For Parents & Families

April 2017 Parent Newsletter - The newsletter is emailed several times each year with news and updates specific to undergraduate life at Brown.  Each newsletter is also posted on this website. See the section on Parent Communication for newsletter editions and information about parent email addresses.

ON THE SITE NOW: The Housing Lottery | Let's talk mental health | Commencement 2017 | Pre-registration for fall 2017 courses | Sophomores concentration deadline | Worried about your student?Year at a Glance | Verification of enrollment | First Generation College & Low-Income Student Center | Bear Bucks on line | Safety @ Brown

March & April is Housing Lottery

After their first year, students select on-campus housing through several phases of the Housing Selection process. Students may choose to join a Greek Letter Organization or a Program House, choose special interest housing, or be selected as a Residential Peer advisor and be assigned a room.  Students may also enter “the Lottery” to select a room – some enter individually to select a single room, others enter with a friend or group of friends to select housing together.

First-year students may be particularly stressed by Housing Selection.  Students may share their housing anxiety with you, needing someone off campus to listen.  Most students, after unloading their worst fears and bleakest scenarios about housing, proceed to make decisions and complete their forms feeling lighter -- because they have given away their fears to someone else.  Please encourage your student to take advantage of information sessions, veteran advice, and on-line Q/A, and to talk with their Community Director or a staff member in Residential Life for information and problem solving assistance.

Students must apply for and receive permission to live off campus. The off-campus permission process begins in September for the following year’s housing. Approximately 70-80% of seniors live off campus in a given year.  A small number of juniors (perhaps 10-15% of the class) may receive permission to live off campus based on the numbers of students and housing available in each year.

Let's Talk Program with CAPS

Let's Talk is a community based program to reach out to student populations that would not otherwise seek counseling services. Students and counselors engage in brief conversations regarding counseling services, community resources, simple problem solving and self-care. All students are welcome to speak with counselors this semester (Spring 2017) at a number of offices around campus. The Let's Talk schedule (at the Nelson Fitness Center, Sarah Doyle, FLi Center, BCSC) is on the CAPS website.

Commencement | May 26-28, 2017

For a complete schedule of events and other important information about the weekend, check Questions? Please contact the Office of University Event and Conference Services (

Academic advising for Pre-Registration

Pre-registration for Fall 2017 courses begins April 18. Students are expected to meet with their academic advisors in the weeks preceding the start of pre-registration to discuss course options and other advising topics.  Students in semesters 1, 2, and 3 must meet with their advisor to secure a PIN in order to register. Read more about academic advising for first-years, sophomores, transfers, juniors, and seniors.

Sophomores | Concentration deadline April 1

Students in semester 3 must have a concentration approved by their department before they may register for semester 4 courses.  Students work with their sophomore advisor and the advisors in their intended department to develop a plan that is filed and reviewed in ASK. Advisors for each concentration are listed in Focal Point (

How to help a student when you are worried

As a parent or family member of a Brown student, your relationship may mean you are one of the first to notice something  of concern, that a student is behaving differently or seems distressed.  You may have questions about how you can be helpful or how best  to connect with University response resources.  Helping a Student in Distress seeks to summarize and connect you with relevant resources and information.

Year at a Glance

Year-at-a-Glance is a one-page overview of the year with significant dates for easy reference. Full academic calendars are available on the Registrar's website.

Verification of Enrollment

Instructions for requesting proof of a student's enrollment--for insurance or other documentation purposes--are available from the Registrar's Office.

A welcoming space for first-generation and low-income students

Brown's new First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center opened in September in a recently renovated space on the 5th floor of the Sciences Library. Check out the First Generation College Students website for more information about the Center and other opportunities for your student to connect with First-Gen@Brown.

Bear Bucks | Add funds on-line

Once they have established a Bear Bucks account, students swipe their Brown ID to do laundry, print or make photocopies, make purchases from on-campus vending machines and at other campus locations that accept BearBucks.  On-line, credit card deposits to Bear Bucks are now possible through the GET portal. Family members may also add funds to a student's BearBucks account by going to and entering the student's Brown ID#, last name, and birth date to make a deposit. Students may still may still add funds by putting paper money into a Value Port machine on campus, depositing in person at the Cashier’s Office, or sending a check to the Cashier’s Office.

Safety at Brown

The Safety at Brown website provides summary information about safety-related services, tools, policies, and best practices that will help protect members of the Brown community.

This site is a joint effort of the offices of Campus Life, the Dean of the College, and the Parent Program in Advancement.