FYSOP 2020 Frequently Asked and Important Questions

Do not hesitate to email us (fysop@bu.edu) for more information.

Participating in FYSOP

    1. Is FYSOP happening? Yes, FYSOP is happening for our first-year students. This year, we are transitioning to a remote experience with virtual learning-service, reflection, educational content, and mentorship. FYSOP will be taking place from Monday August 10 to Friday August 14.
    2. Who is eligible to participate in FYSOP? All new undergraduate students are eligible to participate. This includes freshmen students, transfer students, international students, and College of General Studies freshmen.
    3. Are students in the College of General Studies (CGS) eligible to participate in FYSOP? Yes! Due to our transition to a remote experience, College of General Studies students are eligible to participate in programming this year.
    4. Are international students eligible to participate in FYSOP? Yes! All new undergraduate students will be able to tune into programming (live or recorded) from any place in the world.
    5. How many new students participate in FYSOP each year? Approximately 700 new students participate each year under the leadership of nearly 200 returning student leaders. 

FYSOP Registration

  1. Where do I register? Registration closed for the 2020 cycle on Monday August 10th at 4pm.
  2. Do I have to wait to attend Orientation to register for FYSOP? No! You may register as early as you’d like, though you certainly may wait until Orientation to learn more about the program.
  3. How much will FYSOP 2020 cost? The cost of FYSOP this year is $10. Costs are used for technological capacities, swag, and staffing for the week of FYSOP.
  4. Are scholarships available? Yes. $10 scholarships are available to students with demonstrated financial need. Please enter “Scholarship” in the discount code box. We will notify students of their scholarship award and remaining balance information on a rolling basis once the scholarship process begins.
  5. What if I cannot pay the deposit? Please email us at fysop@bu.edu and we will make financing work for you.
  6. Are program fees refundable? After August 10, 2020, program fees are non-refundable. Fees are used as we receive them to cover fixed costs that we often cannot cancel, including partner fees and technological costs.
  7. Will FYSOP sell out? We have historically been able to accommodate every first-year student who registers by the week before FYSOP.
  8. Can I use my 529 education account to pay for FYSOP? Please seek advice from your tax/financial advisor on this matter.
  9. Can I use grants or scholarships to pay for FYSOP? Boston University grants/scholarships or federal financial aid are not eligible for use as FYSOP payment. If you have an external scholarship, please consult the scholarship owner for eligibility.
  10. Do I apply for the program or just purchase a ticket to reserve a space? An application is required to participate in FYSOP. This allows us to better understand the motivations, interests, and experiences of our student applicants.
  11. Do I need to turn in a waiver if I am turning 18 before August 10? Only students who are 17 or younger at any point before August 14, 2020 must complete a waiver, available within the application and confirmation email.
  12. I’ve submitted my application for FYSOP 2020. When will I hear if I have been accepted to the program? We will begin notifying students of their acceptance to FYSOP 2020 on a rolling basis beginning early to mid-July. You will first receive an email acceptance, and within 1-2 weeks, a phone or Zoom call from one of two coordinators for your group to verify your information and meet you. If you are unavailable during this time, coordinators will work out an alternative communication plan.
  13. It’s been weeks and I still haven’t received an email! Please check the email address that you used in the application, and be sure to check spam folders. If you’ve checked everywhere and cannot find it AND it has been more than 3 weeks since the date you applied please email fysop@bu.edu.

The FYSOP Experience

  1. Can parents/guardians attend any FYSOP programs? No. All FYSOP programs are for registered students only.
  2. Will students have any free time during FYSOP? We are planning for most FYSOP activities to occur during afternoons and evenings – Eastern Standard Time. FYSOP is jam-packed, and students will be busy with service, activities, reflections, and education programs each day. FYSOP recognizes the need for “screen breaks”, and makes space for them frequently.
  3. What is the specific daily schedule? A more precise schedule will be shared with all students participating in early August. A rough outline, subject to change, goes as follows:
    1. Monday August 10: Small Group Meet & Greet 5:30 pm-6:30 pm., Opening Programs and Group Time 7:30 pm-10 pm
    2. Tuesday August 11: Education + Community Building programs 2 pm-5pm., Social events 7 pm-9 pm
    3. Wednesday August 12: Service 9 am-5 pm and/or Educational Content 2 pm-4pm, Arts Programming 7 pm-9 pm, Small Group Time 9 pm-10 pm
    4. Thursday August 13: Service 9 am-5 pm and/or Educational Content 2 pm-4pm, Reflection Programming 7 pm-8 pm
    5. Friday August 14: Service 9 am-5 pm and/or Educational Content 2 pm-4pm, Closing Programming 7 pm-10 pm
  4. Are there themes or focus areas? Students will be grouped into teams using a broad social justice topic. Through this social justice lens, students will explore Boston history and geography, foundations of community engagement, how to forge mutually beneficial relationships with communities and critical reflection techniques. The 7 Focus Areas for this year’s FYSOP are: Community Initiatives, Education, Food Justice, Human Rights, Public Health, Sustainability, and Youth & Family Advocacy.
  5. What’s the point? We know that FYSOP means something different to every student. We hope every participant gets a few things out of their FYSOP experience:
    1. A diverse group of new friends and an upperclassmen student mentor.
    2. The ability to have meaningful conversations with new people who may feel like instant best friends, or who have very different beliefs or experiences.
    3. A better sense of the history and geography of Boston and its communities, and the risk and resilience factors these communities face each day.
    4. An understanding of how college students can positively work in solidarity with their new community, and conversely, the ways in which we can cause harm.
    5. The inspiration to learn more: about our city, about civic engagement, about social justice and change, about volunteering, or about cultures or experiences different than their own.

What happens after FYSOP?

We will be in touch throughout students’ first year on campus. The leaders that work with groups will arrange meetupds, share events and programs, and serve as civic mentors. We will also help students connect the lessons they learned during FYSOP with academic coursework, clubs and activities, and even their free time. We encourage all students to further their service, engagement, and reflection through the Community Service Center’s Academic Year programs. Students will be directed to our fall experiences to continue engaging in learning-service.