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Here is another blog post from our student contributor, Christopher!

Every student at Northeastern has a student ID card (aka the Husky Card) that basically acts as a key to life on campus. You need it to get into your dorm; you need it to print documents; you need it to do laundry; and you can use it to pay for things at almost any food or retail location within a 10 mile radius of Northeastern University. However, its most important task is getting you access to the food in the dining halls around campus. Swipes refill every Sunday. And in a basic week if you are eating the normal 2 to 3 meals a day, your swipes are sure to be gone by Friday. This means for the rest of the weekend you will be fending for yourself in order to eat. Or even worse, in my opinion, you don’t use all your swipes and end up wasting 2 or 3 meals. That’s wasted money! Double take, that’s YOUR wasted money and it’s not coming back.

Because handling and using swipes takes so much skill, I have decided to write about the different plans a student can have and the different places on campus to use up swipes.

At this point you should know or have at least heard that there are 5 different meal plans that you can choose from at Northeastern: 19 a week, 15 a week, 10 a week, 5 a week (only available for upperclassmen), and the Profiler with its own subdivisions of choices for students. The first 4 are pretty self explanatory, but I’m sure there are some people who may not know about the Profiler very well, so allow me to explain.

The Profiler is a non-refundable meal plan option that offers meals in block sums of 25, 50, 86, and 110. It last the whole academic year and expires on August 23, 2014. Now, you might think to yourself, “Why would I even consider the Profiler as an option?” Well if it helps –  with the Profiler you never have to worry about wasting any meal swipes in a week because the swipes are there for the whole year. And did I mention that even the largest Profiler option is still cheaper than the 5 swipes a week plan?

Now, let’s talk about the weekly swipes. Here is a quick scenario: It’s Friday morning and you have one meal swipe left. You are not sure what the weekend is going to bring, so you weigh your options.

  1. You could use one of those guest swipes. But what happens when you actually get a guest?
  2. You can just buy food all weekend, but that cost money (sad face).

What do you do? Honestly, I would say take the loss because I can’t help you. The only thing I can do here is teach you how to NOT end up in this position and spend less money. Here are the ways to survive with each meal plan.

19 meal swipes weekly

You would literally need to eat an ungodly amount of food daily to finish this before Friday. Actually, you would have to be the type of person to go to the dining hall 3 times a day, on a normal eating schedule, to even try and finish this by Saturday. For you I have no advice, just a question: How often are you actually finishing all these swipes in a week? Seriously?

Chris Blog 1

Don’t worry, I get it. You’re a Super Sayian. Good for you.

15 meal swipes weekly

The 15 weekly is tricky. In the sense, you feel as though you have enough for the week, so you just use a swipe and then end up totally miscalculating your week. A smart person with this meal plan would not want to just waste these swipes, but instead understand that between Sundays and Saturdays a person normally eats 18 to 21 meals. So this means that if used correctly, a person should be able to get through a full week without starving and only having to go through one day of buying breakfast, lunch, and dinner (brunch, linner, snacks, or whatever people in college actually eat). My advice is that when on the 15 meal plan, you look at the situation as if you have three meals that you can buy in a week. Spread out the times when you buy from restaurants and such, and do so only to change up the flavors entering your mouth when you get tired of the dining halls.

10 meal swipes weekly

I just want to start off by saying if you have this plan, you are worthy of respect and most definitely a survivor of Northeastern. This meal plan is designed for those people who take great time to schedule their weeks; this meal plan is designed for those people with the tongue tasting ability of Chef Ramsey; this meal plan was designed for the freshmen who said, “I can’t wait to have a kitchen.” The deal with the 10 weekly is that it does take a bit of coordination, because essentially, you get 2 swipes every day in a 5 day span. So how do you live? Actually, it’s a lot easier than you think.

All you have to do is to decide which one meal a day is the cheapest for you to buy. If you eat a light breakfast, but like a heavy dinner, then start buying breakfast (and vice versa). An option that I also think works is to just come to the conclusion that you will buy lunch every day. First of all, let’s be real. No one is waking up early enough to get breakfast every day (unless it’s exam week), and most times you end up having 2 meals a day anyway. Also, the majority of restaurants always do lunch specials. This means that you can get more bang for your buck in the time frame of 12 to 5. On top of that, you will always have the guest swipe option for 10 emergency meals.

