Category Archives: New Student & Family Programs Events

Congrats to the Beyond Orientation Fall 2017 Class!

Congratulations to all of our Fall 2017 Beyond Orientation participants! It has been such a pleasure to see you all in class each week or posting in the discussions after each class. We hope you learned a lot from our many presenters and from each other. Don’t forget to stay in touch with each other and with New Student and Family Programs as your student continues their journey at VCU!

Course Registration Reminder

Class registration for spring semester is now open to all currently enrolled VCU students. Be sure to talk to your student about their class schedule and encourage them to make an appointment with their advisor if they are considering any changes.

The winter intersession class schedule is available online, visit the intersession webpage for more information. Intersession classes are listed with the Spring schedule and have section numbers beginning with “V.”

Final Exam Schedule

Final exams began on Monday, Dec. 11 and go through Dec. 17. Below is the schedule of exams, for more information about exam schedule inquires and the evening class exam schedule, visit the Registrar’s final exam page.

For classes that meet 7 – 9:40 p.m. (MTWRF) or on Saturday or Sunday, the final exam will take place during the scheduled class period in regular meeting rooms during the week of December 11 – 17.

For off-campus classes and classes that are not listed, contact the instructor.

Transportation Updates for Winter Break

Transportation Options for Winter Break

Does your student need transportation to the airport, bus terminal or train station to get home for the holidays? RamAway provides free transportation during most University holidays and semester breaks to and/or from the Richmond International Airport, Greyhound Bus Station and Amtrak at Main Street Station and Staples Mill Road.

For more information visit the RamAway webpage.

Winter Break Transit Impacts

Parking and transportation has provided the following information for impacts to parking and transit service during the 2017-18 winter break:

Campus Connector Service schedule:  

Saturday, Dec. 16 and Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017 No service
Monday, Dec. 18 and Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 Normal service
Wednesday, Dec. 20 through Friday, Dec. 22, 2017 7am to 7pm
Saturday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Dec. 25, 2017 No service

Alternate parking: On Dec. 25, One Cap Square Deck, W Deck, K Deck, Coliseum Deck, RTD Deck, and PA Deck employee subscribers may park in the D Deck or Eighth Street Deck

Tuesday, Dec. 26 through Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 7am to 7pm
Saturday, Dec. 30 through Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 No service

Alternate parking: On Jan. 1, One Cap Square Deck, W Deck, K Deck, Coliseum Deck, RTD Deck, and PA Deck employee subscribers may park in the D Deck or Eighth Street Deck

Tuesday, Jan. 2 through Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 7am to 7pm
Saturday, Jan. 6 and Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 No service
Monday, Jan. 8 through Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 7 am to 7 pm

The Campus Connector resumes its normal service beginning on Saturday, January 13, 2018.



RamSafe will operate on its normal schedule (5 pm to 8 am) throughout the winter break, with the exception of Saturday, December 23 through Monday, December 25. On these days, RamSafe will operate from 5 pm to 1 am.

Motorist Assistance:

Please note, our customer service offices will be closed from December 21, 2017, until January 2, 2018, in observance of VCU’s winter closing.  In the event you need emergency parking assistance during this time, please contact the Enforcement Supervisor on duty at 804-971-0450.  

In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns regarding impacts to parking and/or transit service, feel free to contact customer service at 828-PARK (7275).

Winter Break Closing

The university is closed for Winter Break (except for Intersession classes) from Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 to Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. Campus offices will re-open on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018.

The Parent and Family Helpline (804-828-7322) will operate on limited hours from Dec. 27, 2017 through Jan. 2, 2018 and will be available from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Normal helpline hours will resume on Jan. 3, 2018.

Winter Intersession classes begin on Dec. 27, 2017 and continue until Jan. 9, 2018.

The university will close on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and spring classes begin on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018.

Important information students living on campus:

Nine-month residence halls will be closed during these breaks, including: Brandt, Cabaniss, Cary and Belvidere, Gladding Residence Center III, the Honors College, Johnson, and Rhoads.

All nine-month (first-year) residents living in Ackell, Grace & Broad, and West Grace South, will also need to leave their buildings during these breaks at the time listed below.

  • Nine-month residence halls close on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, at 10 a.m.
  • These halls will re-open for spring semester on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, at 10 a.m.

Please visit the Housing website or contact Residential Life and Housing for more information.

Residential Life and Housing Contact Information


Phone: (804) 828-7666

Care Packages for Final Exams

During final exam season, New Student and Family Programs offers final exam care packages for any current students at VCU. Families can order these care packages through our partner’s, OCM (Our Campus Market) Care Package Final Exam websiteThese care packages can be just the treat your student needs to help relieve some stress before finals!

When ordered, final exam care packages will be delivered to the New Student and Family Programs office located in Hibbs Hall, Suite 201. We will notify students via email and text when the packages arrive and all care packages must be picked up by the last day of finals on Tuesday, Dec. 19.

