Orientation FAQs for New Students

Does tuition need to be paid at orientation? Shippensburg University's tuition and fees are set by the State System of Higher Education's Board of Governors and/or Shippensburg University's Council of Trustees.

All bills are available online. Paper bills are not mailed. You will receive an email at your Ship email account when the bills are ready to view online. Check your Ship email account regularly for important billing information updates. Visit Student Accounts for more information regarding billing and payment.

Can I change my major after/during orientation? It is not uncommon for a first year student to change their major at least once. In order to change major before classes begin, students will need to contact the Office of Admissions. Once the semester begins, all changes would be worked through with the student's academic advisor.

Will I be able to purchase books at New Student Orientation? The University Store will be open, however, not all textbooks will not be available for purchase at this time. Dates for textbooks availability will be posted on the University Store website at ship.bsktr.com.

Where do I report for Spring New Student Orientation? Arrival and registration for the Orientation Program will run from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The program will begin in the Ceddia Union Building (CUB) at 1:00 p.m.

I have not taken all of my Placement Tests, should I still attend my Orientation Session? Any student who has been notified by the Placement Testing Office that they must complete placement testing should do so before their Orientation visit. Students who attend Orientation without required testing scores will sit for their placement testing that day.

How does roommate matching work for room assignments? The Housing Office uses Room Sync through Facebook for students to be able to meet their future roommates. Then once students make their deposits, the students will go to their Housing Portal via myShip and they are able to select their room with the friend they met on Room Sync.

What are the bed sizes in the residence halls? All residence hall rooms across campus are equipped with a twin XL mattress for each resident. For more information on room furnishing, please visit the Office of Housing & Residence Life's webpage.

Can students have their own microwave and refrigerator? Each room is allowed to have up to one microwave and one mini-fridge. For a traditional-style residence hall room, this would equate to one set for both students living in the room. For a suite-styled residence hall room, this would equate to one set in each bedroom as well as one set in the common area, however most suite-style residents decide to have on set placed in the common area and forego the additional sets in the individual bedrooms.

What residence halls are open to first-year students? Most residence halls will have first-year students residing in them. McLean Hall (traditional-style), McLean II, Seavers, Presidents, McCune, Kieffer, and Lackhove (all suite-style) will house first year students with the general population. The only halls not available to first-year students are Stone Ridge Commons (the apartment complex on campus) and Mowrey Hall (traditional-style).

What is the guest visitation policy for the residence halls? Students must sign in their guest with the Desk Assistant at the front desk of each residence hall on campus, except for Stone Ridge. Their guest must be over 18 years old and can stay for a maximum of two nights within a seven-day period.

For students that move onto campus early (sports, band, ASP) where do they move into? Early move-in students typically move directly into their fall residence. The only exception to this is the entire football team stays together in one residence hall, and will move into their respective residence rooms closer to the beginning of the school year.

How does the laundry system work? Laundry facilities are located inside each residence hall. For traditional-style halls, laundry facilities are located on the ground floor, whereas the suite-style halls have a few machines on each floor. Students can operate these machines using coins, as well as debit/credit cards (VISA, Discover, MasterCard). If you choose to use a card, there will be a $9.00 hold on the card for 72 hours to ensure that the funds are valid.

How are the residence halls cleaned? All common areas in traditional-style residence halls (lounges, hallways, lobbies, and bathrooms) are cleaned daily by custodial staff. Traditional-style hall residents only have to clean their residence room throughout the year. Suite-style residence rooms (bedroom, bathroom, communal space) have to be cleaned by the residents of that room. The custodial staffs in those buildings will clean the building-wide common areas (lounges, kitchens, hallways).

Where can we purchase a parking decal and how much does it cost? Parking decals become available for purchase in early August for each academic year. Parking decals cost $75.00 and are effective from August 1 - July 31. Once parking decals are available, students can go online to https://parking.ship.edu/ and follow the instructions to register their vehicles. Payment can be made online or at the time when the student picks up the physical decal. After they have registered their vehicles online, students can pick up the decals from the University Police station inside the Reed Operations Center. New incoming students can pick their decals up when they move onto campus at Orientation's designated location.

Are first-year students allowed to have a car on campus? Yes, first-year students are allowed to have a car on campus. There are specific parking lots for residential students to park their cars in; residential and storage lots. A parking lot map can be found here.

