Freshman Family Orientation Information

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

In recognition of their special concerns, Orientation therefore includes a component for families. This program offers families the opportunity to learn more about the University and to gain personal insights into the kinds of college experiences their student may have.

Orientation is a time to learn about the academic program, meet University faculty and staff, experience the University community and gain exposure to available services. Orientation is 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 an open house program. Below you will find specific information about your family Orientation program.

Summer 2017 Sessions


  • June 29-30 (Harpur College and Binghamton Advantage Program)
  • July 10-11 (Harpur College, Student Support Services and Binghamton Advantage Program)
  • July 13-14 (Harpur College and Binghamton Advantage Program)
  • July 17-18 (Harpur College and Binghamton Advantage Program)
  • July 20-21 (Harpur College)
  • July 24-25 (Harpur College and Academic Success Program)


(Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, College of Community and Public Affairs, Decker School of Nursing and School of Management)

  • June 26-27 (All professional schools)
  • July 6-7 (All professional schools)
  • July 17-18 (Watson School of Engineering only)

*We strongly encourage students to attend a July session. If you cannot attend one of the dates above, you must contact New Student Programs to discuss your options (607-777-2878). 

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Orientation Fees

Family Members

  • $60 for one family member to attend (includes lunch on day 1)
    • $10 for each additional family member (includes lunch on day 1)
  • $42 per person for a three-meal package (day 1 dinner, day 2 breakfast and lunch)
  • On-campus housing: $45 for single, $65 for double

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How to Register for the Program

Every newly admitted student who has paid his/her admissions’ deposit should receive an invitation from the Orientation Office starting at the middle of May. (Invitations are continuously mailed to students and families beginning at the middle of May.) In addition, family members should receive a separate invitation to the Family Program. Simply visit the Orientation Registration website to complete the registration and payment form. If you do not receive an invitation via postal mail by May 31, please contact our office so we may assist you either over the phone (607-777-2878) or through email ( Please contact our office at the phone number above for assistance.

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Session Information

Family Orientation has many sessions designed specifically to answer any questions you may have as parents or family members of Binghamton University’s newest students. Whether you are a “First Timer,” with your first student attending college, or a “Veteran,” with at least one other student in your family who has attended college, we have created informational sessions throughout the program to meet your needs and provide you with information specific to Binghamton University.

In order to attain the most from your attendance at the Orientation program, please plan on attending all sessions. The program begins with check-in from 8:30am to 10:30am the first day of the program and concludes after lunch on the second day. Below are some highlights of the program, as well as a general schedule.

Family Transition Presentations: Special programs designed to address issues such as health/wellness and personal safety, campus policies, student and campus life issues, and resources available to assist families with their questions and concerns. Look for more details at check-in.

Campus Services Fair: You will have the opportunity to ask specific questions about or sign up for individual programs and services such as dining/meal plans, ID cards, banking, computers, phones, refrigerator rentals, a BUC$ account, FitSpace gym membership and the University Bookstore.

Information Fair: Offered concurrently with the Campus Services Fair, this is staffed by people from a variety of offices such as University Police, Residential Life, Athletics, the Counseling Center, religious organization advisers, Services for Students with Disabilities and more. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions!

Residential Area Tours and Local Student/Family Information: Each student and family member will have the opportunity to visit the residential area where your student will be living in the fall. If you are a local family or have a student who will be living off campus, you will have the opportunity to meet with staff from Off Campus College to learn about special programs and services for off-campus students, including special housing search assistance for those still seeking off-campus housing.

Day 1:

  • Orientation Check-In *
  • Campus Services Fair *
  • Lunch (included in session package)*
  • Opening Session *
  • Family Welcome
  • Residential Area Tours and Local Student and Family Information Gatherings *
  • Food, Money, Books
  • Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development
  • Academic Advising Presentation (by school)
  • Supporting Your Student: Advice from Faculty
  • Week in the Life of a Student
  • Dinner (for additional cost)
  • Optional Activities

Day 2:

  • Breakfast * (for an additional cost)
  • Behind the Scenes at Binghamton
  • Financial Services
  • Supporting Your Student: Resources for Safety & Wellness
  • Closing lunch * (for an additional cost)

Note: * denotes session for students and family members; other sessions are for family members only.

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Facilities Available during Orientation


You will have access to FitSpace, our fitness center, during your time at Orientation. Please bring your Orientation nametag to access the Fitspace facilities during normal business hours.

Nature Preserve

A great place to take a hike/walk on nature trails (ask for directions once on campus)

Glenn G. Bartle Library

Mon.-Thurs., 8 am-10 pm
Fri., 8 am-6 pm
Sat., noon-5 pm

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Academically Assisting your Student

Advice for Families of New Students

Everyone has heard horror stories about the student over at “Whassamatta U.” who took all the wrong courses, and had to stay in school for extra semesters or summers in order to graduate. Or the one who didn’t take the courses required for certification in his or her field as required beyond the university’s requirements. Or who had to take additional courses after graduation in order to fulfill requirements for admission into graduate school. All of these stories, combined with the normal anxieties of beginning university life, can lead to some very anxious feelings during Orientation for students and family members.

Certainly the first priority of any new student, or member of the new student’s family, is the academic program that will lead to the successful completion of a degree. This, of course, is the heart of the mission of the University and a central focus of the Orientation program.

As family members, you should know that Orientation includes more than five hours of structured advising time. The Orientation Advisors, faculty, dean’s offices staffs, pre-professional advisors and the University Registrar’s staff are all here to make the student’s course selection process successful.

Of course, they can use your help as well. The most difficult job they have is helping new students understand that they need to relax with this process. The decisions that they make as they select their first semester’s classes are certainly important, but they don’t need to make these decisions alone. The goal of Orientation is to make students’ transition to the University easy, so everything planned for them carefully considers their needs and their success.

We have planned sessions to introduce family members to the academic program as well. Please remember, as supporters of these students, our job as family members and University staff is to help the students make their own decisions, not make decisions for them, and to do whatever we can to make that process as stress-free, educational and successful as possible.

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Last Updated: 2/13/17