Beehive Blog–September 29, 2022

RCTC Student Blog

Check out the following links for important RCTC information

United Way 211
Weather and Emergency Closings
Staying Safe on Campus
Flu Shots
Money Management
Get Yourself Tested
Therapy Group for Students



United Way 211 provides free and confidential health and human services information. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to connect you with the necessary resources and information. If you’re looking for information about services available in your community for you or a loved one, they can help.

Text MNHELP to 898-211 (TXT211) or call 211 (toll-free at 1-800-543-7709) to speak with one of their highly trained information and referral specialists. Your call is completely confidential, and they have call menus in English, Spanish, and Hmong. Interpreters are also available for any language.

Visit the 211 website to learn more or to explore resources and support that may be available.

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RCTC is an exceptional value, but there still may be financial struggles associated with attending college. Scholarships help to ease the financial burden for many students and do not need to be repaid.

Thanks to our generous donors, the RCTC Foundation will offer over $460,000 in scholarships for the 2022-2023 academic year. Scholarships help pay for tuition, textbooks, and class fees, and each award is based on a variety of criteria such as area of study, demographics, financial need, GPA, etc. The scholarship application for the Spring 2023 semester will open on October 10th. Please view the RCTC Foundation website to learn more.

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When emergency situations – severe weather, power failure, fire, loss of water, or other serious events – force the closing of the campus or the cancellation of day, evening, or weekend classes, local radio and television stations will be notified and announcements broadcast at frequent intervals. The decision to suspend operations and/or cancel classroom instruction and activities is made as early in the day as possible.

 Snow/Storm Closings

Weather reports are monitored 24/7 by College officials. The decision to cancel classes is made after an assessment involving the following criteria:

  • The severity of the weather conditions
  • Expected duration of the storm
  • Vehicular travel conditions throughout the service area
  • Ability to render campus and outreach center roadways, sidewalks, and parking lots safely usable

If a decision is made to suspend morning classes, notifications will be sent prior to 6am or as soon thereafter as possible. A decision regarding evening classes may be made by 3pm or as soon thereafter as possible.

When inclement weather strikes the area, students are advised to first consider the conditions in their immediate area relative to traveling safely. Conditions may vary significantly within the service area of the College and its outreach centers. Decisions regarding College operations are made on the general status of the overall service area.

Students are ultimately responsible for their own safety and travel decisions. Coursework is also the continuing responsibility of students. A decision to be absent from a class for any reason does not exonerate students from their full responsibility to complete all prescribed coursework. If you decide not to attend class, please notify your instructor(s).

In the event that classes are canceled, the following notification methods will provide timely information regarding campus status:

Faculty individually canceling classes for personal or medical leave will be posted on the faculty absence webpage.

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As a student, you can maximize your safety on campus by:

  • Trusting your instincts.
  • Displaying an aware, confident attitude.
  • Being alert to your surroundings and other people.
  • Having direct eye contact with strangers approaching you.
  • Taking your belongings with you wherever you go.
  • Parking in a well-lit area.
  • Locking valuables in the trunk or glove compartment of your car.

If it’s dark, and you are unable to walk with others, call Campus Safety at 507-280-5050 to request an escort. There is no need to walk alone!

Please visit the Campus Safety website to learn more about staying safe on campus.

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Influenza or “the flu” is not a stomach bug.  It is a serious respiratory illness that affects millions of people in the United States every year.  Influenza illness can cause severe symptoms that can last a week or more.  And, for older adults and people with other health conditions, influenza can lead to serious illness – even death.

Health officials recommend that everyone who can get vaccinated against influenza get it this year.  Fortunately, there is plenty of flu vaccine available and most health insurance plans fully cover these vaccinations. Below is a list of some locations offering flu shots in Olmsted County.  The cost will vary according to your insurance, so be sure to check with your insurance carrier first! If you live outside of Olmsted County, check with your county’s public health department.

Olmsted Medical Center, Rochester

When: October 4th through October 27th

Drive-through clinic at the Rochester Northwest Clinic located at 5067 55th Street NW, Rochester, MN. Note: Located under a tent on the upper level of the NW Clinic parking lot.

Tuesday and Thursday: 1:00pm-5:00pm

No appointment is needed for the drive-through clinic

    • OMC patients may also schedule an appointment with their primary care provider.

Mayo Clinic, Rochester

When:  Beginning Oct. 17, 2022, flu vaccines will be given by appointment at Mayo Clinic Primary Care 41st St. Professional Center Building  3033 41st St. NW  Rochester, MN 55901

Patients who are not Mayo Clinic employees and don’t have primary care providers may receive a flu shot at the walk-in clinic in the Mayo Building on the 6th Floor. The walk-in clinic is open for patients from Oct. 17 to Nov. 18, 2022, at the following times:

    • 9am-2pm, Monday through Thursday
    • 9am-1pm, Friday

After Nov. 18, 2022, patients will need to schedule a flu vaccine through their health care providers.

Hy-Vee Pharmacy

Multiple locations throughout Southeast MN.  Contact HyVee pharmacy to schedule an appointment.

Drive-through clinic now through October 27  Tuesdays and Thursdays: 3-7pm

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As you begin college, this is the perfect time to learn important skills that will help you manage your money now and in the future. Money management skills and good practices are needed no matter how much or how little you have. It is never too early to start learning about money and budgets.  The following information will cover a variety of money management topics, including budgeting, credit cards and credit rating, debt management, how to identify financial troubles, and finding resources to help.

