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Parent Connect monthly newsletter

April 2018

April Thompson

 Dear Parents/Families,

It's been a long time coming, but I think the warm weather is finally here, just as the end of the semester is in sight! But even though we're in the home stretch, there's still plenty of academic work ahead for your students.

At such a hectic time year, we do our best to ease the stress students are under as they wrap up papers and projects and study for finals. You'll note in this newsletter that we have a full calendar of Stress-free Spring activities starting April 30 and running through the end of finals. I hope you'll encourage your students to take advantage of some of the ways they can relax and refresh themselves as they finish their semester.

I say this every year, but I can't believe the semester is nearly over. And if your student is graduating, we look forward to having you on campus for our ceremonies next month. The campus is already preparing for our 10 ceremonies, and we are asking graduating seniors to complete our Senior Survey so we know where they're headed after Commencement.

It's been a busy year. And, as always, should you need any assistance or have any questions, contact the Dean of Students Office at dos@binghamton.edu.

 

April Thompson
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

 

President Harvey Stenger's Road Map Quarterly Report is released

Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger has released his quarterly report for the months of January through March 2018. Learn about Binghamton University's activities and initiatives in his report and those of the vice presidents for academic affairs, advancement, operations, student affairs, research and the director of athletics and chief diversity officer.http://www.binghamton.edu/presidents-report/

Stress-free Spring

Stress-free Spring is a campus-wide initiative coordinated by the Office of the Dean of Students that is aimed at providing interesting, fun and stress-reducing activities for students as they prepare for and make their way through finals. #StudyBing provides a calendar where students can find places to study, eat and park after hours. This year, we're putting them together in one convenient spot online. Check back often; new dates and events are updated daily.

Campus banking contract

Binghamton Auxiliary Services Corporation (BASC), a board comprised of Binghamton University students, faculty and staff, has awarded Visions Federal Credit Union the On-Campus Bank Branch and ATM Services contract. This follows a thorough, five-month process consisting of student surveys, meetings and a comprehensive request for proposals. Two formal proposals were received by BASC, both of which were strong. The board members felt that the lower account and ATM fees in the Visions FCU proposal would provide more value to the Binghamton University community.

The Visions contract, which runs through 2023, will begin July 1, 2018. The transition will be organized between Visions and M&T Bank.

Commencement

If you have a senior about to graduate, keep in mind that a lot happens during a students' last semester at Binghamton. For information on all things Commencement, simply go to the Commencement website and you'll be up to date. Whether you're interested in the schedule of ceremonies (we're having 10 ceremonies over three days!), deadlines for students to pay attention to or even what ceremony you should be attending, you'll find the information and checklists online.

Senior Survey

Congratulations on being a parent or family member of an upcoming Binghamton University graduating senior! Your student will be faced with many details during these last few weeks of the semester. One of these is the University's Senior Survey.

Each semester prior to Commencement, Binghamton University surveys graduating seniors to collect information about their post-graduation career plans. This information helps us to better understand the career pathways of our graduating seniors which, in turn, helps us make decisions about resources, program improvements and trends.

Encourage your student to participate in the survey, which is sent to campus email addresses. It should only take three minutes to complete and those who complete the survey may be eligible to win one of many prizes!

Donors support endowment fund

Much attention is given lately to the cost of higher education, and while Binghamton University is proud to be known for providing an affordable, high-quality education (ranking #4 of the top 10 most affordable top-ranked institutions in the United States according to a 2017 U.S. News & World Report), many of our students still face challenges covering the cost of their education. This is especially true for students who are first-generation students or from financially disadvantaged backgrounds, a population served on our campus by the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). Thanks to generous donors, many of these students have received funding to help cover some of the costs associated with college that are often overlooked when talking about the financial burden of education, such as textbooks and other required course materials.

The average cost of textbooks at Binghamton University is between $473 and $813 per semester. Students majoring in some fields of study, such as nursing or management, often face costs totaling over $1,000 each semester. The EOP Book Endowment Fund was created to help relieve some of the burden faced by students in the program, such as Autumn Baker, a sophomore biology major, who says the fund has greatly reduced the stress she faces each semester, trying to find the money to pay for books.

"I currently pay for my college education on my own, including things such as books," said Baker. "Not having to worry about things like paying for textbooks has allowed me to put more time and effort into more important things such as studying."

Deborah Gray White '71, LHD '14, is one donor who has seen the financial burdens faced by students from a few perspectives: both as an EOP alumna, and in her current position as a Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of history and professor of women's and gender studies at Rutgers University.

