August 2017 Newsletter

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Registration for Mustang Family Weekend is Open!

This weekend is an opportunity for parents, families, and friends to return to campus, visit with students, engage in Learn by Doing activities, and cheer on the Mustangs during a Football game! Register now!

Registration is for the entire family and includes:

  • One parking pass for the weekend ($20 value)
  • One swag bag filled with Cal Poly gear ($25 value)
  • Refreshments upon check-in
  • Department Events
  • College receptions
  • Learn by Doing labs and engaging lectures with Cal Poly faculty
  • Tours
  • An afternoon reception with live music, activities and food for the whole family (over a $25 value)
  • ...and much more!

Please note: Football tickets and Stampede BBQ (tailgate event) tickets are NOT included in the Mustang Family Weekend registration fee. Those tickets, along with tickets for performing arts events and other events, can be purchased separately on the registration site.


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Preparing for Move-In

Move-in is an exciting and emotional time for parents and supporters of both incoming first-year students and continuing students. Read up on all the following tips, dates, reminders, and information to make your student’s move-in experience as smooth as possible.

Move-In Weekend Tips:

  • Campus housing is located on hilly terrain. Be prepared to climb stairs as there are no elevators in most buildings and remember that September days on the Central Coast are hot.
  • Consider bringing comfortable shoes, a hat, sunscreen and water.
  • Please leave pets at home.
  • Bring less to begin with. Your student always has the holiday breaks to get things from home and you can mail additional items later.
  • Remind your student to review the University Housing Resident Handbook to learn about their rights and responsibilities as a member of the Cal Poly Housing community.
  • Take the time to unwind and enjoy SLO after helping your student move in. Grab lunch or dinner in downtown SLO with your student or head to one of the many wineries in SLO wine country while your student unpacks and settles in.
  • Don’t forget to get connected as a parent or supporter! Parent and Family Programs will be hosting events over the weekend for parents and families. CLICK HERE for dates, times, and details.

Assisted vs. Self-Guided Move-In

Cal Poly offers both assisted and self-guided move-in dates for incoming freshmen and continuing students. See below for dates and details about both services:

Assisted Move-In Days: Mustang Way Welcome Team volunteers are available to help:

  • direct you to your drop off zone and long-term parking
  • unload your items into a large rolling bin (40" long, 28" wide, 32" high)
  • move your rolling bin to your living community

Self-Guided Move-In Days: Moving carts and a limited number of Mustang Way Welcome Team volunteers will be available to help:

  • direct you to your drop off zone and long-term parking
  • provide you with a large rolling bin (40" long, 28" wide, 32" high)
  • provide directions to your housing assignment

Freshman and Transfer Student Move-In:

Continuing Student Move-In:

What's Provided in the Rooms

Your student’s new home comes move-in ready. All of Cal Poly’s residence halls and apartments are furnished. To view the floor plans, amenities, and more for each housing location, click below:

For dimensions of rooms, desks, bedframes, dressers, and more:

  2. Select your student’s residence hall or apartment
  3. Under the “Floor Plans” section, select your student’s room configuration (double, triple, etc.)

What to Bring (and Leave at Home)

Take a look at the "Free to Bring" suggestion checklist and have your student coordinate with their roommate(s) on what to bring. Remind your student to leave prohibited items at home.

Local Stores

If you run out of room in the car or forgot something at home, there are several local retail stores where you can pick up all your student’s living necessities:

Mailing Packages Before Move-in

Need to mail belongings or items to your student? Distribution Services will begin accepting packages for Fall Quarter 2017 residents on August 28, 2017. Packages should be addressed to your student's address as provided in the Housing packet or by Canyon Post. Items received before August 28th may be returned to sender. Special hours of operation for Residence Hall Package Center and Canyon Post will be posted in September for Move-In and WOW.

For information about residence hall and apartment addressing formats, CLICK HERE.

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What to Expect for WOW

Week of Welcome (WOW) is a 60-year old Cal Poly tradition and a nationally acclaimed orientation program. This eight-day program familiarizes students with on-campus and local resources and culture while giving them the opportunity to bond with peers and create a foundation of friends at the start of their college experience.

