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Parent Connect monthly newsletter

December 2018


Harvey Stenger  Dear Parents and Families,

  Classes have just ended and there's a light at the end of the        semester-long tunnel for students, but they still have some work        to do finishing up projects and papers, and studying for finals.

  I wish them all the best, and remind you that our Dean of    Students Office and others on campus are continuing to offer    many de-stress activities to give students a break from studying. Students can put a great deal of pressure on themselves, so if you want to see what's on our De-stress December schedule, simply visit our website.

And even though we've made it to December, it's always a surprise to me when we reach the end of a semester. Remember to allow your students to recharge with family and friends over the break, but encourage them to stay connected to their University community as well so they can hit the ground running when they return in January. I know that's what I plan to do!

Until then, I wish you and yours a joyous holiday season and remind you that if you have any questions for me or any member of the Deans of Students Office, let us know at

Harvey Stenger



Binghamton in the City, Jan. 7–11

Parents are invited, too!

As the parent of a current Binghamton University student, you're welcome to join us during Binghamton in the City at our Career Resources Panel (for parents only) from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, in the James Madison Room on the second floor of the Princeton Club of New York, 15 W. 43rd St., New York, N.Y. 10036.

For Binghamton parents, this panel is designed to provide information on how your student can gain the skills and experiences necessary to transition from Binghamton University to a successful internship or career. You will learn how to assist your student in taking advantage of the high-impact learning experiences Binghamton offers to benefit their credentials and resume. Representatives from several University offices, including the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development, the Graduate School, Education Abroad and others will share their insights and expertise, as well as give parents an opportunity to ask questions.

If you have questions, contact the Dean of Students Office. Registration online today!

Have you had the housing talk yet?

On-campus housing room selection is Feb. 11 – 22!

Our on-campus housing process has been extended so that your student has plenty of time to select the right community and group of friends, but being proactive and informed will ensure a smooth continuation of their on-campus residential life experience. By the time students return in January, there will be only three weeks until room selection begins Monday, Feb. 11. Encourage your student to login to the housing portal, sign the housing license, apply for a learning community if they like and form their groups. Completing these steps ahead of time and familiarizing themselves with the process will make it easier when they go to select a room.

Why live on our campus?

Nationwide, studies continue to show a higher degree of satisfaction with the college experience as well as higher graduation rates for students who live on campus. Students who live on our campus have 24/7 access to our 200+ staff, weekly educational and social events, leadership and student government opportunities, in-house career consultants and the support of a very close-knit, supportive community. Find our complete housing process online.

Lalena Herder sets a standard for parent support

Lalena Herder is a Binghamton University parent two times over. Her daughter Alexis graduated from Binghamton in 2016, and works in marketing at Cosmopolitan and Women's Health magazines, and her son Frank will graduate in May 2019 with a degree in psychology.

She saw mention of the University's food pantry – Bear Necessities – on the web and immediately knew she had to contribute. The pantry stocks food and personal care items for students in need. Overseen by Off-Campus Programs and Services, it's located in the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center on campus, in room 168.

"Many of us are fortunate and have so much to give," she said. "If we're able to help, then we should prioritize that. I thought a lot of other people would like to help as well, so I started reaching out to friends and family to donate."

Herder achieved great results with her call, and has packed the pantry with "an uncountable amount of items ranging from hygiene products to non-perishable and perishable foods, as well as cash and gift cards" collected from family, friends and restaurants.

The experience has changed her as well. "It has made me more mindful of how much need there is in the world and especially right in front of our faces," she said. "You can do something that means so little to you, but makes all the difference to someone else. It has made me more grateful for what I have and I've realized that I can live without a lot of things if it means giving to someone else who actually needs it a lot more.

She encourages others to donate if they're able. "Send your child back to campus with a bag of food and have them bring it to Bear Necessities so they can see what's happening around them and will want to help as well," she said.

"The pantry that Binghamton has is incredible," she said. "Many colleges don't have one, and the fact that this pantry is always there for underprivileged students is a blessing.

"This has really been a team effort, between the donations, people willing to give and working with the people who staff the pantry and help unpack all of the food," she added.

