Parent Connect Newsletter

March 2023

Kelli K. Smith, Ph.D. Assistant Vice President for Student Success
Kelli K. Smith, Ph.D. Assistant Vice President for Student Success

Dear parents and families,

As we near the midpoint of the spring semester, I hope things are going well here at Binghamton University for your students. One of the things I love about working here is that we attract incredible students who find success in unique ways — in the classroom, as engaged citizens in our campus and local communities, and through skill-building experiences that will help them in future careers.  

I know the spring semester can be a bit challenging, as summer appears on the horizon and motivation can wane. If your student is struggling with a class or another challenge, I encourage you to have a conversation about the many resources available. Our success coaching program, which saw a 60% increase in appointments this year, might be a good place to start. In the end, it is up to students to take advantage of the support available, but sometimes a nudge to seek assistance is helpful.

I also hope you will encourage your student to take advantage of at least one “high-impact practice” that national research links to student success: community engagement, internships, education abroad or undergraduate research. The Fleishman Career Center’s new student employment initiative also works to ensure that the students we employ on campus gain career-ready skills that will prepare them to be successful in future work situations. The University is dedicated to ensuring finances are not a barrier for our students. Last year the Fleishman Career Center alone awarded more than $200,000 to support student internships.

As Oprah once noted, “Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” We hope that our students’ courses excite them, but we all know there is more to the college experience. Their lives outside of classes are important, too. Encourage your students to seek out resources; become engaged with opportunities, organizations and events that feed their spirits; and build in some well-deserved down time.
Thank you for being key partners in your student’s success.

Kelli K. Smith, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President for Student Success

March engagement highlight: residential communities

Our six residential communities are more than a place for students to eat and sleep. They're students' home away from home — where they make friends, have fun, build skills essential to personal and academic success and where they can get involved in many ways.

From attending diverse community-building events, competing on Co-Rec teams, participating in community traditions (like Newing Navy or Hinman Dorm Wars) and more, students can bond with their room/suite-mates, quickly meet new people and connect with their community in a low-stakes environment.

Students looking for a higher involvement level can attend regular community council meetings, run for an elected position within their residence hall or community government, and even apply for a paid job with the Office of Residential Life. 

Intramural leagues foster a healthy student/campus connection

A critical part of any student’s balanced schedule is taking time to destress from school and exercise the body — and with the intramural sports program, your student can do both at once!

Intramurals are one of the best ways to become more involved in campus life. Students form friendships with their teammates while building their athletic skills in a fun, low-pressure environment. You don’t need to be a varsity athlete to enjoy sports on campus: intramural leagues offer both recreational and competitive leagues, depending on your student’s preferred playing style.

Beyond the physical benefits, getting involved with the broader campus community is a sure way to increase students’ satisfaction with their college experience. Not only will students feel more connected to their school, they’ll have the chance to develop leadership skills, get teamwork experience and build confidence. Studies have shown that students who participate in extracurricular activities or sports have higher levels of academic success and are more likely to stay enrolled.

Leagues currently open for registration include 4v4 volleyball, floorball, indoor soccer and slow-pitch softball. Registration ends 11:59 p.m. Sunday, March 19, so be sure your student signs up through before then. Campus Recreation will also be hosting flag football and cornhole tournaments, with registration opening March 27!

Internship search support and funding 

Internships are a valuable way to gain hands-on experience and open doors for a future career. The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development assists all students in finding and securing internships or other high-impact practices (including research, community engagement, fellowships, education abroad and more). If your student has not yet planned for summer, encourage them to use the Fleishman Career Center’s resources for finding and applying to opportunities:

  • hireBING by Handshake: a job search platform managed by Binghamton University where over 100,000 jobs and internships are posted each year
  • The Career Guide: a comprehensive booklet that educates students about every step of the job and internship search process
  • Resume templates: pre-formatted, industry-specific resume templates that students can use to create top-notch resumes
  • Appointments: students can meet one on one with a career consultant by pre-scheduling through hireBING or visiting UU-133 during walk-in hours (weekdays from noon–4 p.m.) for individualized support with their internship search

Many students find internship opportunities that are either unpaid or do not pay enough to cover the cost of living and other expenses, which can prevent them from participating in an opportunity that would positively impact their career development. The Fleishman Career Center recognizes this barrier to career success and is proud to administer numerous donor-sponsored funding opportunities to provide financial support to undergraduate and graduate students completing summer internships. These funding opportunities are available to help students cover expenses such as housing, transportation, professional supplies or food. In 2022, $204,700 was distributed among 56 students to support their summer internship experiences.

