Frequently Asked Questions
Throughout the process of selecting a college preparatory school for your child, many questions will arise. We have compiled a list of these frequently asked questions to help you navigate your way through this process with ease. If you have additional questions that are not on this page, please do not hesitate to call the International Advancement office at (574) 842-8332.
Choose from one of the following categories to see the frequently asked questions concerning that topic.
• Medical and Health Issues
• Transportation and Travel
• Visas and Immigration
• What to Bring from Home
• Communication and Contacting the School
• Student Finances
• Breaks and Weekends
• Registration Process and Dates
• Admissions and Application Process
Medical and Health Issues
1. What happens if my child gets sick?
If your child gets sick while at Culver, they may go to the Health Center. The Health Center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There, they will be treated by a nurse. If they need to see a doctor, they need to be at the Health Center at 6:45 a.m. or 3:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, for Sick Call. On the weekends, Sick Call is at 8:00 a.m.
2. What if my child has an injury?
If your child is injured, they need to go to the Health Center. There they will be either be
treated, or the nurse or doctor will determine if they need an x-ray or to see a specialist. The student will then be transported to the hospital or specialist by Culver. These appointments can be arranged through the Health Center depending on the doctor’s recommendation.
3. Can my child have his/her physical after arriving to Culver?
We strongly recommend that your child has his/her physical examination completed prior to arriving to Culver. If they do not have it done prior to arriving to Culver, they may not be able to participate in certain activities until it is completed. They can have their physical at the Health Center, but it will not be done the day they get here. It usually takes a few days to put your child on the schedule for their physical. There is a fee for the physical that will be billed to you.
4. Can my child have his/her physical in his/her native country?
Yes, your child may have his/her physical in his/her native country as long as the IHSAA form that is in their Admission packet is completed at that time also.
5. What kind of medical insurance does my child need?
Your child needs medical insurance that includes coverage in the United States for any kind of medical care, emergency services and x-ray/lab services OR you may purchase
International health insurance through Culver Academies. This should be done prior to arriving to Culver. There is a place on the medical insurance forms that you will receive in the Admissions packet for you to check if you will need the international insurance through the Academies. There is a fee for this insurance.
6. Does the medical insurance have to be US based?
The medical insurance does not have to be based in the United States, but it does need to have coverage in the United States and an address in the U.S. where claims need to be sent.
7. Can the medical insurance be purchased through Culver?
Yes, you may purchase insurance through Culver. You will receive a form in the Admissions packet that will include an area for you to check off if you will need to purchase insurance through the Academies.
8. What medications should be dispensed by the Health Center? What medications can my child keep in his/her room?
Medications that need to be dispensed by the Health Center include any controlled medication for either pain, depression, Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit/Hyper-Activity Disorder, and anti-anxiety. Students may keep such medications in their room as Tylenol, Advil, over-the-counter cold medicine, over-the-counter allergy medicine, and inhalers for asthma.
9. Are there fees for treatment at the Health Center?
There is not a fee for your child to come to the Health Center to see a doctor or nurse. There is a fee if your child is admitted and needs to stay in one of the rooms at the Health
Center, receives medication from the Health Center, or needs to have lab work done (blood draws, strep tests, influenza tests).
Transportation and Travel
1. Who will meet my child at the airport?
A chaperone from Culver will meet your child at the airport. This person is typically a faculty or staff member.
2. How does my child get from the airport to Culver?
On a student’s first trip to Culver as a new student, they will be greeted by a representative from Culver and transportation will be provided. If your child is in need of transportation to and from an airport when they leave or return for breaks or long weekends, these arrangements need to be made in advance by contacting the Student Life office at (574) 842-8140.
3. Who do I contact if the flight is delayed?
If a student’s flight is delayed, you need to contact the Student Life office at (574) 842-8140 during business hours, or the Officer in Charge after hours by calling (574) 842-8324.
4. If my child can not arrive on the required date, what should I do?
If your child is unable to arrive to Culver on the required date, please contact the Student Life office at (574) 842-8145. Someone in this office will be able to guide you through what to do next, or will direct your call to the appropriate person to alert them to your situation at that time.