Chris Blog 2

Yep. That’s got you written all over it.

5 meal swipes weekly

You obviously have a kitchen. I mean, you have to. You are probably an upper-class student with an apartment that has some type of kitchen that allows you to at least to fry an egg. If any of that is false, you better figure out your life and what you will be doing for food this semester. Stealing breath mints from offices is not an option. Neither is signing up for every club on campus to get the free food they offer. No, just no.

Profiler

Anyone with a Profiler meal plan knows good and well that you’d have to be wasteful to just blow through all your swipes in a month. The Profiler plan is all about moderation. Sometimes you eat at the dining hall. Sometimes you eat out. You have the ability to mix and match your options because your meals don’t expire at week’s end. Take advantage of that. If you have a kitchen then that is even better. Just go to the dining hall whenever you don’t feel like cooking.

No matter what meal plan option you get, there will always be the question of what to do with all those swipes. I guess this is why the campus not only has 3 dining halls (Stetson East, Stetson West, and International village), but also 4 optional eateries (Outtakes, Rebecca’s Café, Deli On the Go, and The West End).Whoa, wait a minute… 3+4 that’s a total of SEVEN locations where you can use your swipes! Holy Pineapples. So, good luck to you and I hope you use your meal swipes wisely!

 

In my humble opinion, “college” represents the height of a person’s educational experience. It is the time of learning and socializing, a time when students find themselves, and a time when they start figuring out what they want out of life. In a sense, college becomes a threshold of adulthood as students make their first steps toward independence. Exciting, indeed, but as I make my way through my Northeastern college experience, I am learning that the “joys of adulthood” are not all fun and games…

Cash rules everything around me and I am not referring to the song performed by the Wu-tang Clan. There are bills to pay, money doesn’t come easy anymore, and jobs for undergraduates are not that easy to find. So how does a Northeastern undergraduate survive? Honestly I don’t really know, but I’ll tell you 4 tips that have worked for me.

  1. Apply, apply, and apply. Apply for anything and everything you can that will help put/keep money in your pockets. When I started my first year at Northeastern, the first thing I did was apply to many of the jobs offered on the student employment link, under the self-service tab on the myNEU portal. Now, of course I had the option of work study, which gave me more options, but even without work study, the student employment site offers many student friendly jobs around the Boston area. Not to mention the Student Employment Job Fair that happens every year! It is a great way to meet employers face to face (the dates for the fair are typically promoted on the Northeastern Financial Services website, Facebook, and Twitter).  Trust me; a job will make all the difference in your college experience. Yes you may be a bit busier, but from firsthand experience going from not getting a paycheck at all, to having a paycheck come in every Friday,  makes the weekend that much more exciting.
  2. Walk for what you want. Honestly, the stores near Northeastern are not exactly the most price-friendly. We live in the “real” city of Boston unlike other colleges (cough… cough…  BC), so that means unless you walk or take the time to find reasonably priced stores, you will pay the “real” city of Boston prices. If you like having groceries, go to one of the nearby CVS or Walgreens locations. They offer many of the same groceries as the supermarkets and you can get a rewards card that will keep the discounts flowing at the checkout line. If you need clothes, I’ll just tell you now to avoid Newbury Street. If you are looking for great deals on good quality clothes, hop on the green or the orange line and head to Downtown Crossing. A block away from the t-stop is a TJMaxx. You’re welcome.  My point is – there is a whole Boston area worth looking into if you just spend the time doing it. My guess is that most of you are thinking that it’s not worth the time or the effort, or that you have too much work to do. Well, if you really can’t walk – shop online for what you want. There are many sites such as eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, and many more that will offer what you need for little to nothing compared to in-store prices. Shopping is a skill and it deserves effort unless you want to just throw away money.
  3. Make your food. Occasionally I will make my own lunch or breakfast. For people with kitchens this will be a little bit easier to do. For those of you still living in the dorms, do not worry.  Just listen and learn. Make cold cut sandwiches.  Everything you need to make a perfect sandwich will fit snug in your mini fridge and does not need to be heated. If you have a microwave, then you can get creative. Buy products like Kraft Mac and Cheese and the new lean pockets (healthier hot pockets), and keep Ramen noodles as backup. I say keep Ramen as a back up because while being the “national dish of broke students” everywhere, it is not the healthiest choice to eat every night and nothing is more important than your health.  There are also things such as bagel bites, pizza rolls, and healthier choices as the microwavable dinners that can make great replacements for that costly Qdoba. But if you do, in fact, decide that you need your weekly fix of take out style food, check to see if your favorite eatery offers a rewards card. This could help you get a free entrée one day!
  4. Use your resources. My last, but most important tip to all Northeastern students is that you network. Not only is networking an important life skill that will help you make friends and get valuable job connections, but it can also save you money. Please don’t forget that the people you meet in college are also the people who will be revolutionizing industries in the modern world. I have a friend majoring in game design who can draw me posters  used for promoting; I have a friend in the school of computer science who can help me reset my computer ; and I have a friend who majors in PE that gives me great workout advice that I would otherwise have to get from a paid trainer. All of these people help me out with these costly tasks for free because I took the time to get to know them and I networked. Don’t stay secluded from your surroundings because you will miss out on the absolute best way for anyone to save money.

