First-Year Student FAQs for Orientation

Below are commonly asked questions about First-Year Student & Family Orientation. For any additional questions contact our office, New Student & Family Programs at 919-962-8304 or  

New Student & Family Orientation fees

Why are there fees for Orientation? 

New Student & Family Programs does not receive funds from the state of North Carolina or UNC-Chapel Hill. Orientation operates on a self-sustained budget and must cover all related expenses for each participant. 

Why do I have to pay a late/change fee? 

In order to ensure a smooth program, participation numbers are confirmed for housing, dining, parking, advising, and campus partners well in advance of the program. Changing the guaranteed numbers can impact program fees. 

Why are there no refunds within 10 business days of the program? 

To ensure a smooth program, participation numbers are confirmed with housing, dining, parking, advising, and campus partners well in advance of the program. Changing the guarantee numbers can impact program fees. If your initial guest is no longer able to attend Orientation, please inform NSFP and we can update the reservation with a different guest name to attend in the initial guest’s place. 

I am a confirmed Carolina Covenant Scholar. How do I complete my Orientation reservations? 

All Covenant Scholars have the following fees waived: the student reservation, ONE guest reservation, ONE guest housing, and early/late arrival/departure for ONE student and ONE guest.  If you have already paid these fees, email and request a refund of these applicable fees. 

Why are there different prices for multiple guests? 

The first-guest reservation for first-year Orientation includes 4 meals, Carolina Family Calendar, access to the digital Carolina Family Handbook, staffing, facility usage, and parking. Each additional first-year Orientation guest fee includes 4 meals, access to the digital Carolina Family Handbook, staffing and facility usage.  

How can I pay my balance for Orientation? 

You can make your initial payment or pay for requested changes online via Visa or MasterCard.  Login to your Orientation reservation at, using your ONYEN and Password, and click through to find the Pay My Balance button.  Do not send credit card information via email, online chat, or over the phone; you may only make payments online.  

Students who selected Pay Later upon originally checking out must log back in to pay within 10 business days of making the online reservation. Failure to do so will result in a cancellation and there is no guarantee that your initial request for sessions will be available.  

If you need additional time to pay for your orientation session, email to arrange to defer your fee until after classes begin and financial aid has been dispersed. Financial aid will NOT automatically pay your orientation fee; you will still be required to log in to your Orientation reservation and pay via Visa or Mastercard. 

 Why do I have to pay a fee if we do not show up for our initial session? 

In order to ensure a smooth program, participation numbers are confirmed with housing, dining, advising, and campus partners well in advance of the program. The program operates on a self-sustained budget and does not get reimbursed for the students and families that decide not to attend.  Therefore, you will have to pay your food and housing costs again to participate in a new session. 

Orientation program requirement and schedule length

Is Orientation mandatory?  Do I have to attend all sessions of the program? 

Yes, Orientation is required for all new first-year students. All components of the orientation program are required. First-year students attend a 2-day program and should plan to be on-campus by 8:15 am ET on Day 1 through 4:05 pm ET on Day 2. Participants should not plan for outside activities during the program (such as meeting a friend for lunch, dinner, team practice, etc.). Orientation activities such as small groups, Academic Advising, laptop distribution, configuration, etc. are not able to be requested, switched, or rescheduled. If you choose to miss any portion of New Student Orientation you will not be able to register for fall courses until a date in August (TBD).

Is Orientation mandatory for parents/family/guests? 

While Family Orientation is optional, all new parents and families are invited and strongly encouraged to attend Family Orientation. In a concurrent Family Orientation program, guests will hear from numerous faculty, university administrators, and deans about how to partner with the University to support students toward graduation. We welcome and encourage family members and guests to attend Orientation and learn about how to get involved as a Carolina family member and maximize the Carolina experience. 

How long is Orientation? 

First-year students attend a 2-day program and should plan to be on-campus by 8:15 a.m. ET on Day 1 through 4:05 p.m. ET on Day 2. Orientation activities such as small groups, Academic Advising, laptop distribution and configuration, etc. are not able to be requested, switched, or rescheduled. 

Is it better to attend Orientation earlier in the summer? 

