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Orientation

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How to Register

All reservations for students and families are made online at my.sc.edu. You'll need to know your VIP ID and USC system password in order to log in. Please be aware that the Orientation Portal is only accessible through Google Chrome or Firefox browsers.

Registration for New Student Orientation opens March 20 at Noon ET.

Registration for New Student Orientation opens March 20 at Noon ET for incoming freshmen and transfers. Please view the Find My Orientation page to learn more about your specific program


The Registration Process

Freshman students must pay a $200 admissions deposit to confirm enrollment before gaining access to New Student Orientation registration. This is separate from your Orientation fee.

Please note that electronic check payments will be held for six (6) business days while the check clears.

Before you register, make sure to find your Orientation.

Using the IDs you recorded from your Admissions Portal, you will set up an account in the reservation portal by visiting my.sc.edu.

  • Add security questions for account verification.
  • Access your USC email and set up your email preferences.
  • Add emergency contact information.
  • Set Up Multifactor Authentication.

Visit my.sc.edu, log in to your account, click on the "Admissions" tab and then click on "Orientation Services." Follow the instructions on the screen.

Each Orientation session has limited spacing based on advising capacities within academic colleges, and will close for reservations once full. We recommend planning accordingly around graduations, vacations, work commitments and so forth if there is a specific date you would prefer to attend. 

Your reservation will not be confirmed until you have paid. This fee is separate from your admissions deposit.

Once you have registered, read through your session information and stay connected to the email you provide during registration for updates from the Office of New Student Orientation.

New Student Orientation Policies and Procedures

The following are policies pertaining to New Student Orientation registration, fee deferments, attendance, accommodations, advising and refunds. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

What happens if I do not attend? Students are required to attend all portions of New Student Orientation in order to be successfully advised and registered for classes. If students do not complete all required components, they may be asked to reschedule their session for a later date, thus potentially delaying their advising process. 

Does this apply for families and supporters? Families and supporters of students are not required to attend all portions of their Orientation, but it is highly encouraged! Our Family and Supporter Orientation program includes invaluable information for your student’s upcoming semester, including financial aid and scholarship information, health and well-being, connections with the Office of Parent and Family Programs and free socials. However, supporters are free to step away from their program at any time.

How do I know if I have to re-attend New Student Orientation? Students who are returning to the university are required to re-attend an Orientation session if it has been two (2) years since the last time they attended —not two years from the last time they were taking classes. This applies to all re-admit students, whether it has been one semester or several years since your last coursework at South Carolina.

Why do I have to re-attend Orientation? Universities move quickly and policies, procedures and requirements are constantly changing. Within two years of your last Orientation, information regarding your degree, college and the university have been modified. We want to ensure that you are aware of the most up-to-date information and that you know how to access and utilize any and all resources and tools available on campus for your success. 

What is the current cut off for students who need to re-attend? If you are returning to the university and attended an Orientation session between now and summer 2022, you will not be required to re-attend. 

If you are returning to the university and attended an Orientation session before summer 2022, you will be required to re-attend. This is a non-negotiable Office of New Student Orientation policy. 

Why is this required? Incoming freshmen participating in our two-day program are required to stay overnight in a residence hall between day one and day two of New Student Orientation, which is included in the program fee. The overnight stay is a great opportunity for students to get a preview of campus living, socialize with their peers and get excited to move-in! The Orientation program runs late into the evening. To ensure the safety and security of students in attendance, they must stay on-campus overnight with on-location and on-call staff members available throughout their stay. Please note that we cannot reasonably coordinate the pick-up and drop-off of students to and from the program throughout the evening.

How much does it cost? The overnight accommodation for students is included in the Orientation registration fee. Families and supporters of students can stay overnight in a residence hall for an additional cost. Overnight accommodation registration for families and supporters is completed separately from the general session registration. Information regarding this process will be made available soon.

What do I bring? Students are expected to bring all linens and toiletries needed for their overnight stay. This includes but is not limited to: Sheets, towels, pillow/pillowcase(s) and so forth. There are limited amounts of linen packages available for purchase through the University Conference Center upon arrival to New Student Orientation. 

Can I stay additional nights? An additional night or nights can be added prior to or immediately following a student’s New Student Orientation for an additional cost. This additional registration can and must be completed as part of the New Student Orientation registration process. 

What if I am running late to my session? Students must check into New Student Orientation (in person) within a specific timeframe set for their session. However, if the student arrives past 10 a.m. (two-day programs) or 8:30 a.m. (one-day programs), they will not be permitted to move forward with the program and will be required to reschedule for a later date, even if they have contacted us via email or phone prior to the session itself. 

This policy applies for any reason for tardiness, including but not limited to: Flight delays, heavy traffic, inclement weather and so forth. While we are understanding to the logistical realities of travel, all components of New Student Orientation are required and if arriving past the above times, attendees would have missed a significant portion of programming. 

When can I request a refund? Refund requests must be submitted in writing via email to our office two (2) weeks prior to the first day of your presently scheduled Orientation session. For example, if your Orientation is Monday, July 22 - Tuesday, July 23, the last day you could request a refund would be on Sunday, July 7.

Why does it have to be two weeks? Our office begins formal preparations for each Orientation session two weeks prior to the date. This process includes but is not limited to: Pulling exact attendance and registration numbers, preparing materials, finalizing meal availability, coordinating accommodations and so forth.

How can I request a refund? Refund requests must be submitted to the Office of New Student Orientation via email sent to orientation@sc.edu. It must include:

  • Student’s first and last name
  • Student's date of birth
  • Student's contact information, including at least a phone number or email
  • A brief explanation as to why we will be canceling your Orientation reservation.