5. Who can I contact at the school to make sure my child has arrived safely?
You may contact the Student Life office. Someone there will be able to find out if your child has checked into their dormitory by contacting your child’s counselor.
6. Who is the person I need to contact regarding visas and passports?
Elizabeth Adams is the International Student Coordinator and works in the Admissions Office. Her number is (574) 842-8144 or can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Are there any separate fees for Culver transportation?
Yes. The cost for one-way bus transportation is: South Bend Regional Airport: $20; Indianapolis International Airport: $40; Chicago O’Hare and Midway Airports: $40.
Visas and Immigration
1. What type of visa does my child need?
In order to attend Culver as an international student, your child will need to obtain an F1 visa. If the student is currently studying in the United States under a parent’s visa, documentation will need to be provided to Culver prior to his/her arrival to campus.
2. How do I get my VISA?
The U.S. government has mandated that Culver use a new system of tracking international students known as SEVIS. The SEVIS program creates an I-20 form with a special barcode attached. That I-20 should be taken to your consulate or Embassy so that your VISA can be issued in a timely manner. It is not the responsibility of the Culver Academies to secure your VISA. It is also important to note that an I-20 WILL NOT be released until you have been accepted to Culver. The I-20’s will be sent out March-April. If you have any questions about this process, contact the International Student Coordinator, Liz Adams, via email at email@example.com or call (574) 842-8144.
1. How does my child get his/her uniforms?
Measurements and distribution of the uniforms is part of the registration process. Your child will be escorted through the registration process by an upperclassman and that student will help your child from station to station.
2. When does my child get his/her uniforms?
Your child will receive their uniforms at registration.
3. How do I pay for my child’s uniform?
Culver Academies accepts Visa, Mastercard and American Express. We also accept a money wire or a check drawn on a US bank.
4. What does my child need to bring from home?
For students attending Culver Military Academy, certain items will be issued to your student and others will need tobe purchased by you either when you arrive to campus or in your home town. These items are:
- 12 pairs underwear (boxers/briefs)
- 10 pairs black socks
- 5 pairs white athletic socks
- 12 plain white crew neck t-shirts
- 6 white (flat) sheets
- 2 white pillowcases
- 6 bath towels (2 white)
- 3 washcloths (1 white)
- 5 sturdy plastic hangers
- 1 clothes brush or lint remover
- 1 padlock
- 1 shoe shine kit
Items that should be brought from home
- Athletic footwear
- Swimsuit (9th-11th grade students need a swimsuit for wellness education)
For students attending Culver Girls Academy, certain items will also be issued to your child, and others will need tobe purchased by you either in your home town or by mail order. The items marked with an asterisk are required.
These items are not available at the Culver Bookstore or Uniform Department:
- Turtlenecks* - Navy and white turtlenecks. At least one white turtleneck is required. No mock turtlenecks. ¾-length sleeves, ribbed, or short, tight-fitting turtlenecks allowed.
- Shoes* - Black leather (no cotton, suede or patent leather) shoes with a combined sole and heel height that does not exceed 1.75 inches. Shoes should have a closed toe and standard closed heel (no clogs or mules). Two pairs are recommended.
- Winter Coat* - Full-length (calf-length) camel color, wool or wool-blend coat or full-length (calf-length must be mid-calf without hood) double-breasted trench-style coat. (Optional: Jacket-length, classic style navy blue or black pea-coat with matching color buttons should be below the waist and to the hip double-breasted and no hood). Most girls choose to have both.
- Winter Hat and Scarf/Gloves* - Plain (free of logos or writing) hats, scarves, and gloves may be worn for warmth with Daily or Dress wardrobe.
- Athletic Sneakers*
- Swimsuit* (9th – 11th graders need a swimsuit for Wellness Education. Only one-piece suits are allowed on campus for Wellness Education and sunbathing)
- Slacks - Black wool or wool-blend traditional style slacks (no cargo pockets, bell bottoms or hip huggers). Slacks are not needed until well into the fall – it’s not necessary to have them upon arrival on campus in August.
