FAQ

How do I pay for Orientation?

When you make your reservation for orientation you will have the option to pay with a credit card. If you choose to pay with check or money order, please make sure to print out a copy of the reservation and mail your payment to the address below.

If I've decided to pay by check or money order, where do I send my orientation payment?

Please send your check or money order to:

New Student and Family Programs
PO Box 114075
Gainesville, FL 32611-4075

Please make sure to include your name and UFID on the check or money order.

How long is orientation?

The freshmen orientation schedule for Spring 2012 admits allows new students two different opportunities to learn how to be a successful Gator in and out of the classroom. We offer both one day sessions and a two day session.

1 Day Session:
Plan to begin orientation at 8 a.m. on Day 1; until approximately 6pm on Day 1. Plan to stay the entire durations to fully participate in your orientation program and take care of everything you need to do before you begin classes. Whether it is understandnig new academic policies and procedures, registering for classes, or figureing out how to enhance your degree with out-of-class experiences once you are here, the Preview schedule is filled with the important things you need and want to checkk off your to-do list to ensure your successful transition to UF.

2 Day Session:
Day 2 will begin at 8 a.m. and will continue until 5 p.m. on Day 2. Your schedule includes a one-on-one advising appointment, course registration, Gator 1 Central, additional presentations, and Preview Course Registration Confirmation. Do not make plans on Day 2 which will prevent you from staying until 5 p.m. There is not the possibility to leave before 5 p.m. on Day 2. Please note this extended session will cover the same material as the one day session but in more depth. Students and family members attending the extended 2 Day session wil not be provided overnight accommodations and will need to make their own accommodations for the evening.

Students who do not stay for the duration of the program risk cancellation of their course registration completed at Preview. Please select a session which will allow you to dedicate yourself fully to your orientation experience.

Our family schedule allows for more interaction between freshmen admitted for Spring 2012 and their family members and guests; and additional information on how family members and guests can support their freshmen in being a successful Gator in and out of the classroom. Family Preview runs concurrently with, but separately from, the student Preview program. However, you will have several opportunities to meet with your student during the program.

Throughout the Family Preview program you will have the opportunity to:
attend presentations on academic success, financial matters, housing, dining, the bookstore, parking, campus safety, and more, participate in campus resource fairs, gather with families of other first-year students attending Preview, and attend special break-out sessions designed especially for you!

While parents and family members are not required to attend Family Preview, we believe that family participation during your student’s transition to college is invaluable, and we hope you will choose to attend Family Preview. You should sign up to attend Family Preview at the same time your student makes his or her online reservation for Preview.

Transfer Preview begins at 8am and will end by 5pm the same day. Transfer students should plan to stay the entire time so that you can learn about how to be a successful Gator in and out of the classroom and meet with college and department representatives

Is orientation mandatory?

Yes, all new students are required to attend orientation (i.e. Preview or Transfer Preview). During orientation, students will meet with an academic advisor, have the opportunity to register for classes, and learn how to be a successful Gator in and out of the classroom. Family Preview is not mandatory for family members or guests, but attending the program is an excellent opportunity for family members/guests to learn more about the University of Florida and get questions answered. Families may not want to bring small children due to the format of the program.

Does it matter which orientation session I attend? Will I be able to get a good schedule of classes if I attend a later session?

It does not matter which orientation session a student attends. The University of Florida holds seats in critical courses for each session, so students at each session have an equal opportunity to register for classes.

What if I'm a high school student who have earned my AA degree?

A special hybrid orientation session has been created for you as a HS/AA student and is scheduled for June 20-21* regardless of which semester you will begin at UF. Although academically you may be advanced, you will experience the transition to UF like many freshmen. This special program will provide you transfer student academic advising from your college in conjunction with the introduction to resources and life at UF that freshmen receive. Your status as an HS/AA admittee requires your attendance at this specially designed Preview session. If you are unable to attend this specialized HS/AA session, please contact our office for further information.

*HS/AA students do not have the flexibility to attend an overnight freshman Preview or Transfer Preview.

Additional information on how to make your reservation for this session will be emailed to you.

What if I cannot attend one of the orientation dates?

