Parent Connect Newsletter

May 2021

Randall Edouard

Dear parents and families,

I’m grateful to see us reach the end of an academic year that has tested all of us in ways we had never imagined. Time has seemed to slow down, yet it has also flown by. What I have seen throughout this year, however, is the resilience of our students, faculty and staff as they have all found ways to shine during a tumultuous time for our nation and our campus.

On the immediate front, we’ll soon hold nearly 30 Grad Walks for our graduating students from May 13 through 16, giving them the opportunity to walk across the stage. We’ll also see degrees conferred on our inaugural class of Doctor of Pharmacy students. 

Now, I’m looking forward and excited about welcoming students back in the fall. As always, we’ll be following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as New York state and SUNY public health guidelines. They have been easing of late, and, with our staff returning over the summer, we’ll be in full force in time for students to move in and begin classes as if it were 2019. 

I wish you all a relaxing summer!

Harvey G. Stenger

Attending a Commencement Grad Walk or the pharmacy ceremony?

As you know, anyone attending a Commencement ceremony (Grad Walk) this spring, including students, MUST show one of the following: 

  • a negative antigen COVID test result within 6 hours of the ceremony you will be attending
  • a negative PCR COVID test result within 72 hours of the ceremony you will be attending (Test and results must have been completed within 72 hours of the event.)
  • proof of vaccination
  • proof of having had COVID within the past 90 days

All guests must complete the registration form to meet New York State public health requirements for Commencement. Each guest will need to complete a form. 

If you arrive at your ceremony without any of the above forms of proof, you will be sent to the on-campus testing center for an antigen test. If time allows following receipt of negative results, you may attend your scheduled ceremony (Grad Walk). 

We are attempting to make Commencement a seamless process for all attendees (students and guests), and therefore we need your cooperation. If you do not pay attention to these directions or fail to follow the instructions, you are putting your ability to watch your student walk across the stage at risk.

For all Commencement information, visit the website.

Celebrate your graduate with fun digital downloads!

It’s time to celebrate Binghamton University’s Class of 2021! Join in congratulating this year’s graduates with yard and window signs, Zoom backgrounds, social media graphics and more. Just download the graphics from our list and go to town!

Student award winners announced

Binghamton University students are known for going above and beyond, pushing themselves to be the best versions of themselves they can be. In turn, the University strives to make sure their accomplishments are recognized and rewarded. Learn more about the revamped Binghamton University Student Awards and this year’s winners on BingUNews. You can also watch the awards video on the dean of students website.

Encourage your senior to fill out the Senior Survey

Every year around Commencement, the University sends out a Senior Survey to gather information about where our graduates are headed next. If your student is a 2021 graduating senior, we want to hear from them! Encourage them to take the Senior Survey at

What happens to a meal plan when moving off campus next semester?

Depending on a student’s schedule and individual dining needs, there may be Dining Dollars left on their meal plan at the end of the semester. These Dining Dollars will not go to waste, though! Any unused Dining Dollars will carry over semester to semester or year to year, as long as a meal plan is purchased each consecutive semester. 

Students moving off campus or into one of the apartment communities on campus next semester may want to consider still purchasing a meal plan. Living in non-residence hall areas offers students many amenities that they may not have had previously, such as having their own kitchen and in turn, the ability to cook meals for themselves. While this can be an advantage to living off campus, there may be times when it is more convenient for a student to have a meal or snack while on campus.

There are meal plans available for students living off campus or in an on-campus apartment community: the Commuter Annual, the Commuter Semester and the 25 Plan.

For more information about our Meal Plans and unused Dining Dollars, visit our website.

Staying active during the summer

There are plenty of ways to stay active during the summer, especially in Binghamton! The Recreation Center at the East Gym will be open. Students enrolled in the fall semester are able to access the building for activities like basketball, badminton, swimming and volleyball with a reservation and valid student ID.

Summer memberships are on sale online for FitSpace, the fitness facility in the East Gym. In addition to FitSpace, a fitness membership gives students access to a variety of group fitness classes. Students staying in the Binghamton area over the summer can purchase their fitness membership online with Campus Recreation. Students choose FitSpace because it’s clean, convenient and has the best machines.