- Winter Boots - Black, ankle-height boots with non-skid soles.
Recommended CGA Casual Wear for Weekends
- 2 jeans or slacks
- 2 skirts or dresses
- 4 shirts/blouses
- 2 pairs of shoes
- Boots are intended for warmth and protection from ice and snow. Fashion-type boots are not permitted.
Items that may be purchased at home or from the Uniform Department:
- Knee Socks*
- White knee socks may be worn with spring/fall wardrobe only. Navy and dark hunter green knee socks may be worn year-round. Knee socks are available at the Uniform Shop. Dark, solid-colored plain or textured trouser socks may be worn with winter slacks only.
- Towels and washcloths*
- Bed linens*
- White athletic socks*
For those involved with horsemanship:
- Riding helmet*
- Riding breeches*
- Riding boots*
What to Bring from Home
1. Should I bring my own bedding (sheets and blankets) and towels?
Students do need to purchase sheets for their beds, and you may purchase them at home or at the Uniform Department when you arrive to campus.
For a student in Culver Military Academy, you will need:
6 white (flat) sheets.
2 white pillowcases
For students in Culver Girls Academy, you simply need to bring bed linens of your choosing, or you may purchase them at the Uniform Department.
2. After I arrive, how can I purchase other items that I need?
There are frequent shopping trips arranged for students to local shopping centers and malls. For new international students a shopping trip will be arranged within a day or two of their arrival so that they may purchase anything that they need. Parents need to be sure that their children have access to cash or a credit card to make these purchases.
3. Can I buy bedding (sheets and blankets) and towels at Culver?
Yes, these items may be purchased at the Uniform Department.
4. What other items can my child buy in Culver?
The Bookstore and Uniform Department on campus have many items including food, beverages, school supplies, souvenirs, sweatshirts, other required apparel for recreational activities and more. Culver is approximately 20 miles from Plymouth,
Indiana, where there are several larger stores. Shopping trips are arranged frequently by the Student Activities office to transport students to these stores if they are in need of any supplies that they cannot find on campus. For more information about these trips, you may contact Ann Norton in the Student Activities office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (574) 842-8295.
Communication and Contacting the School
1. How can I contact my child at the school?
Your student will have a telephone in their room and will receive their phone number when they arrive to campus. Each student also has their own email account through Culver. This will also be issued during registration on their first day. These are the best ways to contact your child. If you cannot get a hold of them through either of these methods, you may contact their counselor.
2. What is the very best way for my child to contact me?
The best way for your child to get in touch with you is also by phone or email. They are allowed to use the phone during certain hours of the day.
3. What are the emergency contact numbers at the school?
The main emergency contact numbers at the school are the following:
Security office: (574) 842-4088
Officer in Charge: (574) 842-8324
Health Center: (574) 842-7800
4. Who should I contact first?
This really depends on your emergency. If you have been contacted by the school and find out that your child has been hurt or sick, you will want to contact someone in the Health Center. If you have a general concern or family emergency, you should contact the Officer in Charge or Security.
5. Can my child have a cell phone?
Your child is permitted to bring a cell phone with them to campus, but they are only permitted to use it in their room. They may not use it during CQ and it must be off by 10:30 p.m. They are not allowed to use or have their phone anywhere else on campus. If they abuse any of these privileges, their phone will be confiscated by their counselor; they will get it back when they go on breaks but will not be allowed to have it on campus for the rest of the year.
6. As a parent who does not speak English, how can I communicate and stay involved?
There are Culver Ambassadors who will be able to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. Tony Giraldi and Karla Hernandez of the Office for International Advancement, will be able to provide the names of these Culver Ambassadors for you. To contact Tony or Karla, please call (574) 842-8332.
7. Can I visit my child while at Culver?
Of course you may visit your child! There are certain weekends throughout the year, however, that students are not permitted off campus. Some of these include Culver Annual Review/Culver Women’s Celebration weekend and Reunion Weekend. Please refer to the school year calendar before making your arrangements. You are encouraged to visit during the weekends where special events are arranged for you and your student. Fall Festival/Parents Weekend and Spring Parents Weekend are both great times to visit your student, go to class with him/her, and meet their teachers, counselor, roommate and friends. Be sure to make reservations for accommodations well in advance as local hotels, motels, rental homes and bed and breakfasts tend to fill up quickly.
1. Should students have a debit card account?
Culver will send parents a packet of information and forms to fill out to get their child a debit card for use on campus, in the bookstore, and for buying books. These debit cards may also be used in the regular stores in town. We recommend that parents sign up for this debit card option before the students arrive on campus. Parents can transfer money into this debit card account for the student, and students will then be able to purchase what they need for school, including ordering books through the internet.
2. How much money should my child bring?
We encourage students not to have large amounts of money on campus although we recommend they have cash with them on traveling days. A representative from 1st Source Bank will attend all registrations to assist families who wish to set up accounts for their son or daughter. 1st Source Bank maintains two ATM machines on the Culver campus, which allows students to have access (a Personal Identification Number is required) to funds 24 hours a day. You may also use your home bank’s ATM card, but will incur transaction fees for each withdrawal.
For students in CMA/CGA only:
Culver Academies has partnered with 1st Source Bank to offer an optional full solution for student spending money. 1st Source Bank offers a FREE checking account with no minimum balance, FREE online banking, and a Resource Plus Card that can be used to make withdrawals from the campus ATMs or as a debit card anywhere, on or off-campus, you see a Mastercard or NYCE logo. On-campus locations where the card may be used to make purchases are the Bookstore, Snack Bar, or Uniform Shop. For more information on how to obtain a 1st Source Bank debit card, e-mail email@example.com or call (800)513-2360 or (574)935-1522. All new Winter School students will receive a packet containing information on this optional program in the spring.
For students in a six week camp at Culver Summer Schools & Camps only:Parents may establish a camper drawing account by completing the drawing account card included in the summer camp packet. Culver Educational Foundation accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Money Wire or checks drawn on a US bank. Once a drawing account is established, the camper will use his/her photo ID as a debit card (on campus only) to make purchases at Bookstore or Uniform and at the cashier window to withdraw cash.
3. Should my child bring spending cash with them?
Students should bring some cash with them for their trip to Culver and perhaps a bit of spending money, but carrying large amounts of cash is not recommended. Parents should organize for their children to have a credit or debit card for most purchases.
4. How do I cover incidental expenses?
Incidental expenses can be covered by your child with his/her debit or credit card.
5. Who do I contact regarding student charges?
Student charges are handled by the Accounting office. They can be contacted by calling (574) 842-8227.
6. What kinds of payment methods are available?
For everything from tuition to uniforms, Culver Academies accepts the following payment methods: credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express), money wire, or a check drawn on a US bank.
Breaks and Weekends
1. What kind of activities do they have on weekends?
The office of Student Activities and the student-run Campus Activities Board tries to organize and host at least one event each night of every weekend on campus. While sporting events and fine arts presentations are a huge draw for students and the school encourages students to support their athletic teams, musicians and actors, there are other activities offered, too. Many times there are trips to local shopping malls, a trip to the movie theater or the bowling alley. During the winter, there are ice skating nights in the Henderson Ice Arena where students can ice skate to music and enjoy hot chocolate, all free of charge. There are also dances throughout the year. Other students simply enjoy going to The Shack, which serves burgers and other casual fare; there is also a game room in The Shack, a ping pong table, and a television room.
Throughout the year are special events and performances by entertainers from all over who travel to Culver to perform for the students. Some of the more recent performances have included a hypnotist, an illusionist and comedians. Trips are available a few times a year to a special performance or event. Last year, students were able to sign up to see the Blue Man Group in Chicago perform.
Whichever activity they may choose to participate in, students are rarely bored on the weekends while at Culver!
2. Can my child go into town on weekends?
Students are allowed into town but only at certain times. On Saturday, students who are in good standing academically and in citizenship are permitted to go into the town of Culver between 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. On Sunday, they may go into town from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Again, this is only for students in good standing.
