Happy first day of fall classes

by Ian Wheeler, Graduate Student Assistant

Welcome to VCU, new Rams (and returning Rams)! We hope that you’re having a wonderful first day of classes!! As you start off the semester, here are some tips for starting off the semester and updates on things happening around campus.

Please pardon our dust as the campus is undergoing a series of construction projects and renovations that will help make your next few years really exciting. The Cabell Library is in the middle of a huge renovation that will provide much more study space for students in the future. You can learn more about the new library additions here. W. Grace Street will also look very different soon. On the corner of Grace and Shafer streets, a new off-campus apartment building is nearing completion. One block further at the intersection of Grace and Harrison, a new on-campus residential facility is also construction. Grace Street will soon become home to a new restaurant option, Panda Express, as well as a Walmart on Campus.

If you have not already done so, please sign up to receive VCU’s text messaging and e-mail alerts. These alerts will help keep you informed about campus emergencies and delays or cancellations due to inclement weather. VCU students, faculty, and staff can sign up using their eID and password through the main VCU login screen. You can use this login to add or change a cell phone number or add up to two e-mail address that will receive alerts. Families and community members are also able to sign up here to receive text message alert notifications. Find out more about VCU Alert online at http://alert.vcu.edu/index.php. If you have difficulties signing up, please contact VCU Technology Services by phone at (804) 828-2227 or by email at  helpIT@vcu.edu.

Acclimate yourself with VCU’s technology resources, such as Blackboard and eServices. These resources will allow you to check your class schedules, pay student bills, check your VCU Card balance, track your grades, get important updates and find the syllabi for most of your classes. You can enter your Blackboard and eServices accounts via your myVCU portal.

If you have questions or need assistance navigating classes on Thursday, Aug. 21, and Friday, Aug. 22, look for the Division of Strategic Enrollment Management information booths around campus. Our staff members will be happy to assist you further!

We wish you a safe and successful fall semester!

VCU will be closed in observance of the Independence Day holiday

VCU will be closed in observance of the Independence Day holiday from Friday, July 4, 2014 through Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Office of Admissions will not conduct information sessions or campus tours during this time. If you plan on visiting us soon, please click here to reserve your space!

We will resume our normal business hours, information sessions and campus tours on Monday, July 7, 2014. We wish you a happy and safe holiday!

Feel at home on campus this fall

by Ian Wheeler, Graduate Student Assistant

Freshman move-in is right around the corner and we’re excited to welcome our newest Rams and their families to campus! Throughout the weekend of August 16-17, 2014, VCU will welcome new Rams into the residence halls for the 2014-15 school year. In order to make the experience a great one for students and parents alike, we’ve put together a list of items that students should consider bringing with them.

When housing assignments are received by students, they should receive the name and e-mail address of their roommate. It is recommended that students begin contacting each other once housing assignments have been given out in order to determine which items each person will bring. Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list of items that you should consider bringing to campus, but rather some suggestions of things that will make living on campus feel more like home.

