What is the Student-Alumni Programming Fee?
This is a refundable $15/semester fee assessed to undergraduate students that enables the Office of Alumni Engagement to enhance and increase programs related to networking, traditions, school spirit and class affinity.
What do we get for $15/semester?
The alumni office organizes a number of programs where Binghamton alumni provide career advice, mentoring, job shadowing opportunities and, sometimes, internships to current students. Revenue generated through the fee has allowed the alumni office to develop new programs on and off campus and serve more students.
For example, during the 2018-19 academic year, we were able to expand Connect: New York City programs during winter recess, increase our program offerings in Boston and Washington, and fly a group of students to the Silicon Valley for employer visits and a networking session. In the 2019-20 academic year, we expanded, rebranded and relaunched our student-alumni mentoring program, now called Mentor Match.
In the 2022-23 academic year, we were able to again send students to New York, Boston, Washington and the Silicon Valley to meet and network with alumni employers as part of the CONNECT program. We also partnered with the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development to purchase an Iris photobooth to provide professional headshots on demand for students as they build their professional presence online. And, as they transition away from their college experience, we also offer LinkedIn Learning to the most recent graduating class to help them become more competitive in navigating new career paths.
Why ask us for more money? Can't the state cover it?
As you've probably heard, funding from the State of New York covers a very small amount of the costs associated with providing you with a Binghamton University education. The same could be said of the state's ability to support student-alumni programming. We are in a climate of declining resources, and the alumni engagement office is underfunded given the size of our University and alumni body.
Why do I have to pay this fee?
You actually don't have to; the fee is — and always will be — refundable because we don't want the fee to be a burden to students. If you'd like to opt out, complete and submit our refund form. This must be done each semester; Division of Advancement policy does not permit a single, universal opt-out of the fee.
What is the deadline to request a refund of the fee?
The deadlines are Dec. 29, 2023 for fall semester and May 13, 2024 for spring semester.
How will I receive my refund?
You will be notified by email when your refund is being mailed or is ready for pickup. A lost check may be replaced if you contact the Office of Alumni Engagement within 90 days of the original check date or by June 30 of the current fiscal year, whichever is sooner.
If I don't pay the fee, can I still participate in alumni programs for students?
For many of our programs, the answer is "yes." However, some programs will have limited capacity. In fairness to students who choose to pay the fee, we will give them priority.
Is Binghamton the only school that has a student-alumni fee?
No, similar fees had already been established at a number of SUNY schools. The amount we charge at Binghamton is either the same or nearly equal to other public institutions across the state. Just as with tuition, the fee is significantly less than what you'd encounter if you attended a private institution.