There is NO advantage to students attending Orientation in June compared to July. Students should select the Orientation program that works best for their travel schedule. While assigned course registration dates are based on which Orientation session you attend, Academic Advising and the Office of the Registrar work with academic departments to equally release seats in academic courses throughout ALL registration periods.

I’m an Honors Carolina Student. Do I have to attend the Honors Carolina Orientation Session? 

All Honors Carolina students are strongly encouraged to complete a reservation for the Honors Carolina Orientation session on June 28 – June 29, 2023, where special presentations regarding opportunities available to Honors Carolina students will be offered. Attendees at this session will enjoy their first chance to forge new friendships with other Honors Carolina participants who share their passion for academic pursuit and intellectual curiosity. If a scheduling conflict prevents you from attending the Honors Carolina Orientation session, you are welcome to make a reservation for a different first-year Orientation session. At each of these other sessions, an Honors Carolina representative will meet with honors students as a group to answer questions and provide program information during Interest Sessions on Day 2. 

Parking & housing during orientation

Where will I stay during my Orientation session? What should I bring?

Students will stay in the Carmichael Residence Hall, which is a suite-style residence hall. Linens are NOT provided in any student rooms.  Rooms are double occupancy rooms; each room is air-conditioned and has two twin beds.  Participants should bring their own blanket, bed linens, and towels. In a suite-style double room such as in Carmichael, the bathroom consists of one toilet, one shower and two sinks. Students will be assigned a roommate for Orientation upon check-in to Carmichael on the morning of Day 1.  

Families may arrange off-campus accommodation independently. New Student & Family Programs is proud to partner with some of Chapel Hill’s finest hotels to offer you special rates and accommodation while you visit UNC-Chapel Hill.  

Why do students have to stay on-campus for New Student Orientation? 

All first-year students are required to live in on-campus housing or in Granville Towers during their first year at UNC. Therefore, all first-year students have the opportunity to experience on-campus living with during First-Year Orientation.  

Can I request my roommate at Orientation? 

If a student would like to share a room with another student attending the same orientation, they should check-in to Carmichael at the same time. 

My guest (or student) requires accessibility resources/services.  How can I request those? 

If a student or guest require accessibility services such as a sign language interpreter, dietary needs, wheel chair, housing accommodations, or additional resources please be sure to indicate the needs in the appropriate fields during the Orientation reservation application. Any accommodation requests for New Student Orientation need to be received at least 10 business days prior to the session. Students wishing to identify with Accessibility Resources & Services (ARS) may also do so at

Orientation Activities

What if I do not have all my scores and transcripts by the time I attend Orientation? 

All students will complete an on-line academic advising module prior to attending Orientation. The module will provide insight about the Carolina curriculum and planning your coursework. At Orientation, you will meet with an Academic Advisor to discuss your academic plan. Your advisor will talk with you about the placement exams that you took and your anticipated scores. If you have received your scores, or if you have completed course at any other colleges or universities, then bring copies of your transcripts. 

When will I pick up my laptop? 

All students that pre-ordered a laptop through the CCI program will be able to pick up their laptop pre-loaded on either Day 1 or Day 2 morning of the program.  Laptop distribution and configuration times cannot be switched or requested. Students may also pick up their laptop when they move to campus in the fall. If you need to order your laptop, please visit  If you are not picking up a CCI laptop, please bring a laptop with you for use on Day 2 of New Student Orientation.  We encourage all participants to bring a backpack to carry their laptop in, as you will need it with you during Day 2 of Orientation.

Placement Exams

I am uncertain about Math Placement. 

All new undergraduate students should carefully review the Math Placement Information for Incoming Carolina Undergraduate Students (You may also go to and in the upper right corner, search math placement). Math Placement Information is especially important for majors in the natural sciences, mathematics, business, economics and pre-health professions. Additionally, the Chemistry Department does not permit students to register for Introductory Chemistry (Chem 101 and 101 lab) without a math placement score.  For more information, visit the math placement web page.

I took XYZ language in high school but I want to take a different language at Carolina. Do I still need to take the online foreign language placement exam? 

Yes, all students are required to take a University foreign language placement test. If your high school foreign language is French, German, Latin or Spanish, you are expected to take the online placement exam, found at, no later than two-weeks prior to attending New Student even if you do not plan to continue in that language. If your high school foreign language is not French, German, Latin or Spanish, visit for a list of on-campus placement exams.  

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