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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.
From the Desk of Dean Wild
Dear Parents and Families:
As we approach the end of the fall semester, I want to share some reflections about what many Washington University students are experiencing. The end of the semester means a lot of change. Many students are looking forward to going home and having time to rest and relax with you and their friends from home. Some are also experiencing stress and increased work as they wrap up their course assignments and prepare for final exams.
Your students will soon be returning home. Winter break is not only a great time to catch up with your student and to hear about their fall semester, it is also the perfect time to discuss future plans for the upcoming year. Here are some things to consider as we approach the end of the semester and Winter Break:
  1. As I mentioned, the end to the first semester can be a busy, and sometimes, stressful time for many students. Stress is normal. We offer several ways to help students cope with this stress including counseling services at the Habif Health & Wellness Center, a brief drop-in mental health and counseling service (Let's Talk), and an interactive therapy program (TAO). These services and events are free and available to all WashU students.
  2. We also try to encourage our students to sleep, exercise and eat healthy foods as they approach their final exams. You can help us encourage these good habits too.
  3. Ask about your students' final exam schedule. Some faculty will hold final exams during the last week of classes, the week of December 3-7 this year. For most courses however, final exams begin on Wednesday, December 12th and end on Wednesday, December 19th. The days between the last day of class on December 7th and final exams are called "reading days," where students are given the chance to study before finals begin. Depending on their classes, some students may have all of their final exams within a couple days while others may have a more spread out schedule. Please encourage your student to use their time wisely in preparing for exams. Most libraries on campus are open extended hours during this period so students have a place to study outside their residence hall.
  4. If your student is returning home for winter break, I am sure you all will have many questions and topics that you would like to discuss. Invite them to share not only what they learned in the classroom, but also their social experiences, extracurricular activities, or any other interests that they might have found. Encourage your student to reflect on their first semester to think about what they felt they did well, what they can improve, what they would like to explore more, and engage in discussing what steps they need to take in order to do so.
  5. This is a great time to discuss post-graduation plans. The Career Center offers several resources, such as interview prep and resume review, as well as tips on applying to various graduate programs or what to do during a gap year. They also provide a wide alumni network, which your students can use to connect with WashU graduates in their prospective field. Keep in mind that in order to graduate in May, seniors must complete their intent to graduate, which can be found on WebSTAC, by December 20th. Commencement ceremonies and receptions begin as early as Tuesday, May 14, 2019. The university-wide Commencement ceremony is Friday, May 17, 2019.
Please let us know if you have questions. I read all my emails, so if you have a question you'd like to ask me, please don't hesitate to write me directly at
Robert (Rob) M. Wild
Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
December and May Graduations

December Recognition Ceremony | Saturday, December 8, 2018 (8-10am) | Field House

Graduates, families, and guests will gather to celebrate the accomplishments of students graduating this December. Share in the excitement using the hashtag #WashU18 on social media and hear remarks by Dr. James C. Carrington, President of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, via livestream. Don't forget to download our WashUevents app and select the Chancellor's Recognition Ceremony guide for information on the go!


Commencement - May 14-17, 2019

The 158th Commencement is right around the corner. Sign up for updates on the commencement website.
Parents, It's Not Too Early to Celebrate Commencement
Celebrate your WashU senior with a commemorative brick permanently installed around the Hourani Clock Tower on the South 40. Bricks can be inscribed with your student's name and class year in addition to personalized information such as their sorority/fraternity, sport, or school.

To ensure installation prior to Commencement 2019, don't delay in ordering your brick today or before February 15th.

Please call Parent Programs at (800) 247-8517 or email with any questions.
Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS)
International Students should get I-20 signed by OISS before travelling abroad.
If your international student is planning to travel outside the U.S. over break, they should have their I-20 signed for travel prior to leaving to avoid delays with Customs and Border Patrol upon re-entry to the U.S.  I-20's can be dropped off for signature at OISS and picked up after three business days. Also, at the end of the semester there are several days when students can get their I-20 signed while they wait: November 30 and December 7 and 14 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at OISS offices at Stix International House; and December 7 and 14 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. on the South 40 at Residential Life. More information on travel abroad can be found on the OISS Website.