Applications and additional information for summer 2023 funding opportunities can be found on the Fleishman Career Center's website. Funds are awarded to students who have secured an internship, and the selection is based on both the quality of the application and demonstrated financial need. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so it is in students’ best interest to apply early. Contact the Fleishman Center at with any questions.

If you are interested in making a donation to the Student Affairs Internship Fund, visit our website.

Residence halls closing for spring break

Residence halls will close for spring break starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 1 and will reopen at 10 a.m. Monday, April 10. Residents (including those in the Apartments) who need to remain on campus for any portion of the break must fill out the Spring Break Housing application by March 30. Remind students to bring any necessary medications and other materials with them, as they will not be able to access their room during break. Find complete break information online.

Student Affairs Awards nominations open

Encourage students to nominate themselves and/or others for Binghamton University's Student Awards that celebrate and honor the outstanding achievements of those who shine in and out of the classroom, who lead by example, and who have made significant contributions to the University community.

All nominations and supporting materials are due by March 24. Multiple nominations can be submitted. See all awards and criteria on the Student Awards Gala website. All nominees and nominators will be invited to attend the Binghamton University Student Awards Gala on Monday, May 1, at the Doubletree in downtown Binghamton.

Celebrating National Nutrition Month 

In honor of National Nutrition Month, Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) will host pop-up health and wellness events and tablings to highlight resources that are available to students throughout the month of March. BUDS Registered Dietitian Alexa Schmidt will be spearheading the festivities, starting by drawing special attention to the importance of adequate hydration to keep the brain and body functioning at its best.

As the semester progresses, BUDS will be highlighting the importance of eating a well-balanced breakfast and getting adequate sleep for students to be successful not only academically, but also physically and mentally. Students can find quick tips at various locations across campus — including all resident dining halls — on staying hydrated, how to pack a quick and easy breakfast, and getting the best sleep possible each night. For more information on Health and Wellness visit BUDS’s nutrition website.

Share a ride!

If your student is interested in sharing or getting a ride, Binghamton University offers 511NY Rideshare, which is a free, online carpooling platform. 511NY Rideshare is an easy way to find a carpool for everyday commutes and travel to and from home on holidays and breaks. Students may sign up, create a profile and easily find other students to travel with by posting a ride. To find out more, visit the TAPS website.

Safety when traversing the campus at night

Binghamton University has put a number of safety programs in place to ensure students are able to safely travel the campus at night. Here are some programs students should be aware of:

  • There are 82 highly visible blue-light phones located outdoors all over campus. These phones connect users directly to University Police if ever needed.
  • The University encourages all pedestrians and drivers to “See and Be Seen” when on campus. Leaving crosswalks open to pedestrians, slowing down when driving, using sidewalks when walking and eliminating texting while walking or driving are a few tips Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) recommends.
  • Off Campus College Transport (OCCT) offers a green campus shuttle that loops the main campus Monday through Friday, stopping at multiple locations. On weekends, the campus shuttle service is performed by an OCCT blue bus. The campus shuttle is displayed in the ETA SPOT application for real-time tracking information. For more information on the campus shuttle, visit the TAPS website.
  • TAPS offers a Safe Ride program, which is not an on-campus taxi service, but a program that provides a safe escort for individuals who feel unsafe. Students can request a point-to-point safe escort on the University’s main campus by calling 607-777-7233. Safe Ride operates from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. seven days a week. On-campus escorts are also available to all members of the University community 24 hours a day by calling University Police at 607-777-2393.

The safety of our students is of the utmost importance, and we are always working to improve our already very robust set of security measures. Learn more about emergency notification methods online.

AOK Scholarship applications now open

The Strelzyn-Witt A-OK Acts of Kindness Scholarship is available to undergraduate students who are service-minded and want to make the world a kinder place. Do you know a student who shows acts of kindness regularly? 

The scholarship is awarded to one undergraduate student annually who makes a difference in the lives of others through their kindness, compassion and caring acts. Examples of kind acts may include: participating in an ongoing altruistic activity, going above and beyond with a service project, caring for a person or animal in a significant time of need, or donating time or resources to a non-profit organization.

To be considered for this scholarship, students may nominate themselves or be nominated by a fellow student, faculty or staff member of Binghamton University. Nominees must meet the following criteria: current full-time Binghamton University undergraduate student, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and in good conduct standing. The nominations process opened on Monday, March 6 and will close on Wednesday, April 12. Interested applicants can apply online and questions can be directed to Cindy Cowden at

Financial Aid and Student Records are here to help!

For all servicing options, hours of operation, document submission upload instructions, and much more, visit the following websites:

Document submission: All documents can be uploaded securely through the myBinghamton portal. Click on Financial Aid and Student Records Document Submission (available links section on the left side of the page).

2023–24 FAFSA application

FAFSA filing news! The 2023–24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) became available Oct. 1, 2022. You can file your FAFSA online.

