Answering your questions
No matter if you're a new student, family member or guest, we’re here to answer your questions about the Orientation process. If you have a question that’s not answered below, please reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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-year students, transfer students and adult learners, and students who have been readmitted to VCU after three or more years away.
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. This fee covers your full Orientation experience including all online, virtual and in-person experiences, your Orientation materials, and transition programming that supports you and your family in your first year at VCU.
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. 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 Orientation 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. Students can add a guest to their 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 Orientation 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 closer to the start of the semester 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 Orientation Modules will be available soon, and information will be emailed to students who are registered for Orientation.
Yes, VCU requires all new students to participate in and complete all aspects of Orientation. Attendance at your Orientation session is tracked and so is your completion of the Ram Ready Orientation Modules. 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.
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 2-3 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 https://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 into your orientation account up to one week prior to your scheduled orientation. If it is within one week of your orientation, please email email@example.com 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 enables the math department to 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 prior to coming to VCU.
A readmitted student is one who was previously enrolled at VCU.
All new students will have the opportunity to meet with an academic advisor and will complete course registration before the start of the semester.
First-year students' schedules will be created by your advisor for your first semester based upon your responses to the VCU Advising Registration Survey. You will receive more information at this time on how to begin course registration and schedule a meeting with your advisor. Most first-year students will meet with an advisor in-person or virtually prior to attending Orientation.
Transfer students can begin scheduling advising meetings before Orientation. You should complete the Transfer Student Intake Survey prior to scheduling your appointment. You will be able to meet with your advisor virtually or in-person throughout the summer at a time that is convenient for you.
If you would like to change your major prior to the start of Orientation, then please email Undergraduate Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your full name, V-number, current major and the major you wish to change in to.
If your new major is within the same college or school (e.g. within the College of Humanities and Sciences, etc.) then this will not impact your orientation or advising. Students wishing to change into a new college (e.g., from College of Humanities and Sciences into College of Business) 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 additional information about your request. You may also email us at email@example.com, 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 (SAEO) office.
VCU Orientation offers tailored content for veterans and current service members in the Ram Ready Orientation 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 Military Student Services and learn about your military benefits as part of Orientation.
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.
You can fill out the application online. To start your application and learn more, visit the VCU Housing website.
Students have the option to request roommates when submitting their application. Roommate requests must be mutual – both students must request and accept one another in order to be assigned. To find a roommate, you can fill out a special form as part of the Housing application under the Roommate page.
For more details and FAQs on all things on-campus Housing, visit the bottom of the Housing application website.
In order 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 https://housing.vcu.edu/application/.
Students can submit their photo 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 and 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 your VCU Task List that you see when logging in to your Orientation account. Keep an eye out for new task list items throughout the summer.
You can defer your application by submitting a reactivation application to the requested deferred term along with speaking with your Application Processor.
You should complete the VCU Enrollment Cancellation Request Form.