New Student Orientation for First-Year Students (Freshmen)

Welcome to UIS – We are so excited that you have chosen to come to our University!

First Year students at Playfair, August 2014
First Year students at Playfair, August 2014

After returning your UIS Admission Acceptance Form, your journey to college begins with Orientation. New Student Orientation is designed to assist you and your parents/family/guests in making the transition to university life and being a successful Prairie Star.

All first-year students (and Transfer Freshmen with less than 30 hours) will attend both of our mandatory Orientation programs: KickStart and Launch Week.  KickStart is a two-day program.  For students admitted to the Spring [January] Orientation there is only one Spring KickStart date. Please keep this in mind as work, vacations, and other activities are being planned and scheduled.

The Orientation Fee covers costs for the student and up to 2 parents/family members/guests to attend KickStart.  It is non-refundable. There is an additional $25 fee each, for 3 or more guests that helps to cover some of the cost for meals and refreshments.  If you add Guests when you register for orientation, your Guest Fee will be non-refundable because we give a guarantee of guests to catering 5 business days before the program.  Please keep this in mind when you complete the registration form. You can add Guests at KickStart check-in by paying the $25/person guest fee by check or money order on site.

For students enrolling in the Spring Semester (January) 2017

Step 1: Claim Your NetID and Access Your UIS Email Account.  

Before you can make your reservation for UIS Kickstart you will need to claim your NetID – this will allow you to enter our online registration form and automatically generate your UIS email account.  You will need the University Identification Number (UIN) you were assigned in your acceptance letter and the Token (code) sent to the personal e-mail address you used for your UIS application. If your Token expired, e-mail to have a new one generated and sent to you. You can check your UIS email after you complete this step: go to and use your NetID and password to log in.

First-Year (Freshmen) New Student Orientation Brochure (cover)
First-Year (Freshmen) New Student Orientation Brochure (cover)

Freshmen Orientation Booklet in pdf (mailed to students after accepting admission – Spring 2017 edition coming soon)


Step 2: Register for Spring KickStart,  Orientation Part I

There is one Spring KickStart session for first-year [freshmen] students enrolling in the Spring 2017 semester:  Wednesday, January 11 and Thursday, January 12.

* You are required to attend the mandatory KickStart and Launch Week programs to be advised and registered for your fall classes. 

* International Undergraduate Freshmen Students, will need to plan their arrival to attend the mandatory New International Student Check-in, New International Student Orientation, the January 11-12 Spring KickStart session, and January Spring Launch Week programs. Please visit the International Student Services page for more information on International Check-in.

Registration for Spring KickStart is Now Open – click here to access our online form to register for Orientation.  

The only way to pay by credit card is through the online registration form.  Students can also choose to pay the Orientation Fee by personal/cashier’s check and money order and send it by mail, or defer to their Spring Bill.

Step 3: Review the KickStart Schedule before making travel arrangements (This schedule is still tentative but will give you a good idea of start and end times for each day. It should be finalized by early December.  You will receive a more detailed program during check-in at your KickStart session).

Wednesday, January 11

8:30 – 1 p.m.

Orientation Help Desk.  Founders Residence Hall Lobby and Lincoln Residence Hall Lobby. Orientation Leaders (OLs) are available to help direct you around campus or answer questions about the Spring KickStart program.

9 – 10 a.m.

First-Year On-Campus Housing Check-in, Public Affairs Center, First Floor, TBD – check back in early November for more information.
First-Year students living on campus will need to get their keys and paperwork from Residence Life staff. Students living in the residence halls will also need to get their i-Card at this time so they can have access to their building. Bring a state or federally issued form of identification with you in order to get your i-Card.

9 – 11:30 a.m.

Office of Financial Assistance Open. University Hall Building (UHB), 1015. Do you have questions about your award letter? Students and parents can meet your Financial Assistance Counselor to review the Financial Aid award and the cost of attendance.

9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

English and Math Placement Testing. Testing Services, Human Resources Building, room 112 (bldg 6 on the campus map).
If you take placement tests the morning of your KickStart session plan 45 min to one hour for each test you are required to take into your travel plans so you can check into your overnight housing, eat lunch, and then check-in to KickStart before KickStart starts at 12:30 p.m.

Campus Tours. Departing from the LRH Lobby. Available on Request (depending on staffing and the weather – there may be a short wait time).

Parent & Family Relaxation Station.  Public Affairs Center (PAC) Conference Room F. (9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.). Waiting for a student to finish Placement Testing, the Relaxation Station has seating, laptop computers, and refreshments available.

10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Student On-Campus Housing Move-in. First-Year students attending January KickStart and living on campus can move into their spring housing assignment on Wednesday, January 11.

11 am. – 12:15 p.m.

Lunch on Your Own – Try our Food Emporium in the Public Affairs Center (PAC) Building, 1st Floor.  The Food Emporium accepts cash and major credit cards. 

11:45 am. – 12:25 p.m.

Orientation Check-in, University Hall Building (UHB), 1st Floor Lobby. [TBA]
If you would like to pay your Orientation Fee and additional Guest Fees, if any, we will have staff that will be able to accept your payment by personal or cashier’s check or money order (made payable to the University of Illinois Springfield, please make sure the student’s name and UIN are on the check).  We are sorry, we are unable to accept cash or credit cards for payment methods on site.  

12:30 p.m.