Monthly Budgeting in College

  • Keep track of what you earn and what you spend.  Create a monthly budget and track to see if it is accurate.
  • Be aware of when you are buying to fulfill a need such as food, compared to a want such as your daily Starbucks run. Skip purchasing some wanted items to show you can do it.
  • Find ways to cut costs: Use a bicycle, get a roommate, learn to cook, and buy used books.
  • Get organized: Establish a monthly bill-payment routine and set up a filing system.
  • Track your bank account. Be careful with your debit card – don’t go in the red.
  • Use a budgeting app, that helps you keep organized.

Credit Card Tips

  • Keeping debt at bay is the #1 ingredient for financial success. Start now!
  • Realize that the spending patterns you set today will have an impact on the rest of your life.
  • Don’t have more than one credit card.
  • Read all the fine print of a credit card offer, including interest rate information and when the rate can increase, amount of late fees, over-the-limit fees, balance transfer fees, etc.
  • Try to pay off the entire balance each month to avoid unnecessary interest.  Always pay more than the minimum due.
  • Calculate the annual amount of interest you are paying; multiply the interest rate by the total balance owed.
  • Avoid penalties and fees as they can add up quickly.
  • Always keep your balance at least one-third below your credit limit in case of emergency.

Types of Debt

How you repay debt determines your credit rating, so knowing about the types of debt is essential.

Installment loans are for big-ticket items such as cars or homes. Installment loans are paid in monthly fixed amounts and are normally secured (i.e., backed by something of value, such as a car). Payments should be manageable in your budget. Make payments on time as this will help improve your credit rating.

Credit Cards and department store cards are revolving credit lines. Credit cards are heavily marketed, and the terms often look better than they really are:  Proceed with caution! Credits cards have a monthly payment that varies based on the total amount owed. Poor handling of credit cards can quickly hurt your credit rating.

Student loans are unsecured installment loans. Explore all your financial aid options, focusing first on scholarships and grants that don’t have to be repaid. Borrow only the amount you need to get through college. You will be happy to have a lower student payment when you begin your career and want to buy a home and a car. Be realistic about what your salary will be after graduation and estimate the amount of debt you can afford. Student loan payments should be 10% or less of your net monthly income.  Total debt, including your mortgage payment, should not exceed 30 percent of your gross income.

Your Credit Rating

A credit score is based on many types of information in a credit file. Lenders use a credit score to help determine whether a person qualifies for a credit card, loan, or service. Generally, the higher the score, the less risk the person represents.

  • Good credit history can mean lower interest rates, job offers, or a decent apartment.
  • Bad credit history will stay on your record for years and will make obtaining a mortgage or car loan very difficult.
  • Be aware of what’s in your credit report. You can get your credit report free once a year from
  • Making student loan payments on time is often the first step in establishing a good credit history and will likely help you when applying for a car loan or home mortgage down the road. Make sure to contact your loan servicer and set up the best payment plan for you.
  • Paying your rent, utility bills, and credit card bills on time is important as they are also considered part of your credit history.
  • Your credit report includes your name, current and past addresses and employment, and all credit (debt) you have, including the current outstanding balance and whether you’ve ever been late for a payment. The report also lists any companies that have made credit inquiries.
  • Review all the information on your credit report and challenge any information that you believe is inaccurate.

In Financial Trouble?

Here are questions to determine if you have too much debt:

  1. Do you have trouble paying your bills on time?
  2. Do you only make the minimum payments on your credit card?
  3. Are you near the maximum on your credit card limit?
  4. Do you worry about money all the time?
  5. Have you ever needed to borrow money to pay your bills?
  6. Are creditors calling you?

Seek Help

If you answered yes to any of the preceding questions, it is important to seek help. Visit the Web sites listed below. Before deciding if a financial planner is right for you, do your research. Talk with trusted family and friends to find a financial planner. Consider a non-profit financial counseling service such as

Tax Related Benefits

  1. File Your Taxes for Free:  You can file your taxes for free online through the IRS website if your income is less than $57,000.
  2. Earn a Tax Credit: Some college students also benefit from two federal tax credit programs, the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. These may apply to you or your family, depending on your financial circumstances. For more information visit the IRS website at:
  3. Tax Benefits for Higher Education: You may be able to claim a tuition deduction of up to $4,000 of qualified education expenses paid during the year for yourself, your spouse, or your dependent. You cannot claim this deduction if your filing status is married filing separately or if another person can claim an exemption for you as a dependent on his or her tax return. The qualified expenses must be for higher education. You may also be able to deduct the interest you pay on a qualified student loan. And, if your student loan is canceled, you may not have to include any amount in your income. For more information visit the IRS website at:

Further Information, Interactive Tools, and More

For additional information, interactive tools, budget calculators, sample plans, and more, visit the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Finance Plan website at Budget Worksheet (  The Finance Plan website will help you learn about general budgeting practices and help you assess your specific situation. The more you know about both, the better you can manage your money. No one will care about your financial situation more than you, so it is important that you take control and act.

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Sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing is now available in RCTC Student Health Services! Chlamydia and Gonorrhea testing are available during October for only $15 – for both tests! After October, the fee will be $25.

A urine specimen is needed for these tests. Call Student Health Services at 507-285-7261 or visit to schedule your confidential appointment today!
Symptoms of STI are rarely present. If you are at risk for a sexually transmitted infection, you NEED to be tested.

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Student Health Services is starting a therapeutic group for young adults called Calling the Buzz. This group is for people who are looking to increase coping skills, social support, confidence in social situations, and problem-solving skills. The group will be facilitated by licensed mental health therapists and will meet on campus each week through the semester. For more information and to sign up, call Student Health Services at 507-285-7261.

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