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Get to Know the First Year Center
The First Year Center supports new students through their transition into the community of Washington University in St. Louis to assure that they build and sustain their academic and personal goals. The center brings together people, programs and resources to provide an undergraduate experience of exceptional quality where all students are known by name and story and where they prepare themselves for lives of purpose and meaning. Bear Beginnings: New Student Orientation, Parent & Family Weekend, and a host of other programs for students throughout the year are run out of the First Year Center.

Please visit the First Year Center websiteAlso, please feel free to contact us at or 314.935.5040.
July 2019 - In This Issue:
From the Desk of Dean Wild 
Dear parents and families:
We continue to prepare for the arrival of our new students to campus in a few short weeks. I hope the communication you and your student have received from us has been helpful in planning for your arrival to campus next month.
August move-in is my favorite time of year at WashU. There is much excitement as we meet and welcome our new students to their new home. I know, too, for you, this can be a time of a little anxiety - particularly if this is the first time you have sent a student away to college.
Many of my colleagues will be sharing advice with you over the coming weeks. I wanted to share a few things you should be talking with your students about in July.
  1. Familiarize yourselves with the many resources available on campus. Almost all of these are outlined in your copy of Bear Facts which your student should have received in the mail from us a few weeks ago. All of our many programs and services will be on full display when you come for Bear Beginnings in August, but now is the time to familiarize with those campus resources that are most important to you and your student in their transition to WashU.
  2. Make sure your student is in communication with their roommate or roommates. All students have received their housing assignments and roommate information. This is a good time to coordinate who will be bringing what items to their rooms. A suggested list of items to bring (and what NOT to bring!) is available in the packing list that you can find on the First Year Center website.
  3. Encourage your student to complete all the items found in the June & July Before You Arrive Checklists. Your student should have received postcards in the mail from us earlier this summer but a digital version can also be found on our website.
  4. Talk with your student about how you want to communicate with them when they are away at school. I know it is crazy to suggest making a plan when you all have easy access to Facetime or Skype, texting, and email, but sometimes we find it is helpful to discuss expectations in advance of your arrival to campus. You may think your student will call home every day when they are instead just planning to send you an occasional text message!
Please let us know if you have questions. I read all my email, so if you have a question you'd like to ask me, please don't hesitate to write to me at
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Robert (Rob) M. Wild
Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Transition and Engagement & Dean of Students
What To Expect This Month
Your student will be receiving the following item in the mail from us this month:

  • This checklist will contain key information that should be completed in July (e.g. registering for classes, signing up for a U-Pass, etc.).  
You will also be receiving information from us in the mail this month: 


1.) Welcome Letter from Dr. Lori White, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Family Webinar Series
This summer we are introducing the Family Webinar Series to get the Class of 2023 ready for the fall! We know you are integral to the success of your student, so we designed this webinar series around the questions we know you are, or will be, asking. We have a great lineup of webinars scheduled throughout this series to provide valuable information to help you prepare, so make sure to stay tuned!

A Conversation  with Housing & Dining 

Date: Monday, July 8th 
Time: 5:30 PM

Residential Life provides a robust on-campus living experience designed to facilitate community and learning for students during their time as a WashU student. Dining Services provides students multiple meal plan options and oversees various dining centers around campus to ensure students have the nutrition they need to succeed academically and personally. Will Andrews, Associate Director of Residential Life, and Greg Minner, Executive Director of Dining Services, will join us for a conversation on: 
  • Housing Assignments 
  • Residential Life Policies 
  • Meal Plan Options 
  • Nutrition on Campus 

A Conversation with Student Financial Services
Date: Wednesday, July 17 th
Time: 5:30 PM

Student Financial Services (SFS) provides support to students in multiple ways. SFS counselors are available to assist students with a financial emergency, a family financial crisis, or just with understanding how aid works. Students can also get assistance with finding on-campus jobs, how to navigate the WashU billing process, and with budget planning. Andrea Stewart-Douglas, Associate Director of Student & Family Engagement, will join Reggie Gacad, Assistant Director of the First Year Center, for a conversation on: 
  • Paying Your Student's Bill
  • Financial Assistance 
  • Student Employment 
  • Payment & Financing Options
A Conversation About Move-In Day & Bear Beginnings
Date: Thursday,  August 1st
Time: 5:30 PM

To learn more about this webinar, visit the Family Webinar Series section of our website. 

