Parent Connect Newsletter

May 2019

President Harvey Stenger

Dear parents and families,

The end of the spring semester can be very stressful for students as they complete projects, wrap up papers and honors theses, and prep for finals. To ensure that students have outlets to relieve stress and practice self-care, our Division of Student Affairs developed Stress-free Bing. If you look at the schedule, you'll see that we offer everything from free snacks and expanded study spaces/hours to therapy dogs and exercise classes.

I'm also sending messages to students with tips from our faculty about how to cut down on stress – and have asked our faculty and staff to reinforce my messages with students whenever they can.

With that being said, here are the top five tips I've sent to students to help them make this final run in the semester as stress free as possible:

  1. Get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
  2. Eat healthily and exercise.
  3. Give yourself a break once in a while.
  4. Unplug and reconnect! While often necessary, the internet can also be the worst distraction.
  5. Ask for help when needed. The University has tons of resources for those who need extra help or just someone to talk to.

I will be sending additional messages to your students as the semester winds down, and encourage you to do the same. I know you worry about your students, but as a dad and a grandfather, so do I!

Let's work together to help all of our students have a successful end to the spring semester!

Harvey Stenger
President

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Parents Leadership Council annual on-campus meeting

On Saturday, April 13, Binghamton University's Parents Leadership Council (PLC) came together for their annual meeting. Held at the Innovative Technologies Complex (ITC) this year, 26 parents (representing 15 families) enjoyed a day full of presentations, University updates and committee work.

"My husband, Keith, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with fellow PLC members at the annual meeting, discussing our students, important initiatives at the University and how we can strengthen the parent-college relationship," says Jane Ryan '81, a PLC member since 2016 and parent of a junior Binghamton student. "For us, having this opportunity to visit our son, meet with key University staff and know that we are working to enrich the experience for all students and parents makes it very worthwhile to volunteer our time."

One rewarding opportunity PLC members took part in was making a decision on how 2018-19 donations to the Binghamton Fund for Student Life would be allocated. Student Affairs staff from across the University submitted 14 proposals in January. PLC members heard presentations from staff representing the top five proposals and voted, selecting three proposals that will benefit students and enhance the Binghamton student experience.

Following the meeting, PLC members and their students enjoyed a reception with President Harvey Stenger, Vice President for Student Affairs Brian Rose and other University administrators at P.S. Restaurant in Vestal. PLC members mingled and enjoyed light refreshments, and parents with seniors were acknowledged for their dedication and service to the PLC and the University. On Sunday, some PLC members stayed to welcome new parents at the Admitted Students Day Open House.

More about the Parents Leadership Council: Binghamton University's Parents Leadership Council offers parents an opportunity to enrich the Binghamton student experience by serving as a link between the University and parents of undergraduate students. The council aims to broaden and deepen the University's relationships with parents so they are lasting and mutually beneficial. The PLC also complements and supports the University's strategic directives and initiatives. New members are always welcome. Find more information here.

Seek success through Summer Session!

Is your student looking to get ahead in their academic studies? Satisfy Gen Ed requirements? Will they need to make up a course? Complete professional school pre-requirements? Would they prefer to explore special topics of interest or take that hard-to-register-for class? Whatever their academic goals may be, Summer Session can help your student achieve them.

Binghamton University's 2019 Summer Session offers a full range of online and classroom-based courses from May 28 through August 9. Term 1 courses run from May 28 through June 28, and Term 2 courses run from July 8 through August 9. Other courses — those with variable length and variable start/end dates — are offered during Term 3.
Of particular interest are our perennially popular online courses, which students can take from home. Online courses are a smart choice that reduces the cost of attending Summer Session, as students do not require on-campus housing in order to "attend" class.

Additionally, faculty who teach online courses are carefully trained by instructional designers from the University's prestigious Center for Learning and Teaching in order to promote courses of the highest quality.

We invite you and your student to take a closer look at the Summer Session courses we offer; there are sure to be numerous courses — among the many available — that address their curricular needs.

Once students find something that piques their interest, you can explore our pages on:

Ditch the Dumpster

Residential Life is collaborating with the Center for Civic Engagement and our local Salvation Army and Rescue Mission to accept clothing and small household items from our residents during move-out. We will be accepting clean clothing items, blankets, lamps (no light bulbs) and kitchen items. We cannot accept bed pillows, mattress pads, glass or large items. Bins will be conveniently located in one building of each community starting in early May:

  • College-in-the-Woods: Mohawk Hall G11 Lounge
  • Dickinson and Newing: C4 Multipurpose Room
  • Hinman: Hinman Commons
  • Mountainview: Cascade Hall Great Room
  • Apartments Community: Hillside Commons

Unused and unopened canned/boxed food and bottled items can be donated in the CHOW donation barrels located in every residential building near the RA's office from May 13 to 17.