Undergraduate Research Center

The Undergraduate Research Center supports students in finding research opportunities, as well as presenting and publishing their work. One of our signature programs is the Summer Scholars and Artists Program that enables approximately 24 undergraduates to engage in independently designed research, scholarship or creative activities every summer by providing a stipend of $3,500 to students and $1,000 to their faculty mentors. In this program, our scholars gain critical skills while discovering their passions and honing their career goals.

Ben McLauchlin, a senior environmental studies and graphic design double major and a 2017 Summer Scholar, designed, created and put on an interactive art exhibit about how plastic pollution affects aquatic ecosystems. His goal was to use the exhibit to study how artwork affects people's perception of scientific research. Heather Giza, a junior double majoring in biochemistry and studio art with a concentration in painting, spent her summer investigating the effect of pHLIP variants on cellular functions. The peptide, which can sense pH and selectively insert into cancerous tumors, has wide application in biomedical fields. Zach Ritter, a music major, composed and performed an original score that tapped into his Irish roots.

The application deadline for the 2019 Summer Scholars and Artists Program is 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. Students from all majors are encouraged to apply. You can find more information about the program and about our other programs on the web.

Your student can spend Winter Session with us!

For students needing to make up a course, earn extra credit or just wanting to explore a special interest, Binghamton University's Winter Session may be just what they are looking for. During the upcoming Winter Session — Dec. 17, 2018 through Jan. 15, 2019, with a break between Dec. 24 and Jan. 1 — the University offers over 100 sections of undergraduate and graduate courses, internship programs and independent studies. These are time-condensed, credit-bearing versions of regular Binghamton University courses offered in traditional and distance-learning formats. Winter Session is a separate term and is not considered part of the spring or fall academic semesters.

Thinking about Graduate School?

Is your student thinking about pursuing a graduate degree? After all, one in three Binghamton University graduates goes on to graduate or professional school. Here at Binghamton University, we offer over 90 master's and doctoral degree programs. Application deadlines vary by program, but most deadlines are in the early spring semester. The Graduate School recommends that students begin the application process at least one month before their program's application deadline to ensure they have enough time to compile and submit all required materials, including personal statements, résumés, GRE or GMAT scores and letters of recommendation. We invite you to visit our website to explore our academic programs and to learn more about admission requirements and application deadlines. Contact us with any questions!

Tuition Protection Insurance

Helping you get the most out of your Binghamton University experience is always our top priority. That's why Binghamton University has partnered with GradGuard™ to make the Tuition Protection Plan from Allianz Global Assistance available to our families.
Consider Tuition Protection Insurance to supplement and strengthen the school's current refund policy.

A college education is a major investment - which means it's worth protecting. The Tuition Protection Plan can reimburse your tuition payments, housing and meals fees, and other nonrefundable expenses if a student withdraws because of a covered reason, such as:

  • serious covered illness or injury
  • psychological condition
  • chronic illness
  • death of tuition payer

The Tuition Protection Plan offers high levels of coverage at a reasonable rate. You can be protected for less than 1.5 percent of the cost of your tuition. For more information, go online.

Binghamton University is not compensated for this program and provides GradGuard™ as a valuable student benefit.

Transportation travel options

Looking for ways to get your student home during breaks and holidays? ESCAPE Bus Co., Greater Binghamton Transportation Center, Zimride and local and neighboring airports offer easy ways to travel.

ESCAPE Bus Co. is a student-run bus charter company that serves New York City, Long Island and Westchester. ESCAPE provides students from these areas a way to get home during breaks. For a list destinations and additional information, visit the Transportation and Parking website. Tickets are sold at

Greater Binghamton Transportation Center, at 81 Chenango St., Binghamton, is a one-stop station for local, regional and interstate bus travel. Visit the Transportation Center website, for more information on bus destinations and to purchase a ticket. Coach USA, Megabus, Greyhound, OurBus and Trailways have terminals at the Transportation Center.

Binghamton University offers Zimride by Enterprise, a unique way to share a ride using social networks to connect you with others in the Binghamton University community and trusted partners within the Finger Lakes Rideshare, Cornell University and Ithaca College. Your student may sign up, create a profile and easily find other students to travel with by posting a ride.

Greater Binghamton Airport (BGM) is conveniently located 8 miles outside Binghamton, offering daily Delta Airlines flights. For more information and for a full list of neighboring airports, visit the Transportation and Parking website.