Parent & Family Orientation & Move-In Day
We're excited to welcome families to campus in August for   Bear Beginnings: New Student Fall Orientation! Please join us on Saturday, August 17th for Move-In Day and Convocation. Parent and Family Orientation: Fall Welcome is August 17-18, 2019.  Please complete our Parent & Family Orientation RSVP form if you plan on joining us on August 17th and 18th.  

Some families may choose to arrive in St. Louis on Friday night. Families can use that time to go shopping for any last minute supplies. You can find a list of nearby shopping options in our shopping guide (pdf). Families can also use this as an opportunity to have a meal at a local restaurant. We will have a local dining guide available on our website later in the summer. For families who are looking to participate in religious services, Chabad and Hillel will be hosting Shabbat Dinners. You can find out more information and RSVP to the dinners (later in the summer) at the Chabad website and Hillel website
Important Information from University Libraries
Consider using the University Libraries' Collections, Services, and Resources to Save Money on Textbooks - We can help! 
Your student may take 4-6 classes a semester, and depending upon the subject, they may have to purchase 20 books or more. 

The University Libraries have access to over  2 billion  print book titles through its catalogs, in addition to  2 million eBooks  in its collections. These books are  free  to access and borrow. While you may not find all of your student's textbooks, if you are able to get 50% of their books, you can save some money. 
Encourage your students to consider the following tips to minimize their costs for textbooks:
  1. Access University Libraries' Textbook Affordability Resource Guide to search for the books that you need. Make sure that all the information about the book matches the book required for the class, i.e. author, title, date, edition, publisher, ISBN, etc. It is important that the book is the exact book required by the instructor.
  2. Discover if your book is listed in the University Libraries' Course Reserves system.
  3. Request / recommend the library purchase a required book for a course. (Allow enough time so that the book is available when classes begin.)
  4. Ask a librarian for help!
Using the University Libraries collections, services, and resources will help your student to get textbooks at little or no cost. It is best to start this process at least a month in advance, prior to classes starting because it is important for your student to have their textbooks on the first day of classes. This will give your student a great start to their first year of college.
For additional information, visit the University Libraries online.  The University Libraries can help!
Important Information from Habif Health & Wellness Center
Welcome to WashU from Habif Health & Wellness Center! We are an AAAHC accredited, 
integrated health center offering medial, mental health, and health education and promotion services. As you prepare for your student's first year at Washington University, there are several health requirements that must be met. 

Your student will need: 
  • 2 MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) immunizations 
    after the age of 12 months. 
  • Meningitis immunization 
    after the age of 16 years (if they received the meningitis vaccine before the age of 16, a booster dose is required after age 16 to protect them throughout their four years here). The Meningitis B vaccine is not required, but we recommend it.  
  • A tuberculosis test (PPD skin test or blood test such as T-spot or Quantiferon gold) in the past six months for students at high risk of tuberculosis. High risk for tuberculosis includes: foreign born from a high-prevalence country; or travel for more than two months to a high-prevalence country.
    • Your student can send this information to us by logging into the Patient Portal through the Habif Health and Wellness Website, using their WUSTL Key. A Health Information Form is also required to be filled out on the patient portal.
    • Please gather the information needed prior to logging in, this will make the task quick and easy. 
  • Students are required to have health insurance. All students are enrolled in the student health insurance plan through United Health Student Resources. To waive this insurance, your family insurance must meet certain criteria found on our website
    . The waiver process will open on July 1, 2019.
Mental Health Services 
  • Mental Health Services (MHS) strives to provide short-term treatment in order to facilitate adjustment, improve functioning, achieve resolution of problems, and address acute symptoms impairing personal functioning as soon as possible. More information can be found on the MHS website
  • If your student needs help transferring their mental health care outside of what can be provided at Habif Health and Wellness, our Care Manager is available to assist them. We encourage your student to reach out now to begin this process. They can call (314) 935-6695 or send an email to 
More information can also be found on the 

First Year Center | Washington University in St. Louis
Umrath House, lower level, suite 0925 | One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1136 | St. Louis, MO 63130 | Office: 314.935.5040 | Fax: 314.935.8516 |