Welcome Future Laker Parents!

Frequently Asked Questions For Parents:


If your questions weren’t answered on these pages, then feel free to contact us. Phone, write, or email us with your concerns and we promise to do all that we can to assist you. Our doors are always open, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!

Admissions Questions

Q: What qualifications does my child have to meet to be admitted to the University?
The minimum cumulative GPA for entering freshmen is 2.4; the minimum composite ACT score is 18 or 890 on the SAT. The average cumulative GPA for students entering in fall 2007 was 3.1 with a composite ACT of 21 and SAT of 990.

Q: How is the academic calendar set up?
Semester system: fall and spring. Summer session: May, June and July




09/03/08 (begins)

01/12/09 (begins)

May-June 6 week session

12/19/08 (ends)

05/01/09 (ends)

June-July 6 week session

Q: Can I receive a campus tour? Sit in a classroom? Have lunch on campus? Stay overnight in a residence hall?

We would love for you to visit and we definitely encourage it! While you are on campus, you will receive a guided tour and have the opportunity to meet with an admissions advisor. With advance notice (minimum of 2 weeks), we can arrange for you to sit-in on a class and meet with a professor (during the regular academic year).  We would also treat you and your guests to lunch or dinner at the Quarterdeck, our main campus dining hall, when in season. You can also receive complementary tickets to a Laker sporting event, when in season.

Since the majority of our students do not commute, our residence halls are often filled to the capacity during the academic year, so we are unable to house visitors. However, Sault Ste. Marie is a wonderful place and sports a variety of accommodations for you and your family. Staying locally will give you an opportunity to discover more of what the area has to offer.

Q: When is the application deadline?
We do not have an application deadline. You can begin the application process during your junior year of high school, although most applications that are received during the fall of your senior year. We encourage all students to apply early, to be accepted by March 1st, which is the Financial Aid deadline to be considered for scholarships.

Q: Is there an application fee?
There is a $25 non-refundable application fee for online applicants; for paper applicants, the fee is $35.

Q: What percentage of students graduate in 4-5 years?
Over 60 percent. Student graduation rates vary based upon program choice, changes of major, and study abroad participation. We offer many associate degree programs and certificate programs that may be completed in a shorter timeframe.

Q: What classes are needed/suggested for acceptance into college?
Basic college prep courses are required. They are 4 years of English, 3 years of Math, 3 years of Science, and 3 years of Social Studies. Taking a foreign language is not required, but it is encouraged. Some of our degrees require 1-4 years of a foreign language at the University level.

Use high school as an opportunity to get a head start in your discipline of choice.

If your child knows what they want to major in, check out our programs. The more they do to prepare academically for college the easier time they'll have once here.

General University Questions

Q: I’m not sure who to contact?
The University Switchboard number is (906) 632-6841

Q: Who is the President of the University?
The President of Lake Superior State University is Dr. Tony McLain. (more)

Q: What is the University’s overall placement rate?
Within six months of commencement, 86 percent of our graduates are either working full-time or attending graduate school. Some of our departments, such as Robotics and Nursing, report 100 percent placement rates.

Q: Can I have a car on campus while I attend school at LSSU?
Yes, students are allowed to have a vehicle on campus. Depending on class (freshmen, sophomore, etc.), and residence hall arrangements, you will be designated a specific lot. A parking fee is required at the beginning of the academic year. More information about parking can be accessed by contacting the Public Safety or the Fletcher Center for Student Services.

Q: What percentage of students are from other states/countries?
68 percent of our students are Michigan residents, with students from every county. Fifteen percent of our students are from Ontario and 17 percent are non-residents (out of state/international).

Q: What is your total enrollment?
Currently, LSSU’s student enrollment is 3,371. LSSU is the smallest public university in the State of Michigan. Our class environment is similar to what you’ll find at a private school.

Q:What is your acceptance rate?
The University’s applicant acceptance rate is 89 percent.

Q: What is the male/female ratio at the University?
49 percent of students are male, 51 percent are female.

Q: What is it about Lake State that makes people want to attend?
The individual attention. Once you become a Laker you will always be a Laker. College is the time to prepare for the great deeds of the future. We realize that you become part of the University that you attend. There are traditions that get passed along and legacies that get left behind. Every generation that sets foot in the historical buildings of our campus or walks the ground where many have before, leaves something of themselves for others to find. You only have to walk around and read the names of buildings, plaques on wall, view pictures in the libraries or even the used textbooks to know that you are becoming, when you go to University, something bigger than yourself. Here at LSSU we call that the Laker Family. And we invite you to join our family and study here, we will greet you with open arms and embrace you and your contributions to our legacy long after graduation.

