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Dear Bobcat parent and family members,

What an enjoyable Homecoming weekend! A great downtown parade with thousands of returning alumni and local residents highlighted the weekend, coupled with a significant win for Bobcat Football. I hope your student was able to enjoy some of the fun activities

October is Financial Literacy Month at MSU! Did you know the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success (AYCSS) has Financial Education Coaches available to help your student budget and manage their finances? The coaches also help students understand loans, find scholarships, and plan for major life expenses.

Importantly, Financial Education Coaches can also answer students' questions about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. The FAFSA application period for the 2022-2023 school year is now open with a priority deadline of Dec. 1. An appointment with a Financial Education Coach can help your student take control of their finances and budget their way to a stronger financial future, including retirement planning.

AYCSS also has Career Education Coaches available to help students explore majors and consider the value of a degree. Whether a student has picked a major or is still exploring their options, a Career Education Coach can help shape the decision-making process based on their interests, values, skills, and life goals. Students can assess their interests and how they relate to occupations by taking the Strong Interest Inventory and then discussing their results with a Career Education Coach.

If either of these student development programs offered by the AYCSS would be helpful for your student, please encourage them to make an appointment by calling 406-994-7627 (ROAR).

Because the snowfall earlier this week caught many of us off-guard and unprepared for the winter elements (like shoveling snow), I also want to touch on the subject of off-campus living. According to MSU Student Housing, out of 14,668 undergraduate students enrolled at MSU for the fall semester, approximately 4,400 live in university housing. This means that there are a lot of students living off-campus in the surrounding communities.

MSU strives to be a good neighbor and make positive contributions to the greater Bozeman community, and we want to make sure that students living off-campus are being good neighbors too. We have a Community Relations Office that works to promote collaborative, ongoing partnerships between the Bozeman community, its residents, and the students, faculty, and staff of MSU. This includes assisting and supporting students in becoming integrated members of the Bozeman community. 

My office maintains an Off-Campus Living website that is chock-full of information to support students thinking about moving off-campus and students who have already moved off-campus. The site contains information about being a successful off-campus resident, including friendly neighborly tips, pet regulations, snow removal and parking ordinances and refuse disposal. The website also covers shopping for a rental, signing a lease, roommates, landlords and tenant issues, parking, transportation, and other health and safety issues.

In addition, the Off-Campus Living website includes a tool to help students find off-campus housing, which is a challenge in Bozeman.

Each February, my office partners with the city of Bozeman; the Good Neighbor Committee; and College Pads, an online link to off-campus properties, to host an off-campus living resource fair. The fair provides students who are considering living off-campus for the first time with connections to local resources and education about the services and expectations that go with living in Bozeman. Once we schedule the 2022 fair, we'll be promoting it on campus, and I'll be sure to pass along information to you as well.

Lastly, it's not too early to start thinking about your student's return home at the end of the fall semester. Many parents ask me when the semester ends, and my answer is always, "It depends." Ask your student to determine the specific timing of each of their finals before you purchase plane flights. Professors will not reschedule final exams for a student to catch a flight home. You can find out more about the 2021 Fall Semester Schedule of Finals Week Exams.  

Warm regards,

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Matthew R. Caires
Dean of Students

Bobcat Parent and Family Program, Montana State University
174 Strand Union Building | P.O. Box 174220 | Bozeman, MT 59717 | [email protected] | 406-994-7359
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