Parent Connect monthly newsletter
Dear parents and families,
We've been busy the last few weeks, welcoming your students back to campus for the start of our spring semester! It's always a pleasure to watch campus come back to life as our students return from break, refreshed and ready for another successful semester at Binghamton.
It's never too early to start thinking about important exams and papers that may be coming up, so encourage your student to get ahead of the game and take advantage of available advising and tutoring services. And speaking of looking ahead, be aware that room selection for next year's on-campus housing ends Thursday, Feb. 21.
As we make our way through the shortened days and cold temperatures of winter, know that your student's health and wellness is one of our top priorities. Shared below are some tips for getting around campus and the community safely in the cold weather. Students can also find all sorts of great resources at our annual Health Fair on March 13.
As always, I encourage students to visit the Dean of Students Office and get to know me and my staff. We are here to guide and support them during their Binghamton experience, from start to finish. If you have questions for me, I can be contacted at email@example.com.
Randall M-J Edouard
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Interim Dean of Students
There's still time to guarantee your student a room on campus next year. Students should log in to the housing portal and complete the process before Thursday, Feb. 21. Students who live on 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 benefit of a very close-knit, supportive community. Find our complete housing process online.
Students who don't participate in this housing process are not guaranteed housing for the fall 2019 to spring 2020 academic year. If students select a room and change their mind, they must cancel before March 7, and are subject to a $200 cancellation charge. Cancellation requests after March 7 will be denied unless the student is studying abroad or leaving the University. See housing rates and deadlines on the Residential Life website.
We're interested in hearing what you think about our extended housing process. Was it useful to your student to have the extra time to make housing decisions? Email us your feedback.
Binghamton University's annual Health Fair returns to the East Gym Recreation Center from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 13. This event, hosted by Binghamton University Dining Services in partnership with the Department of Campus Recreational Services and the Healthy Campus Initiative: B-Healthy, focuses on the health and wellness resources available to the University community, both on campus and off.
This year's special workshop is "Flex your Gratitude Muscle!," which complements the Healthy Campus Initiative's year-long focus on building resiliency and grit. Practicing gratitude is one component related to building resilience — and we're providing students a chance to flex their gratitude muscles through easy, fun and engaging activities.
In addition to the gratitude workshop, there will be raffle prizes, giveaways, refreshments, health screenings, fitness demos and information from community businesses, non-profit organizations and other groups in celebration of National Nutrition Month. We're looking forward to another successful year. Encourage your student to attend this free event!
Help us encourage students to take advantage of the academic support the University offers. Rather than waiting until after midterms, suggest that they seek out assistance as soon as they get a lower grade than they expected or feel that they are struggling. Binghamton University's Center for Learning and Teaching is designed to promote and support excellence in student-centered learning for all members of the Binghamton University community, offering resources like the University Tutorial Services. Students can also seek out academic advising and other assistance through their school (Harpur, SOM, Decker School of Nursing, etc.). Advising information is available on the schools' websites.
The Discovery Program provides students with peer advisors. Discovery Advisors are Binghamton students who are internationally certified by the College Reading and Learning Association as advanced peer mentors. They serve as a first step for students to acquire academic guidance, gain knowledge about the resources available on campus and learn how to effectively improve their time management strategies, study techniques and note-taking skills. The Discovery Program's graduate student academic success coaches also provide individual assistance, including organizational coaching and mentoring.
Internships are an invaluable way to gain hands-on experience and open doors for a future career, but many times it's not economically feasible for students to commit an entire summer to an unpaid internship.
The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development recognizes this barrier to career success and manages the Student Affairs Internship Fund, which provides financial support to talented undergraduate and graduate students completing unpaid summer internships. Through the Internship Fund, students can apply for funding (up to $5,000) to defray the cost of pursuing these experiences. In summer 2018, 40 students received between $500 and $3,000 in funding.
Emma Shanley, an English major, wasn't sure whether she could accept an offer to intern at the Long Island Herald, but an Internship Fund award made that experience possible. That summer experience helped Shanley solidify her plans of pursuing a career in publishing, build her portfolio and gain the necessary confidence to achieve her career goals.
Graduate student Anna Patchen spent her summer working at the University of California building a unique and specialized skill set, making her a competitive job candidate and student in the field of archaeology and paleoethnobotany.
"Internships are critical for students to gain meaningful hands-on experience and expand their skill set and professional network. We're proud to offer a fund that can relieve a financial burden and help students thrive," said Denise Lorenzetti, director of the Fleishman Center.
The application for the summer 2019 Student Affairs Internship Fund is on the Fleishman Center's website. Binghamton University students who are U.S. citizens with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a current FAFSA on file with the University are eligible.
Contact the Fleishman Center for more information. Funds are awarded based on both quality of the application and demonstrated financial need. The deadline to apply to the internship fund is May 1, 2019.
Learn how you can make a donation to the Internship Fund and play a fundamental role in student success.
When you visit campus, the T=tobacco-free signs and information can be hard to miss. In fall 2017, Binghamton University strengthened its commitment to health and wellness by becoming a tobacco-free campus. This policy applies not only to cigarette use but also e-cigs, Juuls, pipes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookahs and any other nicotine delivery system. Binghamton University recognizes the difficulty associated with cessation and offers support for students, faculty and staff.