Q:Who is LSSU accredited by?
LSSU is accredited by:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), 2201 Double Creek Drive, Suite 5006, Round Rock, TX 78864. Phone: 512-733-9700. Fax: 512-733-9701.
  • Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012. Phone: 410-347-7700.
  • International Fire Service Accreditation Congress, 1700 West Tyler, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078. Phone:  405-744-8303.
  • Michigan Board of Nursing and is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 500, Atlanta, GA 30326.Phone: 404-975-5000. Fax: 404-975-5020.
  • National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council, 2632 SE 25th Avenue, Suite D, Portland, OR 97202. Phone: 206-522-5272. Fax: 206-985-9805.
  • Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012. Phone: 410-347-7700.
  • The American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training, 1155 Sixteenth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036.  Phone: 202-872-4589. Fax: 202-872-6066. Email:
  • The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, 230 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1413. Phone: 312-263-0456; 800-621-7440. Fax: 312-263-7462.

Q: What is FERPA?
FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Also known as the “Buckley Amendment,” FERPA is a federal law which provides that colleges and universities will maintain the confidentiality of student educational records. The law basically states that no one outside the university shall have access to students’ educational records nor will the university disclose any information from those records without the written consent of students. There are exceptions, such as allowing certain personnel within the university with a legitimate educational interest to see the records, or releasing the records in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons. (more)

Q: How can I stay informed about what is happening on campus?
We understand that students don't always communicate with their parents on a regular basis, so we keep the main website updated with news, events, and pictures. There is also a LSSU PALS E-newsletter that is specifically designed for parents. To subscribe, complete this form.

Q: How do I get to LSSU?
We have driving directions on our website.

Q:Is there a code of ethics?
Yes. The code of ethics can be found on page 5 of the University catalog.

You may request a catalog using our generic contact form, found here.

Q: Do most parents attend parent’s weekend?
Many parents do attend parent’s weekend. Here at LSSU we call it Great Lake State Weekend (GLSW). This weekend gives parents the opportunity to visit the campus and enjoy the festivities with their child. (more)

Q: What is LSSU’s historical background? |
LSSU was established in 1946 to address the needs of returning World War II veterans and to provide educational opportunities to the people of the Eastern Upper Peninsula. The campus served as Fort Brady starting in 1894 after the fort was relocated from the banks of the St. Mary's River. The fort was deactivated in 1944 and, thanks to the efforts of local volunteers and leadership, the Michigan College of Mining and Technology in Houghton, opened in the fall of that year as the Sault Ste. Marie Residence Center of MCMT.

The Sault Branch was rechristened Lake Superior State College of Michigan Technical University in 1966. Autonomy arrived for LSSC in 1970. University status was granted in 1987 to the state’s smallest public institution of higher learning. Enrollment as grown from the original class of 272 to more than 3,400 students.

There are 14 buildings on the National Historic Register contributing to the University’s sense of tradition. This unique architectural blend is a reminder of the “weapons to plowshares” history of the setting. (more)

Q: How big is the Campus?
LSSU is located on a 115-acre campus that overlooks Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, the St. Mary’s River, and the Soo Locks.


Q: What are the most popular and well known degree programs?
Criminal Justice, Nursing, Engineering, and Business

Q: What is the student/faculty ratio?
There are approximately 17 students for every 1 faculty member.

Q: What is the average class size?
Typically introductory courses (100-200 level) will have more students in them, than will upper- level courses (300-400 level) because the general education requirements that every student must fulfill are taken at the 100-200 course level.

Our English, Communication, and Math courses all have a maximum of 25-30 people. An Introductory Biology class has a maximum of 95 people. The 95 people are for the lecture portion of the class. A lab section is required for many of the science classes and the maximum lab size is 24 students. Overall 70 percent of our classes have fewer than 30 students in them. After you get past the introductory courses and start on major and minor requirements, you can look forward to having classes that contain about 15-20 people.