Reminders for off-campus students

As we wind down another successful year, there are a few things parents should encourage their off-campus students to keep in mind as they get ready to pack up for the semester:

  • Arrange for unwanted items and waste to be picked up and donated to avoid waste
  • Volunteer to help other students donate unwanted belongings
  • If needed, request additional trash collection prior to moving out
  • Be mindful of noise levels during parties to avoid disrupting neighbors
  • Alert landlords in writing of any property defects before moving out for the well-being of future tenants

While the end of the semester is extremely busy with finals, events and moving out, it's important for students to put care into leaving their properties in a state that reflects well on the City of Binghamton, and to remember that their actions can have long-lasting impacts on local neighborhoods.

Voter registration information for 2019 elections

Students have the right to register to vote either at their home address or their school address. Review the following information with students so they are prepared to vote in the upcoming primary and general elections, regardless of where they choose to register to vote.

New York primary election – June 25

Voter registration forms must be postmarked by May 31 to be eligible to vote in the primary election. Students who are currently registered to vote with their on-campus or Binghamton address but who are not living in Binghamton over the summer will need to request an absentee ballot application by mail (must be postmarked by June 18), and the absentee ballot must be postmarked by June 24.

General election – Nov. 5

First-time voters or students who would like to update their registration so they can vote in Binghamton in the general election must register with their Binghamton address by Oct. 11. Students who are currently registered to vote at their Binghamton address and who are moving to a new apartment or off campus in the fall also need to update their voter registration.

More information about voting and voter registration is available on the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) website. Forms are also available in person at the CCE office (UU-137), and CCE staff are always on hand to assist students with voting-related questions or concerns.

Tell us about your student's high-impact learning experiences

What cool community-based projects was your student involved in this year? The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) would love to hear about any long-term volunteer projects, course-based service-learning or other civic engagement initiatives students participated in and help you tell the greater Binghamton community all about it! Email the CCE with a brief synopsis of their experience, along with a way to get in touch with your student should we like to follow up with an interview. For examples of student stories we have featured recently, visit the CCE website.

If your student completed an impressive internship this year had an on-campus job that provided real-world experience and valuable insight into their future career prospects, we'd like to hear those stories, too. Send a brief synopsis and contact information for your student to careers@binghamton.edu.

Financial Aid

2019-20 New York State aid

To apply for New York State aid, students must complete a New York State Student Aid Payment Application. The payment application provides a single conduit for applying for payment of state grants, scholarships and awards, including TAP, Excelsior and STEM. Students and parents have the option to link directly to the New York State Student Aid Payment Application from the FAFSA submission confirmation page or complete the application by going to the NYS HESC webpage. Be sure to include Binghamton's school code (0880). Note that students must be full-time, matriculated New York state residents who qualify based on income and academic requirements. Students are strongly encouraged to speak with their academic advising office to ensure their fall 2019 coursework meets degree applicability requirements. For more information on the New York state guidelines regarding degree applicability, view our webpage.

Summer 2019 Financial Aid

Students seeking to use Federal Direct loans to help pay for summer courses must be in good standing, have their 2019–20 FAFSA on file and complete a 2019–20 Summer Loan Request Form. More information on how to finance Summer Session is available on the Financial Aid website. Pell grants are automatically applied to the summer bill (if eligible). No request needs to be completed.

2019–20 Parent PLUS Loan — another option for funding your student's education

The 2019–20 Parent PLUS loan application will be available beginning May 1, 2019. Parents can apply on the Federal Student Aid website using their FSA username and password. For more general information about Parent PLUS loans, visit the financial aid PLUS loan webpage.

Proxy Access available for financial aid information

"Proxy access" is the ability students have to grant others access to view their financial aid information in BU BRAIN. For more information about Proxy Access, and instructions for students, visit the Proxy Access webpage.

Graduating seniors and loan repayment

Is your student graduating this spring and did they borrow student loans to help with educational expenses? Knowledge is power when it comes to repayment. Knowing what to expect, choosing the right repayment plan and staying on top of loan payments can help your student fulfill their financial goals. Visit the Financial Aid Resources webpage for helpful repayment tips and resources. And congratulations on your student's graduation!