"I see students on campus now, and often they can't afford the books," said White. "It's one thing to get the book out of the library, but you can't — well, you shouldn't — mark it up and really make it your own. I just think that students who have their own books have an advantage. Often, people can somehow scrape together the money for tuition, etc., but it's often the books that can make the difference between whether someone can get an A or a B, or even a C or a B. It really matters whether or not you can pick up a book at two in the morning, if that's the time that you have, as opposed to having to read it on reserve in the library, or to take it out and have to give it back in a certain period of time. It's a little bit, but any way I can help EOP, since they gave so much to me, I'm wanting to give back."

Declaring a major

Most undergraduate students at Binghamton University are required to declare an academic major. Students can find out what their specific school requires and can contact their academic department or school's advising office with questions or for forms. Information can be found online.

Parents Leadership Circle

Are you a Binghamton parent looking to get involved at the leadership level? Consider joining our Parents Leadership Council (PLC). The PLC offers parents an opportunity to enrich the Binghamton student experience by serving as a link between the University and parents of undergraduate students. PLC members participate in quarterly conference calls with Vice President of Student Affairs Brian Rose and other University staff, are invited to attend an annual on-campus meeting and president's reception, and work to broaden and deepen the University's relationship with parents so they are lasting and mutually beneficial. If you would like more information or would like to talk with one of our current PLC members, contact Linda Salomons, parent, family and events coordinator, at salomons@binghamton.edu and she will help to set it up.

Binghamton University Bookstore

Is your student graduating?

Cap and gown pickup starts Monday, May 7. For students who did not preorder, have them come at the start of the week, so we can make sure they are all set for their big day.

Interested in class rings

Our class ring representative, will be in the Bookstore from 1-6 p.m. Tuesday, April 17; from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, April 18; from 1-6 p.m. Tuesday, May 8; and from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, May 9. Students can see options, learn about specials, get their ring size and place their order on site with Yona. For more information, visit our website

Upcoming specials

Financial Aid and Student Records

Financial Aid

2018-19 FAFSA available

The 2018-19 FAFSA is available online. Parents and students must use 2016 tax return information to apply. In order for Binghamton to receive FAFSA information, Binghamton's federal school code (002836) must be listed.

2018-19 Binghamton University scholarship applications available

Students may now apply for 2018-19 Binghamton University scholarships and search our scholarship database. Scholarships are based on community service, leadership, volunteerism, extracurricular activities and more. 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 2018 and spring 2019. The application process closes Tuesday, April 24.

2018-19 NYS Excelsior Scholarship application now open

The 2018-19 Excelsior Scholarship application is now available for new student applicants. The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. Monday, July 23. The application is available through the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) webpage. Note: Current Excelsior Scholarship recipients do not need to complete another Excelsior Scholarship application. However, they must complete the annual New York State Student Aid Payment Application, the application required for all NYS scholarships and grants. See information on this application in the next section.

Other 2018-19 New York state student 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, which includes TAP, SUNY Tuition Credit 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. You can also complete an 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 NYS residents who qualify based on income and academic requirements. 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 the New York state guidelines regarding degree applicability, view our webpage.

Summer 2017 financial aid

Students seeking to use Federal Direct loans to help pay for summer courses must be in good standing, have their 2018-19 FAFSA on file and complete a 2018-19 Summer Loan Request Form, which can be found on the following financial aid forms webpage. Go online for more information on how to finance summer session.

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

The 2018-19 Parent PLUS loan application will be available beginning May 1. Parents can apply online here 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.

Student Records

Summer 2018 Registration and Advanced Registration for fall 2018 is open

Students can do the following online through BU BRAIN:

• View the online schedule of summer and fall classes
• Register for summer classes.
• View their registration start time for fall 2018 and register for fall classes once their registration time has begun.
• Note: Students must clear all holds before any registration activity can take place.

Official expedited electronic transcripts are available!

In addition to providing free paper official transcripts, Student Records now offers official expedited electronic transcripts. There is a $5 USD charge per recipient for the expedited service. Go online for more information about this new electronic transcript service. 

Parents-Facebook just for you!

Like the Binghamton University Family Association 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 kellis@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
  • May 7: Last day of classes
  • May 8-9: Reading days
  • May 10-16: Final exams
  • May 17-18: Senior Days
  • May 17: Residence halls close for non-seniors at 10 a.m.
  • May 18, 19 and 20: Commencement ceremonies
  • May 21: Residence halls close for seniors at 10 a.m.

How to unsubscribe

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

Last Updated: 4/9/18