Below are a couple of “myths,” or stories that are not true, which we have noticed tend to create problems or confusion for our incoming international students and their families
More money will somehow become available
Sometimes students (and possibly their families) believe in the many stories which flood the Internet about the unlimited financial possibilities which exist in the US. Occasionally we see students who prepare only the funds necessary for their first year of study and come to school with no plans for where the funds for the remaining time of study will come from. Unfortunately, the story of endless funding options in the US is very much a myth, and it is very important for students to understand the financial aid possibilities they can count on.
At Ithaca College, incoming students apply for financial aid when applying for admission. All students, international and from the US, are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships such as the President Scholarships. If students wish to apply for a financial need-based scholarship, they must submit the financial aid application form. There is also a separate application form for the Leadership Scholarship.
There are a number of endowed scholarships which are offered to juniors and seniors and students who are eligible are notified of these opportunities and can apply for them. However, these awards are few, they are quite competitive, and offer limited financial amounts. Therefore, we urge you to make sure you have a complete understanding of the costs involved with your child’s college education, and to have a solid plan on how the family will meet these financial obligations.
My child will be all alone
While it is our goal as an educational community to assist our freshmen to become independent and self-reliant, we also know that this is a process, and we are here to support our students. There is a network of support services available to help students with issues they may encounter, from academic concerns (the student’s academic advisor, Dean’s Office, the Academic Enrichment Services), to health issues (the Health and Counseling Center), to residential concerns (Office of Residence Life), to questions of career planning (Office of Career Services). And of course, there is always our office, the Office of International Programs, which is ready to be a “home away from home” for our international students and to help them and support them in their transition.
I need to stay on top of things on behalf of my child
We trust that you know your child best, and you will continue to be the parent who will provide the love and support and attention your child needs in order to thrive. Your care and support will continue to make all the difference for your child, and we trust you will continue to be your child’s greatest advocate, resource, sounding board, and source of comfort and encouragement. But we also hope that you will empower your child to become used to being in charge of himself/herself.
If my child is not doing well, IC will call me
It is our institutional policy to treat our students as young adults – the students are responsible for themselves: for their health and wellbeing, as well as for their academics and for their records. So if the student is not performing well in class, or if there is an issue with their bill, for example, the relevant office will contact the student directly, not the parents. We trust that the students will relate the essential information to their family, and we urge you and your child to keep the communication channels open. If you would like access to your child’s academic record so you can view his/her grades online, your child can share with you the ID and PIN for his/her HomerConnect account.
I can call any office at IC and get any information I want
This is true in most cases (when calling different offices, be sure to have your student’s ID number handy, to assist in the process) with a couple of exceptions. All medical records are protected by HIPAA, a federal law which protects the confidentiality and integrity of individually identifiable health information. So if you (or anyone else) calls the Health Center or the Counseling Center to ask about your child’s health or treatments, the staff in these office will not be able to answer any questions – unless your child signs a release form in advance. There is also FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a US federal regulation designed to protect the privacy of education records. If a student indicates that he/she is independent from their parents, then the College cannot disclose educational information to the parents. More information on this regulation is available in the undergraduate catalog, Academic Information, Academic Affairs Information.