The Health Promotion and Prevention Services Department provides the FreshStart Smoking Cessation class to students free of charge. Group classes are offered each semester and individual sessions are available by request. Students who are interested in attending a smoking cessation class can register by calling 607-777-2254. The Decker Student Health Services Center also provides up to eight weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy, offered in the form of lozenges, patches and/or gum. This can be accessed by calling 607-777-2221.
As a parent or guardian of a student, Binghamton University looks to you as an important partner. Even though students may be living away from home, your influence remains strong. If your student is using nicotine products, consider having conversations about the tobacco-free policy and the free cessation options available to students. A simple "Did you know?" question can go a long way in encouraging students to access the resources they need. We're here to help!
Feb. 27 is TAG (Thank-a-Giver) Day, and we're celebrating parents who go above and beyond and give back to Binghamton.
Parent donor impact on students and the campus community is incredible. To celebrate, the Student Philanthropy Committee will be hanging hundreds of green tags across campus identifying areas where donors have made a difference for students — including yours!
Keep an eye out on Binghamton's social media sites for photos and information throughout the day.
Binghamton University offers Zimride by Enterprise. Zimride is a unique way to share a ride, using social networks to connect students 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.
Off Campus College Transport (OCCT) and Broome County Transit provide transit service to students at no cost with the swipe of their University ID. Both bus companies have GPS tracking devices linked to applications that display where the buses are at all times and how far they are from any given stop location. This allows students to plan for bus arrival and spend less time in the cold. For OCCT service, students can download the free ETA SPOT application to their phones or reference the Live Bus View tab under the University's bMobi application. For Broome County Transit service, students can download the free DoubleMap bus tracking application.
OCCT also offers a campus shuttle that continuously loops main campus, stopping at multiple locations. The green shuttle operates from 7 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. During peak times, the buses run more frequently and will arrive at stop locations every seven to 10 minutes. The campus shuttle is also displayed in the ETA SPOT application for real-time tracking information. On weekends, the campus shuttle service is an OCCT blue bus. For more information on the campus shuttle, visit the OCCT website.
Our Parent and Family Programs Office hosted a Career Resources Panel for parents at the Princeton Club in New York City last month as part of Binghamton in the City. Close to 150 parents of Binghamton students attended the program, designed to provide information on how our students can gain the skills and experiences necessary to transition from Binghamton University to a successful internship or career. Representatives from several University offices, including the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development, the Graduate School and Education Abroad shared their insights and expertise, and answered parents' questions.
Would you like to recognize your graduating student in the 2018-19 Binghamton University yearbook? Parents can design their own senior ads at Balfour.com. Ads are available in various sizes and price points starting at $50. The deadline for all materials is Friday, Feb. 22. Yearbooks can be purchased online as well.
BingUNews is Binghamton University's main news and information center. Stories, videos
and photos are posted regularly by a team of writers, editors, videographers and photographers
in the University's Office of Communications and Marketing.
Keep up with campus news through a once-a-week news feed each Saturday morning. Follow BingUNews today by subscribing online. Scroll to the bottom of the page, plug in your email address and you're all set!
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.
- 2019-20 financial aid award notifications for returning students will be sent beginning in late March for returning students.
2019-2020 NYS Aid Payment Application
- This online application process allows students to apply for New York state's Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), as well as for payment of a scholarship for which students may have already been approved, such as Excelsior, STEM and NYS Merit Scholarship. The link to the application is provided on the confirmation page of the submitted FAFSA or at https://www.hesc.ny.gov/.
Is your student considering education 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 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 or 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
- Proxy access is the ability students have to grant others access to view their financial aid information in BU BRAIN.
- For more information, visit the Proxy Access webpage.
Fall semester important dates
- For students with degrees conferred in fall 2018, diplomas will be mailed during the week of Feb. 11.
- Transcripts held for degrees were mailed out the week of Jan. 11.
- Diplomas were mailed out from our vendor the week of Jan. 14.
Spring semester important dates
- The spring semester began Jan. 22 and ends May 10.
- Spring grade change option and withdrawal deadlines are April 2.
Proof of advanced registration now available online
- Proof of advanced registration for spring 2019 is available online through the National Student Clearinghouse. Students can access this through BU BRAIN.
Spring 2019 Proof of Enrollment
- Spring 2019 Proof of Enrollment will become available online at the end of February 2019 through the National Student Clearinghouse. Students can access this through BU BRAIN.
Graduating seniors: submit applications for degree
- Undergraduate students graduating after the Winter Session must notify us of their intent to graduate by e-mailing email@example.com.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to complete the Application for Degree.
Cancellation of courses/university withdrawal for the spring semester
- After the spring 2019 add/drop period ends, students seeking to withdraw completely from the University must submit the University Withdrawal form to Financial Aid and Student Records, Admissions Center 112. The Semester Withdrawal Form is required for a student who wishes to drop ALL courses and who wants their academic record to indicate in good standing.
- Be sure to clear all holds that may prevent registration.
- Holds can be viewed online through BU BRAIN.
- Students should review their DegreeWorks audit to ensure their spring 2019 courses are meeting degree requirements. Students can view their time tickets online through BU BRAIN to find out when they are able to register.
- Students can request a replacement ID card through BU BRAIN 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 email@example.com. 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. 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 card. Acceptable forms: driver's license, passport, high school or other university photo ID.
Official expedited electronic transcripts now 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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
- Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development's parent page
- Resources for parents and families
- Residential Life's parent page
Calendar of events
- University's Academic Calendar
- Feb. 11-22: On campus housing room selection for 2019-2020
- 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
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