Students who aren’t in Binghamton can still stream tons of workouts online using FitOn, a free exercise app that offers cardio, strength, HIIT, yoga, Pilates and bodyweight classes. What’s different about FitOn from other workout apps is the social experience — they can invite friends to classes, join or create a challenge, compete on live leaderboards, collect achievements and more.

Campus Recreation has partnered with FitOn to provide the Binghamton University community with an additional fitness resource: six months of FitOn PRO for free. Visit Campus Recreation online to learn more about how your student can redeem this offer.

Parents can get involved at Binghamton!

Although this year looked different in so many ways, one steady was our Parents Leadership Council (PLC) and their interest in making Binghamton a better place for our students, engaging parents so they had answers to their many questions, and providing insight and input to the leadership team at the University. PLC members this year assisted on numerous University committees, helped Admissions with incoming families, hosted several virtual gatherings for parents and provided outreach to new families looking for direction.

All parents of Binghamton students have the opportunity to join the Parents Leadership Council (PLC). These members complement and support the University's strategic directives and initiatives by acting as advancement advocates for the Division of Student Affairs through private support and outreach. Members participate in quarterly conference calls and are invited to campus in the spring semester for an on-campus meeting and reception with President Harvey Stenger.

More information can be found online. If you have questions or would like to talk with a current PLC member, contact Linda Salomons, assistant director for Parent and Family Programs and Food Pantry operations at

Hinman Dining Center to reopen for the fall 2021 semester

The newly renovated Hinman Dining Center will reopen for the fall 2021 semester with state-of-the-art enhancements ready to greet the future of the Hinman and extended campus community. The new, all-inclusive dining center will be home to a re-imagined servery with up to nine dining concepts and a view-worthy dining room with expanded seating. Hinman Dining will also feature Starbucks Coffee, a Garbanzo’s Mediterranean Grill, student programming and study space, a rooftop terrace, a convenience store and a student culinary makerspace — a commercial-grade kitchen created for student culinary exploration.

The University renovated the 55-year-old dining center to bring a renewed sense of community to Hinman and to support the current and future needs of one of our most popular residential communities. For renovation updates and photos, visit the Hinman renovation website.

Stress-free Bing

Coordinated by the Dean of Students Office (DOS), Stress-free Bing is a campus-wide initiative providing interesting, fun and stress-reducing activities for students as they prepare for finals. These events and activities will run through the rest of the spring semester.

For more information and a full calendar of de-stress events, visit the Stress-free Bing web page.

Move-out: May 22–23

During move-out, students will be allowed up to one guest in the building to help them move out their belongings on Saturday, May 22, and Sunday, May 23. All residents, including those in the Apartments, must vacate the halls no later than 11 a.m. Thursday, May 27.

Students are strongly encouraged to be considerate of their roommates/suitemates and let them know in advance which day and time they will allow their family member or friend in.

Before leaving their residence hall, students must:

  • Remove all personal belongings (any items left behind after checkout will be discarded).
  • Clean their room/suite/apartment and discard any trash. Extra garbage bags will be available at the RA office.
  • Bring all trash to the dumpsters located outside of their building.
  • Close and lock all windows and doors.
  • Turn in their key before they leave.

Closing survey and check-out

Students should fill out the Departure Survey now so the University can plan for the number of students remaining on campus.

When your students are ready to leave, they must complete the self-checkout so that we know they've left their room.

Career services extended to students throughout summer

The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development offers services and resources to support students all summer long.

Career consulting appointments: Offered Monday–Friday throughout the summer

Students can schedule appointments to meet with a career consultant virtually through Zoom. Fleishman Center staff are available to assist students with any career-related topics or questions, such as exploring career options, job and internship application materials, job search, interview preparation and more. Students can log in to hireBING and schedule an appointment based on topic and consultant availability. Students graduating in 2021 can also utilize Fleishman Center services for up to one year after their graduation date.

Resources students can access anytime

Students are also encouraged to utilize the Fleishman Center's online resources, all of which may be accessed for free, including:

Students can also sign up to receive weekly emails with resources, job or internship postings, and other helpful information related to their specific career interests by joining a “Career Cluster.”

