Advising and Registration

The fall 2018 schedule of classes for course listings and descriptions became available on Mar. 13, 2018. VCU encourages all students to make at least two advising appointments each semester with their designated academic advisor.

Ask your student if he or she has scheduled an appointment. If your student hasn’t scheduled an appointment yet and doesn’t know where to start, he or she can visit the Academic Advising website for instructions about how to meet with an advisor before class registration begins.

For undergraduate students, course registration for the fall semester begins for most students in April. Some students (e.g. athletes, honors students) may have access to early class registration. Students have an assigned registration date based on the number of credit hours they have earned, which they can look up in their eServices account. Once they know their earned credit hours, students can determine their registration date on the Records and Registration website.

VCU Celebrates Black History Month

Each year, VCU collaborates with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs to celebrate Black History month in February. Events have been underway across campus and the community and there are still many coming up towards the end of the month.

Upcoming events:

Stars from HBO’s ‘Insecure’

Two actors from the HBO series “Insecure” will speak at VCU on Tuesday, Feb. 27, from 7-8 p.m. in the Commonwealth Ballroom of University Student Commons.

Yvonne Orji, who plays Molly, and Jay Ellis, who plays Lawrence, will give keynote remarks. The event, which will be ticketed, is sponsored by the Activities Programming Board

Social series on health issues affecting African Americans

Throughout February, VCU Health will host a Black History Month series on Twitter and Facebook to address health issues that disproportionately affect African Americans. The series will focus on obesity, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Follow VCU Health on Twitter, @VCUHealth, and like its Facebook page to get more information about planned events, and read stories about patients who have made positive strides to regain their health.

On Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 2 p.m., VCU Health is hosting a Twitter chat on diabetes with Amber Spain, a VCU Health diabetes educator. As part of the chat, Spain will address the prevalence of diabetes in the African-American community, what causes it, and smart, practical ways to avoid developing the disease. The community is encouraged to follow the chat on Twitter and send questions for Spain to answer during the hour-long discussion.

A full list of events is posted at the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs’ calendar at https://omsa.vcu.edu/.

Making Plans for Summer

Does your student have plans for this summer? Have they 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

What’s YOUR student doing this summer? Encourage them to make this a summer for the books with VCU Summer Studies! Taking courses during the summer will help your student meet their academic needs on many levels such as getting ahead, catching up, or investigating new interests. They might also explore new topics and start working on a minor!

Course options are now available online and registration is open for all students. For additional information, please contact summer@vcu.edu.

  1. 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. Students can find a list of available CLEP exams and course equivalencies available at the Campus Learning Center website.

  1. 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. The office is located at 912 W. Grace St. 

  1. 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.

HireVCURams 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 by logging in to the HireVCURams page 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.

Division of Student Affairs Unveils New Online Magazine

Senior Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Charles Klink, Ph.D. would like to share with parents and families the inaugural Division of Student Affairs (DSA) magazine, Reveal. This magazine highlights some of the great initiatives from the DSA staff during the fall 2017 semester. This issue features stories from current VCU students and introduces new leadership positions across the division. Dr. Klink hopes that this magazine brings to light and reveal the essence of everything they do.

Spring Break

VCU’s Spring Break will take place for the MCV and Monroe Park campuses between Sunday, Mar. 4 and Saturday, Mar. 10, 2018. 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 on the transportation website. 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 at SafeSpringBreak.org.

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 a Housing Fair, 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.

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.

How much can I afford?

Students can use financial aid to pay for off campus expenses, however, they will only receive a refund if there is an excess in their financial aid award. For example, if a student’s award covers their VCU tuition and fees, they can then receive the excess in a refund and use it for rent and other living expenses. (For example, if a package is $20,000, the money would be split up into two payments, one for fall and one for the spring.  So they would get $10,000 a semester.  VCU would take out roughly $7,000 for tuition and fees and then give a deposit of $3,000 to the student).

Refunds are not disbursed by VCU until September and January, if all deadlines were met, thus they will need to plan ahead to cover their housing costs until the refund is deposited into their account.

Please note that if a package includes $2,000 for Work Study, that money you will have to earn by applying for and working at a Work Study job for 10+ hours a week throughout the year.

For more details, please contact Financial Aid at 804.828.6669 or http://finaid.vcu.edu/.

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 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?

Do I need a cosigner?

Landlords will require proof of income as an assurance that tenants will be able to pay their 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.

On-Campus Housing

For students who submitted an application for on campus housing for next year, below is a brief outline of the process students will follow to choose their roommates and rooms.

Submitting an application for housing, however, does not guarantee a space on campus. Students who submitted an application by the deadline were placed into a lottery system with rising sophomores receiving first priority. 

Lottery numbers will be sent out to students on Monday, Mar. 12. 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 Monday, Mar. 12 and Friday, Mar. 16. Rising juniors and seniors will be able to make their selections beginning Friday, Mar. 16.

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 began on Wednesday, Feb. 14. Students staying in their current residence may pull in roommates once their housing is confirmed, and this process began Monday, Feb. 19.

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: 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 or you may download the Returning Student Brochure.

 

Order the official VCU class ring

The official VCU ring is an enduring symbol of where you come from and what you have accomplished at VCU. The VCU ring symbolizes the university’s founding roots and stature as one of the nation’s top research universities. The official class ring is reserved exclusively for alumni and students who have junior standing or higher. Proceeds from official ring sales go to support scholarships for current students.

We invite you and your student to stop by the ring table outside of the P.O.D. market in the University Student Commons Tuesday, Jan. 23 through Thursday, Jan. 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to purchase and/or view the rings.

Any questions can be directed to Allison Toney, aktoney@vcu.edu or please visit www.balfour.com/vcu.

Important Dates for Spring 2018

Here are several important dates for students returning for the spring semester 2018:

  • Add/drop and late registration will take place from Jan. 16-24, 2018. UPDATE: The deadline for adding or dropping classes will be extended through Wednesday, Jan. 24.
  • Spring break will take place from March 4-11, 2018.
  • Last day to withdraw from a course with a mark of “W” on both campuses (except for courses not scheduled for the full semester) is Friday, Mar. 23, 2018.

Other important dates can be found on the academic calendar for spring 2018.