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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.

Provide any feedback you have here.
From the First Year Center
Supporting your student
Welcome to Washington University in St. Louis! Students have finished their third week of the semester and have had the opportunity to take classes, participate in First 40 activities, including First Day (pictured below) and the Fall Activities Fair, and get acquainted with life on campus. 

Involvement on Campus
First 40 at WashU is the University's 40-day welcome back schedule of fun, social, and educational programs which will help introduce your student to other students and to the campus. All events are organized into one of six tracks: academic, civic and community engagement, diversity and inclusion, health and wellness, social, and WashU traditions. Students keep track of their attendance at events and have the opportunity to win prizes for participating. Students can mark their calendars for their favorite events through WUGO, the Washington University Group Organizer. First 40 events are free and open to all undergraduates.

The Fall Activities Fair offered opportunities to engage with 350+ student organizations. Students can also attend a virtual activities fair anytime they'd like through the WUGO portal. All registered student groups are listed on the site

There are some organizations on campus closed to the general student population and students go through an application or selection process, such as an audition for a performance group, to be part of the group. There are many other groups and opportunities open to the entire student population. These open organizations typically offer general body meetings, open events such as speakers series, and other opportunities to get involved right away. We encourage students to consider joining an open student organization in their first semester to find an opportunity to get involved and discover a community of peers as well as explore other opportunities of interest.

Travel Plans
By this time, your first-year student will have finalized the class schedule for his or her first semester. Discuss class and exam schedules with your student and if you plan to make travel plans for Fall Break, Parent & Family Weekend, or Thanksgiving, now is a good time to finalize plans with your student. For information about planning for Fall Break and Parent & Family Weekend, visit

Academic Support
The college classroom may require a different approach or set of study skills than the methods your student used in high school. Students may also be managing their time in a different way than high school. For some students in large lecture classes, they have likely never been in a class with hundreds of other students before. Other classes are small and require a new level of preparation for full participation and engagement.

Click here to hear faculty members share how students can prepare themselves to succeed in this uniquely collegiate environment. 

For other tips and tricks for students in studying, time management, and more, visit the online resources from Cornerstone: The Learning Center.

Encourage your student to participate in Lunch by the Dozen if he or she receives an email invitation. Students in large, primarily first-year, lecture courses may be invited by email to sign up to have a free lunch with the participating faculty member and 11 other students.

We at the First Year Center are pleased to be your partner in launching your student into the WashU community. We want to hear from you if there is a serious family or personal matter that will affect your student or if you have questions in coaching your student to utilize the resources at WashU. We appreciate your help in encouraging your student to self-advocate and look forward to supporting both your student and your family in the transition to college.

Parent & Family Weekend
Registration for Parent & Family Weekend now open!

Parent & Family Weekend at Washington University in St. Louis is an opportunity for student and family members to reconnect on campus. Throughout the weekend, there will be a host of programs, tours, and events offered that highlight the Washington University experience. Most importantly, it is a time to spend time with your student and meet other Washington University family members.

Visit  to view the Parent & Family Weekend schedule of events, register for the weekend, and plan your visit to campus. We look forward to seeing you on campus October 26-28!

Campus events
Many of the ticketed tours are sold out. However, there are 50+ non-ticketed events families can attend, including faculty lectures, open houses, information sessions, as well as some ticketed and non-ticketed performances and free athletic events.  

Non-ticketed events may be found online at  the Parent & Family Weekend schedule of events. All events listed aside from those noted as ticketed events are open for parents and family members to attend conference-style. 

Edison Theatre tickets may be purchased online or by phone; current WashU student tickets are free for Edison Theatre productions and may be reserved online or by phone as well. For more information, please visit

The WashU Athletics events over Parent & Family Weekend are free to students and families. Cheer on the WashU Bears in volleyball and men's and women's soccer. For more information, please visit

Plan your visit

Associate Vice Chancellor and Director of the Career Center Mark Smith has shared his family favorites in St. Louis. Visit the Career Center's  St. Louis recommendations for great places to eat, areas of the city to explore, and family-friendly attractions. 

For additional information on accommodations and restaurants, visit

Family Discounts

Drury Hotels has special Parent & Family Weekend rates available for Washington University families. Stay with Drury Hotels for discounted rates from Thursday, October 25th through Sunday, October 28th. To reserve a hotel room within the special rate, reserve on or before Sunday, September 23rd. For more information, visit

Families can also find available discounts for Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Go Best Express airport shuttle on the First Year Center website

University Libraries
Stay Connected
Looking for ways to assist your student in using the Washington University Libraries? Stay connected by clicking here.

The portal offers information on research and tech workshops, study rooms, research guides in over 80 topics, technology available for checkout including DSLR cameras and portable projectors, and more!

Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS)
Unlawful Presence Policy Changes - How does this affect my international student?
Recently the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services changed policy related to Unlawful Presence in the U.S. Under the new policy, if a student violates their status, they may be accruing Unlawful Presence in the U.S. Potential violations include: unauthorized work, not graduating on time, expired or incorrect I-94 entry records, and failure to report authorized work on Optional Practical Training (OPT).
Maintaining visa status has always been important, but with the new rules it is even more important. We encourage students to attend upcoming workshops on these changes or contact their OISS advisor with any questions. 

For more information on the policy changes, please see the Office for International Students and Scholars  Visa Updates page .

Parent Payment Options Still Available!
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 only be accepted prior to 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, semester payment plans are available in WebSTAC. 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.

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 |