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Panther Parents Association
November 2016 Issue

Pitt Website | Buses Home for the Holidays | Move-Out Reminder | Meal Plan Balance  Experiential Learning through Study Abroad | Undergraduate Research Opportunities | OCC Goal Area: Communications | OCC Induction Ceremony | Parent and Family Webinar | Your Input is Valued | Pitt Program Council Book Scholarship | Financial Aid and Student Payment Center News  University Honors College and Scholarships | Career Closet Thank You | Save the Dates

Have You Looked at YOUR Pitt Website Lately?

Parent Website
If you’ve ever wondered if Pitt has a one-stop shop for parent information, look no further than the Parent and Family Resources Website.    

Parenting a college student can be challenging. Sometimes a parent or family member needs a resource site that will provide guidance and information to help them support their student. Other times readers may just need a list of area restaurants or hotels to help plan a visit. Either way, Parent and Family Resources has you covered!

Over the years, we have accumulated parent interest topics and addressed those topics on various pages on our main Web site ( Recorded webinars on topics like Study Abroad, Academic Advising, and Safety are easily found on this site. We also have direct links to sites like the Wellness Center, Career Development Placement Assistance, and information links to special events like Commencement.

So, check out the Student Affairs Parent and Family Resources Web site and let us know what you like! If you think something important is missing please let us know that, too! Contact us at or 412-624-8548.


Sandy Talbott
Parent and Family Liaison

Buses Home
Buses Home for the Holidays

For details on Pitt's Buses Home for the Holidays program, click here! Tickets for Thanksgiving and Winter recess are on sale now.
Winter Move-Out Reminder

It may feel like you just dropped your student off to begin the fall semester, but winter move-out is just around the corner! Here are some helpful tips as you prepare to bring your student home!
  • All residence halls will close at noon on December 18. Apartment-style buildings will remain open.
  • It is encouraged that students leave for winter break within 24 hours of their last final exam.
  • The residence halls will be closed from December 18-January 1 and will reopen at 2 p.m. on January 2.
  • Students do NOT have to move all of their personal belongings home for winter break. However, please remember admittance into the residence halls over winter break is prohibited. Anything of value, prescription medicines, etc. are recommended to be packed and brought home. 
A winter move-out brochure will be sent to your student via email and posted under “Newsworthy” on our website. Please continue to check the newsworthy section for more information regarding the move-out process! Also, don’t forget to check the buses home schedule to see if any of the destinations are near your home! 
Meal Plan Balance

November is the perfect time to remind your student(s) to be mindful of their Meal Plan balance! Please encourage your students to eat on campus and utilize their plan! Remember, Dining Passes will NOT roll over to the spring term, but Dining Dollars can roll over. Dining Dollar rollover only occurs when students maintain the same dining tier or increase their plan for the spring term! For more information regarding meal plans, please go to the Dining Services website

Experiential Learning through Study Abroad!

By Brice Lynn, Sr. Panther Program Manager
Every year, more Pitt students are taking part in experiential learning opportunities as a part of their study abroad programs. By combining work in the classroom with internships, research, and new service learning opportunities, Pitt students are gaining professional experience while increasing their cultural awareness. In the last year, Pitt students have planned events for the Duke of Edinburgh, fought for water quality standards in Europe, shadowed doctors in Madrid, and helped build schools in Peru. By integrating these experiences into students’ coursework overseas, Pitt Study Abroad is committed to providing our students with well-rounded experiences across the globe. Learn more at
Jamie Emge, BSBA ’17, working at the Duke of Edinburgh's foundation in London
Roger Walker

Undergraduate Research Opportunities!

By Ian Riggins, National Scholarships Advisor
The University of Pittsburgh provides numerous avenues for undergraduates to get involved with research. The University Honors College (UHC), Office of Undergraduate Research, and Swanson School of Engineering, for example, offer many research opportunities and awards for students of varying disciplines.

At the same time, many students wish to diversify their research while gaining additional international or professional experience. The UHC National Scholarships office assists students in applying for nationally competitive awards that fund research opportunities outside of Pitt. The National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program funds a large number of such opportunities at host institutions across the nation. The DAAD RISE (German Academic Exchange Service Research Internship in Science and Engineering) places undergraduates in labs throughout Germany, with no previous German language skills required. The Amgen Scholars Program provides students with hands-on experiences at premier research institutions in the United States and Japan. The DOE Scholars Program offers research and internship positions at U.S. Department of Energy facilities throughout the country.

Students interested in learning more about these awards and other national scholarships should first attend a general information session, held during the semester on Mondays and Tuesdays at noon in Cathedral of Learning 3704. Students should also sign up for our monthly newsletter—which contains information about upcoming deadlines and award-specific information sessions—and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Photograph: Roger Walker (BS, Materials Science, Class of 2014) presenting his research from an NSF REU at Clemson University.
OCC Comm

Outside The Classroom Curriculum Goal Area – Communications

By: Julia Qian

Communication Skills are essential for the successful future career of a student. U.S. News ranked communication and interpersonal skills as the one of the top five essential skills that students need for colleges and future careers.  
From July 2016 through April 2017, the Office of Parent and Family Resources will feature Pitt’s Outside the Classroom Curriculum (OCC) program and discuss how your students can achieve each of the 10 goals. To complete the entire curriculum, receive the green OCC cords (combination of blue and gold!), and be recognized at the annual Honorary Society Induction Ceremony, students must complete 68 requirements. November is the month of Communication Skills.
In order to achieve the Communication Skill goal area, students should fulfill at least five of the requirements below:
  • Facilitate a formal meeting and reflect on the experience.
  • Demonstrate written communication skills.
  • Write a research paper, paper, or story for publication.
  • Create and deliver a professional presentation.
  • Write a personal statement or introduction letter and have it reviewed by a faculty mentor, academic advisor, or career consultant.
  • Attend one program on building effective communication skills.
Besides class participation, presentations, and papers, there are many programs that your students can participate in throughout the year. If your students are looking for a research opportunity, you can find more information here. If your students are thinking about applying to graduate school, having a polished statement of purpose is critical to the application. You can encourage your students to go to a faculty mentor, academic advisor, or career consultant to review their personal statement. Remember, Pitt also provides free writing consultation at the Writing Center.


Save the Date! OCC Honorary Society Induction is December 9! Remind your student to complete the OCC and RSVP for Induction by Monday, December 5. 

Parent and Family Webinar!

The next Parent and Family Resources webinar will address Off Campus Living and Safety. Panelists include Pitt Police, Fire, and Off Campus Living administrators. Advanced registration is required. Register here!
Your Input is Valued

Please complete this brief survey so that we may better serve Pitt Parents with more webinars, programs, and resources.

Student Payment Center News: Waitlists and Refunds

Waitlisted Classes and Tuition Rates
The student account reflects tuition and fees based on a student’s actual enrollment as a full-time or part-time student. Waitlisted classes are not included in the student’s enrollment, so they are not factored into the calculation of tuition and fees. For example, an undergraduate student is enrolled in 9 credits and is waitlisted for 3 credits. Tuition and fees will be based on the 9 credit, part-time enrollment, even though 3 additional credits are waitlisted. If the student actually becomes enrolled in the waitlisted class, the total enrolled credits will increase to 12, which is full-time. Incremental tuition and mandatory fees will then post to the student’s account to bring the part-time rates up to full-time rates. 

Refunds to Students & Parents via Direct Deposit            
A refund is necessary when payments and financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) cover more than the amount charged on the student account. Refunds are processed automatically, five days a week. Be sure your student is enrolled in Direct Deposit in PittPAY for the fastest and safest way to receive refunds. To enroll, students login to, select PittPAY Login, then Direct Deposit. The bank account your student designates for direct deposit can be their own, yours, or any U.S. bank account the student chooses.

If you are a Parent PLUS Loan borrower, the disbursement of your loan may create a credit balance on your student’s account. If you elected on your PLUS Loan application to have your refund sent to you, you should also enroll in Direct Deposit in PittPAY so your refund can be sent directly to your U.S. bank account. Parents log in to PittPAY at, then select Direct Deposit to enroll. Your direct deposit profile will be separate from your student’s profile.    

Refunds that cannot be issued by direct deposit take longer to process and are mailed by paper check to the home address.     

Career Closet Thank You!

Thanks to generous professional clothing donations from the Pitt Community, including Panther Parents, several students were dressed for success at the fall Career Fair. Thank you! 

Save the Dates

  • Academic Calendar
  • Thanksgiving Recess for students: November 23-27 (University closed November 24-25)
  • Residence Halls Close: December 18
  • Student Winter Recess: December 18-January 3 Inclusive
  • Residence Halls reopen: January 2
  • New and Transfer Student Orientation Schedule
  • University Offices and buildings reopen: January 3
  • Spring classes resume: January 4
  • Spring Break: March 5-12
The University of Pittsburgh
Division of Student Affairs 
Office of Parent and Family Resources
130 William Pitt Union
Pittsburgh, PA 15260 | 412-624-8548

Copyright © 2015 University of Pittsburgh, All rights reserved.

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