For more information, visit the New Student and Family Programs Care Package page.

On-Campus Housing Application

If your student is expecting to live in on-campus housing for the 2018-2019 school year, they will need to apply for housing through the housing portal early in the spring semester. To access this portal, visit the VCU Housing website and click on application. This will lead you to the application that students may update and submit for the upcoming school year. Students are then entered into a lottery system where they are given a number that indicates the order in which they will be able to select a room for housing next year.

For more information, visit the Housing Application webpage, Then  scroll all the way to the bottom to review FAQs for returning students and the application process.

Preparing for Final Exams

Final exams for students are quickly approaching as we near December. Finals can be a stressful time for students. You can find the final exam schedule on the  Exam times are determined by the student’s class time.

Here are some tips to share with your student to prepare for next month:

Take advantage of VCU’s academic resources.

If your student is facing some challenges with certain class topics, now is a great time to stop by the Campus Learning Center (CLC), located on the first floor of Hibbs Hall. The CLC offers drop-in tutoring, Supplemental Instruction (SI) sessions for certain classes and academic coaching. It’s best to visit now, the CLC gets very busy as finals approach.

If your student has a paper to write, they can also stop by the Writing Center on the fourth floor of the Academic Learning Commons (MCALC) for assistance at any stage of the writing process. Students can make appointments or drop in. 

Mark your calendar.

Visual reminders can be a great way to stay on task and manage time. Have your student pick up or print out a calendar and mark all due dates of big projects and finals. This can help them plan times to set aside for studying and working on projects.

Meet with professors during office hours.

Each professor will have office hours set aside to meet with students about concerns they might have with class. Now is a great time for students to set up a meeting to get clarifying questions on the material that has already been covered. This way, moving forward, your student will feel confident with the material already learned.

L.E.A.R.N. to manage stress.

The end of the semester and final exams can be one of the most stressful times for your students, especially if this is their first semester. VCU’s The Well offers many resources to assist students in better managing stress. One of these resources promotes an emotionally-focused strategy to manage your own response to stresses that are beyond our control. This method emphasizes:

L- Laughter

E- Exercise

A- Attitude

R- Rest/Relaxation

N- Nutrition

Check in with your students and make sure that they are making time to sleep, exercise or move around, and scheduling time for relaxation amid the busy finals season. To find out more, check out this fact sheet from University Student Health Services.

Highlights from Family Weekend 2017

We would like to extend a big THANK YOU to all the family members who joined us for this year’s Family Weekend on Nov. 3-5. We had a blast and we hope you did too! Here are a few highlights from this year’s event.

  • More than 700 families and 2200 people attended;
  • The Family Weekend 5K Fun Run/Walk raised over $940 for RamPantry,  which exists to address food insecurity by providing in-need VCU students with healthy, culturally appropriate, emergency food;
  • Families and students cheered on the VCU Men’s Basketball team, who brought home a win from this year’s annual exhibition game versus Virginia Union University;
  • Congratulations to the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., for winning this year’s Fall Block Step Show, which took place during Family Weekend!

Take the Family Weekend survey

Whether or not you attended Family Weekend, we ask that  you complete the Family Weekend survey to let us know how the event went or why you chose not to attend this year. Your feedback is critical for us to make improvements to Family Weekend in the future. Click here to complete the survey.

A snapshot of what you all had to say about your time here:

“Event was very well organized. You can tell a lot of time and effort went into this event.”
“Faculty and staff were welcoming and offered great suggestions for activities through the weekend.”
“My favorite part of the weekend was seeing my husband who graduated from VCU and my son show each other the sites.”
“We loved being able to see the building where our daughter has classes. We also went to the bookstore for our discount on VCU gear and to the Cary Street Gym, which was wonderful.”
“We loved all of the free activities and public art at InLight Richmond!”
We’re excited to begin planning for next year’s Family Weekend, we hope you’ll join us again!


Winter Breaks: Thanksgiving and Winter Holiday

The university is closing for the Thanksgiving holiday beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 22 at noon through Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017. The university will reopen on Monday, Nov. 27.

The university is closing for Winter Break from Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 through Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. The university will reopen on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. Spring term classes begin on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. Please see important information below if your student is living on campus.

Residence Hall Closings and Openings

Nine-month residence halls will be closed during these breaks. These halls include: Johnson, Rhoads, Brandt, Honors College, Cabiness, and Gladding Residence Center. All nine-month residents living in West Grace South, Grace & Broad, Cary & Belvidere, and Ackell will also need to leave their buildings during these breaks.

These closing times will be:

  • Thanksgiving holiday: Nine-month residence halls close on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, at 1 p.m. and reopen on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, at 10 a.m.
  • Winter Break: Nine-month residence halls close on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, at 10 a.m. and reopen for returning students on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, at 10 a.m.