Dean’s office, financial aid office and others help students navigate support services

Campus resourcesIf you’re new to campus life, don’t miss out on all the helpful services available to you just because you’re not sure where they are or how they can help. Check out these seven campus offices you should learn about to help you better navigate your college experience.

Dean’s Office

This is the go-to place for help and support on classes, student life, school policy and administration. Your school may have several deans of specific areas of academics, so get a list of each one and how they can be reached. Among its many tasks, the Dean’s Office:

  • Administers policy
  • Develops the school’s mission, strategies and vision
  • Is a resource for academic and social life
  • Arranges leave-of-absence, off-campus study, study abroad, graduate studies, internships and research opportunities

Financial Aid Office

This office can help you find and apply for federal, state and local financial aid packages for undergraduate, graduate and certification programs. Search for:

  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Loans
  • Work study

For parents, Ray Martin advised, “You can increase the amount of federal student loans and work study aid your student qualifies for by making a few strategic financial moves,” in “Make The Right Moves To Keep Your College Costs In Check” in the August 29, 2012, article for Business Insider.

Registrar’s Office

Here you can sign up for classes, learn about prerequisites, transfer out of and into other classes, track your progress toward your degree and know what classes you need to take. You can also learn about accreditation of your school and other schools and inquire about opportunities for veterans.

Counseling Center

Seeking help for stress and anxiety is a very healthy process. Specially trained counselors can help you cope with:

  • Being overwhelmed with studies
  • Peer pressure
  • Dealing with a difficult roommate
  • Financial issues
  • Being away from home
  • Breaking up with your partner

Having someone to talk to who will listen and comfort you will actually help you adjust to campus life and do better in your classes. Colleges are even going high-tech with computerized questionnaires to help counselors identify problems and develop effective treatment options. “Many counselors say high-tech methods like these appeal to students, who are often more comfortable communicating with smart phones, iPads and laptops,” according to “College Mental Health Screenings Go High-Tech,” May 22, 2011, in

Campus housing/RA

The housing office helps you find on- or off-campus housing. For on-campus housing, you’ll learn the residence hall policy, get room assignments and sign a housing agreement. You can also get a move-in packet that helps you move into your new dorm. The office will also help you look for roommates.

Career Center

Want to earn some extra money? Check out the career center for on-campus or in-town jobs for the working student. The career center can also help you look for work or an internship in your chosen field so you can gain some work experience toward your major. You can also learn job interview skills, resume writing and networking.

Student Ministry

Whether or not you are enrolled in a religious school, most colleges have a Ministry Office. The office can help you:

  • Find houses of worship nearby
  • Find spiritual meaning in your college life
  • Connect with your faith while you’re away from home
  • Provide members of the clergy for counseling and prayer
  • Offer prayer or faith groups and clubs.

For example, Abilene Christian University’s “Student Ministries is home to short-term mission experiences, times of prayer and worship, experiences in solitude and community, a monthly devotional guide, small group resources, ministry and social justice focused student organizations and pastoral care.”

Some of these helpful offices spark your interest? Now that you know just what they can do for you, pull up your campus map and chart a direct course!

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