Roll up your Sleeve:
Flu Shots are on the Way!
By Kirsten Falcone, RN
If you have not received your flu shot yet, here’s good news! There are two dates approaching on which you may be able to attain your flu vaccine on campus in the West Herr Atrium. Mark your calendar for:
– Wednesday, November 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Here is what you need to know about the flu vaccine:
What is the flu? Influenza (flu) is a contagious infection that spreads most easily each year from October to May (flu season). The flu is caused by a virus and is spread by coughing, sneezing and personal contact. Everyone is susceptible to the flu virus, but symptoms can vary by age and immunity status. Typical symptoms are fever with chills, sore throat, achy muscles, unexplained fatigue, coughing, headache and a runny or stuffy nose.
The flu causes thousands of deaths in the United States every year. Many more are hospitalized. Most of these people are immunity challenged, such as infants and young people, people 65 and older, pregnant women, and others with compromised immune systems.
How can I prevent contracting the flu? Even if you are not immunity challenged, one of the best ways to stop the virus from spreading is by attaining a flu vaccine. A flu vaccine can also keep you from contracting the flu, or it may help make your symptoms less severe. Because there is no “live virus” in the vaccine, a flu vaccine cannot cause the flu. Hand-washing is the best way for you to prevent the spread of the virus.
Can I still get the flu if I get a flu vaccine? Yes. A flu vaccine contains only those strains of the virus thought to be most prevalent for the year in question. It is possible to contract a rarer strain of the virus. Also, because the vaccine takes approximately two weeks to become effective, you may still become sick within that two-week window of time. However, once immunity has been established, you will be protected for the entire flu season.
There are illnesses that look like flu, but are actually other illnesses. This may explain why some people have claimed that the flu vaccine caused them to contract the flu. This is really not the case.
Should some people forgo the flu vaccine? Yes. People with egg allergies, people who have had Guillain-Barre Syndrome, or someone not feeling well should not get the vaccine. If you are not one of those on this list, most health professionals agree that the flu vaccine is a worthy effort in keeping healthy through the winter months. So go ahead and roll up your sleeve!
For more information, visit these Web sites:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Come check out Hilbert College’s guest speaker Jim Lewer, on Tuesday, September 22nd at 3:15pm in Bogel Hall 101! Jim is a former secret service agent and is willing to share his knowledge and experience. There will be light refreshments provided and seating is a first come, first serve basis.
Seniors are very encouraged to attend this event, but all students are more than welcome! Listen in on Jim’s insightful experience and find out how to get hired by a federal agency. This event is sponsored by the Criminal Justice & Forensic Science Association.
As the new year begins, sophomores were encouraged to spend their first day of the fall semester getting to know their advisors over breakfast. Sponsored by the Sophomore Council, this event was held on Monday August 31st in the Upper Level Campus Center.
The students got to find out who their advisor is outside of the classroom, while letting the advisors learn more about the students. The event also included free t- shirts, door prizes, & more…needless to say, the event was a big SUCCESS!
Happy fall semester, and here’s a warm welcome to all the new Hilbert students, and welcome back to returning students! I honestly hope you all stay well this year, but for your information these are the free services you may receive if you stop in to see me.
- Health assessments, if you are feeling ill
- Confidential health advice
- Wound assessments and bandages
- Referrals and information regarding immediate care centers
- Weight and body mass index (BMI) checks
- Blood pressure screenings
- Nutrition recommendations
- Access to doctor appointments (at Orchard Park Family Practice)
- Information about your prescriptions
- Free feminine hygiene products
Don’t hide in your dorm room when you have a health issue! The Wellness Center, located in St. Joseph Hall, is open Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during four-day weeks).This is a service absolutely free to Hilbert students.
Since you do not have to be sick in order to see me, I look forward to seeing you!
Have a healthy and happy new school year!
For incoming college freshman planning to live on campus, packing for the move is one of the most stressful and exciting times of your life. There are plenty of packing lists out there to help you make sure you bring all the essentials, but packing for college is largely a personal endeavor.
With that said, there are a lot of things that young adults sometimes don’t realize they need until it’s too late. Let’s face it: Mom and Dad have probably made sure that you have most things you need without waiting for you to ask for them. Having to come up with that list on your own is a challenge.