Online Career Exploration Course (CDCI-200)

The options for career paths are endless, which can make choosing a career difficult and stressful. Students unsure about their career path are encouraged to register for CDCI-200, a two-credit online career exploration course offered during summer break to help them create a meaningful and purposeful plan to prepare for their future careers. The course is ideal for first-year students, sophomores or juniors who are still exploring their options, are having second thoughts about their current career ideas, or are experiencing overall uncertainty about their career direction. The deadline to register for this summer’s CDCI-200 course is June 30 for summer session II. Learn more about this course on the Fleishman Center’s website.

If you or your student has any questions regarding Fleishman Center services or resources, contact

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, spring 2022) are sent via email to returning students as long as a FAFSA is on file and they are in good academic standing.

Scholarship applications for 2021–22

Students can now apply for Binghamton University scholarships based on community service, leadership, volunteerism, extracurricular activities and more. Applications will close on April 21. 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 2021 and spring 2022.

Summer 2021 financial aid

Financial aid sources for the summer are available for matriculated Binghamton University undergraduate and graduate students who are in good academic standing. Students enrolled for at least six credits during Summer Session may be eligible to use Federal Direct Student Loans, Federal Parent PLUS Loans and private loans to help finance Summer Session. Pell eligible students will receive the award automatically based on eligibility and enrollment.

The 2021 Summer Loan Request Form is now available online.

For more information about financial aid for the summer, visit the Financial Aid website.

COVID-19 emergency relief flexibilities extended

No interest is accruing on federal student and parent loans through Sept. 30, 2021, due to the COVID-19 emergency. For more information visit the Federal Student Aid website

2021–22 Parent PLUS Loan — another option for funding your student’s education

The 2021–22 Parent PLUS loan application will be available beginning May 15, 2021. Parents can apply online using their Federal Student Aid username and password. For more general information about Parent PLUS loans, visit the financial aid PLUS loan web page.

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 web page.

Graduating seniors and loan repayment

Is your student graduating this spring and did they borrow student loans to help with educational expenses? Knowledge is power when it comes to repayment. Knowing what to expect, choosing the right repayment plan and staying on top of loan payments can help your student fulfill their financial goals. For helpful repayment tips and resources visit the Federal Student Aid website... and congratulations on your student’s graduation! 

NYS Get On Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program

The New York State Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program provides up to 24 months of federal student loan debt relief to recent New York state college graduates who are participating in a federal income-driven repayment plan whose payments are generally capped at 10 percent of their discretionary income. Learn more and find the instructions to apply online.

Student Records

Spring 2021 semester important dates

  • Course Change of Grade Option deadline was 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 13.
  • Course withdrawal deadline is 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, May 18.
  • Spring term dates are Feb. 11–May 18, 2021.

Summer 2021 registration

  • Summer registration runs March 22–May 18 through BU Brain.
  • Students must clear all holds before they can register.
  • Summer term dates are:
    • Term I: June 1–July 2 
    • Term II: July 12–Aug. 13

For more information visit the Student Records website.

Spring 2021 proof of enrollment

Proof of enrollment for spring 2021 is available online through the National Student Clearinghouse. Students can access this through their BU Brain account. Click Student tab, then Student Services Tools.

Graduating Seniors — Application for Degree

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. To be included in the undergraduate Commencement Program, the Application for Degree must have been completed by March 25. Students completing coursework at another school in spring 2021 must email to complete the Application for Degree.

University Withdrawal for the spring semester

Students seeking to withdraw completely from the University must complete the University Withdrawal form. 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.

Fall advanced registration

Advanced registration for the fall semester will close at 11:59 p.m. on the last day of classes, May 18. Continuing students will be able to register with a time ticket based on earned credit hours. Registration will not reopen until the add/drop registration period for the fall 2021 semester.

DegreeWorks Audit

Spring 2021 candidates for their degree should review their DegreeWorks audit to ensure their spring 2021 courses are meeting degree requirements. Students should 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.
  • ID Card distribution plans will be posted on the Student Records 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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