  • Mini refrigerator and microwave: Only one refrigerator and one microwave are permitted per room.
  • Bed linens for an extra long twin bed and mattress pad: Most of the beds in freshman halls are 36 inches wide and 80 inches long. It is encouraged that students have at least two sets of linens so that they always have a fresh set and change them on laundry days!
  • TV with QAM tuner: Most digital televisions and TVs sold after 2006 should include a QAM tuner, so this hopefully won’t be a huge concern for you. The QAM tuner helps students to access all of the channels provided in the cable package.
  • Toilet paper, plunger and bathroom cleaning supplies: Students who live in suite-style residence halls like Brandt, Gladding Residence Center (GRC I, II and III), and the Honors College where students have access to a bathroom off of their bedroom, are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their own bathrooms. That includes bringing items to campus to help them maintain their bathrooms. Maintenance staff will clean the bathrooms daily and provide toilet paper and hand soap for students who live in traditional-style residence halls like Rhoads, Cabaniss, or Johnson where there is one centrally-located bathroom on the floor.
  • Electric power strips with surge protectors: Please bring power strips with surge protectors; extension cords are not permitted in residence halls.
  • Flashlight
  • Wastebasket: Centralized trash rooms are located on every floor in most halls and the trash cans are emptied daily by maintenance staff.
  • Iron and small ironing board
  • Desk lamp
  • Toiletries: Students should bring extra items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving cream, paper towels, hand soap and face wash.
  • Water pitcher with filter: Instead of drinking bottled water, students can buy water pitchers as a cost-effective way to stay environmentally friendly!
  • Small first aid kit
  • Laptop or personal computer: To make sure that a computer meets the specific requirements for specific programs, students should consult VCU Technology Services Student Computer Initiative for specific program requirements. Computers and accessories are available for purchase through the VCU RamTech store on campus (often at a discount).
  • Printer: Printers also are available in the library and in some computer labs in academic buildings (fees may apply).
  • Medications: Students should be sure to bring all medications or prescriptions that they may need.
  • Favorite snacks and cereals: For those who want a late-night snack or want to have breakfast in their room!
  • Storage crates: To organize everything from socks to school supplies to graded assignments!

If students forget any items at home, don’t worry, during Welcome Week there is usually a shuttle service provided for students to get to Target or Wal-Mart for last minute purchases.

For more information about moving in for the fall, or information regarding the check-in procedures for each building, please consult the Fall 2014 Move-In website. If you have additional questions, please contact VCU Residential Life and Housing by phone at (804) 828-7666 or by email at vcuhousing@vcu.edu.

See you in August!

Still want to apply for on-campus housing at VCU?

by Ian Wheeler, Graduate Student Assistant

If you’re an incoming freshman and wish to apply for on-campus housing, there is still time left to fill out your application! You have until today, Monday, June 30, 2014, to apply and receive a guaranteed space.

In order to apply for on-campus housing, you must first submit your tuition deposit to the Office of Admissions indicating that you’ve accepted our offer of admission. If you have questions about the process, please contact us by email ugrad@vcu.edu or by phone at (804) 828-1222.

After responding to our offer of admission, you may sign up for housing on their website by clicking here. Before beginning your application, you will need: your VCU student ID number (found on your certificate of Admission), your VCU eID and password, and a $250 non-refundable Housing deposit. You can pay online by using a credit or debit card or via check or money using the Prepayment form found here.  If you need to make a request to defer the deposit, please email vcuhousing@vcu.edu and include your name, student ID number, and the reason for your deferral request.

Once you have all the necessary documents, click here to begin your application. Living on-campus in our residence halls is a great experience that is strongly encouraged, but not required, of incoming freshmen. Please do not hesitate to contact the VCU Office of Residential Life and Housing by email at  vcuhousing@vcu.edu or by phone at (804) 828-7666 (ROOM) should you have any additional questions.

Need to report outside scholarships to VCU?

If you are receiving a scholarship or assistance from a non-university source don’t forget to have the sponsor notify the Student Accounting Department of your award. Notification should be submitted in writing on or before the beginning of the Fall 2015 semester at P.O. Box 843036, Richmond VA, 23284-3036.

Written notification must be on the organization’s official letterhead and must provide your name, your VCU ID number (found on the Certificate of Admission), the amount of the scholarship, and the semester for which the funds are to be applied. The scholarship must be unconditionally guaranteed. For more information, please contact Student Accounting by phone at (804) 828-2228 or by email at stuacctg@vcu.edu.

May 1 response deadline is this week!

If you were admitted to the university as a freshman for the fall 2014 semester by April 1, don’t forget that in order to hold your spot in our freshman class this fall, we need to hear from you by this Thursday, May 1, about your plans to join the VCU community. We hope you plan to say YES!

If you’ve recently sent in your Response Form or paid your tuition deposit online, you can find information about what’s next by going to our accepted student website at www.ugradaccepted.vcu.edu.

To our recently admitted freshmen, we’re looking forward to having you as a part of the VCU family this fall and hope to hear from you by Thursday, May 1, that you’re saying yes to VCU!