Q: Are the classes taught by professors or teaching assistants?
There are no teaching assistants here at LSSU. All of the classes are taught by professors. You will develop relationships with faculty and staff who will help you connect ideas, think creatively and develop a wellspring of knowledge from which you will draw you entire life.

Q: What percentage of the faculty have their Ph.D.?
63 percent.

Q: Is there an Honor’s Program?
Yes! Highly motivated students at LSSU have the opportunity to develop their abilities and skills in the University Honors Program. (more)

Q: Are there opportunities to study abroad?
LSSU students may participate in study abroad programs to meet their individual study objectives. The Provost’s Office will provide information about current LSSU-sponsored programs upon request. A study abroad packet is available to facilitate the transfer of credit from another institution, either U.S. or foreign, provide information about health and travel insurance, and provide guidance about the use of institutional financial aid in study abroad programs. Federal financial aid may be applied to the cost of the study abroad programs officially arranged through LSSU. Some opportunities may include:

  • Studying French culture in France
  • Studying Spanish in Spain or Mexico
  • Studying environmental science courses in Japan
  • Studying history and culture in England
  • Studying recreation management in South Africa

These are only a few of the options. Please contact the Provost’s office for more information.

Student Life Questions

Q: What extra-curricular activities are available?
Getting involved on campus – discovering new passions and making a difference – is a great way to enhance your student’s academic experience. With 24 professional and Academic Organizations, 8 Greek Life Organizations, 18 Social Activity Clubs, 5 Governing Boards, and 2 media outlets, there is always something to do. Joining a club or organization, whether social or academic, will build upon leadership and teamwork skills and provide your child with various opportunities to network with students, faculty and professionals in their field of study. (Student Organizations)

The Norris Center, is home to LSSU Athletics and Intramurals. The Arbuckle Student Activity Center (SAC) boasts of four multi-purpose courts, weight and aerobic equipment and a six-lane indoor track. If you’re looking to fuel the competitive spirit or just want to work off some stress, the intramural program includes the basics like basketball, volleyball and the not so basic like broomball and underwater hockey. (Intramurals)

Q: What Varsity Sports are offered?
Lake Superior State University Athletics participate in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) at a NCAA Division II ranking, while our Men’s Ice Hockey is a NCAA Division I sport.

The Varsity sports at LSSU include:

  • Cross Country
  • Men’s Basketball
  • Men’s Ice-Hockey
  • Men’s Tennis
  • Softball
  • Track & Field
  • Women’s Tennis
  • Women’s Volleyball

Our Women’s Basketball team has won four consecutive GLIAC North titles and made four straight appearances at the NCAA II Regional Tournament.

The Laker Ice Hockey team has won five national championships (including two at the NAIA level) and competes in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. More than a dozen Lakers have gone on to play in the National Hockey League.

To purchase tickets, order online or call contact the Norris Center Information Desk at (906)635-2602. (Athletics Website)

Living on Campus Questions

Q: What type of housing is available at the University?
On-campus living options include traditional residence halls, suites, furnished apartments, two-story townhouses and historic houses. Each wired for cable and high-speed internet. (more)

Brady Hall is home to freshman and sophomore male students. This residence hall offers private, two-person, and four person fully-furnished rooms.

Osborn Hall is home to freshman and sophomore female students. This residence hall offers private and two-person rooms.

Upperclassmen occupy the Townhouses. These are fully-furnished two-level apartments that include two bedrooms, private bath, cooking and laundry facilities.

Our one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments are reserved for single, upper-class students.

The Student Village is primarily for students of sophomore status. It is a co-ed unit containing 36 suites consisting of four bedrooms, a commons area and a bathroom. The Village alternates male and female floors.

Note: Unmarried students enrolled for 12 or more credit hours and who are within 27 calendar months of their high school graduation at the beginning of the academic year must reside in a University residence hall.

The exceptions are:

  • if you live with parents within a 60 mile radius of the three-county (Luce, Chippewa, and Mackinac) service area of the University campus. An exception application, available in the Housing Office, must be approved by the Housing Director.
  • if you are exempted in writing by the Housing director when residence hall space is filled.
  • if you face unusual financial or health problems and are exempted by the Director of Housing and Residential Life.

