On-campus Housing

If your student is interested in living on campus next year, the housing application is now open for the Fall 2017- Spring 2018 academic year and is due to be submitted to housing by Friday, Feb. 10 at noon.

Submitting an application for housing, however, does not guarantee a space on campus. Students who submit an application by the deadline will be placed into a lottery system with rising sophomores receiving first priority. Students can submit their housing application here.

Lottery numbers will be sent out to students on Monday, Mar. 13. Students will be able to select their locations as well as roommates at particular times, corresponding to their class standing. Rising sophomores will be able to make their selections between MondayMar. 13 and Friday, Mar. 17. Rising juniors and seniors will be able to make their selections beginning Friday, Mar. 17.

Same Room Sign-Up

For students hoping to stay in the room that they currently reside in, “same room sign-up” is available for residents living in Ackell Residence Center, Broad & Belvidere, Grace and Broad, as well as those living in ASPiRE, Globe, LEAD and Innovate Living-Learning Communities. This process will begin Tuesday, Feb. 14. Students staying in their current residence may pull in roommates once their housing is confirmed, and this process begins Friday, Feb. 17.

Students currently residing in Gladding Residence Center will not be able to complete “same room sign-up” and should apply to be in the lottery process if they are hoping to stay on campus next year. Due to limited space on campus during construction and renovation of halls across campus, VCU cannot guarantee housing placement.

Living-Learning Communities

Students involved in Living-Learning Communities will be selecting rooms in the building where their program is housed. Each of the programs will provide specific details to their students about the process. These living learning communities include:

  • Grace and Broad 1 & 2: VCU LEAD or Innovate
  • West Grace North: VCU Globe
  • West Grace South: VCU ASPiRE

For more information and important dates and deadlines, check out the Residential Life and Housing website.

Summer Plans

Does your student have plans for this summer? Has he or she considered taking additional courses or testing out of one? Maybe traveling? An internship? These are all options Virginia Commonwealth University offers to its student body:

1.Take a course with Summer Studies

If your student is looking into taking classes over the summer, course options will be posted on Monday, Feb. 9 and registration begins Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 8 a.m. Students can find options for both online courses and courses here on campus. The first day of classes will be Monday, May 22. For additional information please visit: http://www.summer.vcu.edu/

2. Test out with CLEP

Students have the option to test out of taking certain courses with the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). These tests allow students to demonstrate their level of understanding for certain courses without having to take the class itself. VCU has a list of those courses that are eligible for this here.

For general information for CLEP and VCU visit http://clc.vcu.edu/campus-testing-center/clep/

3. Study Abroad

VCU offers a broad range of options available to students who wish to study abroad through the Global Education Office’s Education Abroad program. Students have the option of going on faculty-led programs as well as participating in an exchange program.  Students also have the option of paving their own way by creating their own study abroad experience. For more information on study abroad options visit http://www.global.vcu.edu/abroad/

Additionally, students may make appointments at the Global Education Office to learn more about making study abroad a possibility:
912 W. Grace St.
P.O. Box 843043
Richmond, Virginia 23284-3043

4. Internships

Students who are interested in an internship this summer can reach out to their departmental advisors to find out about opportunities within their field of study. VCU Career Services also can assist students with finding internships, creating and updating their resumes, and mock interview preparation. 

VCUHireRam is another great resource that potential employers take advantage of in order to make job postings available to VCU students. Students can search for available opportunities here with their VCU eID login.

Additionally, encourage your students to look into whether or not their department offers internship hours for course credit. This option could allow the student to receive both class credit and hands-on experience. Some academic departments require students to complete an internship in order to graduate. Summer is great time for students to complete internships and begin gaining practical work experience within an area they are interested in pursuing as a career.

Spring Break 2017

VCU’s Spring Break will take place for the MCV and Monroe Park campuses between on Sunday, Mar. 5 and Saturday, Mar. 12, 2017. Now is a good time to start planning for the upcoming break. Some residence halls close for the duration of spring break. Students in those residence halls will be notified via Residence Life and Housing about spring break closures.

Some options for transportation available are Amtrak, Richmond International Airport, the Greyhound Bus Station and Megabus. RamAway provides free transportation during most university holidays and semester breaks to and/or from the Richmond International Airport, the Greyhound Bus Station, and the Amtrak stations at Main Street Station and Staples Mill Road. Information about the dates that RamAway is available or how to reserve a spot can be found here. Reservations are required.

Students should use safety and caution when traveling. Whether it’s a short trip home or week-long travel, make sure your student is mindful of safety. Make sure your information is in your student’s phone as an emergency contact, whether he or she is traveling alone or with friends.  Your student can add “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) as a contact in his or her phone with the phone number of the person who should be contacted first. Remind your student to also physically write down important contacts in case he or she loses a phone while traveling. In addition to common tips like keeping track of all personal belongings while on public transportation, there are some great safety reminders to share with your student here.

Off-Campus Housing

VCU can assist students with finding off-campus housing through the Off-Campus Student Services website. On this site, students can look for available properties posted by local property managers, create a profile to find roommates, sublet their current apartment, and find resources for the housing search, signing a lease, budgeting and more.