How do visitor parking passes work? When a parent or friend is coming to visit a student, they must go to the University Police station inside the Reed Operations Center before parking their vehicle somewhere. The visitor will be issued a visitor pass to place inside their vehicle and will be assigned a lot to park in for the duration of their visit.

What training does the police force receive? Since the University Police are deputized police officers by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the University Police enforce all regulations and laws -- both of the University and the Commonwealth. They also work cooperatively with the Shippensburg Borough Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police to record incidents that may occur off campus.

Where can I see a list of crime statistics? To be complicit of current laws and regulations, as well as to be as transparent as possible with the University community; Shippensburg University provides annual security reports, and lists several years of campus crime statistics on its website. This report can be found on the Department of Public Safety's website.

How does Dining Services handle food allergies/ diabetic menus? All food in the main dining halls is sufficiently marked with specific allergy information. Additional allergy concerns can be handled by speaking with the Director of Dining Services, Nick Iula. Information regarding meal choices and nutrition can be found at www.dineoncampus.com/shipwhere a list of items offered for the day and their nutritional content is located.

When do we pick a meal plan and when do we pay for the meal plan? Meal plans may be changed online through the Sunday before the start of the semester. Once the semester begins meal plan changes must be made through the Student Accounts Office. Increases to meal plans may be made at any time throughout the entire semester. Decreases in meal plans can only be made through the 2nd week of the semester. For a guide on how to pick a meal plan, please visit  www.dineoncampus.com/ship/show.cfm?cmd=_mealPlansFAQs.

How does flex money work? Flex money is additional money on a students ID card that can be used to pay for meals or convenience items from the Big Red Snack Shack, Starbucks, and Dunkin' Donuts. Flex is in addition to the meals already allocated on your meal plan and additional flex can be purchased by going to the student accounts office.

How many weeks are factored into a block meal plan? A block meal plan has 15 weeks factored into it.

What happens if I purchase a block meal plan and I need more or less meals than the block chosen as the semester comes to an end? If you are in need of more flex dollars to accommodate your needs, you can go to the student accounts office at anytime to increase the amount of money on your account. Additional meals are unable to be purchased during the semester. For future semesters, you can change your meal plan as long as it is changed the Sunday before the start of the semester.

How do students apply for jobs with Dining Services? Student can apply for jobs with dining services by going to the following website:  www.dineoncampus.com/ship/show.cfm?cmd=jobOpportunities.

Where is the health form that all students have to fill out? Health forms that need to be filled out can be found at  www.ship.edu/Health_Center/New_Student_Information/.

Where is the meningitis form that all residential students have to fill out? Meningitis forms and instructions can be found at  www.ship.edu/Health_Center/Meningitis/.

Do students need a health physical before arriving in August? No, unless they are athletes.

What local hospital will students be taken to, if needed? Students will be taken to the Chambersburg Hospital, which is a 20-minute drive from campus.

How do students fill their prescriptions? The Raider Regional Transit (RRT) is a safe and convenient system of transportation for students, which has a bus stop at the Shippensburg Wal-Mart, where your student can get their prescription filled. More information on exact shuttle schedule and bus stops around the campus and local community can be found on www.ship.edu/rrt/. Most services, including the trip to Wal-Mart, are free to students as long as they have their student ID card with them.

Where and when do we go to order textbooks? As soon as you have scheduled your courses you can go and purchase the textbooks. Information on what textbooks you need to purchase for you classes can be found at  www.bkstr.com/shippensburgstore/shop/textbooks-and-course-materials.

What is the return policy for textbooks? If the student wishes to return a book, the SU Bookstore has a return policy in which the student can purchase return the used book within seven days for a 100% refund of purchase price.

What are the buyback terms and rates for textbooks? Books that are needed for the following semester are bought back at 50% of the price that they would have paid (up to a quota). After the quota is met, or it's not being used on campus and there is a need from the wholesales, the price is the wholesale. If there is not a need, either at the store or from the stores wholesales, than the store does not buy the book back. The textbook rental program is the best way to save on textbooks if the student does not wish to keep them beyond the current semester.

Are all textbooks available in all formats? No. However, over 47% of the books are available for RENT for the Fall 2016 semester and more and more titles are available in a digital format.

What condition are used textbooks in? The SU Bookstore does not accept used books with major highlighting. When purchasing a used book, the student should expect some highlighting.

When and how do students pay for tuition costs? Students can pay for their tuition by logging into their myShip account.  Fall bills will be available online approximately mid-July and will be due mid-August.  Spring bills will be available online mid-November and will be due early January.

