These are questions parents have asked of Alma College faculty and staff in the past. If you don’t see your question asked and answered, please e-mail our Electronic Communication Coordinator, Daniel Tack, or go to our Facebook page and ask your question there.
Financial Issues | Housing | Career Services | Marketing & Public Affairs |Religious Life | Security| Parking| Personal Computing |IT Support | Networking | Telecommunications | Exam Kits and Birthday Cakes | Counseling and Wellness Center FAQs
Q: What must I do to get information related to my son’s or daughter’s student account with the College?
A: Federal regulations require that student account information be kept confidential unless the student has given authorization to another individual to access the information. Students who wish to give this access would do so within the Alma College student portal and provide a Personal Identification Number (PIN), and answer to the security question they chose, to the people who they wish to be able to access their account.
Q: What is “pending financial aid”?
A: Pending financial aid is aid that has not yet been posted to the student account because further action is needed. In most cases, something is missing to complete the transaction, such as a missing signed promissory note. A state grant may be listed as pending until the funds are actually received from the state. The student should speak to someone in the College’s Financial Aid Office to determine what needs to be done.
Q: I made a payment to Sallie Mae recently but it still doesn’t show on my son’s or daughter’s account. Why?
A: At the end of each month Sallie Mae provides the College with reports showing payments received during the month. Therefore, payments made to Sallie Mae are posted to student accounts in the month following the month in which the payment is made.
Q: How does a residential student submit a work order for his or her room?
A: All work orders are to be submitted through the building RA’s.
Q: How can I find my student’s mailbox number?
A: Use the search function on this page.
Q: How should I help my child in the job search process?
A: Encourage your child to take advantage of the career services available through the Center for Student Opportunity. The CSO offers student support in résumé, cover letter and graduate school application writing. It also offers a variety of workshops and hosts events on campus like Career Explo and the Internship/Summer Jobs Fair and takes students to a variety of Career Fairs around the state. Juniors and seniors can sign up for a Chicago In-City Interview trip where they navigate the city and network with Alma alumni for career exploration.
Another great way to help your child is to encourage him/her to participate in experiential learning opportunities. These can include study abroad, internships, service learning, on-campus jobs and co-curricular activities like student organizations. This involvement will pay dividends for them by diversifying their skill set and expanding their network.
Q: When should my child start using the college’s career services?
A: The answer is simple: as soon as possible. It is a great idea for even first-year students to start making regular appointments in the CSO. It is very helpful to develop their résumé early and look for missing links that they can fill in during their next four years at Alma. It is also very beneficial for them to talk about a four-year plan and think how to bridge the gap between academics and their career.
Marketing & Public Affairs
Q: Does the College send news about student accomplishments to hometown newspapers?
A. Yes, the Marketing and Communications Office provides the Dean’s List and Graduation List to newspapers and also distributes select hometown news stories on awards and campus activity. If you have a question regarding a specific news item, contact the Marketing and Communication Office at (989) 463-7327 or email@example.com (Attention: Nan Freed).
Q: What is religious life like on campus?
A: Alma College has a variety of kinds of opportunities for those who wish to be engaged in religious and spiritual life. We offer regular Christian worship services on campus, small group Bible studies and fellowship groups, seminars and retreats, service opportunities, and fun fellowship events. In addition, students who wish to be involved in the leadership of religious and spiritual life on campus will find many opportunities to be engaged.
Q: How do students get involved?
A: Students are always welcome to attend Chapel-sponsored events by simply showing up! An overview of Chapel events is available on the Chapel website and specific events are posted on the Alma College events calendar. Students may also contact the college’s chaplain at any time for more information. Students who wish to receive a weekly e-mail about Chapel activities may ask the chaplain to be added to the mailing list or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, students are invited to join the “Alma College Chapel” Facebook group.
Q: What steps has the College taken to ensure a safe campus?
A: A number of measures are in place. Blue light safety phones are located at strategic campus locations. High-tech student ID cards restrict access to residence halls except to students living there or authorized personnel. Security officers patrol the campus during night hours. Education programs include campus crime prevention, sexual assault awareness and the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. The Counseling, Health and Wellness Center works with various other units to educate groups on campus on sexual assault and violence against women.
Alma College contracts with STT, a private security company, to provide 24-hour campus security. The security office is located in the Reid-Knox Administration Building; phone (989) 463-7777. The College and STT also work closely with the Alma City Police, which has an officer assigned for campus coverage.
In addition to overseeing campus safety, STT officers open and close buildings, check alarms, respond to calls, enforce parking rules, oversee lost and found items on campus, and conduct weekend party patrols. All STT officers are AER and CPR certified.
