FAQs

Have QUESTIONS?

  • General Questions
  • Track Eligibility
  • Location
  • Chaperones
  • Financial Aid
  • Deposit/Payment
  • SSI-MN Confirmation Packet

1.   General Questions

At what age is my child eligible to attend?

  • Students 13-19 years of age on July 30, 2017
  • Teenage students must be entering 9th-12th grade in the Fall of 2017 or have just completed their senior year of high school

Discerning the most appropriate age to send a student is up to the parent, depending on the student’s maturity level and whether or not they can handle the rigorous schedule and challenging curriculum.

What is the average age of first-time students?

First-time students vary in age from 13 to 19. The first-year students are split into committees and caucuses, and each group is purposely made up of students of all ages, so no one group has any advantage over another during debates on Friday.

What are the housing arrangements?

We house everyone – students, staff, and chaperones, in the guys’ and girls’ dorms. Dorm rooms are assigned by SSI-MN. When submitting registrations online, students may request to room with other individuals who are registering. We will do our best to accommodate students' roommate requests but cannot guarantee that we will meet these requests. Dorm rooms are assigned based on biological gender.

Do you assign dorm rooms?

YES. SSI-MN does assign dorm rooms. When students arrive on Sunday, July 30th they will be directed to their assigned dorm room and will be entrusted with a key for their room. If a student loses their dorm room key, a $50 fee will be charged to that student, payable to Minnesota Family Institute. Students room with one or two other students. When submitting registrations, students may request to room with other students who are registering. We will do our best to accommodate students' roommate requests but cannot guarantee that we will meet these requests. 

What if I need to contact my child during the week?

Don’t worry! We provide every family with emergency numbers they can use to contact SSI-MN Staff. Students may not have cell phones, mp3 players, or similar devices anywhere but in the dorms and occasionally outdoors. However, most chaperones do carry phones in case of emergency.  Students may use cell phones in the dorms.

Is a sport coat/blazer/full business suit required for Friday’s final session?

No. Business attire is required for the final legislative sessions. While a sport coat or suit is not required, the guys should at least wear dress slacks, with a dress shirt and tie. However, those wishing to dress it up a bit more should feel free to do so!

A detailed description of the dress code is included in the SSI-MN Confirmation Packet which is sent to students and parents after registration.

What if my child is reluctant or does not want to attend SSI-MN?

This is a common question because SSI-MN is very unique and the experience is very different than what most teens expect. As it turns out, the vast majority of parents who chose to send their children in spite of their objections expressed their amazement with the 100% attitude change and were glad they made the decision. Countless teens have said that SSI is “…the best thing my parents ever made me do,” and “…the most fun I never thought I’d have.” 

2.    Track Eligibility

All SSI-MN students: 

  • Must be 13-19 years of age on July 30, 2017
  • Must be entering 9th-12th grade in the Fall of 2017 or have just completed their senior year of high school

This summer 2017, we will be offering three tracks: a legislative HOUSE Track, an advanced legislative SENATE Track, and an advanced MEDIA Track.

HOUSE Track
First-year students participate in the House Track

SENATE Track
Second year students can participate in the Senate Track

MEDIA Track - Note additional requirements below
Second year students can apply for participation in the Media Track IF:

  • Student completed the SSI-MN House Track in a previous year
  • Student is entering 11th grade or 12th grade in the Fall of 2017 or just completed their senior year of high school
  • Student is between 15 and 19 years of age
  • Student must complete an additional Media Track Application (emailed to Media Track applicants after registration process has been completed). You are not guaranteed enrollment in this track upon application. An SSI-MN staff member will contact you regarding your enrollment status after receiving your registration and Media application.

In order to maintain a vibrant media team with plenty of writing projects for each team member, we admit only a few students into the Media Track. If you are interested in this track, apply early!

3.    Location

Where is SSI-MN held?

University of Northwestern St. Paul
3003 Snelling Avenue N. - St. Paul, MN 55113-1598

Most activities are held in the air-conditioned campus buildings. Students also participate in activities on the grounds of the college and devotions in or around their dorms. The dorms are equipped with air conditioning.

For other activities, students are transported by bus 2-3 times during the week to the Capitol Complex in St. Paul and other professional venues for media track students. 

