Frequently Asked Questions

Do parents routinely receive copies of student grades?
No. Grades are available on-line through Web Advisor. Contact the Registrar’s office with questions.

Is class attendance mandatory?
The College does not have a universal policy regarding class attendance. Each instructor may set his/her own standards for attendance.

Can students change classes?
Yes. Students may add classes during the first two weeks of each semester and may drop classes anytime during the first five weeks.

How does the advising system work at Allegheny?
All first-year students choose a First Seminar from the array of options offered. The professor for that course is the Faculty Advisor for each of the 15-16 students in the class. The First Seminar booklet comes in the mail as part of the series of mailings each new student receives. Each student writes an introductory letter to his or her faculty advisor prior to Orientation. During Orientation, students and their faculty advisor meet to discuss Allegheny’s academic program as well as the individual student’s course schedule. Contact between students and advisors is built upon the time spent in the seminar classroom. Students are encouraged to initiate other contacts with their advisors. Faculty members post their office hours and are quite accessible for making special appointments. Once students declare their majors, they may choose their faculty advisors from within the department of their declared major.

Where do students buy their textbooks and other school supplies?
The College Bookstore is located in the Campus Center and stocks textbooks for all courses, as well as other books, school supplies, and Allegheny sportswear and memorabilia.

My student is receiving financial aid from Allegheny College. Do we need to apply every year?
Need-based financial assistance is determined on an annual basis. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed every year. Tax returns and other requested documentation must be submitted directly to the Financial Aid Office. Merit-based financial aid is renewed annually for up to four years, contingent on full-time enrollment.

Is continuing financial aid contingent on academic performance?
In order to receive federal financial assistance, satisfactory progress is required. Students are expected to successfully complete at least 24 credits during the previous academic year in order to maintain eligibility. A minimum grade point average of 2.0 is required after four semesters of enrollment. One semester of probationary federal assistance is allowed if these requirements are not satisfied.

Is work-study income taxable?
Yes. It must be added to other wages earned by the student when filing a tax return. However, when applying for financial aid, it is deducted from wages prior to determination of financial aid eligibility for the following academic year.

Should Allegheny students carry health insurance coverage?
Absolutely! Although many services at our Health Center are free (visits to the College physician or nurse practitioner), students may need throat cultures, X-rays, lab work, etc. It is a good idea to find out the extent of your policy’s coverage out of your area. This is particularly important if you have an HMO or PPO (Preferred Provider Organization). Speak with your doctor about his/her willingness to approve out-of-town services. If your out-of-town coverage is not what you’d like it to be, you may purchase a supplementary policy through Allegheny at a reasonable cost. This helps to cover routine problems like sore throats and sprained ankles. International students on F-1 and J-1 visas are automatically enrolled in a health insurance plan that meets US federal government regulations. This insurance is also available to non-immigrant aliens with a different visa status (e.g., A-1, H-4). J-1 and F-1 students who do not want coverage through Allegheny must supply evidence that their homecountry insurance meets federal regulations. Please see the International Student Advisor for more information.

How are students with disabilities accommodated?
Students with special learning/physical/psychological needs may require support services to ensure equal access to Allegheny’s educational programs. The Associate Director of the Learning Commons serves as a central resource for these students. Complete documentation of the special need must be received before consideration of appropriate assistance in each course can be determined. Depending on the documentation, consultation with the student and the expectation of each instructor of each class the student is enrolled in, such accommodations requested from faculty might include extended time for tests, use of a notetaker, and others that are appropriate to the documentation and the student’s experience. Regular consultation with the Associate Director by the student is encouraged. The Associate Director will correspond during the summer prior to your student’s matriculation and ask that the student come see him soon after arriving on campus. They will work together to secure the necessary accommodations. Your student will be notified that his/her advisor will be informed so they can begin to discuss special arrangements that may be needed. Special housing and other needs are addressed before the student arrives on campus. The Associate Director of the Learning Commons is John Mangine, (814) 332-2898.

Whom can I talk to if I have a concern about my child?
The Dean of Students Office, (814) 332-4356, is able to provide general information. They are also able to refer parents to other appropriate offices that can discuss specific concerns. Please refer to page 28 for more information. In addition, Allegheny has a phone line dedicated to parents’ use only. The Parents’ Helpline, (814) 332-2955, is answered by the Dean of Students Office. The staff will attempt to answer any questions you may have or to refer you to the office/person who will have an answer.

What happens if there is an emergency and I need to reach my child when campus offices are closed?
The Security Office operates 24 hours, 7 days a week, and can assist you in an emergency. They can be reached at (814) 332-3357.