  • Where will my student be staying?
    • Move-in weekend is Friday, September 8th through Sunday, September 10th so your student will be living in their assigned residence hall or apartment during WOW.
  • What will my student be doing?
    • All students attend certain programs during WOW such as awareness series on alcohol, sexual assault, stress and mental health, inclusion, and academic advising. Extracurricular activities are individually determined by your student’s group leader but they may include kayaking, kickboxing, crafts, beach outings, hikes, and more.
  • Where/when will my student eat?
    • Your student’s group leaders are mandated to schedule three meals per day. These meals may be on or off campus. Meals for WOW are part of your student’s Dining Plan but include only the meals scheduled by WOW administration and at the designated meal times and specific venues on campus; this limitation of venues and times is necessary to support timely, expeditious and orderly meals for this large group.
  • What should my student bring during the day?
    • Students have a packed schedule of activities starting early in the morning and ending late at night. Your student may want to carry water, sunscreen, and light snacks throughout the day. Students are also highly encouraged to carry a minimum of $25 cash with them throughout the week for extracurricular activities and additional food.
  • What if my student gets separated from their group?
    • Your student and their group leaders will exchange cell phone numbers at the beginning of the week so they can keep in contact if anyone gets separated, lost, or sleeps in late. Your student can also go to the WOW booth in the UU Plaza to check their group’s exact schedule and location at any given time.
  • Does WOW end when classes start?
    • WOW begins on Sunday, September 10 and takes a break on Thursday, September 14 for classes. WOW will begin again in the afternoon on Friday, September 15.
  • What does the WOW registration fee cover?
    • The WOW registration fee covers your student’s access to workshops, presentations, advising and advising materials, program staffing, and more. While most extracurricular activities and meals are covered, students are encouraged to carry a minimum of $25 cash with them throughout the week. 
  • Is WOW mandatory?
    • Attendance at WOW is mandatory for all new students. The final deadline for student to register for WOW is August 15. Failure to sign up for WOW by August 15 will result in their offer of admission being withdrawn. In extreme circumstances, students may be granted an exception from SLO Days and/or WOW. To file for an exception, complete the Orientation Request Form.

If you have any questions or concerns about Week of Welcome, contact New Student and Transition Programs at (805) 756-2400 or

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How and When to Pay

Whether your student intends to fund their college education through financial aid, work-study, or family financial support, navigating tuition payments and finances should be a team effort between you and your student. As a parent, educating yourself on how and when to make payments can help your student feel supported and at ease. Student Accounts provides many great resources on upcoming payment dates and instructions on payment methods.


Online Payment: Payments can be made online through the CASHNet payment portal.

Students pay online through their PolyPortal HERE.

Parents pay online HERE.

NOTE: Parent PINs for CASHNet must be set up by your student through their PolyPortal. For instructions, please CLICK HERE.


In Person: Cash or check (no credit cards) payments are accepted at the University Cashier’s office.

Location: Building 1

Office Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Phone: (805) 756-2256



By Mail: Check payments made be sent by mail. Please allow 10 days for mailing time and include your Empl ID# / Student ID number on the check. A Remittance Form for Check Payment is required with all check payments.

Checks payable to:

California Polytechnic State University
University Cashier's Office
1 Grand Ave
Administration 131E
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407


International Wire: Available for international students only. For instructions, CLICK HERE.

For more information and instructions on payment methods, CLICK HERE.


Registration and tuition fees are charged to your student’s PolyPortal at the time of registration with the exception of fall quarter.

Important Due Dates for 2017-2018:

See the definitions below for explanations for due dates:

Fees Past Due: Fees not paid or deferred by a financial aid award by each quarter’s due date will become past due and a registration hold will be placed on your student’s account that prevents them from adding or swapping classes until the past due balance is paid.

Class Cancellation: If fees not deferred by financial aid are not paid by this date at 4:00 p.m., students may be cancelled from all enrolled classes.

1st Financial Aid Disbursement: Financial aid disbursement transactions are recorded on your student’s account as credits, just like a payment. Any eligible unpaid charges (such as registration fees) are paid by financial aid. Any remaining aid will show as a credit balance.

Financial Aid Deferred Fees Due: Registration fees (and non-resident tuition fees, when applicable) are automatically deferred for financial aid recipients until the anticipated financial aid for the term is posted to the student's account. On campus housing and dining plan payments (when applicable) may also be deferred if the student has accepted sufficient financial aid for the academic year.

1st Direct Deposit Refund for Excess Financial Aid: A refund of your student’s remaining financial aid is generated after eligible unpaid charges are paid for and then delivered, either by direct deposit, if your student has signed up for direct deposit, or by check. Cal Poly will attempt to notify your student - via email - when their refund is on its way.

For up-to-date information on important due dates for the 2017-2018 academic year, CLICK HERE.

