Parent Connect Newsletter

February 2021

Randall M-J Edouard  Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Dear parents and families,

As we start the spring semester, I know we’re all experiencing a mixture of emotions — excitement to be moving forward, hopefully closer to a more “normal” world every day; apprehension about how long it will take to get there and what the interim will look like; and probably some frustration and impatience with the inconveniences and adversity this past year has presented. The good news is that medical professionals are making strides in the right direction, and here at Binghamton University, we’re doing our part as well.

We’ve increased our surveillance testing so that every student, faculty and staff member on campus is tested weekly. Policies to ensure our community’s health and safety are still in full effect, including mask wearing and social distancing mandates and limits on the size of gatherings. We’re also doing everything we can to make sure students still have a fulfilling and fun semester. A variety of virtual fairs are being planned, including the Student Association’s Involvement Fair, two job and internship fairs and the Education Abroad Fair. Our staff are working hard to plan some safe in-person events as well. 

So let’s all work together to bring out the Bearcat spirit and face this semester with positivity and perseverance. Winter will come to an end, bringing spring and new beginnings for us all.

Randall M-J Edouard
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

2021–22 on-campus housing information

Remind your student to watch for information on the 2021–22 returning student housing process, scheduled to take place in March. Details will be emailed to students and on the Residential Life website soon. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for photos and stories.

Encourage your student to get involved!

Is your student looking for friends with shared interests? Joining a Student Association (SA) club may be just the thing! The SA Involvement Fair is happening now through this Friday, Feb. 19! This virtual event, hosted in B-Engaged, will give students the chance to explore a wide range of SA groups, jump on Zoom video calls with club officers, view dozens of group booths, connect with other students via live chats and much more. They can join the fair on B-Engaged.

Success Coaching available for all undergraduate students 

The Department for Student Transition and Success (STS) now offers peer and professional success coaching! Success Coaches assist students through one-on-one appointments, workshops and events and specialize in coaching students on time and task management, productivity and procrastination, goal setting and planning, and study and note-taking strategies. To learn more about STS success coaching, visit our website

Virtual Education Abroad Fair Feb. 17!

Encourage your student to attend the virtual Education Abroad Fair on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Students can register on B-Engaged any time, even during the event. The Zoom link will also be live at the Office of International Education and Global Initiatives and the Education Abroad Office websites during the event in case someone wants to just stop by at that time. Students can learn about Binghamton University’s education abroad programs, speak with education abroad program alumni and meet the education abroad staff.

New menus, concepts and treats from Binghamton University Dining Services

Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) has re-opened this semester with new menus, new concepts and even some delightful Valentine’s Day specials that include large chocolate chip heart cookies, hand-dipped chocolate strawberries and decadent mini cheesecakes!  

BUDS understands that during the pandemic there are many different scenarios regarding students’ living and learning situations that may affect their meal plan. They may be returning to campus for the first time since last spring or have decided to learn remotely and not return for this semester. Regardless of their situation, varying factors impact what meal plan is best for them, as well as what happens to carryover dining dollars during this time. Resident students with a large carryover balance have until Feb. 25, 2021, to select a smaller meal plan using BU Brain. For all other questions visit our website and read through the information answering the question, “What happens to carryover funds during a pandemic?” 

We remain focused on following food safety standards, offering well-balanced meals and ensuring the safety and well-being of the campus community. 

Register to join the PLC for a Zoom gathering Feb. 24

Join a friendly conversation with members of Binghamton University’s Parents Leadership Council (PLC). These parents will answer questions, share their experiences about Binghamton, give advice and talk about how you can make the most of your time as a parent of a Binghamton student. This will be a casual, informative and fun program for parents and families. Register online

Bus systems offer free, safe and warm transportation for students

Students can stay warm this winter by using Off Campus College Transport (OCCT) and Broome County (BC) Transit. Both bus systems provide transit service to students at no cost with the swipe of their University ID.

OCCT and BC Transit 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 BC Transit service, students can download the free DoubleMap bus tracking application.

OCCT also offers a campus shuttle that continuously loops around main campus, stopping at multiple locations. The route is performed in a green shuttle Monday through Friday. During peak times, the buses run more frequently and will arrive at stop locations every 7–10 minutes. The campus shuttle is also displayed in the ETA SPOT application for real-time tracking information. On weekends, the campus shuttle service is performed by an OCCT blue bus. For more information on the campus shuttle, visit the OCCT website.

Parent Support Network launches for first-year parents

Members of Binghamton University’s Parents Leadership Council (PLC) have volunteered to assist in serving as mentors to any parent of a first-year student (freshman or transfer) who wishes to speak to a more “seasoned” parent. The mentors will assist new parents by giving information, answering questions, directing them to University resources or just sharing about their experience of being the parent of a college student.

