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Parent Connect monthly newsletter

宾汉姆顿大学家长联络报 - 中文版 (pdf, 567K)

Binghamton Conecta con Familia - Boletín Informativo en Español (pdf, 288K) 

June 2018

April Thompson

Dear Parents/Families,

There is a lot happening on campus this summer, as we're already preparing for our students to return in the fall. We're sprucing up campus, readying for the fall opening of our new pharmacy school building in Johnson City, and taking a look at all of the ways we can make our campus a safer place.

Just a few of the initiatives we're undertaking this summer are:

  • Enhancement of our B-Alert system, so our University Police dispatchers will be able to send a generic message to the campus within a few minutes of any incident, with updates to follow as necessary.
  • Installation of additional security cameras in residence halls.
  • Installation of additional panic buttons in residential life offices.
  • Adding three full-time positions to our University Counseling Center and work on how we can offer additional counseling resources later in semesters, when demand naturally increases.
  • Gathering input from students to ensure we understand their needs.
  • Updating training programs and Orientation sessions to address campus safety and security.
  • Making our B-Alert system an opt-OUT, rather than opt-IN system for students, before summer ends. (Surprisingly, only about one-third of our students opt into the system.) Students have the option of adding up to three email addresses and three cell phone numbers to their accounts, so if you as parents/guardians want to receive alerts, have your student register your devices for you. 
  • Working to improve our ability to push messages and instructions out to residential life staff and students more quickly and efficiently.

As always, should you need any assistance or have any questions, contact the Dean of Students Office at

April Thompson
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students


Join our Bearcat family!

As a parent or family member of a Binghamton University student, you are considered a member of our Binghamton family. We want to give you an avenue to network and provide support for other parents and family members and to actively participate in the life of the University by serving on the Parents Leadership Council (PLC) as well as by giving you the opportunity to volunteer for various campus events. Participating is an excellent way to stay connected and support your student's education.

Take a minute and fill out our Bearcat family form. We ask that you activate your family status so you can receive family benefits, including connections to campus professionals, access to online resources, the Parent Connect monthly e-newsletter, campus event and volunteer opportunities, and eligibility to serve on the PLC. Membership is free, so take the opportunity to register with us today.

Save the date for Family Weekend: Sept. 28–30!

The Binghamton University campus is your student's home away from home, and each year we invite family members to make it theirs as part of Parent and Family Weekend. Share the Binghamton experience as you spend time connecting with your student, interacting with faculty and staff, and experiencing what makes being a Bearcat so special.

Highlights of the weekend will include:

  • A welcome by President Harvey Stenger
  • A family-friendly bonfire
  • A special Bearcat Pep Rally in the Events Center with student performances and giveaways
  • A NCAA Division 1 men's soccer game, also being telecast on ESPN3
  • The Absolutely A Cappella show and Comedy Improv café
  • Nature Preserve tours
  • Residential community festivals
  • Many opportunities to meet faculty, staff and other families!

Registration will open in July. Check our website for details

Decker Student Health Services Center summer schedule

The Decker Student Health Services Center is open from 8 a.m.-3:45 p.m. Monday through Friday during the summer. We continue to offer walk-in appointments every morning from 8-11 a.m.; afternoons are reserved for scheduled appointments. Students are eligible for services if they are taking summer classes. Students who attended in the spring semester, are not registered for summer, but will be returning in fall may choose to pay a non-refundable $40 one-time summer health fee. This fee entitles the student to visit both Health Services and the University Counseling Center for the entire summer, whether or not they later register for classes.

Remember that proof of immunization for MMR and meningitis is required prior to registering for summer classes.

Summer send-offs for new students and families!

Binghamton University will hit the road at the end of July and early August! Thanks to our generous parent volunteers, you may find a welcome reception in your hometown and we hope you'll register to join us! Note: Locations of summer send-offs are rotated each year.

These casual receptions are hosted for new students and their families with the purpose of connecting you to others at Binghamton and to help make you feel part of our Bearcat community. Speak with current parents, students and staff to ask questions about move-in day and academics, and for advice on how you and your student can make the most of your time at Binghamton.

These events fill up quickly as space is limited. Registration will open online in early July! If you have questions, contact Linda Salomons, parent, family and events coordinator, at

Services for Students with Disabilities

If you are the parent of a student with a disability, sending them off to college may be especially disconcerting. Transitioning from high school or a community college to a four-year university can seem daunting to most students, but when you have a disability, it can be even more so. While your apprehension is understandable, take heart in the fact that support is available throughout the Binghamton University campus for your student!

Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) is the entity on campus responsible for determining and authorizing equal access accommodations for students with disabilities. It's important to note that there are several differences between secondary and post-secondary education and the laws that pertain to students with disabilities in higher education. It's also extremely important that students who wish to receive accommodations meet with our office over the summer if possible (during Orientation) so that equal access accommodations can be in place when the semester begins. Students who register over the summer will be eligible to participate in our Transition Program. Students who attend the one-day program tend to fare much better than those who do not attend. In fact, in 2017, 58 percent of the students who participated in the program earned above a 3.25 grade point average (GPA), while only 43 percent of students who did not participate earned a GPA at the same level. Conversely, only 2 percent of students who participated in the program withdrew, while 7 percent of those who did not participate withdrew.

Not all students registered with our office require equal access academic accommodations. For example, students with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Crohn's Disease or mental health disabilities to name just a few, utilize our highly qualified staff to support them in various other ways throughout their careers at Binghamton. We offer support with problem solving, organization, communication with professors and peers, and navigating the social aspects of campus life. For students who qualify, we offer assistive technologies such as text-to-speech (Kurzweil) and speech-to-text software, alternate format textbooks, Braille and assistive note-taking devices.

We look forward to meeting your student this summer to begin our partnership. We are available all summer, including the days your student attends Orientation. Use the Request to Register link to begin the registration process and upload disability documentation so that it is available prior to our meeting with your student.
Contact our office at 607-777-2686 for more information, or visit our website

Summer New Student Orientation

Orientation is a time of new beginnings for students who are taking a major step toward the development of their personal, intellectual and career futures. It also marks a significant change in the lives of their families.

In recognition of their special concerns, Orientation includes a component for families. This concurrent program offers families the opportunity to learn more about the University and to gain personal insights into the kinds of college experiences their students may have. Register for the family component right along with your student's Orientation registration.

Orientation is a time to learn about the University academic programs, meet faculty and staff, experience the University community and gain exposure to available services. It's also a time to relax and meet other families. The two-day program includes social time and some special experiences reserved exclusively for families. This session is different from what you may have already experienced during one of our open house programs. Check the Orientation website for dates and rates.

Alternative transportation options

Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) offers convenient, alternative transportation options. Car-sharing, free bike rentals and ride-sharing opportunities make it easy to get around campus and the community.

Zipcar, the world's leading car-sharing service, allows members to reserve self-service, on-demand cars for an hourly or day rate. All 18-and-older Binghamton University students can become a member today by joining online for a $15 new-member discounted registration fee. Binghamton University has five Zipcars on campus.

Binghamton University also recently contracted with Gotcha Bike, a bike-share and technology company, to bring 30 GPS-enabled bikes to campus. These bikes are spread out in four locations on the main campus. To ride, your student will need to download the free Gotcha app at to join and reserve. Bikes may be reserved at no charge for two hours a day and for $5 an hour after the two-hour time period.

Binghamton University also offers Zimride by Enterprise, a unique way to share a ride by using social networks to connect 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.

For more information on Zipcar, Bike Share, Zimride or additional transportation options, visit the TAPS website.

Financial Aid and Student Records

Financial Aid

Did you file the 2018-19 FAFSA yet?

2018-19 NYS Excelsior Scholarship application now open

Other 2018-19 New York state student aid

  • To apply for New York state aid such as TAP/SUNY Tuition Credit and STEM, students must complete a NYS Student Aid Payment Application by going to the NYS HESC webpage, and include Binghamton's school code (0880).
  • Students must be NYS residents and enroll in 12 credits per semester applicable toward their program of study.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to speak with their academic advising office to ensure their fall 2018 schedule meets degree applicability requirements.
  • For more information on these guidelines, view our webpage.

Summer 2018 financial aid

2018-19 Parent PLUS Loan – another option for funding your student's education

Proxy Access available for financial aid information

Graduating seniors and loan repayment

NYS Get On Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program

Student Records

Fall 2018 Proof of Enrollment

End-of-year transcripts

  • Paper and electronic transcripts held for grades were released by June 1.
  • Paper and electronic transcripts held for spring degree will be released by Friday, June 15.

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 six to eight 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, contact 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 contact 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 (1) diploma. All majors and minors will appear on the official transcript.

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.

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 e-mail 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
  • June 29: Summer Session Term I ends
  • July 2: Summer Session Term II begins
  • Aug. 3: Last day of Summer Session II
  • Aug. 19: Residence halls open at 8 a.m. for new students
  • Aug. 20: Residence halls open at 8 a.m. for returning students
  • Aug. 22: Classes begin 

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Last Updated: 6/15/18