Here are some things you want to consider bringing to school that might not already be on your packing list:
- A fan. Yes, fans cool you off. They also provide ambient noise. Chances are, you’ll be sharing a room with a stranger. You might learn for the first time that you’re a light sleeper. Earplugs are also a great, cheap investment.
- Rain gear. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a car on campus, you’re likely going to be doing A LOT of walking on campus. And rain isn’t an excuse to not go to class. An umbrella, a rain jacket and most importantly, rain boots, will go a long way.
- Everyday essentials you take for granted: Tissues. Tape. Water filter. A full-length mirror. Safety pins. A 3-hole punch (especially if you like using binders). A flash drive (you might not always have Wi-Fi). Cleaning supplies.
- A real alarm clock. If you don’t wake up when you’re supposed to, no one is going to wake you up. Your phone is great, but it also has a short battery life.
- First aid supplies. Most campuses have some health services available, but you definitely want to be able to handle minor medical issues independently.
- A small hammer and tool kit can be a real lifesaver.
- A bathroom scale. Want to know how to beat the notorious freshman 15? Weigh yourself. Knowledge is power.
- Note-taking supplies. Studies have shown that you’re more likely to retain information if you write it down (versus typing). The choice is yours, but old-fashioned notebooks, pens, highlighters and binders might be the key to a successful first semester.
- Other things you might undervalue when looking at packing lists: A reading light. A backpack. A desk or wall calendar. A hot pot. A bike.
Of course, this list isn’t everything you’ll need. And some of you might not need these things either. The best tip when packing for college is to concentrate on bringing things that you truly use regularly, and pare down on everything else.
Visiting the campus ahead of time is a great way to learn some of the things you might need to bring with you – seeing sample dorm rooms, computer labs and residence halls is invaluable when it comes to packing lists.
To schedule your summer visit at Hilbert College, click here. We have a spot reserved for you!
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a school. Before your first campus visit, it’s a good idea to sit down and consider what’s important to you. Think about what you’re hoping to get out of your college experience. Your campus visits are the best time to get as much real-life information about the school as possible.
Figuring out what you want in a school can be tricky, so we’ve compiled a few suggestions to get you started.
Here are some questions you can (and should) ask at your campus visits to help you make the best choice for your future.
1) Financial aid questions:
- What is your average freshman aid package?
- What is your average upperclassman aid package?
- What percentage of aid is awarded as grants versus loans?
- What does the average merit award look like?
- What is the average debt your graduating students leave with?
2) Success questions:
- What is your four year graduation rate? Five year?
- What are the graduation requirements? How many credits per semester are expected to graduate in four years?
- What are your attrition rates? Or, what is your retention rate?
3) Support questions:
- How are freshman and new students oriented to the school?
- What academic support programs are in place? Tutoring, writing center, counseling, advisement, etc.
- What kind of alumni support programs do you offer? Career services, alumni networks, etc.
- What student health services are available?
- How large is the campus security or police force? What is dorm security like?
4) Academic questions:
- How many majors do you offer? (If you have specific fields of study you are interested in, be sure to ask about those. Not every school offers every program.)
- What is the average 100 level course size? 300 level?
- How are teaching assistants used?
- What are the general education course requirements?
- What is your policy on accepting AP course credits and college-level work?
- How difficult is it to register for the classes that you want? How quickly do upper level and freshman courses fill up?
- Are courses generally lecture based, discussion based, or project based?
5) Transfer questions:
- What is your transfer credit policy?
- What additional courses will I be required to take to catch up?
- How do you help transfer students assimilate?
- Bring a copy of your transcripts, and ask for an on-site credit evaluation if possible.
6) Student life questions:
- What are my options for living on-campus?
- What kinds of clubs exist on campus?
- What athletic teams exist, both NCAA and intramural?
- What school-sponsored activities exist for student participation?
- If applicable, ask what kinds of transportation services exist for students.
- What are food services like? Do you have to eat in the cafeteria? What are the hours?
- What is the surrounding community like?
- What study-abroad options exist? Does the school have its own programs?
Of course, if you have any special circumstances, unique needs or medical requirements, be sure to ask how the school and its staff can best accommodate those needs.