In the event of an unavoidable conflict which prevents you from attending orientation, contact New Student and Family Programs at (352) 392-8396.

What if I need to change my orientation date?

In the event of a conflict with a session for which you have a reservation, please email us at newstudentinfo@dso.ufl.edu to request a session change. Please provide the following information; UFID, session(s) into which you want to switch (please list 3 in case one is full), indicate if the same number of guests will attend, and the reason for the change. A $15.00 administrative charge will be assessed for session changes. We will not be able to place you in a session that has closed or is filled to capacity. Allow two working days for a response to your request. You can click on View a Reservation on the main orientation menu to view changes to your registration.

What if I need to add a guest after I signed up for orientation?

As soon as you know you need to add guests for orientation, email us at newstudentinfo@dso.ufl.edu no later than five (5) working days prior to your session. Please provide your name, UFID, the name(s) of the guest(s) you would like to add and the new total number of guests. We do sign up guests on site during the sessions, but contacting our office beforehand is much more efficient and makes check-in the morning of the session much easier.

What if I need to remove a guest after I signed up for orientation?

As soon as you know you need to remove guests for orientation, email us at newstudentinfo@dso.ufl.edu no later than five (5) working days prior to your session. Please provide your name, UFID, the name(s) of the guest(s) you would like to remove and the new total number of guests. If you remove a guest after payment has been received, you will receive a refund once all sessions have been held and accounts reconciled. No refunds will be provided for canceled reservations, reservations for students who have chosen not to attend UF, or for canceled guests if notification is received less than five (5) working days prior to your session.

Where is check-in for orientation?

Check-in for orientation will take place at the J. Wayne Reitz Union West Colonnade from 8 am until 8:45 am. The program will start promptly at 8:45 am so please be on time. Make sure to plan ahead for parking and possible traffic during your travel. If you arrive after the program has started, you may be required to re-schedule your session and come back another day.

Where is parking during orientation?

A parking permit for your orientation session will be provided electronically (emailed to the student's account) with your confirmation information. This permit is valid only for the Large Commuter Parking Lot. For maps of where you will be parking and risk not being ticketed, please consult our travel page. Please plan on packing comfortable walking shoes as parking spaces are limited and will not be right next to the building. If you are a disabled new student or family member and need parking accommodations please refer to UF's Transportation and Parking Services ADA Parking Accommodations information found at http://www.parking.ufl.edu/pages/disabledvisitors.asp. If you have additional questions please feel free to contact us at newstudentinfo@dso.ufl.edu or call 352-392-1261.

I lost/never received my parking permit. How can I get one?

Email us at newstudentinfo@dso.ufl.edu at least one working day prior to your session and we can provide you with a replacement. Please include your UFID in the email. You can also pick up a permit the day of your session, but you will need to park in the Large Commuter Lot first and quickly return to place the permit on your dash.

What do we wear during orientation?

Dress is casual during orientation. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes because you will be doing a considerable amount of walking during the program. Since afternoon showers are frequent, bring an umbrella to stay dry as you travel around campus!

What do we need to bring to orientation?

Bring money for meals not included in your orientation costs , any academic paperwork (test scores, transcripts, etc.) that may be helpful in selecting classes, an umbrella, your Gatorlink ID and password, your UFID, immunization paperwork (if not already submitted), and $15 and a valid photo identification to get the Gator 1 ID Card.

When do I receive my orientation session confirmation?

Once we receive payment in full of your orientation costs, you will be sent confirmation information electronically (emailed to the student's account). We can't send a confirmation until your orientation cost balance is $0. Allow for five working days from which we receive payment in full to receive your confirmation. If you do not receive your confirmation five working days prior to your session or lost your confirmation, email us at newstudentinfo@dso.ufl.edu. Include your name and UFID.

How do I know if you received my payment or if my costs are paid in full?

Click on the "View an Existing Reservation" link and log back into the reservation website to see if your payment has been processed. If it has been more than 15 working days since you mailed your check and it has not been processed, please check with your bank to see if the check has cleared. If the check has cleared and we have not processed it, email us at newstudentinfo@dso.ufl.edu. Include your name, UFID, check number and name on the check or money order

Are waivers available for Preview, Transfer Preview, or Family Preview?