Where do students find the FERPA form for Student Accounts? Students can sign the release form to allow students to view their financial aid and student accounts information in the Student Accounts Office. Due to the level of privacy and security dictated by federal law, students must sign this form in person at the Student Accounts Office and must present a valid picture ID, such as the SU ID card or a driver's license. For hours and more information, visit www.ship.edu/student_accounts/.

How much is the tuition cost for this upcoming school year? Tuition information for the current and upcoming school year can be found at  www.ship.edu/Student_Accounts/Tuition_and_Fees/. Tuition and fees for the upcoming year will be updated on the webpage in mid-July after the PASSHE Board of Governors meets to set tuition rates.

Does Ship offer scholarships to new incoming students? Yes, scholarships are offered to first year students on both merit and financial need.  Shippensburg does not require a separate application to receive a scholarship.  Please visit www.ship.edu/scholarships for more information. 

Where do students fill out the Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling forms for student loans? Students should complete an electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN) and Entrance Counseling form in order to borrow a Federal Direct Loan at www.studentloans.gov.  The Federal School Code for Shippensburg University is 003326.

How do parents use their 529 accounts toward students' educational costs? If you will be using a college savings plan to pay all or a part of your online bill, paperwork will need to be completed to request the funds from the college savings plan.  A copy of the online bill must be returned to the Student Accounts Office with a copy of the paperwork showing the amount to be received from the plan. You may take a deduction for the approved amount you will receive and pay any difference due.

Where can parents apply for a Parent PLUS Loan? Parents interested in applying for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan may apply at www.studentloans.gov.  If you would like more information about funding your education, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 717-477-1131 or finaid@ship.edu.

How do the ROTC scholarships work? If you selected, the Army ROTC Scholarship can cover 100% of your tuition and fees (including non-resident rates) plus a $1200 per-year book allowance. There are also monthly allowances of $300-$500 available, as well as bonuses for foreign language studies and paid overseas summer internships. More information on specific scholarships can be found at www.ship.edu/ROTC/.

Does ROTC have the same restrictions as the Army, such as if a student has dietary restrictions they are not eligible? ROTC is an Army program and follows the same regulation for medical issues (Army Regulation 40-501, Standards of Medical Fitness) as the rest of the Army. To complete the ROTC program and earn a commission a student must pass a Department of Defense physical exam before the end of their junior year, during which any ineligible dietary restrictions would be noted.

What is the commitment after graduation? You will have options of making the Army a full-time job after graduation (with a starting salary of over $52,000 per year), or serving one weekend a month while you pursue a civilian career or further education.

Can students who are not on financial aid secure jobs on campus? All students have the ability to look for on campus employment as well as apply to open positions. Employment can be found via SHIP Career Connection and each job posting identifies if it is Federal Work Study (FWS) or Student Employment.

Where can students find postings for on-campus jobs? Students can find postings for on campus jobs on SHIP Career Connection via the  www.ship.edu/career website. For more information on how to set up an account or navigate the site, please click here.

When can students start to apply for on-campus jobs? Shippensburg University students can begin applying to jobs when they see the positions posted via SHIP Career Connection.

When are AP credits and college transfer-credits applied and how are students notified? Information on AP and CLEP questions can be found at www.ship.edu/Admissions/(CLEP)_Credit___AP_Credit/. Credits are applied as soon as records are sent to the Registrars office. Information regarding transfer credits can be found at  www.ship.edu/Admissions/Transfers/Course_Equivalencies/and are applied to a student's record when transcripts are sent from the institution in question to Shippensburg University's Registrars office.

Can you change your class schedule after Orientation? Online schedule adjustment for the fall semester for all students (except new freshmen) will be available through myShip at https://my.ship.edubeginning on August 1. To schedule courses that require permission, you must obtain an override from the department office beginning August 1. First semester freshmen are not permitted to adjust schedules during their first term at Shippensburg except in extenuating circumstances, and only with the approval of their academic dean's office.

How can students receive additional academic support outside of the classroom? Students can receive additional academic support outside of the classroom by seeking out help from their professors or from tutors. The Learning Center, located in Mowrey Hall on the first floor, offers a variety of peer tutoring services including group content tutoring and individualized tutoring at the writing studio. Tutors are well trained and enthusiastic to help students succeed. The Learning Center also offers time to work with learning specialists should the student have difficulty with study skills or organization for their class. More information about the Learning Center and scheduling an appointment is available online.