozeman for school, so the online program seemed to fit best for my hectic life," she said.
Take advantage of a flexible, interdisciplinary online program that offers four interconnected areas of study: arts, humanities, social science and natural science. Online classes cover a range of subjects including photography, history, Spanish, sociology and earth science.
Tami Eitle, Director of the Liberal Studies program, said flexibility is the key to the program's design. Most students in the program are balancing family and work responsibilities while pursuing their education.
"All of our students started college at some earlier point in their lives but then life, work, or family forced them to leave without a degree," Tami said. "Our online program is allowing these students to return to college and they will earn a degree from MSU whether they are in rural Montana, Arizona or anywhere! Completing a college degree may bring better job opportunities, higher earnings and more self-confidence, but for many of our students it is also a dream fulfilled."
Fulfill your dream! Now is a great time to go back to school!
Tel: (406) 994-6683
Toll-Free: (866) 540-5660


10 Gifts for your College Student

1. Smartwool Socks- in case you didn’t know, it gets pretty cold in Bozeman. These socks are everyone’s favorite! If you don’t live in Bozeman go to to purchase. If you’re in town, try Schnee’s or Chalet Sports on Main Street.

2. Flannel-lined pants for guys/ fleece lined leggings for girls because again, it is very cold in Bozeman, and walking to campus can be pretty awful if you’re not dressed for the cold.

3. Gift Cards for food- if your student lives on campus, I recommend putting money on their Cat Card here. If they have a car, try some of these places: Naked Noodle, Sola Café (which can also be used on campus), Bridger Brewing, Burger Bob’s, Mainstreet Overeasy, and a great place to study, Cold Smoke Coffeehouse.

4. Snow boots- I have a pair of Sorrel’s and I LOVE them. I recommend Schnee’s or REI, but make sure they have some traction; campus can get pretty slick.

5. Long underwear- this brand is our favorite women’s/men’s but they also have great options at REI, Schnee’s, and Chalet Sports.

6. Clothes to build a professional wardrobe (especially for seniors graduating this year; this is definitely on my wish list this year)

7. Chains for your student’s vehicle or snow tires which are a bit more practical for everyday car trips.

8. Costco membership

9. Headphones- students use them every day; it’s always useful to have an extra pair to keep in your backpack. These are my favorite headphones.

10. A Group Fit Pass to the campus gym. Passes can be purchased here.

Happy Holidays!




Important Dates

March 14-18, 2016

Spring Break


March 25, 2016

University Day


May 2-6, 2016

Finals Week


May 7, 2016



Term Calendar


Parent & Family Association
Montana State University
PO Box 174220
Bozeman, MT 57917

Parent & Family Association

Erin MacDonald

Parent/Family Association Website


Make a Gift to the Parent Family Association

Bobcat Bulletin

MSU News





Montana State University Parent & Family Association
174 Strand Union Building | P.O. Box 174220 | Bozeman, MT 59717-4220 | | 406-994-7359

To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, please visit: