Parent Newsletter- January 2012

UNI I am a Panther Parent

Panther Parent is UNI's e-newsletter for parents and guardians. Panther Parent is sent three times per semester and features university events, deadlines and tips from the UNI Parents Association. 


Budget Message from President Allen

Earlier this month, Gov. Branstad presented his budget proposal, which includes a $20 million increase for Iowa's Regents universities. The proposed budget for the three public universities is a significant improvement over last year.  Read President Allen's complete budget message.

Complete the 2012-13 FAFSA

The 2012-13 FAFSA is now available. You must file a FAFSA before each academic year to be considered for financial aid. The UNI school code is 001890. The Office of Student Financial Aid strongly recommends using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA.

Using IRS Information on the 2012-13 FAFSA

Beginning with the 2012-2013 award year, for students and parents who don't use the IRS Data Retrieval Process and who subsequently are selected for verification, schools will be required to obtain the tax information — tax transcripts — directly from the IRS. This could lead to long delays in processing. Because UNI won't know ahead of time who will and who won't be selected for verification, it's strongly recommended that you use the IRS Data Retrieval Process to complete your FAFSA. The retrieval process is available two to three weeks after filing federal taxes. Note that if you file as head of household and are married, you won't be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Process.

Recontracting for 2012-13

The best time for students to choose where they will live in 2012-13 is January and February 2012 when the most choices are available.  Students living on campus can select their same room or select any available room through a process called recontracting.

Recontracting calendars were given to each student the first week they returned to campus and information is posted in each residence hall and house.  RAs and hall staff are ready to answer questions about recontracting and to affirm that living on campus is a smart choice. 

Students who selected the 2-Year Advantage will have no price increase this next fall.  Students on the second year of the 2-Year Advantage, or students who missed out last year, can select the 2-year Advantage for 2012-14 and gain the benefits of a price freeze and free early move-in.

Students who live on campus earn better grades and are more likely to graduate.  Families can learn more about the Department of Residence communities and about recontracting on the Department of Residence website:

Severe Weather Announcements
Announcements regarding cancellation of classes and/or reduced university operations are made via UNI Alert, local radio and TV stations, and the UNI home page ( The local TV stations also list closings and delays on their websites.

Email After Graduation Remains Active

Email accounts in Google Apps for Education aren't deleted upon leaving the university. Students can keep their email accounts. This applies to any student who has left the university since December 2010. Graduate students who have completed all coursework for their degree, but haven't yet received their degree, may request an extension by asking their advisor or committee chair to confirm their status with the relevant system administrator. The continued use of computer labs may also be requested.

Graduation and Dean's Lists

The list of fall 2011 graduates and Dean’s list members will be released Feb. 1. Shortly thereafter, University Relations will send a notice to area newspapers with a link to a website where they can find the names of students from their coverage area. If students have restricted their directory information, the university can't make this information public.

Spring Commencement to Take Place in McLeod Center

Spring Commencement

for all graduate students will take place at 7 p.m., Friday, May 4. Commencement for all undergraduate students in the College of Education, College of Business Administration and the Division of Continuing Education and Special Programs will take place at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 5. The ceremony for all undergraduate students in College of Humanities, Fine Arts and Sciences, and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences will take place at 2 p.m., May 5. All ceremonies will take place in the McLeod Center.

Wireless Internet is a Hit With On-campus Students

Wireless Internet is now available in residence halls and ROTH apartments and suites.  "This level of access opens up new opportunities for collaboration with groups meeting to work on projects requiring Internet access," said Lyn Redington, director of residence life and interim dean of students. 

Students had another early holiday gift: Internet bandwidth in the residence halls doubled Dec. 9.

Want More UNI News?
Visit the UNI Newsroom
Follow UNI on Twitter at @northerniowa or become a fan of UNI on Facebook The university has revamped its YouTube site.

Key dates:

March 12-16 Spring break

May 5 Spring Commencement

May 7 May session begins

Aug. 20 Classes begin

Sept. 29 Family Weekend

Oct. 20  Homecoming

For a complete list of events, visit UNI's Calendar of Events,



Learn to Live Like a Student

Does your student have a budget? Does he or she have short-term and long-term goals? Does your student understand how financial decisions made today can affect the future? The Office of Financial Aid can help answer all these questions. Students can register for a three-week non-credit course that dives into areas such as: budgeting, financial aid, credit and identity protection. Courses begin Feb. 6 and 7. The course is free and you have a chance to win a $500 scholarship. For more information, contact Liz Hoium, financial aid, at 319-273-6395.

Academic Help

The A-Team provides tutoring in writing, mathematics, science, business, study strategies, humanities and more, at no cost. The A-Team is available to help students on Sunday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m., on the first floor of Rod Library.

The UNI College Reading and Learning Center has Academic Coaches who can personalize skills to help improve studying, reading, learning and overall college effectiveness. To schedule an appointment, students should call 319-273-2361 or stop in to 008 ITTC. This service is free for UNI students.

Time Management Help

The College Reading and Learning Center will offer a workshop entitled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Students: Time Management" from 1 to 1:50 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 25, in 035 ITTC. This workshop will help students learn time management strategies. Students can register online or call 319-273-2361. The workshop is free to any enrolled UNI student.

Keeping Your Student Healthy

UNI's Student Health Clinic offers high quality primary and urgent care services provided by board-certified family practice physicians, board-certified physician assistants, and a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner. Additional staff includes a pharmacist, nurses and a lab technologist. Contact the clinic by calling 319-273-2009 or e-mail

Free Stuff for Students

UNI students have access to many free activities, ranging from lectures, concerts and movies to athletic events and intramurals. Students' ID cards allow free admission to all regularly scheduled Panther home games.  University departments host numerous speakers throughout the academic year. UNI's School of Music offers many free concerts.

On Thursday nights the Campus Activities Board hosts events in Maucker Union such as free movies, hypnotists and comedians. The UNI Gallery of Art

presents several exhibitions each year and there is no admission fee.  There are more than 200 different student organizations

on campus which plan many activities. Some are academic, some social and others are philanthropic. Getting involved in campus life is a great way for a student to feel at home, when not at home.

Get Involved -- Join UNIPA
The UNI Parents Association board is an advocacy group for UNI students and their parents. Members get the opportunity to share their opinions and insight with UNI staff and faculty. Joining the board is a great opportunity to hear what's happening on campus and to be heard. The board will meet Feb. 25. Learn more on the UNIPA < > website.

All parents and guardians of UNI students are automatically members of the parents association, which works as an advocacy group. Benefits include e-newsletters each semester and a parents' booth at orientation. Contact Lyn Redington, UNIPA liaison, at 319-273-2332 or with questions. The parents association also supports the Parents Fund, which supports student scholarships and activities on campus.

UNI Parents Association

118 Gilchrist

University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls, IA 50614