So be a thrifty Husky and save yourself some cash!

For those of you who may have applied for Early Action admission, the December 1 priority deadline for submission of the CSS PROFILE is quickly approaching.  If you aren’t familiar with the material, check out this brief fact sheet which will explain what the material is, why it’s needed, and what information you can have on hand that will assist in completing the form.

Simply put, the CSS PROFILE is one of two financial aid application forms required for need-based aid consideration at Northeastern (the other form is the FAFSA). While the 14-15 FAFSA form won’t be available until after January 1st, the 14-15 CSS profile is currently available and should be submitted by December 1, 2013. This will allow Early Action Applicants to receive a tentative financial aid package along with their admissions decision by December 31st.

For students whose parents are divorced or separated, please note that there is an additional component to the CSS PROFILE that needs to be completed by your non-custodial parent. This form is referred to as the Non-Custodial Parent PROFILE.

If this is all news to you, don’t stress. You can still submit the material(s) after December 1st. Late submission doesn’t disqualify you from need-based aid consideration, rather it just means that a tentative award letter won’t arrive until after you’ve received your admissions decision. Once any tentative aid information is available, financial aid information would be viewable on the Application Status Check portal.

But, don’t stop there! Please remember that this package is only our best estimate of aid eligibility to date. To finalize your financial aid awards prior to the May 1st deposit deadline, you will also need to file the FAFSA, which is available after January 1st.  

The financial aid season has officially begun! If you are an incoming undergraduate day student, the 2014-15 CSS Profile  is now available. At Northeastern University, returning students do not need to fill out the CSS Profile.

The CSS Profile is used by variety of private colleges and universities to determine financial aid eligibility.  Unlike the FAFSA, there is a $25 fee required to submit the form.  Eligible families will be offered a fee waiver as a part of the registration process.

Need help? Check out these tutorials on how to complete the CSS Profile and other frequently asked questions.

If you want to know more about financial aid, scholarships and loans, receive updates and reminders about your bills and deadlines, ask questions, and engage in conversation with our office – follow us on Facebook!

Deadline to waive mandatory Health Plan is Tuesday,  September 23 , 2013

If you have already waived, you may validate your waiver was completed successfully through self-service links on myNEU: “Waive Health Plan” or “Account Summary” under the “Student Account, Payment and Ebill Information” link.

Massachusetts Law requires that all full time and eligible part-time students be enrolled in a health plan.  All full time and eligible part time students are automatically billed for Northeastern University Student Health Plan (NUSHP).  This is a high quality, affordable health plan administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts.  Students have the option to waive  NUSHP if they have comparable health coverage.  The deadline to waive has been extended to September 23, 2013.