Students/parents will report 2021 tax information on the 2023–24 FAFSA. Reporting accurate tax information is simple with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which ensures accurate and streamlined FAFSA filing. 

2023-24 New York state aid

To apply for New York state aid, students must complete a New York State Student Aid Payment Application. This application provides a single conduit for applying for payment of all state grants, scholarships and awards, which includes TAP, Excelsior (requires initial separate application as well) and STEM (requires initial separate application as well). Students and parents have the option to link directly to the application from the FAFSA submission confirmation page or complete the application by going to the N.Y. State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) webpage. Note that students must be studying full time for most NYS grants and scholarships.

All aspects of the TAP application and applications for their respective awards must be complete for the awards to be sent from the HESC. 

Scholarship Applications for 2023-24

Applications for Binghamton University scholarships based on community service, leadership, volunteerism, extracurricular activities and more for 2023–24 opens on March 20 on Binghamton AcademicWorks. Applications will close on April 28. To be eligible, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, attained at Binghamton University. They must also plan to enroll full-time in both fall 2023 and spring 2024. 

Summer 2023 financial aid

Financial aid sources for the summer are available for matriculated Binghamton University undergraduate and graduate students who are in good academic standing. Undergraduate students enrolled for at least six credits during Summer Session may be eligible to use Federal Direct Student Loans, Federal Parent PLUS Loans and private loans to help finance Summer Session. Pell-eligible students will receive the award automatically based on eligibility and enrollment.
The 2023 Summer Loan Request Form will become available when summer registration opens on March 10 on our Financial Aid forms webpage. 

2022–23 Parent PLUS Loan — another option for funding your student's education

Parents can apply online 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

2023–24 financial aid award notification timeline

Financial aid award notifications for the 2023–24 academic year (fall 2023 and spring 2024) will be emailed to returning students with a valid FAFSA on file beginning mid-March 2023.

Education Abroad for summer 2023 or fall 2023

Is your student considering education abroad? If yes, once accepted to an education abroad program, we encourage financial aid applicants to meet with a financial aid counselor to discuss costs and funding options. Students must submit a copy of the program acceptance letter and a detailed program cost sheet.

Student Records

For more information visit the Student Records website.

Spring 2023 semester important dates

  • Jan. 17–May 4, 2023
  • Change of grade option deadline is 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 17.
  • Course withdrawal deadline is 11:59 p.m. Friday, March 17.

Spring 2023 proof of enrollment

Proof of enrollment for spring 2023 will be available online through the National Student Clearinghouse in the first week of February. Students can access this through their BU Brain account. Click Student tab, then Student Services Tools.

Graduating seniors — applications for degree

Currently enrolled undergraduates intending to graduate in spring 2023 must complete the online Application for Degree (AFD) available on BU Brain in order to receive their degree. Students should have submitted an AFD by March 15 to be included in the spring commencement program.

Students completing coursework at another school in spring 2023 must email to complete their Application for Degree.

If you have difficulty locating or completing the Application for Degree on BU Brain, email

University Withdrawal for the spring semester

Students seeking to withdraw completely from the University during the spring semester must complete the University withdrawal form. The semester withdrawal form is required for students who wish to drop ALL courses and who want their academic records to indicate in good standing. The deadline to withdraw from the spring semester is 4:30 p.m. on the last day of classes, Thursday, May 4.

Summer Session 2023 registration

Term I:  May 30–July 3
Term II: July 10–Aug. 11

  • The online schedule of summer classes is available to view through BU BRAIN.
  • Summer registration opened March 10.
    Students must clear all holds before they can register. Holds can be viewed online through BU BRAIN at
  • For more information about the summer session, visit the Summer Session website

DegreeWorks Audit

Students should review their DegreeWorks audit to ensure their spring 2023 courses are meeting degree requirements. 

Clear holds

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

Lost IDs

Students can request a replacement ID card through or send us an email (using their official Binghamton University email account — emails from other accounts cannot be processed) with their name and B-number to

  • There is a $20 fee for all replacement ID cards, which will be assessed to the student’s bill in Student Accounts.
  • 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 also offer official expedited electronic transcripts. Transcripts are sent in PDF format via email. Official electronic transcripts are typically sent within 10 minutes of authorization. Attachments can also be uploaded and sent with your expedited electronic transcript.

There is a $5 charge per recipient for the expedited service. 

More information about electronic transcript service is available online.

Parents: Follow us on social media, just for you!

Follow Binghamton University Bearcat Families Facebook page and @binghamtonfamily on Instagram to 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 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

How to unsubscribe

If you no longer have a need to receive this newsletter, you can unsubscribe by sending a message to