Answering your questions
Whether you're a new student, family member or guest, we’re here to answer your questions about Orientation. If you have a question that’s not answered below, please reach out to our team at email@example.com.
Orientation is your official welcome to VCU and will prepare you for your first semester. VCU offers a variety of Orientation programs based on your experience, so whether this is your first time at college, you are transferring from another school or you are returning after some time off, you can find the Orientation experience that works for you!
Orientation has several components including an Orientation session, the Ram Ready Orientation modules and a meeting with your academic advisor.
Orientation is required for all new, first-time students as well as transfer students.
Student fee information
For students, there is no upfront student cost to register for and attend Orientation. New students are assessed a new student transition fee that you will see on your first-semester student bill. The new student transition fee varies by your student type and the estimated fees for Fall 2022 are listed below. This fee covers your full Orientation, including all virtual and in-person experiences, your Orientation materials and transition programming that supports you and your family in your first year at VCU.
Estimated Fall 2022 fees:
- New first-year students: $200
- New transfer students: $125
For more information on student fees, visit Student Financial Services.
Family member/guest fee information
The fee for family members and guests varies by program. For families attending the First-Year Orientation program, the fee for Fall 2022 is $50 per person. For families who attend the in-person Transfer Orientation program, the fee for Fall 2022 is $30 per person. There is no additional fee for families who participate in the virtual Transfer Orientation program.
The one-time, non-refundable fee covers the cost to attend the in-person program and includes a printed VCU Academic Calendar, materials, refreshments and meals during Orientation, access to Ram Ready modules for families, staffing and rental fees.
Family/guest fees for Orientation are non-refundable and are collected at the time of registration to secure your guest’s spot in the program. You can add a guest to your reservation by logging back in to your Orientation account. Payments are made via a secure payment site and all major credit/debit cards are accepted. We do not accept cash or checks.
The Ram Ready online modules are designed to complement and supplement your Orientation session. Some modules will be released before Orientation and are intended to help you prepare for your Orientation session and the course registration process.
Additional modules will be released later in the summer with a focus on preparing for your first semester at VCU and setting you up for success both in and out of the classroom.
More details on the Ram Ready modules will be available this summer.
Yes, VCU requires all new students to participate in and complete all aspects of Orientation. Completion of the online modules is tracked and attendance will be taken at your Orientation session.
If you are a readmitted student, you must complete Orientation if you have not done so within the last three years, as many processes can change from year to year. If you attended/completed Orientation in 2019, 2020 or Summer 2021, you are not required to complete Orientation again, but it is strongly recommended.
Research supports that if you complete Orientation, you are more likely to achieve success in college and graduate. This is true for both incoming first-year students and transfer students. VCU is committed to helping students succeed in and out of the classroom, so we require your participation in Orientation. Over the past three years, 95% of students who completed Orientation have been retained to their second year of study at VCU.
More importantly, this is your time to connect with other new students, learn the specifics of your academic school/college, access academic support and resources, get familiar with campus resources and ask questions. Even if you already know people on campus, Orientation will give you a comprehensive overview of the resources and services available to you as a new student.
Once you have paid your tuition deposit and it has been processed (usually within two to three business days), you can register online via the Orientation registration portal. You will sign in using your VCU eID and password. To set up your eID, visit myeid.vcu.edu and click “Claim my eID.”
You may also need to complete placement tests and the VCU Registration Survey, please check the appropriate accepted student checklist to ensure you have completed all the required steps prior to registering for Orientation.
To make changes to your Orientation registration or to add a family member or guest, you can log back in to the Orientation registration portal up to one week before your scheduled orientation. If it is within one week of your orientation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and V-number and we will assist you.
All first-year students are required to take the math placement test before attending Orientation. Transfer students who are not transferring in a college-level math or statistics course must also complete math placement. It helps the math department have a general idea of how many sections of each type of math to open for class registration and helps your academic advisor have a good idea of which math courses to consider when helping you build your schedule.
Students are still required to take the test if they are bringing in credit from AP or dual enrollment classes. Many students who bring in AP credit or transfer credit from community colleges do not have official scores or grades when they are advised for classes. As a result, students have had to guess how they will do, which has often resulted in students being placed in courses that are too advanced. This test has proven to be a good predictor of what their scores will be so that students don’t have to request to be put into a different class if they didn’t get the scores or grades they anticipated through AP testing or dual enrollment courses.
If a student scores low on the math placement test but brings in AP credit or credit for courses through dual enrollment, the credits received through those means will be evaluated and the student will be able to go into a higher-level course than the one suggested by the math placement test.
A first-year student is someone who has not attended classes on another college campus. For orientation purposes, high school students who have dual enrollment credit are considered first-year students.
A transfer student has attended another four-year or community college before coming to VCU.
All new students will have the opportunity to meet with an academic advisor!
University Academic Advising has compiled a handy guide to help you register for your first semester of classes. Note: Students in the Honors College, the College of Engineering, registered student-athletes, and Music and Theater students in the School of the Arts will be pre-registered for their courses by their advisors. Please check your VCU email for detailed information.
Additionally, your advisor has been assigned to you in Navigate, and you are now able to schedule an appointment with them.
If you would like to change your major before the start of orientation, email Undergraduate Admissions at email@example.com and include your full name, V number, current major and the major you wish to change into. If your new major is within the same college or school (e.g., within the College of Humanities and Sciences), this will not impact your orientation or advising.
If you wish to change to a new college (e.g., from the College of Humanities and Sciences to the College of Business), you will need to wait to hear from Admissions to ensure that you meet the requirements for the requested major.
If your major change is approved or you have recently changed your major, your orientation account will update with your new major and you will be notified via email if you need to change your session.
If you need special accommodations, please indicate this when filling out your registration questionnaire. A staff member from our team will reach out to you if we need any additional information about your request. You may also contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, but please be sure to include your full name and V number.
For more information on accommodations during the academic year, please reach out to the Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity office.
For summer 2022, VCU will be offering two Orientation sessions specifically for student veterans:
- Friday, July 8, 2022, from 12-5 p.m. (in-person, with veteran reception to follow)
- Thursday, August 4, 2022, from 3-5 p.m. (virtual)
The program offers tailored content for veterans and current service members in the Ram Ready online modules. This content is designed to give you more information about how to utilize your military benefits and will help you learn how to connect to other service members and their families.
There will also be virtual and in-person opportunities to connect with VCU's Military Student Services and learn about your military benefits.
If you are unsure whether or not you are eligible for military benefits, please review the information on the military benefits orientation page.
Parents, family members and supporters are encouraged to register and attend Orientation with their students. You can register a parent or family member when you complete your own registration.
The on-campus housing application for Summer 2022 is now open. To start your application or learn more about on-campus housing options, visit VCU Housing.
Students have the option to request roommates when submitting their applications. Roommate requests must be mutual – both students must request and accept one another to be assigned. To find a roommate, you can fill out a special form as part of the housing application.
To receive an on-campus housing assignment, students must be registered for Orientation. For more details on when housing assignments begin and how applications are processed, visit the VCU Housing.
Students can submit their photos online for their VCUCard. Students will receive information on how to submit their photo online this summer before attending Orientation.
You can visit the VCUCard website to learn more about photo requirements. More details on receiving your VCUCard will be available before Orientation.
You should complete all of the items on the accepted student checklist before the start of classes. Throughout the Orientation process, additional items will be added to the VCU task list in your Orientation account. Keep an eye out for new task list items throughout the summer.