Upcoming events for students moving off campus:

Off-Campus Student Services will host several events throughout the Spring semester for students who may be moving off campus for the summer or fall . These workshops cover many important topics including Renter’s Workshops, Budget Workshops, Roommate Mixers and more. For more details on times and locations of these events, please refer to the right-side panel on the Off-Campus Student Services website.

Some things to consider before signing a lease:

For many students, this may be their first time looking for a place of their own. It’s an exciting time to think about branching off independently, but it’s important for students to know what questions to ask before signing a lease. There are several standard questions listed below, but visit the Off-Campus Student Services Resource page for more in depth information on looking for preparing for the housing search, creating a budget, moving in and more.

Do I need a cosigner?

Landlords will require proof of income as an assurance that tenants will pay rent. This can sometimes be a challenge for students and a landlord might require a cosigner, when signing a lease. It’s important to talk to any landlord or leasing office about their cosigner policies.

What type of lease is it?

There are many types of leases. Some can be 3-months, 6-months, 9-months, a year or longer. If a student is planning to stay around the university during the summer months as well, it’s a good idea to make sure the lease extends through that time. Some places will offer individual leases, while others will offer joint leases. If there are multiple people on a lease, it’s important for students to recognize that they are all equally responsible for making sure the rent is paid on time.

What utilities/amenities do I really need?

Rent does not always include utilities.  The types of utilities included in the cost of rent varies on a place-by-place basis. Some rental agreements will cover water, sewer and trash in the cost of rent, but not electricity and internet/cable. Some will offer no utilities, while some rental properties include all utilities and additional amenities in the cost of rent.

Before you sign on the dotted line find out what’s included with rent and what you need. Will you need a parking spot for a car? Will you use a 24-hour access gym on site? Is there security in the building? If utilities are not included, is there an estimate for the total monthly costs?

What are the additional upfront costs?

Application fees, security deposits and pet deposits are some of the upfront fees students can expect when renting an apartment. Students should ask about the refund policy of security deposits. Can their application fee be applied to their deposit if they get accepted into the building? What would be cause for them not to get their security deposit back?


Job Search Boot Camp

On Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, VCU Career Services is hosting a job search boot camp for Dec. 2016 and May 2017 graduates. This one-day boot camp will prepare students to conduct a targeted job search. Participants will write a resume, develop an elevator pitch, practice interviewing, create a LinkedIn profile, and develop a list of targeted employers or positions for which to apply.
There is a $25 registration fee, which can be paid by check or credit card. All participants will receive lunch,  an interviewing padfolio and career resources. Scholarships available for those students with need (contact careers@vcu.edu for details). Registration is limited to 50 participants.
Reserve a seat at: https://goo.gl/z3TiF8.

Cold and Flu Season

The winter season can often lead to higher incidents of cold and flu for many of our students. Here are a few tips to share with your students to help keep them healthy during the winter months and some information about where they can go if they do get sick.

Flu Vaccines Available

It’s not too late for your student to get a FREE flu vaccine from University Health Services. They can get their vaccine during walk-in immunization hours or immediately following a scheduled medical visit. For more information on the flu vaccine and who should get vaccinated, click here.

Tips for Staying Well

Other than getting a flu vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also recommend several other steps that individuals can take to avoid becoming ill:

  • Avoid close contact with friends, roommates or others who may be sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes and nose.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

If Your Student Gets Sick

  • They should limit contact with others as much as possible.
  • If they are experiencing flu-like symptoms, the CDC recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after their fever has gone away. Note: All students should check their syllabus for their professor’s attendance policy and make sure to notify professors of an absence, if necessary. Some professors may require medical documentation from Health Services or another medical provider.
  • Students may go to University Health Services where they can see a healthcare provider. In some cases, providers may prescribe antiviral medications that can help alleviate symptoms. Students may schedule an appointment by calling VCU Student Health directly at 804-828-8828.
  • It can be tough to be away from home when you are sick, so care packages are always appreciated!

Below are some guides and treatment tips for the common cold and flu:

Common Cold- http://www.students.vcu.edu/media/student-affairs/ushs/docs/URI.pdf

Flu- http://www.students.vcu.edu/media/student-affairs/ushs/docs/Influenza.pdf

VCU ASPiRE: A Living-Learning Program

VCU ASPiRE is a living-learning program promoting community engagement through academic coursework and co-curricular experiences. The mission of VCU ASPiRE is to enrich and deepen students’ understanding of their capacity to create positive change in communities and address critical societal needs through long-term sustainable partnerships. The program has an interdisciplinary focus with emphasis on addressing the areas of accessible and affordable housing, community building, education and workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness.

Application Information
Online applications are accepted on a rolling basis and can be found at http://aspire.vcu.edu/apply/.

VCU INNOVATE: A Living-Learning Program

VCU INNOVATE is da Vinci Center’s living-learning program. The da Vinci Center is a unique educational program that brings students from across the university together to collaborate, problem solve and transform their ideas into new products and business ventures. Students learn to apply creativity in innovation and entrepreneurship through real life projects in ways that prepare them for the 21st century workforce. In addition, students accepted to Innovate get the opportunity to take part in high-impact extracurricular activities such as networking trips to startups and companies in other cities across the country. Students also engage with local entrepreneurs on how to successfully launch business ventures.

Application Information
For more information on the program, please visit http://www.davincicenter.vcu.edu/programs/vcu-innovate-living-learning-program/.