Parent Payment Options - Application Deadlines Approaching!
Partners in Education with Parents Program

It's not too late to consider the payment options available to you in the Financial Information for Parents & Families brochure. Our flagship program, Partners in Education with Parents (PEP), gives families several options to cover tuition, activity fee, housing costs, and meal plan. 

Using the PEP Multiyear Option, you may borrow what you need for your student's remaining years at WashU, prepay all remaining years, or combine these two options. If you choose a Multiyear Option, a portion of your charges will be frozen at this year's cost. For this reason, applications for the 2018-2019 academic year Multiyear, Combination, and Prepay Options will not be accepted after November 30, 2018.

You may also borrow what you need for only this year using the PEP Annual Option. Online applications for the PEP Annual Option will be accepted throughout the month of January 2019. If you choose to enroll in the interest-free Installment Payment Plan to pay tuition and fees over equal monthly payments, the spring semester payment plan is available in WebSTAC. To make five equal monthly payments, enroll by December 25.  

The spring semester billing statement will be available beginning December 1, with a due date of January 22, 2019. 

Learn more about each of these payment options and consider your options on  our website.
WIN (WashU Parents Internship Network)
The Career Center provides a network of support and resources for undergraduate students in each class year. Encourage your student to attend one of the many workshops offered this fall, or sign up to participate in a Road Show. To find out more, visit  our website .
Join the WashU Parents Internship Network (WIN) WIN is a collaborative effort between current and former parents and the WashU Career Center to source paid internships across a range of highly desired industries and professions. 
For information on how to post a position, a list of target organizations and more, please visit the    WIN website or contact the Director of External Relations, Jim Beirne, at 314-935-5956 or .
2019 LeaderShape Institute
The LeaderShape Institute is a 4-day immersive leadership experience designed to prompt critical self-reflection among its participants, help students develop necessary leadership skills, and provides a supportive environment allowing students to develop an action plan for implementing a vision for their time in college, an organization or cause they are passionate about, or their future career.

This year's Institute will be taking place May 10th - May 13th, 2019 at Toddhall Retreat Center. The experience will occur after finals and immediately before Spring Commencement. This experience is FREE FOR ALL WASHU STUDENTS!

The application for this experience will become available in the Spring semester. If you are interested in learning more about the 2019 Institute, you may email Jesús Meléndez, Program Coordinator for Leadership Development in Campus Life at or by visiting LeaderShape's website.
Winter Break Housing: Register Today!
Seeing your student over Thanksgiving Break? Talk about Winter Housing in Residential Life.

If your student is wanting or needing to stay in their housing during the Winter Break (at any point between Thursday, December 20th at 5:00 PM and Friday, January 11th at 8:30 AM) Residential Life provides a Winter Break Housing option. There is no cost associated with staying with us over the break. Please note, there will be very limited resources over the break.

Students must officially register by the December 14th deadline to be able to stay over Winter Break. Registering is important to insure your student has access to their space over the break. Students have been asked to log onto their WashU Housing Portal and fill out the Winter Housing Form to indicate their length of stay.

You can read more about Winter Housing on the Residential Life Website.
Flu Shots
Record number given
The Habif Health and Wellness Center has given a record number of free flu shots to students as of November 14th. This semester we have given 2,115 shots in the Center and at seven events throughout campus in high-traffic areas including the Sumers Recreation Center, the DUC, the Gargoyle, and the Bear's Den. Please encourage students who have not yet received the shot to get one at home over Thanksgiving or to make an appointment.
Parents' Perspective/Student Health 101
Discuss Articles with Your Students
Stay informed on college health topics and learn how to be the best Student Advocate by reading the Parent Perspective on the Student Health 101 website.

Stress-Free Zone
Olin Library Teams with Habif Health and Wellness Center before Finals
Send your students to the Stress-Free Zone! They will enjoy a well-deserved break featuring the FREE Stressbusters backrubs, snacks, care packages, journals, and more at wellness stations led by Peer Health Educators on Sunday 12/9, 1-3 p.m. in Olin Library.

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 |