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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 can also be a great time to start discussing plans for the spring semester and beyond. With the spring semester, many new involvement opportunities become available for first year students. Sorority and fraternity recruitment begins early in the spring semester. The application and selection process for various student leadership positions (such as WUSA and FOX Leaders) takes place. For those who are interested in exploring new involvement opportunities, the spring Activities Fair will be a great resource. Although summer might seem far away, it can also be beneficial to start thinking about summer plans. The Career Center hosts an internship fair every spring and provides several resources online and during walk-in hours to help in your students' search.
  6. At Washington University, we guarantee housing to students during all four years.       We have many great housing options for returning students both on campus and near campus that are offered through the Office of Residential Life. After their first year, most students choose to live together with friends, although we have many students each year who decide they want to go through the returning student process by themselves. This process is a lottery process, and it begins early in the spring semester. Information can be found through Residential Life. We encourage you to discuss housing options with your student when they are home with you over Winter Break.
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
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.
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 here.
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.
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 the  Career Center 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
Residential Life Housing Selection 2019 is here!
The 2019-2020 Housing Application and Room Selection Process for our Continuing Students will launch on February 1st, 2019.

The first step for Housing Selection 2019 is to APPLY! In order to participate in Housing Selection, students must fill out their Housing Application via their WashU Housing Portal that can be found on WebStac. They have from February 1 to February 8 to complete this application.

As a reminder, we guarantee housing to all students who are continuing to live with us. Any application resent after the deadline will not be eligible to participate in group or room selection.

You can read more about the process by visiting the Residential Life Website.
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.
Parent Volunteers Needed for APAP Interview Days
In December and January, Alumni and Parents Admission Program (APAP) volunteers conduct over 50 alumni Interview Days in major cities around the country for prospective WashU students. Parents often attend these events with their high school students, and we need APAP parent members to mingle and help answer their questions about WashU while they wait for their student's interview to be completed by an APAP alumni member. Parent volunteers can also help the alumni site leaders of these events with greeting students and parents, check-in tasks, and other event logistics. Visit the APAP website to learn more and become a member.
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.

Summer 2019 Abroad Opportunities
The Olin BSBA office offers two unique summer opportunities. Both programs are open to students interested in exploring global themes and enhancing their ability to work in teams in transcultural settings.

Israel Summer Business Academy (ISBA): Students learn about Israeli entrepreneurship, innovation, and non-profit consulting through coursework, speakers, company visits, and actual non-profit consulting. Students learn about a different side of business within a country that has built itself around entrepreneurship. Open to students from all academic disciplines. 
Entrepreneurship and Startups in the EU: Explore two unique European business environments: Spain, impacted by the 2008 recession and on the road to recovery; and Bosnia and Herzegovina, a transition economy, emerging market and applicant country to join the EU. Students consider the entrepreneurial environment in each country and associated challenges/opportunities linked to EU membership. Students meet local entrepreneurs and work closely with a local startup on a consulting project. 
It's not too early to plan for Summer School
Thanksgiving break is a great time to start talking with your student about plans for summer 2019.
The WashU Summer School offers hundreds of courses over four sessions. Summer study enables students to take a full year of lab sciences in ten weeks, get a head start on a major, or fulfill general graduation requirements in an efficient way. Class size is small and students benefit from close interactions with their instructors and peers.
Visit the Summer School website   to learn more. Courses will be available to browse after January 22nd; registration for summer will open March 27th.
Joining Fraternity/Sorority Life at WashU
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 |