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Your Student’s Privacy – FERPA and HIPAA Laws  

As your student enters college and gets older, they have more rights and responsibilities given to them. For parents it can be confusing and stressful to navigate new laws that apply to their students. Cal Poly is mandated to uphold certain laws such as FERPA and HIPAA regarding your student’s privacy; however, we also want parents to feel confident in their student’s safety and wellbeing. Now is a great time to have a dialogue with your student about rights, privacy, and communication. Review the following information about FERPA and HIPAA and discuss their implications with your student and how you plan to keep lines of communication open while also respecting privacy and autonomy.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records once the student reaches 18 years of age or is enrolled in a post-secondary institution, regardless of age. These rights include:

  • The right to inspect and review their education records within 15 days of the day the University receives a request for access.
  • The right to request the amendment of their education records that they believe are inaccurate or misleading.
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in their education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent by law (Student's Written Consent; Valid Subpoenas; Search Warrants; Ex Parte Order (Patriot Act); or Emergency/Crisis Situation).
  • The right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Cal Poly to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Educational records include academic records, advising records, disability records, disciplinary and student conduct records, financial aid records, tuition payments, and any other documentation maintained by the university that directly relates to your student.

Your student may grant you access to their student account and/or financial aid information. To complete this process, your student must:

  1. Download and print the Authorization to Release (FERPA) Student Account and/or Financial Aid Information
  2. Indicate the type(s) of information that can be shared
  3. Provide the names of parents or other parties with whom information can be shared
  4. Sign and date the bottom
  5. Submit the form to the Student Accounts office (Building 1 Room 211) or Financial Aid office (Building 1 Room 212)


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) gives your student rights over their health information. These rights include:

  • The right to ask to see or get a copy of their medical record and other health information.
  • The right to ask to change any wrong information in their file or add information to their file if they think something is missing or incomplete.
  • The right to learn how their health information is used and shared by their doctor or health insurer, let their providers or health insurance companies know if there is information they do not want to share, and/or ask to be reached somewhere other than home.

Your student may grant you access to their health records. To complete this process, your student must,

  1. Your student must have a conversation with Counseling Services about the disclosure form. Counseling Services will accept submitted forms but will not begin honoring them until they have a conversation with your student about it. 
  2. Download and print the Authorization for Disclosure of Protected Health Information to Parents/Guardians form
  3. Complete the form; indicate the type(s) of access requested and the names of parents/guardians with whom information can be shared
  4. Sign and date the bottom
  5. Submit the form to Campus Health & Wellbeing (Building 27).
  6. Please note: A copy of your student’s valid drivers’ license must be included if they submit the form by mail or fax.
  7. Also note: Counseling Services does not meet the definition of a HIPAA-covered entity; however, it is still considered “exempt” under FERPA meaning students must complete the Authorization to Release Mental Health Information form in order to share their Counseling Services records with parents, guardians, or other third parties. Please use this form instead of a FERPA Release Form for Counseling Services; FERPA Release Forms are not accepted by the Counseling Center. 

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Resource Spotlight – The Center for Leadership  

Cal Poly has a variety of great resources for a diverse student body. Each month we will highlight one that may be beneficial or of interest to your student.


The Center for Leadership supports the development of student leadership and service on campus and in the surrounding community. The center fosters personal growth, determination and self-awareness while providing guidance and inspiration to future leaders through their events and services. The Center for Leadership fosters student learning and competency development across five learning domains: Interpersonal Development, Intrapersonal Development, Cultural Understanding, Social Responsibility and Civic Engagement, and Practical Competence. Some of the reoccurring events and resources The Center for Leadership offers includes the following:  

Emerging Leaders Series: A program for students to build leadership skills, practice teamwork and communication skills, connect with other student leaders, and learn about how to get involved at Cal Poly. The Emerging Leaders Series is FREE, open to all students (no experience required), and provides a fun, quick way for students to expand their perspective on leadership. For more information, CLICK HERE.

Developing Leaders Series: Graduates of the Emerging Leaders Series are invited to participate in the Developing Leaders Series that allows students to dive deeper into their leadership development with hands on Learn-by-Leading experiences. The Developing Leaders Series is a not-for-credit series that meets once a week for two hours over the course of nine weeks. The Series engages a small group of students in activities and discussions around the Social Change Model of Leadership Development. For more information, CLICK HERE.

StrengthsQuest Education: New Cal Poly students receive a code to take the StrengthsFinder assessment in August or September. The Center for Leadership leaders StrengthsQuest education and events to help students utilize their strengths for academic, personal, leadership, and career success. For more information about StrengthsQuest, CLICK HERE.