Q: What is the surrounding community like?
Here are links that connect to pages of community topics that may be of interest:


Student Resources & Opportunities Questions

Q: Are there resources available if my student is having problems with their courses?
There are several different options to choose from if your student is feeling overwhelmed in his/her classes. First and foremost are the professors. We encourage students to take advantage of their professor’s office hours for assistance with questions and comments about coursework. However, if your student doesn’t want to talk to a professor, then LSSU comes equipped with a Learning Center.

The Learning Center (LC), located in the KJS Library Building, offers free academic support services to all enrolled students at LSSU, at all levels of learning (freshman through senior). Here are some aspects of the Learning center:

  • Peer tutoring and supplemental instruction (also known as organized study groups) are available for many preparatory, 100-and 200-level courses across the disciplines.
  • The LC’s Writing Lab staff can assist your student with all types of writing at all levels for all disciplines.
  • Your child can enhance their academic performance by using our computers equipped with tutorial software for many LSSU courses, as well as Corel and MS Office. With more than 80 programs to choose from, the LC has something for everyone.
  • Our student success seminars (on topics such as study skills, test preparation, test anxiety and time management) are available each semester on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Study space, tutorial video and audio libraries, and a book-lending library are also available.

Our friendly staff will be happy to assist your student in reaching their academic goals. Please contact us at (906) 635-2849 or visit our website for the latest information on hours and services provided.

Q: What type of career services do you provide?
Lake Superior State University offers career planning and placement service for students and alumni. Our staff will assist your child in locating suitable and desirable employment as a student and as a graduate. We can also help your student make career choices that suit their skills and interests. If your child is seeking part-or full-time work during the academic year or summer, we also maintain a listing of positions available for students.

Licensed professional counselors are available to discuss the career counseling needs of all currently enrolled students. Through our vocational counseling program, which may include comprehensive testing with follow-up career exploration activities, assistance can be provided to those needing help with career decision-making. They are a great resource for assisting in decision making when choosing a career and helping your student find a job. (more)

Q: How many libraries/computers are there on campus?
We have one main library on campus, the Kenneth J. Shouldice Library. It features wireless capabilities, high speed internet access, more than 132,000 books, 17,500 bound volumes of periodicals, 265,000 microforms, more than 72,000 government documents, and 900 annual subscription titles.

LSSU Information Technology offers a variety of services and programs for students. Classroom laboratories provide for instruction that involves computers and/or software. During non-class hours, general access labs provide copies of the software used in classes, open Internet access to students, as well as word processing software. Help for students utilizing software in the classroom or labs is available in the Learning Center. PCs enhance the research ability of the KJS Library and many databases. The University maintains a 10:1 student-to-computer ratio whenever possible.

Note: The residence halls are all equipped for computer usage. If your child has a computer at home, they can bring it to school with them for personal use in the dorms.

Health and Safety Questions

Q: What should I know about the weather conditions in Sault Ste. Marie?
The average high temperature in the Summer is 76F, and 22F in the Winter. Average snowfall is 116 inches, excellent for the many outdoor activities such as skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, fishing and sledding.

Q: Can I use the Athletic Facilities when I’m visiting my student?
Students are allowed to bring one guest with them for use of the Norris Center facilities for free. If there are two parents who want to use the Norris Center then one of them will have to pay a $2 admissions fee (a total of ½ price of regular public admission). For more information contact the Norris Center General Information Desk at (906)635-2602

Q: Are there alcohol and sexual harassment policies established on campus?
Yes, Alcohol Policy

Q: What is the legal drinking age in Canada ?
19 years old.

Q: What is resident hall security like?
In Osborn Hall and Brady Hall the entrance doors are locked from 9 p.m. - 6 a.m. Anyone who does not live in these halls is required to have an escort of someone who does.

Q: Is there a security escort service on campus?
If your student feels they need an escort by security for any reason, they can call the Security Office and make the arrangements. Security Office Phone: (906) 635-2210 or (906) 635-3121

Q: Is there health insurance available for my student?
Health care services are available for students who maintain three or more credit hours and attend classes on campus. Once enrolled, you will receive information outlining coverage. Plan information is also available at the Health CARE Center. You are encouraged to review this plan and services. The majority of onsite services are provided at no additional cost to students. For more information contact the Health CARE Center at (906)635-2110

Note: All students from countries other than the United States are required to carry health insurance as a condition of enrollment. Students must furnish proof they have purchased an equivalent insurance plan that will cover their health care while in the United States. In either case, proof of insurance shall be required before registration is permitted.