A limited number of waivers are available for students who demonstrate financial need. The waiver covers the fees for the student and the first family member, if one is attending Family Preview. You must have a FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) on file for the academic year, be Pell Grant eligible, have an EFC of $0.00, and you or anyone in your household have received benefits from a federal benefits programs. If you would like to inquire about receiving a need-based waiver for orientation fees, please email us at newstudentinfo@dso.ufl.edu with your name and UFID for a response.

What is New Student Convocation?

Convocation is your official welcome into the Gator Community. This formal ceremony is the only time that the Class of 2015 will be together in one location!

What is Navigating the Swamp and how is it different from Convocation?

Navigating the Swamp is the opportunity for you and your classmates in the same academic college/school to meet in a smaller setting than the O'Connell Center the Deans, administrators, staff, and faculty from your college/school. Students will also meet in small groups to discuss with a faculty or staff member the 2010-2011 Common Reading Program book.

When is New Student Convocation?

New Student Convocation is on Friday, August 19, 2011. Doors will open at 8:00 am with the ceremony beginning promptly at 9:30 am. We strongly encourage all students and guests to plan to arrive by 8:00 am to ensure that you are seated prior to the start of the program.

Is New Student Convocation mandatory?

Yes. All incoming first-year students including those who have just graduated high school with their AA degree are expected to attend.

How would my college know if I miss New Student Convocation?

An attendance mechanism will be used to take attendance at Convocation. Each college will follow-up with students who do not attend with the make-up option.

What are the consequences for not attending?

The consequences for not attending vary depending on college. Make up options range from a mandatory meeting once classes begin with a Dean of their college to attending other Common Reading Program events held once classes begin to a hold placed on the student's record that prevents them from registering for classes until they meet with their advisor and/or complete the make-up option.

Will I have the opportunity to meet with advisors in my college?

You will not have an opportunity to have an individual advising appointment at the events, but you can go to your college's advising center afterwards or ask the faculty member present general questions.

What should I wear to New Student Convocation?

Dress for Convocation is casual. There may be some walking so wear something that is comfortable for inside and outside. You may want to bring a jacket as the air conditioning can get cool indoors.

What do I need to bring to New Student Convocation?

Just bring yourself and your cell phone, if you have one.

Do I need to check-in with someone when I arrive?

You do not need to check-in with someone, but you do need to sit with your college/school in the O'Connell Center.

Can I bring my family members to New Student Convocation?

Yes! Family members are invited too. You won't be able to sit with them as you will sit with your college but you can reunite with them when the program concludes

If I was here for Summer B classes, do I still have to attend New Student Convocation?

Yes, even though you started in the summer your college still requires you to attend Convocation.

Do I have to read the Common Reading Program book before New Student Convocation?

Yes, you are required to read the Common Reading Program Book before Convocation as there will be a discussion about the book with a faculty member of your college.

Do I need to register to attend New Student Convocation?

No. We have a list of all students who are required to attend and have given your names to the appropriate college contact, so they are expecting you!

Where should I park?

Parking will be available in the O'Connell Center North Lot (Orange and Green Decal spaces) and in the O'Connell Center Garage VII (Seven). If you are a disabled new student or family member and need parking accommodations please refer to UF's Transportation and Parking Services ADA Parking Accommodations information found at http://www.parking.ufl.edu/pages/disabledvisitors.asp. If you have additional questions please feel free to contact us at newstudentinfo@dso.ufl.edu or call 352-392-1261.

Where will New Student Convocation be held?

New Student Convocation is held in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Students and guests will be able to enter through Gate 1 & 2. Students will be seated by college (click here to see college specific seating). Family members will have reserved seating in our "Family and Friends" section. Immediately following New Student Convocation students will attend a College Session (locations vary). Family members will have the opportunity to attend an optional Family Reception held after the morning ceremony at Emerson Alumni Hall.

What is the Family Reception?

The Family Reception held immediately after New Student is an optional event open to all family members of new students. This event will provide family members the opportunity to interact with University of Florida’s faculty and staff members. This event will be held from approximately 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Emerson Alumni Hall. Light refreshments will be served.