We cannot honor requests submitted without the above information or shorter than two weeks notice. Additionally, we cannot honor requests submitted over the phone, on LiveChat or any other means of communication outside of email. All refunds requested within the proper time frame are subject to a $35.00 administrative fee that we are not able to waive at any point in time. 

Do I have to pay for my Orientation fee at the time of registration? The Office of New Student Orientation is required to administer fees to students and their supporters in order provide a high-quality program. Registration for New Student Orientation is considered incomplete until payment has been submitted. However, we recognize that not all students are in a position to pay their Orientation fee at the time of their registration. In an effort to ensure that these students do not experience a delay in their registration, we offer a bill to Bursar option with registration fees. The Bursar's Office is the department that collects all fee and tuition payments. This option means that the  Orientaton fee is diverted to the student’s first tuition bill, necessitating no payment on their end at the time of registration.  

If I bill my Orientation fee to the Bursar, when do I actually have to pay? Students are still responsible for paying their Orientation fee when utilizing this option. Since it diverts the payment to a later date by including it with tuition charges, payment is due in accordance with tuition payment deadlines. 

How do I opt into this payment option? If you would like to bill to bursar, you will need to complete your Orientation registration up until the system prompts you for payment by submitting a credit card. At that point, you must send an email to orientation@sc.edu with the subject line ‘Orientation Fee Deferment.' The email must include:

  • Student’s first and last name
  • Student's date of birth
  • Student's USC ID (ID number with the letter at the front followed by eight digits)
  • The date for which you are trying to register.

Deferment requests are processed as soon as possible on our end so long as the proper information has been submitted. 

How long does this process take? It typically takes us between one and two days to process deferment requests. In the time between your request and our processing of your fee, your requested session may have reached its maximum capacity for the overall registration numbers or for your major. If this has occurred, we will not be able to move forward with placing you in the session for which you have requested, at which point you will need to access your Orientation registration once again, review available dates and send us another email requesting a specific session or date. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we are required to abide by Orientation session capacities as they are outlined. 

What is Express Orientation? In the past, our office has resorted to a very small, extremely limited capacity in-person Orientation session held immediately before the beginning of classes. This session is traditionally a small handful of students with extremely extenuating circumstances that prevent them from being able to attend any New Student Orientation session offered during the typical season.  

How do I know if I quality for an Express Orientation? This option is extended to students who are experiencing the following, but not limited to: A medical emergency with very long recovery periods, taking up primary residence out of country and will not be in the U.S. during the summer or similar extreme circumstances. 

This session is not made available to all students whatsoever and not ideal as students do not get advised and registered for classes up until the very beginning of classes. This option can and will only be explored if all other options have been exhausted and if a formal dialogue has occurred with the professional staff of New Student Orientation. 

What are accommodations? Our office wants to ensure that Orientation is as safe and accessible as possible for all incoming students and their supporters. For students and/or supporters in need some form of special accommodation to have a safe and smooth Orientation experience, we are welcome to offer a wide variety of reasonable accommodations.

We can traditionally offer reasonable accommodations requests for students and/or supporters who require them for mobility, hearing, or sight difficulties, as well as those with dietary restrictions (specific diets, allergies, etc.). While we cannot guarantee any and all requests made, we will always work with you to ensure that your experience runs smoothly and you have everything you need to be successful.

How do I know if you can provide a specific accommodation? If you are unsure if you will require accommodations, or are unsure of what precisely we are able to offer, please do not hesitate to contact us at 803.777.2780 or at orientation@sc.edu and we can have a further discussion of options and what we can provide.  

How do I notify you of the accomodations that I need? To notify our office of needed accommodations, you must include them at least two weeks prior in your Orientation Portal. Once you have signed into Self Service Carolina and begun your Orientation registration process, you will note a section dedicated solely to 'Special Accommodations.' Please take your time filling this section out and give as much detail as possible in the written portion to outline what reasonable accommodation you may need and any/all relevant information you feel we should know to ensure a successful Orientation experience. 

Can you all provide wheelchairs? We cannot provide wheelchairs or similar mobility mechanisms. If you feel this may be necessary, you must bring these devices along with you. However, we do offer golf carts that are able to take you from location-to-location for longer distances during Orientation.

Are families and supporters allowed to attend advisement with their student? In accordance with the university’s interpretation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), supporters of students, including parents, siblings, family members and others, cannot attend advising appointments with their students.

Advisors ask that students attend these advising appointments alone in order to foster their independence in their coursework, touch base about degree requirements and discuss past coursework to determine a best course of action moving forward. Luckily, we offer several supporter-tailored Orientation informational sessions during the advising process! 

What is a key card? If you are an incoming freshman student and stay on-campus overnight during Orientation, you will be administered a temporary access card to the residence hall. You are responsible for keeping track of and maintaining possession of this card to be returned when you check-out of your session.

What happens if I lose my card? The Office of New Student Orientation is not responsible for lost, damaged or misplaced key cards. If you lose, damage or misplace your temporary access card to the residence hall, you are responsible to make payment to University Housing. This will generate automatically as a charge on your first tuition bill in the upcoming semester. 

Why is New Student Orientation in-person? It is our office’s firm belief that, to ensure incoming students feel prepared and ready to succeed, Orientation be held in an in-person capacity.

New Student Orientation is an experience carefully designed to get a student well-acclimated to the South Carolina environment, their degree program and academic college. Additionally, we want to create a space for them to begin making friends with other incoming students and get answers to their questions as quickly as possible.

Students also get a chance to take care of any administrative tasks (or “laundry list” items) that need to be completed prior to the beginning of their first semester, like immunization record submission or citizenship verification, that may be easily taken care of in-person rather than digitally.  


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