If you do not waive NUSHP, your membership card will be mailed to you at the local address listed for you on myNEU. Please verify that this address is correct. If you are in need of your NUSHP membership number prior to receiving your card you may contact Blue Cross Blue Shield Member Services at 1-888-648-0825 or email nushp@neu.edu.

How to Waive NUSHP

Not all health plans are created equal so we recommend you review the checklist in comparing your existing plan or if you are looking at alternatives.

If you have comparable, domestic health coverage you may choose to waive NUSHP by completing the waiver located on the self service tab of myNEU. The waiver is on the student myNEU portal only, is not on the parent portal.

What Happens if you don’t Waive NUSHP

If a waiver is not completed by the deadline, you will remain enrolled in NUSHP and responsible for the Health Plan Fee.  Please check the NUSHP website for additional details: http://www.northeastern.edu/nushp/

If you have already waived, you may validate your waiver was completed successfully through self-service links on myNEU: “Waive Health Plan” or “Account Summary” under the “Student Account, Payment and Ebill Information” link.

For additional information please visit the NUSHP website (listed above) or email nushp@neu.edu.

 

 

 

 

Did you ever wonder why it takes so long for your payment to post to your student account? Well, here is the answer for you: sending a check in the mail or wiring a payment to Northeastern University requires a typical processing time of 7-10 business days! However, many students have found out that that there is a very quick and easy way to make a payment and it posts to your student account the same day! What is it, you ask? It is an electronic check (or an echeck).

You can to utilize an echeck option by making a payment via your myNEU portal. Just go to Self-Service tab, “Student Account, EBill and Payment information link” and click on “Make a Payment”. You can choose how much your would like to pay and select “echeck” as your payment method. You will see the following screen:

echeck

Your bank account and routing number are located on your checks.

check

Fill in all the information and you’re done!

Get to know one of our new graduate financial aid counselors!

Q: What is your name, title, and your caseload alpha-split?

A: Robert Picariello, Financial Aid Counselor for the D’Amore-McKim School of Business Graduate Programs.

Q: Where were you employed or what did you do before being hired at Northeastern?

A: Before Northeastern, I used to work at Sallie Mae where I worked on a team that focused on creating and improving the Smart Option Student Loan.

Q: Why did you choose Northeastern as a place that you wanted to work and how do you feel about your position since you have been working here?

A: After my time at Sallie Mae I knew that I wanted to work in higher education, but no longer wanted to be on the business/3rd party side of the shop.  I wanted to work in financial aid at the university level.  After applying to multiple institutions in the Boston area, I landed at Northeastern.  Being from Boston, I knew and respected the Northeastern brand and was excited to get started.  Since transitioning to this counselor role I have loved working with our graduate students who are focusing in business.  I have a Business Management Bachelor’s degree and get to combine my past-life business background with my current higher education role.  Once I receive my Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration later this year, I can combine my two areas of expertise into my daily role.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself or what you may do outside your job here at NU.  Do you have a favorite hobby or favorite past time?

A: When I’m not here working, I enjoy watching the local sports teams and love to watch and play golf.  I am better at watching it than playing it.

Q: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

If I got a do-over I would have picked up a golf club as soon as I could walk.  Professional golfers get to travel the world and play on the best courses.  Doesn’t seem like a bad gig.

Q: What profession would you not like to do?

A: I have a lot of respect for people who do manual labor for a living.  After recently moving and helping a family member gut their kitchen, I’m all set with manual labor for a while.

Q: What is your favorite sound?  What is your least favorite sound?

A: My favorite sound has to be the theme to The Masters golf tournament.  Go ahead and look it up, it is soothing and pumps you up at the same time.

My least favorite sound is 100% my alarm clock in the morning.  No thanks.

Q: What are your favorite and least favorite words? 

A: My favorite words are: “Tomorrow is a dress-down day…” My least favorite words are: “Last Call…”

Q: If you could meet just one person that you have always wanted to, living or dead, who would that person be?

A: I would love to meet Tiger Woods.  Maybe he could help me tweak my game and possibly provide some relationship advice.

 

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