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EIU New Student and Family Programs

Frequently Asked Questions- Freshman Students

What is Freshman Orientation?

The program is designed to provide an orientation of campus, allow new students to meet with an academic advisor, register for courses, and get to know other new students.

I'm already familiar with campus.  Do I still have to come to Orientation?

We're thrilled that you're already familiar with campus, but Orientation is about so much more than navigating our beautiful campus.  We'll give you the opportunity to connect with resources you'll need as a student, and you'll be able to connect with other new students.  Who knows?  Some of the people you meet at Orientation might end up being your lifelong friends!  For your family, it's also a time to learn about your transition to college, how that transition impacts the entire family, and how they can support you. We want you and your family to leave Orientation feeling confident, connected, and excited about returning to campus at the start of the academic year!

What does Orientation provide?

  • Learn about academic degree requirements

  • Meet with your academic advisor to develop an academic plan

  • Use P.A.W.S. to register for your classes

  • Learn the ropes from current students

  • Become more familiar with campus facilities

  • Learn about campus support services and programs

  • Get your Panther Card (student ID)

  • Meet new classmates and get answers to your questions regarding life at EIU

How do I register for Orientation?

  • Once you have paid your New Student Enrollment Deposit of $150, you can sign up for an Orientation date through myEIU. Freshman students will be e-mailed an invitation to the program. The invitation will contain a program reservation link to myEIU. Students will need to complete the reservation form on-line to secure a program date.

  • After logging in to myEIU, click on View Entire Checklist Here

  • If you have paid your enrollment deposit, you will see a green box labeled "Orientation/Transition" and will be eligible to register.  

  • If you have not paid your enrollment deposit, you will not see the "Orientation/Transition" box and will not be eligible to register yet. 

I signed up for Orientation but I can't remember what day I signed up for.

No problem!  Just log back into MyEIU and click on the "Orientation/Transition" box on your checklist. 

What if I need to change my Orientation date?

Just give us a call and we'll make the switch for you.  We can be reached at (217)581-6435.

How long is Orientation?

In 2022, the in-person Orientation program will consist of half-day sessions.  Students can opt to attend the morning session OR the afternoon session; it is not necessary to attend both.  Check-in for the morning session will begin at 7:30am and the program will end by noon.  Check-in for the afternoon session will begin at 12:30pm and the program will end by 5pm.  

Will there still be classes available if I have to come to a later Orientation date?

Yes, there will still be classes available!  EIU releases seats in courses through the Orientation program; however, your preferred time may no longer be available (Hello 8AM classes!)  We suggest registering early so you can get your first choice of Orientation date.  Regardless of when you are able to attend Orientation, we'll be there to help you through the advising and registration process.

What do I need to bring?

  • Bring a state/federal issued picture ID (to receive Panther Card). School IDs will not be accepted.
  • Your questions!  You'll have the chance to meet with Financial Aid, Housing, and lots of other departments.
  • Notebook/paper/tablet/laptop to take notes
  • An umbrella, light jacket, comfy walking shoes

What if I need to arrive the night before?

  • University Housing and Dining Services has a limited number of suites available for rent in Stevenson Hall during the summer Orientation visits.  Stevenson Hall is a suite style residence hall.  As you enter a suite you will first find a common living area along with 2-3 small bedrooms and a private bathroom for all occupants within the suite.  Stevenson Hall is located at 320 Grant Avenue, Charleston, IL.  For additional information about Stevenson Hall, please visit

    Wireless Internet is available in Stevenson Hall along with a direct access internet connection in each suite.  Bedding and towels are provided however we understand that most individuals prefer to use their own.

    Guest suites rent for $30 per night for the entire suite.  Guests can pay by cash or check at the time of check-in (sorry but credit card payments cannot be accepted at this time).

    Parking is available in the student lots immediately adjacent to Stevenson Hall.  Guests will receive a pass during the check-in process.  Reservations can be made by contacting Matt Boyer at or the Conference Services Office at 217-581-7482.  Guests can check-in after 3pm and check-out must be completed by 12pm.

How much does the program cost?

There is a one-time charge of $175 that will be billed to the student account. 

Can my family come?

Absolutely!  In 2022, students will be allowed to bring TWO guests; students and guests must follow all university COVID-19 protocols at all times.

What if I cannot attend Orientation?

Log in to myEIU and proceed through the registration process. When you are asked to pick a date, there will be an option - "none of these dates work for me." Select that option and our office will be notified. We will contact you to discuss options.

What happens after Orientation?

  • Move-In: Students report to their assigned residence hall for check-in.
  • Welcome Weekend is a transitional program – a weekend full of educational and social events for new students to become acclimated to campus and connect to EIU and their peers. It’s full of opportunities that will provide a solid foundation for personal and academic success!

Related Pages

Contact Information

New Student & Family Programs

Monday-Friday: 8:00am-4:30pm
600 Lincoln Ave
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-6435

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