Fall 2017 News and Updates

As the fall 2017 semester is coming to a close, we’re celebrating some exciting changes and events on our campus.

This year marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of Hood College. Earlier this year, a kick-off celebration was held at Winchester Hall in Downtown Frederick, the original site of Hood College. Events and celebrations will be continuing throughout the year. For more information and fun facts about the history of Hood College, visit 125.hood.edu.

The 2018-2019 FAFSA is now available! If you have not yet filled out the FAFSA for next school year, please visit fafsa.gov to apply for financial aid as soon as possible. The priority deadline for filing in Maryland is February 15.

On a related note, please welcome Melena Verity, the Interim Director of Financial Aid. Former Director of Financial Aid Brenda DiSorbo recently resigned to accommodate family situations out of state; we will be conducting a thorough and deliberate search for a permanent director in the coming months.

Course Registration is now open for Spring 2018. Students met with their advisors on Advising Day, Nov. 3, to select courses for the upcoming semester.

As your students are beginning to prepare for final exams, please keep in mind the annual Exam Goody Bag fundraiser sponsored by the Campus Activities Board. An email will be sent on Nov. 13 with more information, and Goody Bags will be distributed to students during the pre-exam coffeehouse on Dec. 6.

What would you like to read about in the parent newsletter? Email Biz Gomer at gomer@hood.edu with your suggestions and ideas!

Experiential Learning Opportunities

ShieldAlthough classes have officially ended for the year, many of our students are working just as hard this summer as they do during the semester. Summer internships and research projects provide an excellent way for students to continue their educational experience throughout the year, and opportunities abound at Hood College.

Brielle Rozmus, a rising junior majoring in law and criminal justice, is spending part of her summer conducting research on the League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to effecting policy change that promotes women.

Earlier this year, Brielle sought advice about applying to legal internships from Dr. Hoda Zaki, a professor of political science and coordinator of the nonprofit and civic engagement studies minor, which Brielle is pursuing alongside her major. During their meeting, Dr. Zaki raised the idea of collaborating on a summer research project. “I jumped at the chance to work with her,” said Brielle.

The Frederick County branch of the League of Women Voters was founded in the late 1950s by graduates of Hood College to help inform public policy in the surrounding area. Throughout this summer, Brielle and the other members of her research team will be going through old issues of local newspapers and examining microfilm to learn more about the organization’s impact in Frederick.

Many members of other departments on campus are pursuing exciting summer opportunities as well. Rising junior Elias Nicholson and recent graduate Karina Stetsyuk have both been accepted to the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where they will join STEM students from other colleges and universities to gain hands-on experience and conduct research under the guidance of mentors.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s office has hired rising senior Andrew Catone as a summer intern, and Olivia Peterson, a rising junior who is studying history, will be an intern for the National Park Service. Rising senior Telka Schmidt, who is an integrated marketing communications major, will be interning at SONY Records in New York.

2017 First-Year Read: Homegoing

HomegoingEach summer, all incoming first-year students at Hood participate in our First-Year Read program. Every freshman student is provided with a digital copy of a common book, selected by the Hood College community, to be read on the iPads that they will receive over the summer. Then, the book is discussed in small groups during Orientation and in the students’ first-year seminars during the first week of fall classes. The author of each year’s selected book then visits campus in October for a day of lectures, Q&A sessions, and a book signing.

The book selected for this year’s First-Year Read is “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi, a New York Times bestselling novel that chronicles the story of a family separated by circumstances: in the eighteenth century, Ghanian Esi is sold into slavery while her half-sister, Effia, is married to an English slaver. The novel follows each of the sisters and their descendants through seven generations, and it has won a wide variety of awards over the past year, including being named one of TIME’s top 10 books of 2016. We are incredibly excited for the discussion that this book will bring to our campus as well as the opportunity to hear from Gyasi herself during her campus visit in mid-October. Gyasi was just 26 years old when Homegoing, her debut novel, was completed, and she will be a wonderful resource and inspiration for our students.

Parents and families are invited to attend Gyasi’s visit to campus on Wednesday, Oct. 25.