Q: Where can my student get prescriptions filled?
There are many pharmacies near campus:

  • Arfstrom Pharmacy, 415 Ashmun, (906) 632-9661
  • Gillhooley Pharmacy, 558 Ashmun, (906) 635-5551
  • Sault Community Pharmacy, 601 Osborn Blvd, (906) 632-2122
  • Rite Aid Pharmacies, 1025 Ashmun, (906) 632-6874
  • Wal-Mart Pharmacy, (906) 632-0582

Q: What immunizations would you suggest my son/daughter receive before going to school?
Everyone entering LSSU for the first time should complete an Immunization Record and Health History Questionnaire. The form is mailed to admitted students. These questionnaires are not considered for admission to the University. The information helps the University’s Health Service better serve your student’s needs.

The immunization that are strongly recommended for incoming freshmen are:

  • Hepatitis B (series of 3)
  • Meningitis (if your student will be staying in the residence halls)

Q: What is the Student Health CARE Service about? Who can use the services?
Health care services are available on campus at the LSSU Health Care Center. The Health Care Center offers a wide range of services to our students including treatment of illness, injury, annual physical examinations, immunizations, and allergy injections. The Health Care Center is staffed by a certified nurse practitioner, physician assistant and a consulting physician. Our providers have prescriptive authority to order a wide range of prescriptions. Services are available Monday through Friday from 8a.m. – 5 p.m. Hours of operation are reduced during the summer semester and University breaks.

Learn more by visiting the Health CARE Center website.


Cost and Financial Aid Questions

Q: What types of financial aid programs are available?
Rewarding the scholar and meeting the needs of those who apply for financial assistance is a high priority at Lake Superior State University. The doors of opportunity are seldom closed because of a financial condition.

Your student may qualify for a combination of University, state and federal programs—a financial aid package—which may include a combination of scholarship, grant, loan, and/or work assistance. Full-time undergraduates take priority in aid awards.

Q: What forms should I fill out?
Carefully consider the full cost of your child’s education, parental support, and savings—including summer employment—to determine need for financial aid. If your student possess excellent high school or community college grades, they are encouraged to apply for scholarships regardless of need. Those with need are considered for grants, loans and/or employment based on need established from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You can obtain information on all financial aid programs from the financial Aid staff. Staff are available to advise parents and students about the costs of attending the University, availability of financial aid and application procedures.

Applying : Your child can apply for financial aid by obtaining a FAFSA form from a high school counselor or contacting the Financial Aid Office, Lake Superior State University, 650 W. Easterday Ave., Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783. You may also file your FAFSA online at

Q: Apply by when?
If your student’s application and FAFSA are received by March 1, then they will receive priority consideration for financial aid. However, any and all students who submit their forms by April 1st will automatically be considered for all types of aid offered, including scholarships and grants.

Q: Are there any special scholarships offered by the school?
There are many scholarships available to students; some that are University-wide and others are departmental. Eligibility is automatically evaluated by the Financial Aid Office for all students admitted by April 1st for the following academic year.

Scholarships are awarded based on a point scale that is approved annually by the Financial Aid Committee. Fifty percent weight is given to the overall high school GPA and 50 percent is based on the highest ACT score received by April 1st. (List of scholarships)

Q: What is the yearly cost for tuition/room and board, books and supplies?
A: A:
Visit our costs page for this information

Q: Are jobs available on campus for students?
If your student is interested in working on campus, but does not qualify for work study, they may apply at the Office of Human Resources. There are more than 500 positions open on campus for full-time students.

Every effort is made to employ students in areas of study providing a “learn while you earn” situation. On-campus jobs include work in laboratories, libraries, maintenance, offices, switchboard and food service areas. Your student can earn approximately $1,700 during the school year and up to $4,000 in the summer with an on campus job.

Federal Work Study

If your child has demonstrated financial need, they may be eligible for employment by LSSU under the federally supported Work-Study Program. Your child must file a FAFSA to be considered for this program and have financial need.

Students may work up to 19 hours weekly while attending classes more than half time. During the summer or other vacation periods when there are no classes, your child may work full time (40 hours per week) under this program. In four months of summer employment under the Work Study Program, and eligible student can earn up to $3,500.

The Soo Community

Here is a list of helpful links to inform you about all you could ever want to know about Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Ontario.





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