3. Does my child have to leave campus during the long weekend?
No, your child does not have to leave campus. The only times that your child must leave campus are during long holidays. These include Thanksgiving break, Winter break, and Spring break. The buildings on campus are closed during these times and students must make arrangements to leave campus.
4. What school sponsored options are available for my child during the long weekends?
The Student Activities office tries to make the long weekend enjoyable for students who choose or need to remain on campus. There are usually one or two sponsored events each day of the long weekend. These events include trips to local shopping malls in Fort Wayne, South Bend or Merrillville. There are also trips to go to dinner and see a movie. Counselors also volunteer to take students on either shopping trips or to go to dinner during the long weekends. Other options include ski trips. The ski club has sponsored overnight ski trips to Michigan in the past; the Boy Scouts has partnered with the ski club in recent years to extend this invitation to students who are not involved in either the ski club or the Boy Scouts.
5. When can parents visit their children?
Parents are allowed to visit their children anytime throughout the year. Culver asks that students not be signed out for weekend leave during their first year until after their first two months on campus, in an effort to assist new students in making the adjustment to Culver.
Registration Process and Dates
1. When does my child need to be there for registration?
Registration dates are listed on the school calendar. These vary from year to year. Please refer to the school calendar to find out exactly when your child needs to be on campus.
2. Where can I find the school calendar?
The school calendar is available on the website. This calendar displays all events, important dates pertaining to registration and other activities on campus. You will also receive a school calendar in the mail after your child has been accepted to Culver.
3. Do I need to come with my child?
It is not necessary for you to come with your child to campus. If your child travels alone, a chaperone will meet him/her at the airport and they will travel together to Culver. A student leader will help your child acclimate to their new surroundings and guide them through the registration process.
Admissions and Application Process
1. When do I start the application process?
The application process will begin for you in the fall prior to the next school year in which you wish to enroll your child. There is a list of deadlines that you must submit certain applications and documents that will be provided to you in the admissions packet. This information is also located on the Admissions website (link to Admissions here)
2. How do I reserve a space for my child?
Once your child has gone through the application process and been accepted to Culver, you will be asked to sign an enrollment agreement and send in a $2000 deposit. The deadline for the enrollment agreement and the deposit is May 1. This deposit is fully refundable up until July 1 if, for some reason, you have to cancel and cannot send your child to Culver.
3. What are the steps to complete the application?
The steps to complete the application are outlined on the Application Checklist (link to checklist on Admissions page). This checklist will help to keep you organized throughout the process and remind you of important dates and deadlines.
4. Where is Culver located?
Culver is a rigorous coeducational, college preparatory, boarding school located in north central Indiana. We are two and one half hours by car south east of Chicago, Illinois, and two and one-half hours by car north of Indianapolis, Indiana. Our 1800 acre campus is nestled on the north end of a beautiful, naturally spring fed lake in a rural farmland surrounding.
5. Do I need to know English before coming to Culver?
For successful participation socially and academically, international students will want to develop proficiency in English. International students are expected to have studied English previous to their admission to Culver, but another option to help students develop English proficiency is to attend the Culver Summer Camps prior to applying to The Academies.
6. What is ESOL?
Culver Academies also offers an ESOL program. ESOL stands for English for Speakers of Other Languages. Based on testing and other information in the admissions file, the students are tentatively placed into one of two levels of ESOL or into regular humanities classes. As part of their initial orientation program when the students arrive on campus in August, the English skills are reassessed and final placements are made. Students with more limited English will be placed into the first level of ESOL. Students whose competence in English is more advanced will be placed into a higher level which seeks to prepare the students to enter into regular sections of humanities. Accurate placement and careful monitoring ensure that students can do their best and be successful academically.
The overall goal of the English program for international students is to prepare the students to be successful in their academic work here at the Culver Academies. The program focuses on building and solidifying various language skills, including reading, writing, listening and speaking , as well as improving the students’ grammar and vocabulary in English. The English courses prepare students not only to handle the language requirements of other courses, but also to handle a variety of assignment types, from taking notes to text analysis, writing papers, preparing arguments, giving presentations, as well as developing good study habits. In addition the program will help the students understand cultural differences and expectations in classrooms in Culver.