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Middle Tennessee State

Your Top Questions Answered

Middle Tennessee State


We know that this is a time of transition for everyone in your family. We have come up with a list of answers to frequently asked questions to help alleviate stress and to help you and your student be successful during this time.

Q: Why can’t I attend my student’s advising appointment during CUSTOMS?

A: In 1974, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) was passed as United States law. FERPA passed the right to privacy onto students when they reach the age of 18 or attend an institution beyond the high school level. Under FERPA, you are not permitted to attend your student’s advising appointment during CUSTOMS. This is a great opportunity for your student to practice advocating for themselves and it gives them a space to begin building a relationship with their academic advisor. We know being involved in your student’s academic career is important to you. Though you’re unable to attend the advising appointment, you will be able to speak with your student about their schedule once they’ve met with their advisor and scheduled their classes. If you believe a change needs to be made to your student’s schedule, the change can be done online through PipelineMT with the permission of your student’s academic advisor.

Q: When can I access my student’s bill for the fall semester?

A: Fall 2020 registration bills will be available online through your student’s PipelineMT account in July. Bills will not be mailed. For a complete list of important Financial Aid dates and deadlines, please visit mtsu.edu/tuition/dates.php.

Q: How do I pay my student’s bill?

A: Your student will need to grant you permission to access and pay their bill online through Authorized User Account Information in their PipelineMT account. Once your student authorizes you, you will receive an email with a password and a URL to sign on and set up a personal password. Authorized users can also log in at the Parent/Guardian payment link listed under Quick Links on the mtsu.edu website.

Q: Where should my student live?

A: Your student has the option to live either on campus or off campus. We strongly encourage students to live on campus during their first year because research shows that students who live on campus have a higher retention rate, on average than their off-campus peers. However, your student will need to select the housing situation that works best for them. Here is some information about MTSU’s housing options:

On-Campus Housing: Campus Housing provides your student with opportunities for growth, development, and learning outside of the classroom. We are so much more than a roof over your student’s head! We invite your student to become a part of campus life by joining one of our many Living Learning Communities, participating in their hall’s Programming Council, or simply attending one of their RA’s programming events. There are so many ways to contribute to this vibrant community! We welcome you and your student to explore mtsu.edu/housing to find out more about on-campus living.

Off-Campus Housing: There are many different living arrangements for students off campus. MTSU does not endorse or operate any apartment complexes or housing options located off campus. You and your student will need to do some research to see what arrangement may be best for them. Many have transportation to and from campus, and various living arrangements are available.

Q: What will my student eat on campus?

A: Here at MTSU, there are over 20 dining options located across campus for your student’s convenience. Whether they have a meal plan or not, your student is able to eat at any location on campus. From coffee in the morning at Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts, a snack before or after class from one of the Provisions on Demand (P.O.D) locations, to lunch and dinner in locations such as Chick-Fil-A, Farmer’s Market, Steak ‘n Shake, the two all you can eat dining halls, and many others — your student has plenty of options. For a complete list of dining services, as well as information about meal plans, please visit mtsu.campusdish.com.

Q: How will my student be supported academically?

A: There are many resources offered on campus to help your student succeed academically. Your student will be assigned an Academic Advisor based on their major. This process is meant to foster a collaborative and mentoring relationship among advisors and students to ensure student success throughout their time on campus. Advisors will provide guidance about courses and major progress while supporting students by connecting them to other services that will aid in their success. These services can include free campus and online tutoring, Supplemental Instruction, and a series of workshops designed to assist freshmen as they navigate their first year in college. Students are also encouraged to build relationships with their professors and seek additional support during their office hours and study sessions when available. Your student can also visit the Office of Student Success for additional support.

Q: What is the S.T.A.R. Program? Why should my student enroll?

A: S.T.A.R. is a program designed to jump-start your student’s college career. It is held the week prior to classes beginning and will aid their transition to MTSU. Benefits for S.T.A.R. Participants include: head start on college; positive academic, social, and long-term impact; enhanced preparation for college-level general education courses; leadership training, service-learning, and team-building opportunities; early move in to housing. All students must enroll and complete the University Seminar (UNIV 1010) course during the fall semester. The program will cover meals, activities, and early move-in charges for students who have secured their on-campus housing. Commuter students are also welcome to attend the program.

Program Fee:
Before May 1 $65.00
May 2 – June 26 $85.00
July 1 – August 1 $100.00

Q: Where can my student look for a job on or off campus?

A: Students can search on Lightning Career Link for part-time off-campus jobs as well as internship/co-op positions that will prepare them for their future careers. For more information and to review job postings, students can log in here: mtsu.edu/career/LCL.php. For all other opportunities, students are encouraged to reach out to the specific department they’re interested in working for to see what opportunities might be available.

Q: Can my student earn a degree in four years?

A: At MTSU, students must complete a minimum of 120 semester hours with a 2.00 grade point average. We encourage students to carry a full-time course load of 15 hours per semester in order to complete their degree in four years. This is not a requirement, but if students are fulfilling that 15-hour full-time status, they can easily graduate in four years. Degree requirements do vary from major to major, so please be sure that your student discusses their graduation goals with their academic advisor to create the best graduation plan for them.

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