New York state Get On Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program:

The New York State Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program provides up to 24 months of federal student loan debt relief to recent New York state college graduates who are participating in a federal income-driven repayment plan whose payments are generally capped at 10 percent of their discretionary income.

Student Records

Summer Registration

  • Summer term I — Add/drop deadline: Friday, May 31. Withdrawal/grade option change deadline: Tuesday, June 11.
  • Summer term II — Add/drop deadline: Thursday, July 11. Withdrawal/grade option change deadline: Monday, July 22.
  • Student requirement if enrolled for summer 2019: Confirmation of Enrollment. At the start of each semester all students are required to confirm enrollment in BU BRAIN Self Service via the Portal. All students enrolled in either summer term I or summer term II must confirm their enrollment by 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23, 2019. Failure to confirm enrollment will result in summer courses being dropped from term I and term II.

Graduating seniors — applications for degree

Currently enrolled undergraduates intending to graduate in spring 2019 must complete the online Application for Degree available on BU BRAIN in order to receive their degree. Students completing coursework at another school in spring 2019 must email degree@binghamton.edu to complete the Application for Degree.

End of Year Transcripts — tentative dates

  • Paper and electronic transcripts held for grades will be released the week of May 27
  • Paper and electronic transcripts held for degree will be released the week of June 3

Clear Holds

  • Be sure to clear all holds that may prevent registration.
  • Holds can be viewed online through BU BRAIN.

Diploma Information

  • Diplomas are mailed via the U.S. Postal Service 6–8 weeks after the end of the semester to the address provided on the Application for Degree. If you did not provide one on the form, the diploma will be mailed to the permanent address on file with Student Records.
  • If you need to change your diploma address, email the degree coordinator.
  • If an MG (missing grade) or an I (incomplete) is noted on your transcript, your degree will not be conferred until you are given a final grade. Contact the instructor of the course with questions.
  • You must resolve all financial holds before you can receive your diploma. Check your student account balance via BU BRAIN, and contact Student Accounts to clear any holds.
  • Your name will appear as you entered it on your Application for Degree. Your name cannot be changed after the diploma has been printed. To make any changes to your diploma after you've submitted the Application for Degree, you must email the degree coordinator.
  • If you earned Latin Honors (Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude or Cum Laude), the designation will be included on your diploma.
  • Undergraduate students in the College of Community and Public Affairs and the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science will have their majors printed on their diplomas.
  • Harpur students completing more than one major will only receive one diploma. All majors and minors will appear on the official transcript.

Lost IDs

Students can request a replacement ID card through BU BRAIN or by sending us an email (using their official Binghamton University email account — emails from other accounts cannot be processed) with their name and B-number to idcard@binghamton.edu. Students must be registered for the fall semester in order to receive a replacement ID card.

  • There is a $20 fee for all replacement ID cards, which will be assessed to the student's bill in Student Accounts.
  • Note: students will need a photo ID to pick up their card. Acceptable forms of ID include: driver's license, passport, high school or other university photo ID.

Official Expedited Electronic Transcripts Now Available!

  • In addition to free official paper transcripts, we now offer official expedited electronic transcripts.
  • $5.00 USD charge per recipient for the expedited service.
  • More information about this new electronic transcript service is available online.

 

Parents: Facebook just for you!

Like the Binghamton University Bearcat Families Facebook page today so you can receive daily news and information from Binghamton University, as well as win fun prizes just for parents!

Visiting Binghamton?

If you're planning a trip to Binghamton, visit the Visiting Binghamton section on our website or the Greater Binghamton Convention and Visitors Bureau for information on what to see, where to stay and where to eat while you're here.

Update parent information

Keep your contact information updated in our parent database. If your address, phone or email has changed, send a note to families@binghamton.edu to let us know. And if you're looking for more from us, check out some of our pages targeted directly to parents and guardians:

Calendar of events

  • University's Academic Calendar
  • March 16: Residence halls close at 11 a.m.
  • March 16-24: No classes (spring break)
  • March 24: Residence halls open at 2 p.m.
  • March 25: Classes resume
  • April 2: Grade option change/Withdrawal deadline
  • April 19: No classes (Easter, Passover)
  • April 26: Classes dismiss at 1 p.m. (Passover)

How to unsubscribe

If you no longer have a need to receive this newsletter, you can unsubscribe by sending a message to families@binghamton.edu.