NSO Frequently Asked Questions

NSO Frequently Asked Questions

How will I be notified about Orientation details?

Students will receive initial information from Penn State via the email address you provided on your admissions application to Penn State.  It is very important that you follow the steps indicated in the emails to activate your PSU account and register for orientation.

Do I have to attend Orientation?

Yes, all degree-seeking students are required to attend Orientation.  

What happens at Orientation?

Orientation is a chance to meet with faculty and staff, begin to develop academic goals, become familiar with campus resources, and schedule courses for your first semester. This is your opportunity to begin implementing your academic plan!

NSO includes meeting with an academic advisor and planning your course schedule, learning about student aid, processes for paying the bill, campus resources for student support, and campus technology. There is a special workshop for parents and guardians.   

What should I bring to Orientation?

Students will need a valid driver’s license, passport or state-issued ID card.  All students should review their “to do” list in LionPATH before attending orientation to be sure all items have been completed. First year students must complete the ALEKS placement test, the Educational Planning Survey, and Pre-NSO Homework before scheduling their advising day.  Students should bring the completed homework sheets with them to share with their advisor at NSO.  The Pre-registration Activity Guide should be completed in LionPATH prior to attending NSO.

How and when do I schedule my classes?

For first time college students, a main feature of Academic Advising Day is the opportunity for you to meet individually with an academic advisor about their first semester at PSUWB. Prepare for this by downloading the LionPATH app on your smart device and completing the pre-Registration Activity Guide.

Students -- feel free to put interesting classes in your LionPATH shopping cart! Your academic advisor will review your choices with you, then you can make any necessary changes and officially register! Penn State is a complex university, so students are not permitted to enroll in courses until meeting with an academic advisor.

Is it mandatory that parents attend Orientation?

No, but it is highly recommended that a parent or guardian attend Academic Advising Day. Students and parents attend most sessions together. The student support session runs concurrently with the advising session for students.

Where do I get my ID and parking pass?

You will take your ID picture and then receive your PSU ID card during orientation. Bring a valid driver’s license, passport or state-issued ID card to complete this process.

Student parking is free of charge. Students must complete a motor vehicle registration form in order to receive a valid parking permit.  Permits must be renewed each year, and can be picked up during the first two weeks of each semester, or any other time in the office of Police and Public Safety, Hayfield 111A.  A valid PSU ID is required when picking up your permit.

Will someone from Financial Aid be at Orientation to answer questions/concerns?

Yes, they will have a session during orientation as well as be available afterward to answer individual questions/concerns.

How will I know what books I need? Is the bookstore open during Orientation?

The Barnes & Noble bookstore will be open during orientation, in addition to their regular business hours during the semester; it’s located in the Student Commons. Textbooks can also be purchased on the bookstore’s website.

Can I bring a friend?

No. Parents or guardians are welcome to attend Academic Advising Day, however, guests beyond this are not permitted to attend any part of Orientation.

Can I come in late or leave early if I have to work, have a doctor’s appointment, etc.?

No. If you arrive late or leave early, your Orientation experience will be incomplete. When planning your Orientation Day, please choose a date that you are available for the entire day.  Schedules will be provided to you for Orientation Days but it is recommended you plan to be available the entire day. It is important to arrive on time for check-in, and stay engaged and in attendance for all of Orientation.

I cannot make my originally scheduled Orientation Advising Day. May I reschedule?

Yes. A minimum of 48 hours’ notice is preferred because university staff prepares to advise each student individually at Orientation. To change sessions, please login to the reservation system.