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Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: January 8, 2013

Happy new year! We wish you God's peace and presence in 2013.

The interim term between first and second semester began Thursday, January 3, and finds students studying a wide variety of topics right on campus or traveling the world. Here are a few blogs to check out:

Off-campus programs director Don De Graaf offers advice to parents of students who will be studying off-campus for interim or second semester. Please see the Student and Parent Resources on the off-campus programs pages.

Next treat

Parents may send their student some "love" by having the parent relations team deliver a Student Treat to them during the school year. There are birthday, exam, holiday and special event treats to send for on- or off-campus students.

The next treat deadline on February 7 is for the Valentine Treat ($20) which will be delivered on February 14. This treat features a handmade gourmet Rice Krispie treat covered in caramel and milk chocolate (with or without nuts), a $5 gift certificate to Johnny's and fun snacks (including a few "kisses"), delivered to your student on Valentine's Day.

Order online now. You may also call Jen at (616) 526-6142, e-mail or fax (616) 526-7069. Thank you!

January Series

The January Series is a nationally-acclaimed lecture series that takes place every year on Calvin's campus during the fifteen days of Calvin's interim term. Today's speaker is Jenny Yang and her topic is, "Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate." The series, which began January 3, also hosts many remote webcast locations. Find out if there is one near you or listen online at this site.

Academic progress reports

Academic progress reports (grades) will be available to students online via their portal account at the end of this week. Students can choose to share them with parents via Please note that this is a new distribution system which allows students to e-mail reports at any time (instead of a message from the academic services office). If your student had set you up to automatically receive these reports via e-mail in the past, they will now need to send these reports to you after every reporting period. If you have questions, please contact academic services.

Tax considerations

Are you planning to apply for financial aid for your son or daughter for 2013-2014? If so, now is the time to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for maximum consideration. Even if you will not have your tax return finished it's more important to submit the FAFSA by March 1st (using estimates) than to wait until your tax return is completed. If you have special circumstances to present to the financial aid office, be sure to submit a Calvin supplemental aid form in addition to the FAFSA.

And don't forget about available scholarships; look for these with the online search tool. The application for most of these scholarships is March 1, 2013.

If you have any questions about this process, or anything related to financial aid, you may contact the financial aid office at or 1-800-688-0122.

Still time to register for worship symposium

The Calvin Symposium on Worship brings  together a wide audience of pastors, worship leaders and planners, artists, musicians, scholars, students and other interested worshipers every January. People come from around the world to gather for a time of fellowship, worship and learning together. Over 100 presenters and panelists will participate with1,500 guests from 30-plus countries. The cost of this conference is just $15 per day for students; consider attending with your student! Online registration is open now.

Siblings Weekend

Siblings Weekend, February 22–24, is a weekend of fun for siblings, cousins, young friends, and other school-aged guests who come to visit a Calvin student! Of course guests can visit anytime, but Siblings Weekend is geared for kids. All meals are included in the registration, and a variety of events and opportunities are available. Sign up by February 18 for $25 to avoid a late fee. Find out more about Siblings Weekend or register now!

Service-learning gift idea

Check out the Service-Learning Spring Break trips being offered for 2013. These trips are aimed at promoting the education and personal growth of participating students. Some students develop long-term relationships with their spring break partnering organization, while others develop a new personal interest. Encourage your students to consider the possibility for March 2013. Complete trip information is found on Service-Learning Center site.

Feed your college student

Calvin is again offering the Community Dining Plan for off-campus students and residents of Knollcrest East and Timmer Studio apartments. The affordable and flexible options for meals encourages upperclass students to eat on campus regularly to enrich the community.

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