Q: When and how do we register for a parking permit?
A: Student parking registration begins the first week of April for the following school year. Incoming student registration begins the first week of July. All the information regarding the parking registration, parking policy and the parking lot map is on the Student Portal.
Q: What type of computer should my student bring? (Or: Should I buy my child a Mac or Windows computer?)
A: This tends to be related to the major that the student has selected. Business, English and similar majors tend to use Windows. Media-based majors (New Media/Art/Communication) tend to use Mac. Science-based majors tend to be a combination of both. IPHS students need to use Window-based software while many professors tend to enjoy Mac. Choose the platform that the student is more comfortable using.
Q: What are the minimum requirements for my student’s computer?
A: Any new computer sold from a brand retail outlet (Best Buy, Newegg, etc.) and manufactured in the past 2-3 years will meet the requirements of the college’s systems.
Q: Does Alma College recommend computer brands?
A: Instead of recommending a computer brand, the College is able to offer educational discounts through Apple and Dell.
Q: Does Alma College sell computers to students?
A: Unfortunately, we do not sell computers directly to students. However, we are able to provide educational discounts through Apple and Dell.
Q: Should my student get a laptop or desktop computer?
A: A majority of our campus uses laptop computers for their mobility. However, it is completely your choice whether to purchase a laptop or desktop computer.
Q: Does Alma College have discounted software that my student can get?
A: Alma College does not sell software directly but does provide educational discounts through CDW.
Q: Does my student need antivirus software on his/her computer or does Alma College install its own antivirus software?
A: The Alma College Network supports 85+ antivirus applications, including Norton AntiVirus, AVG Free, McAfee, etc. You may purchase your own antivirus software, install a free antivirus application or use Sophos AntiVirus, provided to student by the College for free.
Q: I’ve been told that Mac computers can’t get viruses. Do I still need to install antivirus software on my Mac?
A: Unfortunately, Macs are susceptible to viruses as well. Therefore, Alma College does require that antivirus software be installed on your Mac computer. If you do not have antivirus software, the College provides Sophos antivirus for free.
Q: Should I buy a printer for my student?
A: Alma College provides network printers in each building on campus. Printing is free. However if your student prints to the residence hall printers, he or she will need to provide his or her own paper. If you would like to purchase a printer for your student you may do so.
Q: What happens if my student’s computer is having issues?
A: The Alma College IT Help Desk (989-463-7303) is available between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday to answer your student’s questions. The IT Help Desk can provide basic repair services (software-based issues only); however, we are unable to provide “advanced” repair services such as hardware repair because of manufacturer warranties.
A Resident Computer Consultant (RCC) also is assigned to each residence hall to assist students with their computer issues.
Q: Are wireless network services available on campus?
Yes. Wireless service is available in all campus facilities.
Q: May I bring a wireless access point or routing device to campus?
A: These devices are prohibited on campus. Residence halls have wireless service. Personal wireless access points are not needed and can interfere with campus wireless services.
Q: Why can’t I dial through to my student in his/her room?
A: A caller must dial the 466 prefix for all student rooms, rather than the 463 for all other campus numbers.
Q: What type of telephone should my student buy?
A: Any analog telephone will work. Sometimes, a corded phone has better reception than one without a cord. If the student would like to have a voice mailbox set up, the phone cannot have an answering machine incorporated with it.
Exam Kits and Birthday Cakes
Q: I’ve heard that there’s a way to send an Exam Kit to my student. What is it and what does it include?
A: Exam Kits are available for parents to order for their students every term at exam time. The purpose of an Exam Kit is to help students relieve stress and get through the tough period of final exams. They are personally delivered by students and members of the Parent Board. Exam Kits cost $20 and usually include the following items: applesauce, Capri Sun juice boxes, pretzels, cheddar cheese crackers, oatmeal, Chex mix, ramen noodles, Life Savers, popcorn, Easy Mac, Rice Krispie Treats, fruit snacks, cereal, granola bars, Tootsie Pops, mini-muffins and Twizzlers. All proceeds from Exam Kits are used to help fund the parent relations programs at Alma College.
Order an Exam Kit to be delivered during the final week of the semester.
Q: I’ve heard that I can order a cake to be delivered to my student. How do I do that?
A: The Alma College Alumni Office and Parent Board offer parents an easy way to send balloons, birthday cakes or giant cookies to their students to celebrate birthdays or other special occasions. Simply select the item you wish to order from the drop-down menu and the item(s) you request will be personally delivered.