Welcome: UIS Academic Overview; Making Financial Assistance Work for Student Success; Student Accounts, Billing, Direct Deposit, and Payment Plans; The i-Card: Meal Plans, Campus Cash. University Hall Building (UHB).

2 – 2:25 p.m.

Refreshment Break (included in Orientation Fee)

2:20 – 3:25 p.m.

Student Session: Rising Stars: How to Succeed While, Really Really Trying. Orientation Leaders will walk you to this session.

2:30 – 4:55 p.m.

Family and Guest Sessions: Straight Talk for Parents (A panel of current students and parents);  Understanding Your Student’s Transition; and What Faculty Members Want Families to Know.

3:30 – 5 p.m.

Student Session: Living and Learning in our Campus Community.

5-6 p.m.

Get It Done Together – Students, Parents, Families, & Guests: Offices including Student Insurance, Financial Assistance, Health Services (Immunizations), Student Life, Residence Life, IT, Brookens Library, Career Services, and many more will be available for consultations and to give students and families an opportunity to learn more about programs and services UIS has to offer.

6 – 6:45 p.m.

Dinner with the Orientation Team (Students, Parents, Families, & Guests).  This meal is included in the Orientation Fee for the student and up to 2 guests (additional guests will be charged $25 each at KickStart check-in to cover costs of meals/refreshments).

6:50 – 7:20 p.m.

Students, Parents, Families, & Guests Session: The Residential Student Experience or The Commuter Student Experience.

7:20 p.m.

Students living on campus continue move-in. Commuter students may leave for home. Parents/Family Members may check-in at hotel.  See everyone Tuesday for Breakfast at 7:30.  Be in PAC, Food Emporium no later than 8 a.m.

Thursday, January 12

7:30 a.m.

Students, Parents, Families, and Guests: Breakfast with the Orientation Team. This meal is included in the Orientation Fee for the student and up to 2 guests (additional guests will be charged $25 each at KickStart check-in to cover costs of meals/refreshments).

8:15 – 8:55 a.m.

Orientation Group Meeting (Students)

8:15 – 8:55 a.m.

Parent/Family Coffee Social with UIS Administrators and Faculty Members


Students, Parents, Families, and Guests Information Sessions: Learn more about Student Involvement Opportunities, Career Services, Academic Resources, Student Employment, Studying Abroad, and Applying for Campus Jobs.  Orientation Leaders will take you to your session.

11:25- 2:05 p.m.

Students Get It Done: Students will be meet with Advisors, Register for Classes, get their I-Card, set up their authorized payer, and have lunch with their Orientation Group in the Food Emporium.

11 – 2:05 p.m.

Parents, Families, and Guests: Information Sessions. Learn more about Health & Counseling Services, Campus Safety, Campus Technology, eat lunch in the Food Emporium, and more. This meal is included in the Orientation Fee for the student and up to 2 guests (additional guests will be charged $25 each at KickStart check-in to cover costs of meals/refreshments).  Parents/Family Members will be given a $10 meal card that they can use in the Food Emporium for lunch to see how the declining meal balance works.  You may want to bring extra cash just in case.

2 – 2:25 p.m.

Closing Remarks: Launch Week overview, name tag collection, & Evaluations (Students, Parents, Families, and Guests)

Step 4:  Placement Testing

Entering students may have to take Math, Reading, or Foreign Language Placement Exams.  Math Placement often depends on ACT scores and your intended major. Reading Placement is dependent on your English/Reading ACT scores. For more information about Placement Test requirements or if you are unsure if you have to take placement exams please contact your advisor:

Capital Scholar Honors students contact the CAP office at (217)-206-7246 or (800)-252-8533 or by email at

All other first-year students contact the Office of Advising Services, Information and Support (OASIS) and ask to speak with an advisor. Contact OASIS by e-mail or phone (217) 206-7471.

In is strongly encouraged that students take English and Math Placement Testing before their KickStart session by going to one of our remote sites, or if you live near Springfield, to our Testing Services office. There is a small fee to test at the remote sites (but not at UIS). Save your receipt from the remote testing site payment and bring it with you to your KickStart session. You can turn it in to the OASIS Advising staff who will generate a reimbursement for you.

Foreign Language Placement depends on your major or program of study or TOEFL, ACT/SAT scores. Contact the Modern Languages Department for questions about Foreign Language Placement. To schedule your Foreign Language Placement test for the morning on the first day of your KickStart session between 9 and 11 a.m. complete the Modern Languages Placement Testing Request form.


Step 5: Review the New Student Checklist for First-Year Freshmen, Make Travel Arrangements, & Hotel Arrangements for Parents/Families

Students should print the Checklist so they can keep track of things they need to do before Kickstart, Launch, and classes. We also have suggestion on what to bring to Kickstart for both students and parents.

Step 6: Prepare for Spring [January] Launch Week 

Request off work. Check your email for updates on the Launch Week Schedule.

Students Enrolling in the Summer and Fall 2017 Semester

Dates for Summer KickStart and August Launch Week for students admitted to our Summer/Fall Semester are available on our Future Orientation Dates page. Please review this information as you plan Family vacations, personal activities.  The information on this website will be updated in mid January to reflect the Summer and Fall programs and schedules. Registration for Summer KickStart will open on Wednesday, February 1, 2017.


UIS is now a Tobacco-Free campus as mandated by the State of Illinois.

UIS is now a Tobacco Free Campus
UIS is now a Tobacco Free Campus

For questions about New Student Orientation
please contact us at (217) 206.8181 or email