Financial Aid Overview

Hood College understands that locating financial assistance may be a major concern for families in pursuing a college education.  It is the mission of the Office of Financial Aid to help students and their families develop a financial plan to make a Hood College education affordable and to assist students throughout the financial aid process. To be considered for financial aid, students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov. Note: The IRS data retrieval tool, which auto-fills FAFSA information from tax returns, has been disabled until Fall 2017.


State Aid

Most states offer scholarships and/or grants to their residents for college.  Students need to contact the Higher Education Commission in their state to find out about these particular programs. The majority of these scholarships/grants require students to attend college within their state of residency.  At Hood College, students from the District of Columbia, Delaware, Rhode Island and Vermont are eligible to transfer their educational scholarships/grants to Hood.

The State of Maryland Higher Education Commission (www.mhec.state.md.us) offers a variety of scholarships/grants to residents of Maryland.  Below is a listing a just a few of the programs available to students:

Guaranteed Access (GA) Grants – estimated award: up to $17,500

Awarded to full-time, low-income students who have at least a 2.5 GPA in a college preparatory curriculum. Applicants must submit a GA Grant application to the State’s Office of Student Financial Assistance and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 each year.

Educational Assistance Grant – estimated award: $3,000

Awarded to full-time students from families with low to moderate income. Applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) no later than March 1st of each year.

 Maryland Senatorial Scholarships – estimated award: $200 to $2,000 per year

Awarded to full- or part-time students, primarily based on financial need. Applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) no later than March 1 of each year. Students should contact their state senator’s office for instructions on how to apply.

Maryland State Delegate Scholarships – awards vary.

Awarded to full- or part-time students. Applicants should contact their state delegate’s office in their legislative district for instructions on how to apply.


Financial Literacy

Hood College has partnered with CashCourse to provide free financial literacy resources for college students. The CashCourse program, funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education, is a customizable online financial education resource designed to assist college and university students in developing a better understanding on how to manage their finances. Money management, financial literacy, and budgeting are important for students to know and understand to ensure they are making good decisions for personal finances and their future. CashCourse will help students build real life-ready financial skills. We encourage your students to check out CashCourse at www.cashcourse.org.


Billing Cycle

Students incur a financial obligation to the College upon registering for classes. Payment is due by the specified due date of each semester, or at the time of registration if after the semester’s due date. A balance remaining due on a student’s account at the end of the first week of the semester’s classes will be considered delinquent and subject to late fees.

Fall semester: Payment due by Aug. 15

Spring semester: Payment due by Jan. 15

How to Support Your Student

Sending a child off to college is a time of transition for parents as well. On the one hand, it is a time for your young person to try out new identities and interests. They need the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. On the other hand, they still need your guidance and wisdom as parents. Balancing all of this can be difficult! So what is a parent to do?

First, it is important to listen. Remember that the goal of listening is not so much to give advice, as it is to strengthen your child’s connections with family as they begin negotiating the transition to adult life.

Model good communication skills. Don’t be afraid to ask direct questions, such as about alcohol usage, personal habits, etc. This will let your child know that you know what they are facing, but also model for them the ability to be direct with others.

Talk about important issues without lecturing, dictating, judging or criticizing.

Encourage problem-solving skills. Don’t tell them what to do. Instead, ask them what they plan to do. Problem-solving is an important life skill that we only learn through practice, practice, practice!

Remember that very often, this is your child’s first experience of living independently. Every day he or she must make a decision about when to get up, what to eat, whether to go to class, etc. This is an important time to have conversations about decision-making and consequences; i.e., do your decisions have a positive outcome for you? You can contribute to your child’s success by encouraging him or her to develop a healthy framework for decision-making.

If you see signs of distress, please encourage your student to ask for help. Help is available through Academic Support Services, Residence Life, the Health Center and the Counseling Center.

And finally, remember to take care of yourself. Now is a good time for you to pursue new interests, form new friendships or develop those new skills that you have been putting off.

*Adapted from College of the Overwhelmed: The Campus Mental Health Crisis and What to Do About It (2004) by Richard Kadison and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo, all rights reserved, published by Jossey-Bass; text courtesy of the Hood College Counseling Center.