If you have a chance to meet with students, take advantage of it! Only current students can truly tell you what it’s like to attend that school. If your guide is a current student, ask why they decided to attend the school.
There are a lot of questions that you can ask at a campus visit. Many of them may be answered on a general tour, but it’s a good idea to know what’s important to you, and not leave until you have answers to your important questions. After all, choosing a school is an important decision!
To schedule your summer campus visit and tour of Hilbert College, click here. We have a spot reserved for you!
Navigating the world of financial aid can seem daunting. The rules seem to change all the time. Everyone has heard horror stories of students who thought they’d be receiving a certain amount of aid being priced out of college. And while it can be complicated and you won’t always get what you expect, there are a few tricks that can help you make sure you’re receiving the aid you deserve.
1. Know your terminology.
While it’s not always consistent from school to school or state to state, having an understanding of the terms that will be thrown at you help keep you from accepting the consequences of a financial aid package you don’t understand. Understanding that there is need-based aid and merit-based aid, and that aid packages typically include loans, is a good starting place.
This website can help: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/glossary. And if you don’t understand, do a little research before making a commitment.
2. Fill out of the FAFSA.
That is, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You can fill it out here: https://fafsa.ed.gov/. EVERYONE SHOULD FILL OUT THE FAFSA. Even if you don’t think you’ll be eligible for aid. It can’t hurt to find out.
Fill it out every year, and try to fill it out as early as possible. Generally, you can fill it out as early as January 1 (Tip: You need your tax information to fill out the FAFSA. The most recent year is easiest to use, so file your taxes early!). Why fill it out early? There are more funds available earlier in the year. Because the financial aid system is complex, submit a new FAFSA every year, even if you haven’t had any significant financial changes. All kinds of things make a difference, and even a small amount of gain in aid is worth it, right?
It’s also important to send your FAFSA to several different schools. They can see where you’ve sent it, and it may inspire them to be a little more generous if they think you’re an ideal candidate.
3. Pay attention to net price versus net cost.
Simply put, net cost counts loans against the cost of attendance, and net price only counts scholarships and grants, i.e. money you won’t eventually have to pay back.
It can be easy to look at a net cost that seems low and think you’re getting a great aid package that results in a low out-of-pocket cost. However, if 50% of that aid is student loans, even low-interest loans, it’s possible that another school is offering a better package.
4. Careful about loans.
Loans can be great. In theory, earning power increases with a college degree, and by the time you have to start paying back those loans it’s very possible that you’ll have a full-time job and you’ll be able to factor them into your budget. However, all loans are not created equal.
Private loans can seem appealing because they are sometimes able to offer greater amounts than Federal loans. But they come with a catch. Most private loans require a co-signer. If you’re a parent, you need to co-sign with complete understanding that if your child can’t or doesn’t pay back this loan, it quickly becomes your responsibility. And private loans typically aren’t flexible or negotiable later. The payment you sign up for is the payment you’re stuck with.
Federal loans are generally a better choice, but they of course have some caveats as well. Defaulting on a Federal loan can mean swift action to garnish your wages and tax refund. Federal loan repayment operates very similarly to a mortgage, so the early years of repayment go mostly toward interest. But Federal loans offer repayment flexibility. You can adopt a payment plan that works for you, whether that means consolidation, earned-income payments, or a graduated repayment plan.
5. Apply for as many grants and scholarships as you can.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many students don’t apply because they don’t think they’ll be awarded anything. Talk to a school guidance counselor and find out what scholarships and grants are available to you. There are loads of local organizations that give out student scholarships. And with a recent push toward a common application, it might be a lot easier than you think. In NYS, a Pell grant can be an easy way to offset the cost of tuition, as it’s offered as a need-based grant.
A lot of students don’t apply for scholarships because they’re small and they don’t think a few hundred dollars is worth the time. But add together four or five or more of those small scholarships, and it can start to make a dent. Also, many of the small scholarships are awarded as cash, which can really help with the cost-of-living expenses that aren’t built in to tuition.
Of course, cost isn’t the only factor is choosing a school. But looking at financial aid packages and understanding what is truly being offered will help make sure you’re not being fooled into thinking you’re getting more aid than you think.
Schedule a summer visit to Hilbert College and meet with a financial aid representative to start learning how affordable a Hilbert education can be.