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 My College Roomie for students to be able to meet their future roommates. After students sign the housing agreement and pay the deposit, they automatically receive an invitation to My College Roomie. In this platform, future residents can see all other students in their incoming class. Students take a 20-question survey and can filter potential roommates by lifestyle, preferences and academic interests.

Is there a two-year residency requirement? In the fall of 2019, entering first year and transfer students with less than 60 undergraduate college level transferable credits are required to reside in university housing. Exceptions to this policy include those students who reside full-time within the home of their parents or legal guardians within 35 miles of campus, those who are 21 years of age or older, and/or those who are legally married.

How do I select a room? Students can select rooms in one of two ways in the MyHousing system in the myShip portal. Students will receive informational emails with instructions on how to select rooms in the interactive system.

  1. Incoming students interested in Living Learning Communities (LLCs) can select a room right after signing the housing agreement and paying the deposit.
  2. Incoming students not interested in Living Learning Communities can select their room when the room selection process starts in the second week of March. The first of the matching roommates to select the room will pull the other roommate into the room. Students will only see rooms that will accommodate all matching roommates.

What if I do not select a room in the selection process? If you do not select a room as part of the selection processes, you can set hall and living preferences in your MyHousing portal. Housing and Residence Life will place you at the end of the process and before billing in July based on any preferences in the MyHousing portal. Special requests not accommodated in the portal should be emailed to housing@ship.edu.

Can I live on campus all four years while attending Shippensburg University? Yes, returning students have the ability to sign up to live on campus all of their years while I enrolled at Shippensburg University.

What are the bed sizes in the residence halls? All suite residence hall rooms are equipped with a twin XL mattress for each resident. Traditional residence hall rooms have a standard twin mattress. More information about room furnishing is available online.

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 one set placed in the common area and forgo the additional sets in the individual bedrooms.

What residence halls are open to first year students? All residence halls will have first-year students residing in them except for Mowrey Hall. McLean hall (traditional-style), Naugle, Seavers, Harley, McCune, Kieffer and Lackhove (all suite-style) will house first year students with the general population. Mowrey Hall (traditional-style) houses graduate students. Seavers and Naugle are first year students only.

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. Their guest must be over 18 years old and can stay for no more than 48 consecutive hours within a seven day period.

Where do students moving onto campus early (sports, band, ASP) move into? Early move in students typically move directly into their fall residence. The only exception to this is the entire football team, which 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. The cost is $1.75 per wash and dry.

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).

What are Living Learning Communities? Living Learning Communities are a group of students who live on the same floor and share common academic or social interests. In your LLC, you will build new relationships with other students, faculty and staff, while concentrating on your personal passions. Students live together by majors, such as first year biology students, or business majors, and LLCs are created around lifestyle interests, such as engaging service and healthy living. In your LLC, you will also enjoy benefits such as simplified scheduling, living in suite-style housing custom designed for LLCs, and the ability to choose your roommates.

Does my room come with cable TV and a phone? Cable television is provided to each residence hall room, and to the common areas in C, D, E and F units. The rooms are not equipped with pones, however, phone service is available upon request on a first come first serve basis to the Telecommunications Office. Every student living on campus also gets free access to streaming TV through PHILO and a free subscription to HBO Go.

What kind of internet service is available in the residence halls? High speed wireless access to the campus network is available throughout all of the areas of the new suite buildings. Additionally, each residence hall room is equipped with a hard-wired Ethernet jack. Wireless internet routers are not permitted in the residence halls.

Do I receive mail at my residence hall? Mail services for students are located at the UPS store in the CUB. All mail and packages are sent and delivered at this location. Mail and packages are not able to be sent directly to a residence hall.

Can I control my own heat and air conditioning? Thermostat controls are present in each unit for heat and air conditioning. The university sets the standard temperature ranges for heating and cooling. However, students have the ability to adjust the temperature within the temperature range.

Are trash and recycling available in the buildings? Trash and recycling rooms are centrally located on each of the floors.

What furnishings are included in each suite type? All united type bedrooms contain one dresser, one bed, one desk, one closet and one desk chair per resident. The dressers are stackable and the beds are bunkable. Unit C contains two arm chairs and one TV in its common area. Units D and E contain one dining table with four chairs, one sofa, one end table, one arm chair, one coffee table and one TV stand. Unit F contains one sofa, one end table, one arm chair, one coffee table and one TV stand. McLean has built in dressers and closets. Desks, pedestal drawers, desk chairs and beds are able to be moved around the room.