What happens if students have problems with their room or roommates?
If students have physical problems with their rooms (e.g., light bulb, broken shelf), they can contact their Resident Advisor, who will submit a request to the Physical Plant. If a student is having problems with his/her roommate, the Resident Advisor and Resident Director are able to offer mediation and support. The Area Coordinator can assist the student by providing other room options if a decision is made to change rooms. Room changes should occur after the Office of Residence Life grants permission, and will be allowed only during approved room change periods.

What about laundry?
All residence halls have at least one laundry facility located on the lowest level of the building. There is no charge to students for use of the machines.

What is Family Weekend?
This weekend is designated to give parents and other family members an opportunity to experience Allegheny with their student. A broad range of activities and entertainment for families is planned, with plenty of free time for informal enjoyment. There are opportunities to meet Allegheny College President Richard Cook and other faculty and staff. Family Weekend 2006 will be held September 29 through October 1. The Dean of Students Office coordinates this weekend. Email Jennifer Foxman for more information.

Where can I find information about crime on campus?
The Safety and Security Office publishes an annual report of all crimes reported to their office. Any incident that occurs on campus and violates state or federal law is reported to the Safety and Security Office. For more information, contact (814) 332-3357 or visit www.allegheny.edu/ administration/security.

Can students living on campus have a car?
Yes, students can register vehicles for $25. Vehicles must be parked in the appropriate lot. The Security Office provides complete information about registering vehicles.

What’s the weather like in Meadville?
The weather in Meadville is best described as unpredictable. Because we are close to Lake Erie, we receive a fair share of precipitation, though we are located just south of the “snow belt.” Generally, the weather is mild through October, but turns cold in November. The winter months are cold and snowy. April begins spring, and the weather turns warmer and sunnier in May and June.

How can I help my child make good decisions regarding alcohol usage?
The partnership between Allegheny College, you, and your student is especially important in the area of alcohol use. Acknowledging that preaching to students to abstain from alcohol use is not effective, Allegheny has established a Plan for Addressing Student Alcohol Use that emphasizes the importance of students making healthy, responsible choices regarding alcohol use. In addition to educating about health issues related to alcohol, we are trying to empower students themselves to influence their peers to be responsible in their use or non-use of alcohol. One focus of this plan is to make students aware that most college students do not abuse alcohol and that many choose to completely refrain from alcohol use. We are trying to get away from the attitude that “everyone else is doing it so why shouldn’t I” by emphasizing that not everyone else is doing it. While the College can focus on decision-making and healthy choices, the students’ personal values are still the basis for any decision-making they do. This is where parental involvement is so imperative. It is important that you have ongoing discussions with your son/daughter about alcohol use. Share your values and beliefs with your student, as well as your own experiences, positive and negative, with alcohol use. Be clear in what you expect of your student regarding issues like attending classes, drinking and driving, financial responsibility, choices regarding drinking, study time vs. social time, and staying in touch. Another aspect to discuss is how you expect your student to behave as a member of the greater Meadville community; your own neighborhood would probably not tolerate loud parties, public drunkenness, and destructive behavior, and it is reasonable to hold your student to a similar standard. Start the discussion prior to your son/daughter leaving for college, and then keep the conversation going. The first few months of college are very liberating for a new student, but also a risky time when support is really necessary. This is a good time to establish a habit of keeping in contact with your son or daughter; write, call and email frequently. Staff of the College also provide support to students to help them learn to deal responsibly with their newly found independence. If we work together, we can empower our students to make healthy, informed decisions. Please contact the Residence Life Office at (814) 332-3865, if you have further questions.

Is alcohol abuse a problem at Allegheny?
Alcohol abuse is always a concern at any college campus, and as a parent of a college student, you have probably wondered about your son or daughter’s potential for use and/or abuse of alcohol. Media reports and statistics suggest that concern is warranted; about 73% of college students use alcohol on a regular basis (consumed alcohol in the last 30 days; Source: Core Institute). There is some good news in this, though the majority of college students drink at safe levels or choose not to drink at all (for example, most Allegheny students drink 0-4 alcoholic drinks per week: 2001 Core Survey). As a college community, we strive to help students make healthy choices regarding alcohol use and to support those who choose not to use alcohol at all, while addressing issues of abuse and high-risk drinking behavior. Alcohol use and abuse is a challenging issue throughout our society, but as a college, we are committed to working with our students and their families to prevent tragedy and future problem behaviors.