What is New Student Orientation? – GradPlan


What is New Student Orientation?

Find out the benefits of attending orientation.

New Student Orientation is often a required step for enrollment. It is a chance for students to become more familiar with the student tools and resources available, and their campus. New Student Orientation is also an excellent opportunity to make social connections with students, and campus faculty alike. Orientation sessions are usually led by current students who can offer insight and advice on the college experience, both academic and social.

Attending orientation helps you take steps to become an official student at the school. Usually, orientation is mandatory meaning if you do not attend, it you may not be able to register for classes.

Oftentimes, you get to set up all of your student accounts and learn how and when to use them.

Your academic office will often help you understand what classes you need to take to earn your degree.

You can meet with the financial aid office to confirm you have the cost of your studies covered.

Orientation varies from campus to campus, but most of the time you will:

  • Tour Campus
  • Get your student ID
  • Learn how to use your Student Portals
  • Learn about Financial Aid & Scholarships
  • Find out how to get books and supplies
  • Find out about social events for new students
  • Learn Study Abroad, Honors, and more programs
  • Have a Q & A with current students
  • Discover campus clubs and organizations
  • Meet your academic advisor & other faculty
  • Register for classes
  • Get connected to other new students

You must register to attend New Student Orientation via your Student Portal or by registering through a form sent by your college. If you’re not sure, check your email or reach out directly to the admissions officer.

Many institutions allow (and encourage!) you to bring parents, guardians or your key supporter to orientation. Often they have orientation programs specifically for them. When you register for New Student Orientation, check if there is an option for your supporter to join. If not, don’t hesitate to ask! The more your support network knows about your college journey, the better.

Note: Some colleges have pre-orientation checklists. Make sure to complete any tasks if necessary.

  1. In-Person options may give you a better opportunity to explore campus and make social connections.
  2. Bring identification.
  3. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes because you might do a lot of walking and standing.
  4. Bring a jacket in case it is cold inside or outside.
  5. Be prepared to take notes, you will most likely be learning a lot of information. This can prevent you from scrambling for info later.
  6. Bring a refillable water bottle — all that walking will make you thirsty!
  7. Bring a folder or backpack to carry any handouts or items you receive.
  8. Come with a list of questions you want to ask about college life. Also, many colleges offer new students a chance to ask current students questions without an audience; be prepared to get the tea about campus life!
  9. Have an open mind. Some of the activities might not be your idea of fun, but you might be surprised! An activity that makes you feel silly may lead to you meeting your new best friend.
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"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X, human rights activist