4.    Chaperones

Since many parents want to see our programs first-hand, chaperones are often parents of participating students. Please email us at ssimn@mfc.org if you are interested in volunteering as a SSI-MN chaperone. 

5.    Financial Aid

How does financial aid work?

SSI-MN is a project of the Minnesota Family Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, faith-based, educational organization.  We depend upon the generosity of donors for all of our needs, including financial aid.

To keep your costs down, the registration fee covers only a portion of the total cost for each student, and we work year-round to raise the funds to make SSI-MN possible for the students attending each summer.  We do all that to keep the fees down, so we can make SSI-MN accessible to as many teenagers as possible.

In order to be considered for financial aid, you must submit your registration and pay a $50 deposit. Please email us at ssimn@mfc.org to briefly explain your financial situation and request. We will contact you regarding your request.

Many students do fund-raisers and odd jobs to earn money to attend SSI-MN. It’s amazing just how creative students get – babysitting, paper routes, shoveling snow, raking leaves, mowing lawns, part-time jobs, etc.  Some students earn enough money to pay their whole way, and several even contribute to the financial aid fund, so others may attend.

If you feel you are unable to attend SSI-MN because of cost, please contact us. We want to do all we can to work with you and your situation. It is our goal that no student would be prevented from participating in SSI-MN for financial reasons.

How do I apply for financial aid?

When completing the registration process, you should select the "Financial Aid" ticket option, complete the entire application, pay the $50 deposit, and then email ssimn@mfc.org briefly explaining your financial situation/need. We will contact you regarding your request. You must complete the registration process in order to be considered for Financial Aid. Except in extreme circumstances, which should be communicated directly with our office in writing, those requesting Financial Aid should include a $50 deposit upon registration.

6.    Deposits/Payment

Can I send in my registration without a deposit and still save my space?

No.  Because of the demand, if we don’t have a registration with a deposit ($100) in hand, we cannot hold a spot.

Should I send the full payment right away, or do I need to send only the $100 deposit?

Please send as much as you can as soon as you can. We produce a lot of materials and have a lot of work to do to make the summer program a meaningful experience for your student, all of which costs money. If you cannot pay in full right away, note that all balances are due by July 14th.

What is the Cancellation/Refund Policy?

SSI-MN understands that students may, at times, be unable to attend SSI Minnesota during the week for which they registered and would request a refund of their registration fee.  All refund checks are mailed approximately 2-3 weeks after the SSI summer program.  Due to costly administrative commitments, the fee deadlines and refunds will be as follows:

Registrations before July 14, 2017 - Minimum of $100 deposit due per registrant
July 14, 2017 - Full registration payment due
July 14, 2017 - Deadline for partial refund - Refund will be amount paid minus $100 administration fee. No refund after this date.

NOTE: If a student is dismissed as a result of disciplinary action or leaves to go home for any reason (illness, etc.) during his/her week at SSI-MN, no refund or partial refund will be issued. Likewise, no one may attend in his/her place.

6.    SSI-MN Confirmation Packet

Where is my SSI-MN confirmation packet?

After completing the registration process, you should have received an email with an attached SSI-MN Confirmation Packet. If you did not receive this packet after registration, please email us at ssimn@mfc.org and we will send it to you.

Are there any documents that I have to read or fill out before camp besides the registration form?

Yes. Several documents are included in the SSI-MN Confirmation Packet. These documents were attached to the confirmation email you received after registration. Email  ssimn@mfc.org if you did not receive a confirmation email with these documents attached. ALL students and parents/guardians are REQUIRED complete the five forms included in the packet in order to attend SSI-MN. Please carefully read, sign, and mail to Minnesota Family Institute the following documents by July 14th:

1. Confirmation Letter (to be read and agreed to by student and parent)
2. Policies and Procedures (to be read and agreed to by student and parent)  
3. Student Covenant (student signature required)
4. Permission Form (parent signature required)
5. Health Information and Medical Release Form (parent signature required)

Where do I send my completed SSI-MN confirmation packet?

Attn: SSI-MN
Minnesota Family Institute
2855 Anthony Lane S - Suite 150
Minneapolis, MN 55418