Any first-year parent who is interested can fill out this form, asking for some basic information including name, hometown, preferred method of contact, best time to be reached, etc. Within a few weeks, a PLC member will be in contact. However, because they are volunteers, we ask for your patience.

If a first-year parent has a time-sensitive question or concern, email the Parent and Family Program office at or call 607-777-4668.

Two virtual job and internship fairs to be held this spring

Binghamton University will be hosting two virtual job and internship fairs this spring:

  • Virtual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Fair
    9 a.m.–3 p.m. Wednesday, March 10
    Organizations with full-time and internship opportunities in STEM industries and organizations recruiting for STEM-related jobs will be participating in this fair. View attending organizations.
  • Spring Virtual Job and Internship Fair (all majors)
    9 a.m.–3 p.m. Thursday, March 18
    Representatives from for-profit, government and non-profit organizations will be available to speak with students about full-time employment, internship and summer opportunities across a wide range of industries. View attending organizations.

Both fairs are open to students of all majors and will take place in the hireBING by Handshake platform, the University’s job and internship portal. The virtual format will provide students with opportunities to connect one-on-one with recruiters to learn about various career opportunities and attend group information sessions with employers of interest.

Benefits of attending the virtual fair:

  • Meet one-on-one with employers. Students can interact with recruiters through video, audio or chat to learn about job or internship opportunities.
    Student tip: Research participating organizations. Having background information on employers means students can ask specific questions about organizations and demonstrate a genuine interest in them.
  • No lines to wait in! Students can pre-schedule one-on-one sessions with employers or register to attend employer group information sessions. Space is limited for employer sessions and spots are available on a first come, first served basis! Student registration for both fairs opened Monday, Feb. 15.
    Student tip: Regularly check the list of registered organizations and sign up for time slots as they become available to ensure students can meet with their top employer choices! Organizations continue to register and add available sessions each week!
  • Discover new career opportunities. Students will get personalized recommendations for which employers to connect with based on their hireBING profile and selected career interests.
    Student tip: Update hireBING profiles now in addition to resumes or CVs.

Job and internship fairs aren’t just for juniors and seniors, or students from specific majors; all students are encouraged to participate in these events early and often to explore options and begin working toward their own career success.

Encourage your student to not only attend, but also prepare by checking out our resources and tips for information on topics such as:

  • Writing a top quality resume
  • Crafting a great 30-second commercial
  • Researching registered organizations
  • Dressing professionally

Students can also access a library of recorded workshops to help prepare for the job or internship search and learn how to best position themselves with employers. If students have questions about attending or preparing for the fair, encourage them to schedule an appointment with a Fleishman Center career consultant in hireBING, or email

Staying active with Campus Rec

The staff at Campus Recreation has planned another semester full of fun, safely distanced activities ranging from snowshoe hikes in the Nature Preserve to a new aquatics fitness class called aqua barre. It's a great way for your student to learn a new skill (or improve existing skills) while meeting other like-minded students. All activities are posted on B-Engaged, the platform for students to find and sign up for extracurricular activities. All class sizes are limited to ensure physical distancing, and masks are required.

The Recreation Center at the East Gym is open. Your student can reserve a time to play basketball, swim laps or play racquetball. Monthly fitness memberships are also available for purchase. A membership gives your student access to the fitness facility, FitSpace, and a variety of group fitness classes with live and virtual instructors. Monthly memberships are valid 30 days from the date of purchase.

In addition to our programs, services and facilities, Campus Recreation has partnered with FitOn to provide the Binghamton University community with an additional fitness resource: six months of FitOn PRO for free. FitOn PRO is a set of premium features, like personalized meal plans, exclusive recipes, offline downloads and real-time heart rate, in addition to free online workouts. After the PRO trial period ends, your student will have the option to continue with FitOn fitness classes at no additional cost. Visit Campus Recreation online to learn more about redeeming the FitOn PRO offer.

We look forward to welcoming your student back to campus (or classes)! 

Financial Aid and Student Records is here to help! 

We continue to service remotely due to COVID-19.  

For service options, hours of operation, document submission upload instructions and more, visit the following websites:

Document submission: All documents can be uploaded securely by visiting Click on Financial Aid and Student Records Document Submission (helpful links section on the left side of the page).

2021–22 FAFSA application

The 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) became available Oct. 1. You can file your FAFSA online.

Students/parents will report 2019 tax information on the 2021-2022 FAFSA. Reporting accurate tax information is simple with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which ensures accurate and streamlined FAFSA filing. 

Note to New York state residents: remember to also complete your NYS Aid Payment Application. This online application process is used 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, and NYS Merit Scholarship. You can find the application link on the confirmation page of your submitted FAFSA, or at

2021–22 financial aid award notification timeline

Financial aid award notifications for the 2021–22 academic year (fall 2021 and spring 2022) will be emailed to returning students with a valid FAFSA on file, beginning early March 2021.