The Center for Leadership also produces the Get the Lead Out Podcast, available on iTunes, which interviews outstanding leaders from across Cal Poly to learn more about their philosophies of leadership, advice for students, and insights. Alumni and corporate partners interested in recording a podcast episode should email for more information.

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Upcoming Events – August

August 2-3 | SLO Days Session 7

August 5-6 | SLO Days Session 8

August 8-9 | SLO Days Session 9 – Summer Institute (SI) and Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

August 10-11 | SLO Days Session 10

August 12 | Quarter Plus Welcome Reception | 4-5 p.m. in Chumash Auditorium

Welcome reception for incoming Quarter Plus students and their families. The reception will provide Quarter Plus students an opportunity to meet university administrators, Quarter Plus Program staff, and other Quarter Plus students. Please note: this event is limited to Quarter Plus students and their families.

August 13 | Women’s Soccer vs. Fresno State | 4 p.m. at Spanos Stadium

August 14 | SLO Days Transfer Session

August 16 | Men’s Soccer vs. Fresno Pacific | 4 p.m. at Spanos Stadium

August 26 | Collegians Alumni Big Band 50-Year Reunion Concert | 7:30-10:30 p.m. at Madonna Inn Ballroom

The Cal Poly Collegians Alumni Big Band will celebrate its 50-year reunion — and the 80th anniversary of the band’s founding — with a performance in the Madonna Inn Ballroom in San Luis Obispo.

August 26 | Footballl vs. Colgate | 4:05 p.m. at Spanos Stadium


For Athletic event tickets, CLICK HERE. For Performing Art Center event tickets, CLICK HERE.

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Important Dates & Deadlines

August 2 – 3 | SLO Days Session 7 
August 5 – 6 | SLO Days Session 8 
August 8 – 9 | SLO Days Session 9 (Summer Institute and Educational Opportunity Program Session)
August 9 | Last day for Fall 2017 incoming freshmen and transfer students to cancel campus housing without financial penalty. The Housing and Dining Cancellation Form, found HERE, must be faxed to 805-756-5947 or postmarked by Aug. 9
August 10 – 11 | SLO Days Session 10 
August 11 | Last day for continuing students to cancel campus housing without financial penalty. The Housing and Dining Cancellation Form, found HERE, must be faxed to 805-756-5947 or postmarked by Aug. 11
August 12 | Quarter Plus students move in 
August 14 | Registration and tuition fees for fall quarter charged to new transfer students
August 14 | SLO Days Transfer Student Session 
August 21 | Registration and tuition fees for fall quarter past due (if not financial aid deferred)
August 26 | Open Enrollment for fall quarter begins
August 29 | Last day of classes for 10-week summer session 
August 30 – September 1 | Summer quarter finals 
August 30 | Class Cancelation: Student may be dropped from all enrolled classes if Registration Fees are not paid by 4pm. Excludes Financial Aid and other certain student groups.
September 1 | End of summer term 
September 1 | First installment of housing payment plan and dining payment plan for 2017-18 is due
September 4 | Academic Holiday – Labor Day observed 
September 8 – 9 | Assisted move-in for incoming freshmen and transfer students from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
September 8 | Gathering on the Green 4-6 p.m. 
September 9 | September SLO Days Session 
September 10 | Self-guided move-in for incoming freshmen, transfer, and continuing students from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
September 10 | Evening with the President 6-8 p.m. on O’Neill Green 
September 10 – 17 | Week of Welcome 
September 11 | Assisted move-in for continuing students from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
September 11 | 1st financial aid disbursement for fall quarter made
September 11 | Open Enrollment for fall quarter ends; last day to add a class without a permission number
September 12 | Self-guided move-in for continuing students from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
September 12 | Financial aid deferred registration and tuition fees for fall quarter due
September 14 | Fall quarter classes begin 
September 14 | 1st direct deposit refund for excess financial aid for fall quarter made
October 20 – 22 | Mustang Family Weekend 

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Important Campus Phone Numbers

Admissions | (805) 756-2311
Career Services | (805) 756-2501
Commencement | (805) 756-1600
Counseling Services | (805) 756-2511
Disability Resource Center | (805) 756-1395
Financial Aid Office | (805) 756-2927
Health Services | (805) 756-1211
Mustang Success Center | (805) 756-6211
Parent & Family Programs | (805) 756-6700
Student Accounts | (805) 756-1428
University Housing | (805) 756-1226
University Police Department | (805) 756-2281

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