Parents and families
Your student’s time at Virginia Commonwealth University will be a unique journey full of change, growth, challenges and accomplishments big and small.
We value parents and families as partners as we work together to support our students, particularly as the world copes with COVID-19.
Rest assured that students’ well-being is our top priority and decisions on returning to campus are being guided by CDC, state and VCU Health guidance. We are #OneVCU and one big Ram family.
You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.
VCU may be a big place, but it’s far from nameless and faceless. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, call our Parent and Family Helpline at (804) 828-7322, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our New Student and Family Programs website.
There’s no one type of student here, and VCU prides itself on its warm and welcoming environment. Combine that with the wide array of academic programs, hundreds of student organizations and countless opportunities to get real-world experience, and you have a place where students can be themselves or figure out who they want to be.
With its urban setting in one of the South’s coolest cities, VCU’s campus is an exciting place to be. Classes, gyms, shops, restaurants, museums, parks, music venues. They’re all within a few blocks. Security is important in our urban environment, and VCU’s nationally recognized police department is one of the largest university forces in the country.
Get out your day planner, set up a reminder on your phone or tie a string around your finger. You’ll want to mark down important dates and deadlines — plus check out VCU events you or your student may be interested in attending.
Undergraduate tuition and fees for 2019-20 are $14,596 (in state) and $35,904 (out of state). A college education is an investment — one of the best you can make. But we know it’s a big financial step. That’s why we provide resources to help make college affordable.
We encourage parents and families to take an active role in the university and to partner with us in fostering student success. Attending the parent and family program during New Student Orientation is a great first step and participating in “Beyond Orientation,” our online class for parents of first-year students, will build your network of faculty, administrators and other parents and family members. We also recommend following our Parent and Family blog, which will help you stay connected to the VCU community, and signing up for our monthly Ram Family Update newsletter.
Parent and family
VCU is committed to an in-person fall semester as long as it is safe to do so. Classes will begin Aug. 17 and will be a mix of in-person, in-person blended learning and exclusively online course offerings. They will end Nov. 24, and final exams will be conducted remotely after the Thanksgiving holiday. (Note that health sciences and other students may be returning to campus after Thanksgiving to resume their clinical placements and similar activities to which they are committed.) VCU will provide resources to students to support their learning, health, safety and well-being. For more details and updates, visit together.vcu.edu.
Orientation will take place online this summer. More information is available on the New Students and Family Programs website.
VCU is committed to providing a safe and secure learning, living and working environment, and its award-winning police department is one of the largest university forces in the U.S. Students and their families are encouraged to learn more about VCU’s safety, preparedness and wellness programs and to use tools such as VCU Alert and the LiveSafe app to stay informed and take an active role in campus safety.
VCU offers a wide range of on-campus residence options, including theme floors and residence halls. The university is nestled among several historic residential neighborhoods with plenty of apartments for rent within walking distance of campus, and Off Campus Student Services can assist students with their housing search.
RamBucks are prepaid dollars stored in an account that is part of a VCU student’s ID card. They can be used to make purchases on and off campus at participating retailers and also to pay for things like Pay4Print services on campus. You can make deposits to RamBucks accounts online, at a VCUCard office or at one of several other locations on campus.
VCU provides parking for more than 7,000 students each semester; however, residential freshmen are not allowed to have cars. All other students can purchase parking permits for on-campus or off-campus lots on a per-semester basis. Bikes are another preferred method of transportation, and VCU provides more than 200 spots to park your wheels. And because of VCU’s convenient location, most students who live in residence halls don’t bring their cars to campus at all.
University Counseling Services offers comprehensive psychological services. UCS creates an environment that fosters student growth, development and psychological well-being through direct clinical service, education and prevention. In addition, VCU is a JED Campus. The JED Campus program is designed to identify opportunities to enhance emotional health as well as substance abuse and suicide prevention efforts on campus in order to ensure that schools have the strongest possible mental health safety nets.
VCU’s Office of Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity works to help create a learning environment in which all students have equal access to the university’s programs, services and activities. Students with disabilities are responsible for self-identification prior to requesting services and can present documentation to their campus coordinator.
VCU has joined a statewide effort to combat sexual violence on university campuses and has also established the Office of Equity and Access Services that further strengthens our Title IX compliance and educational efforts. Students are required to take online training to learn about sexual violence, bystander intervention and risk-reduction strategies. They are encouraged to be familiar with VCU’s policy on sexual misconduct/violence and sex/gender discrimination. Additional resources are available at equity.vcu.edu/titleix.
A wide range of extracurricular organizations exist at VCU. Student Leadership and Engagement helps students find information about existing organizations and how to form new ones.
Career Services provides support for students and recent alumni in the career development process. The office offers career counseling, a resource library and employment assistance, including help building a resume, searching for jobs, pursuing internships and arranging interviews.
A number of retailers in the Richmond area and beyond stock VCU-related gear such as shirts, hats and memorabilia. The official on-campus location for VCU gear is the Barnes and Noble @ VCU official bookstore.
Bane Woodacre, M. E., and Bane, S. (2006). I’ll Miss You Too. An Off-to-College Guide for Parents and Students. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.
Coburn, K. L., and Treeger, M. L. (2009). Letting Go: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years. 5th ed. New York: Harper.
Delahunty, J. (2010). I’m Going to College — Not You! Surviving the College Search with Your Child. New York: St. Martin’s.
Hofer, B. K. and Moore, A.S. (2010). The iConnected Parent: Staying Close to Your Kids in College (and Beyond) While Letting Them Grow Up. New York: Simon & Schuster.
From the Writing Center to tutoring sessions, I’ve always felt like VCU wants me to excel in everything I do. And my teachers have all been willing to set aside time to help me.
Jasmine Renea Williams
Class of 2019