What widow treatments are provided? Mini blinds are provided for each window in the residence halls. There are no curtain rods. Curtain rods may not be permanently affixed, however, tension rods are permitted.

What are the sizes of the mattresses? The mattresses that are considered “extra-long” twin are 36” x 80”. The mattresses that are standard twin are 36” x 76”. Extra-long linens should be purchased for the beds in the six suite residence halls.

What are the safety amenities in the residence halls? All of the residence halls are locked 24 hours a day and are accessible by ID card only. Internal entrances to living communities, elevators and stairwells are also locked 24 hours a day and are accessible by ID card only. There are also several monitored security cameras through the interior and exterior of the buildings.

What do I need to bring to my suite? Residents must provide their own standard 72” length shower curtain, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, refrigerator and microwave. Food prep areas in units C, D, E and F have space available for refrigerators and microwaves. Refrigerators are permitted in each bedroom as well as the kitchenettes and can be no greater than 3 amps and 4.3 cu. ft. One microwave with a maximum wattage of 750 is permitted per room or suite.

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 or Executive Chef at 717-477-1619. Information regarding meal choices and nutrition can be found at dineoncampus.com/ship where 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 Plan selection can start as early as new student orientation. If no selection is made you may select your meal plan once your tuition bill is received. Your meal plan is listed on your tuition bill. 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 second week of the semester.

How do flex dollars work? Flex dollars are additional money on a student’s 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 similar to a debit card, and supplements a meal plan to purchase snacks, coffee, and other items. Additional flex can be added throughout the semester in $25 increments.

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? Additional meals are unable to be purchased during the semester. If you are in need of more flex dollars to accommodate your needs, you can go to the student accounts office at any time to increase the amount of money on your account. 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? Students can apply for jobs with Dining Services at dineoncampus.com/ship/job-opportunities.

Where can I locate the health forms that are required by all incoming students? A list of required health forms can be found online. These forms should be completed prior to arriving on campus.

Is there a fee to make an appointment at the health center? Does the health center bill insurance? Appointments are made at no charge to students who are eligible. Eligibility is determined by your student status and payment of the Health Fee (this fee is billed to all students with tuition). Your insurance information may be requested, and billed for any services that cannot be performed within the health center. These are the services that are billed directly by the provider:

  • Certain lab tests that the physician orders that need to be sent to an outside laboratory (Quest Diagnostics)
  • Radiology tests that may be ordered and services received at an outside facility

Where is the closest hospital if a student requires emergency care? Students will be taken to either WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital or UPMC Pinnacle Carlisle Hospital. Each facility is approximately 20 minutes from campus.

How do students fill their prescriptions? Prescriptions can be filled at any local pharmacy. There are various chain pharmacies in the Shippensburg community to choose from based on student preference and insurance requirements. Henry’s Pharmacy, located in downtown Shippensburg will deliver medications to students on campus.

**Please note that Etter Health Center does not dispense prescription medications. Maintenance prescriptions should be continued from your PCP at home. If needed, they can call your refills in to the local Shippensburg pharmacy. The physician at Etter Health Center may prescribe medications for acute illnesses and injuries. These prescriptions are sent electronically to any local pharmacy within the Shippensburg community based on student preference.

What are the hours of the Health Center? The Health Center is staffed with Registered Nurses during normal hours:

  • Monday - Thursday: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Friday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Weekends (Saturday and Sunday): 12:30p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

**Please note that the physician is typically available at the Health Center Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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 on the bookstore's website.

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 within the first week of class with receipt. The book must be in the original condition of when you purchased it. Access codes cannot be open or scratched and packages must be unopened.

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, about half of the books are available for rent 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.

What is ROTC? ROTC is the college elective for undergraduate and graduate students that provides unrivaled leadership training for success in any career field. The program consists of one military science class a semester and one summer training session at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Upon completion of the program, cadets earn a commission as a 2nd lieutenant and will have options to serve on Active Duty, National Guard or Army Reserve.

Am I joining the Army when I enroll in ROTC? No. Cadets do not have to commit to any military obligation during the first two years of the program.

Can I get involved in athletics or clubs and organizations if I'm in ROTC? Yes. Many cadets are student-athletes or belong to student clubs and organizations. In fact, we encourage it.

Are any pre-tests (ASVAB, physical exam, etc.) required before enrolling in ROTC? No. Any tests or documentation required will be completed after the semester starts.

Are there ROTC scholarships available? Yes. Ship ROTC awarded nearly $400,000 in scholarships last year alone. Scholarships cover 100 percent of tuition and fees and include a $1,200 per year book allowance and a stipend of $420 per month.

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.