Scholarship reminder

Students who received a renewable scholarship based on “demonstrated financial need” in 2020–21 must file their 2021–22 FAFSA no later than March 1 in order to meet the conditions to have their scholarship renewed. Email reminders to the students affected were sent in December letting them know the deadline of March 1. Students can check if the scholarship they received is renewable by clicking on the scholarship in their award offer found on the Financial Aid tab of BU BRAIN. Details pertaining to their specific scholarship and any terms or conditions for renewal can be found there.

Loan repayment

Graduating seniors were sent an email notification about loan repayment information if they borrowed federal loans as an undergraduate student. 

To learn more about federal repayment information and options, check out the Department of Education’s loan repayment, loan consolidation and loan forgiveness web pages.

Note: If students will be continuing their education in graduate school, loan repayment may be delayed based on the type and terms of the loan(s). Students should contact their loan servicer and/or private lender for more detailed information and to keep them informed of enrollment plans.

Important information for New York state college graduates: The New York state Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program provides up to 24 months of federal student loan debt relief for eligible students.

Student Records

Fall 2020 semester important dates

  • For students with degrees conferred in fall 2020, diplomas will be mailed to students beginning the week of Jan. 27, 2021.
  • Transcripts held for grades became available the week of Jan. 11, 2021.
  • Transcripts held for degrees will become available the week of Jan. 27, 2021.

Winter session 2021 important dates

  • 2021 Winter Session registration opened at 9 a.m. on Nov. 2. New this year — students can now take a maximum of 8 credits for the Winter Session.
  • Winter term dates are Jan. 4, 2021 to Feb. 5, 2021.
  • Winter course add/drop deadline is 11:59 p.m. Jan. 7, 2021.
  • Winter change of grade option deadline is 4 p.m. Jan. 25, 2021.
  • Winter course withdrawal deadline is 11:59 p.m. Jan. 25, 2021.
  • Note there is no financial aid for Winter Session.
  • Visit the Winter Session website for more information, including additional dates and deadlines.

Upcoming dates for spring semester 2021

  • For more information about what to expect for the spring 2021 semester, visit the Restarting Binghamton website.
  • Spring 2021 schedule of classes is viewable on BU BRAIN.
  • Spring 2021 registration opens on Jan. 5 with time tickets based on earned credit
    hours. Time tickets will be viewable on BU BRAIN on Dec. 21.
  • Confirmation of enrollment deadline is 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. All courses will be dropped for students who do not confirm their enrollment by the deadline.
  • Spring term dates are Feb. 11–May 18, 2021.

For more information visit the Student Records website.

Spring 2021 proof of enrollment

Proof of advanced registration for spring 2021 will be available online through the National Student Clearinghouse in early February. Students can access this through their BU Brain account. Click Student tab, then Student Services Tools.

Application for Degree

The deadline for students to submit the fall 2020 undergraduate application for degree was Monday, Oct. 26. If students have questions about applying for their degree this fall, they can email for assistance.

Graduating Seniors — Application for Degree

Undergraduate students graduating after the Winter Session must notify us of their intent to graduate by emailing

Currently enrolled undergraduates intending to graduate in spring 2021 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 2021 must email to complete the Application for Degree.

Cancellation of courses/University Withdrawal for the spring semester

Prior to the start of the spring 2021 semester, students who are registered but do not plan to attend can submit an email request to have their classes cancelled. The email request must be submitted to and must come from the student’s official BMail address. Students should include their full name and B-number.

After the spring 2021 add/drop period ends, students seeking to withdraw completely from the University must submit the University Withdrawal form to Financial Aid and Student Records. The Semester Withdrawal Form is required for a student who wishes to drop ALL courses and who wants his/her academic record to indicate in good standing. The deadline to withdraw from the spring semester is 4:30 p.m. on the last day of classes, Tuesday, May 18.

DegreeWorks Audit

Students should review their DegreeWorks audit to ensure their fall 2020 courses are meeting degree requirements. Fall 2020 candidates for graduation should review
their DegreeWorks audit after fall grades are posted to ensure all degree requirements
are completed. Students can contact their academic advising office with any
Degreeworks-related questions.

Clear holds

Be sure to clear all holds that may prevent registration. Holds can be viewed online through BU BRAIN.

Lost IDs

Students can request a replacement ID card through 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

  • There is a $20 fee for all replacement ID cards, which will be assessed to the student’s bill in Student Accounts.
  • Students will need a photo ID to pick up their card. Acceptable forms of ID include: driver’s license, passport, high school or other university photo ID.
  • Spring 2021 ID Card distribution plans will be posted on the Registrar’s website in late January.

Official expedited electronic transcripts are available

In addition to free official paper transcripts, we offer official expedited electronic transcripts. There is a $5 charge per recipient for the expedited service. More information about electronic transcript service is available online.

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:

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