Moving Toward Summer: Things You Need to Know

Monday, March 13, 2017

Welcome back! I hope you had a great spring break and got the opportunity to unwind or get involved. With just six weeks left in the semester, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and prepare for not only the end of spring (and for some of you graduation), but also summer semester, future semesters and some changes in student financial aid.

If you receive some type of financial aid like HOPE, Zell Miller or Pell Grants – this is important news: Our Office of Student Financial Aid recently received notification that the U.S. Department of Education has temporarily disabled the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on www.fafsa.gov. So how does this impact you?

Instead of completing much of your financial aid forms automatically, you will need to manually enter the information from your and/or your parents’ 2015 W-2’s and income tax returns. For some students, this will be all you need. However, for other students this process may trigger the need for more information that would have been available through the DRT. If this happens, you will be notified by the Office of Student Financial Aid directly via email, and you will be asked to log into Athena to check your Financial Aid Unsatisfied Requirements. You may be asked for a copy of your or your parents’ tax transcript. We realize this temporary disabling of the DRT requires a minor inconvenience to students and parents. Please know that our staff in the Office of Student Financial Aid are here to help and will walk you through the process if needed. Our goal is to make this as simple as possible.

If you are on a pre-health track or thinking about a career in healthcare, our Pre-Health Advising Office offers excellent resources. Tomorrow, Mar. 14, 11am-3pm they are bringing you nearly 80 healthcare programs from universities and colleges around the globe to the Tate Grand Hall for the annual Health Professions Fair. This is a great opportunity to explore options in healthcare in every field, from medical, dental, optometry/ophthalmology to physical and occupational therapy, nursing, anesthesiology and a variety of allied healthcare fields. The Pre-Health Advising Office also offers a number of resources to walk you through the process of deciding on the best path for you. Our advisors are specially trained to talked to students with all majors (from English to Art to Engineering) who might be interested in healthcare.

Speaking of decisions, have you made plans for summer yet? We still have courses available for all five of our summer sessions, but spaces are filling fast. Be sure to register before you miss out on any classes you may need for graduation. We’ve opened nearly around 6,785 sections of 2,241 courses, including nearly 400 online courses, to provide you with the flexibility of getting the classes you need over the summer, whether you are working, taking on an internship, going home or studying abroad. Check out summer class availability through Athena and other information and resources through our UGA Summer School site. We also have a number of scholarship and internship opportunities still available.

In the next week we will be announcing our Creative Teaching Award winners. You may recognize some of your instructors in this list who have made a significant contribution to teaching in new and innovative ways. We are very proud of our faculty who go the extra distance to make sure you are learning and engaged in your classes and are prepared for life after graduation.

If you have any suggestions on improving opportunities for students, please let me know.

Sincerely,

Rahul Shrivastav
Vice President for Instruction