Financial Aid and Student Records

Financial Aid

2019-2020 FAFSA application

  • FAFSA filing news! The 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) became available Oct. 1, 2018. You can file your FAFSA online. Filing is even easier using the new myStudentAid mobile app, which can be downloaded on iOS and Android phones and is very user friendly.
  • Students/parents will report 2017 tax information on the 2019-2020 FAFSA. Reporting accurate tax information is simple with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which ensures accurate and streamlined FAFSA filing. For information about the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, visit the web.
  • 2019-20 financial aid award notifications for returning students will be send beginning in late March.
  • If you are a New York state resident, remember to complete your NYS Aid Payment Application. This online application process allows you to apply for New York state's Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), as well as for payment of a scholarship for which you have already been approved, such as Excelsior, STEM or NYS Merit Scholarship. Find the link to the application on the confirmation page of your submitted FAFSA or at

Is your student studying abroad?

  • Check out how financial aid is affected by studying abroad on our website.
  • Once accepted to an education-abroad program, students should meet with a financial aid counselor regarding costs and applying for financial aid. Students should bring a printed copy of the program acceptance letter and detailed program cost sheet.
  • The grants and loans students receive during the fall and spring semesters may be used to cover education-abroad charges for Binghamton University or another SUNY program. Students considering a non-SUNY education-abroad program should email to find out if financial aid can be used for that program. There are no 'special' funds reserved for education abroad.

Proxy access to student accounts available for financial aid information

Student Records

Fall semester important dates

  • Final grades and GPAs will be available in BU BRAIN beginning the first week of January.
  • Continue to check the Student Records webpage for important dates, including when registration will re-open for spring 2019.
  • For students with degrees conferred in fall 2018, diplomas will be mailed to them during the week of Feb. 11.
  • Transcripts held for grades will become available the week of Jan. 7.
  • Transcripts held for degrees will become available the week of Feb. 4.

Winter Session important dates

  • Winter Session begins Monday, Dec. 17.
  • Confirmation of enrollment for Winter Session opened Dec. 3 and the deadline to confirm is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12.
  • The add/drop deadline is 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19.
  • The course withdrawal and grade option change deadline for Winter Session is Thursday, Jan. 3.
  • Note there is no financial aid for Winter Session.
  • Go online for more information about Winter Session, including additional dates/deadlines.

Semester Withdrawal

  • Students looking to withdraw completely from the University should submit their completed University Withdrawal form to the office of Financial Aid and Student Records in Admissions Center 112. The Semester Withdrawal Form is required for a student who wishes to drop all fall semester courses and who wants his/her academic record to indicate good standing.

Clear holds

DegreeWorks audit

  • Students should review their DegreeWorks audit to ensure their fall 2018 courses are meeting degree requirements. Students can view their time tickets online through BU BRAIN via the Binghamton portal to find out when they are able to register.

Lost IDs

  • Students can request a replacement ID card through BU BRAIN or students can 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 Students must be registered for the fall in order to receive a replacement ID card.
  • There is a $20 fee for all replacement ID cards. The $20 fee will be assessed to the student's bill in Student Accounts.
  • Note: Students will need a photo ID to pick up their ID card. Acceptable forms: driver's license, passport, high school or other university photo ID.

Official expedited electronic transcripts are available!

  • In addition to free paper official transcripts, we offer official expedited electronic transcripts.
  • The expedited service is available for a $5 USD charge per recipient.
  • Go online for more information about this electronic transcript service.

Will you go above and beyond?

Binghamton University is repeatedly recognized for being a great value – an excellent education for much less than an elite private school would charge. However, because we strive to keep costs down, we rely on gifts from donors to help bridge the gap between what a superior education costs and what we receive through tuition and state funding.
Your gift today will help fund internships, networking, career services and research opportunities for tomorrow. Consider going above and beyond this year.
Every gift matters. Simply go online or call 607-777-6215.

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 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
  • Dec. 7: Last day of classes
  • Dec. 8-9: Reading days
  • Dec. 10-14: Final examinations
  • Dec. 15: Residence halls close at 11 a.m.
  • Dec. 17: Winter Session begins
  • Jan. 2: Winter Session resumes
  • Jan. 15: Last day of Winter Session
  • Jan. 20: Residence halls open at 2 p.m.
  • Jan. 21: No classes (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
  • Jan. 22: Classes begin

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Last Updated: 12/7/18