Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do I have to attend orientation?

Yes, if you are a first-year freshman. The University of Illinois Springfield requires all incoming first-year students, including Freshmen Transfer students (less than 30 credit hours accepted by UIS) to attend orientation. Orientation is a vital part in the transition to college.

How do I register for New Student Orientation?

You can register for orientation in two ways, by visiting your UIS Admissions Status page and clicking on KickStart Orientation or by visiting our First-Year [Freshmen] webpage and Clicking on the Registration is now Open. Click Here for the Online Form link. You will use the logon and password from your UIS Admissions application to login to the registration form. For any  questions or concerns call 217-206-8181 or email

I am trying to register for orientation but the logon page says I do not have clearance?

There could be a couple of issues. (1). You are not using the logon id and password you created for your UIS Admissions Application, or (2) you have not accepted your admission to UIS, or (3) you have selected the wrong date. Honors students must select Honors designated dates and Non-Honors (Freshman) students must select Traditional dates.

How do I know that my reservation for orientation has been received?

When you submit the reservation you will automatically receive a copy of your registration form in your personal email. You will also be emailed a confirmation of the session your registered for.  You can also verify your reservation by going to your UIS Admissions Application Status page.

I checked “pay my Orientation Fee by credit card” when I was registering for KickStart but I didn’t see anything that asked for my credit card number? 

If you go to your UIS Admissions Status page you will see under Status Update – Payment Due $175 (or more if you added guests).  Click on that and it will take you through the process of paying by credit card.

How much does Orientation cost? 

There is a mandatory $175 Orientation fee that is assessed to each student and covers expenses for the student. The Orientation Fee can be paid online after registering for KickStart, or the payment may be mailed after registering, or deferred to the student account until the tuition bill is due. The Orientation Fee is mandatory and non-refundable.

If I attend KickStart do I have to attend the Semester Launch program?

Yes, UIS’s mandatory orientation program has two parts. The first part is the 2-day program called KickStart which focuses on big-picture activities like advising and registration. Semester Launch (students entering in Fall) (students entering in Spring) is the second mandatory program where we cover more in-depth programs that will help prepare you for your first semester of college.

Can I make changes to my Orientation reservation?

Yes, we understand that things come up.  Please email us cancelling the one date and indicating your new preferred date. We will cancel your reservation and register you for another date if there is one open.  Do not register for another session online, this will lead to confusion and being registered and charged for two Orientation dates.  Please note that once your cancel your reservation the reservation system automatically opens a spot in that date and someone else can register for that spot.  So please be sure and check dates before cancelling anything.

How do I know if I have to take a placement test?

Entering students may have to take Math, Reading, and/or Foreign Language Placement exams based on the ACT/SAT scores.  You can check requirements by reviewing the tables on the Testing Services website.  If you are unclear about the major requirements for ACT/SAT scores or what tests you need to take, please contact your advisor.  Traditional first-year students contact The Office of Advising Services, Information & Support (OASIS) and Honors students contact the Capital Scholars Honors program.

Can I take Placement Exams before KickStart?

Yes, in fact we strongly encourage students to take any required placement exams before their KickStart session – this will shorten your day on that first day of KickStart, or allow you to do other things, like meet with your Financial Assistance Counselor.

You can request a location near you or if you live near Springfield, at our Testing Services office here on campus.  Placement Testing is scheduled at UIS throughout the year. Testing can be scheduled at remote testing locations throughout Illinois and the United States.

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 submit it and generate a reimbursement to your student account for you.

Can a student and their parents/guests room together on campus during Orientation?

Because students are sharing a room with another student, family members and guests are not allowed to stay in the residence hall and must make accommodations at one of the area hotels. Several hotels are offering special rates if you call the Springfield phone number to make reservations and let them know you are coming for UIS Orientation.

If I have a food allergy, will I need to bring food, or can I get what I need at orientation?

No, you will not need to bring food. When registering for orientation there is a spot on the form to identify if anybody who is attending orientation (including guests) have a food allergy or any other dietary restrictions.  This information is shared with our Food Service staff who try to provide buffets with options that people with allergies, sensitivities, or restrictions to navigate safely and still have a satisfying meal. If you are fasting for religious observation, please let us know and we will work with you to have a meal ready when the day’s fast is done.

If I or my parent/guardian/guest require(s) special assistance will UIS be able to provide me with the necessary assistance?

Students who need accessible housing for their overnight stay or a member of the family needs accommodations (wheel chair, Spanish Translator, Sign Language Interpreter) during KickStart please indicate this on the online registration form. We need at least three weeks before the orientation session to make arrangements with our Office of Disability Services staff who will need time to contact sign language interpreters or take print material like our program and handouts and modify them for students who are blind or have a visual impairment. We will make every effort to make accommodations, but sign language interpreters are dependent on their availability.

What should I bring with me? (I am staying on campus. Do I need to bring linens?)

Linens will be provided for your June / July orientation session, though you may want to bring an extra blanket or favorite pillow. For things to bring to orientation please reference our New Student Orientation Checklist for First-Year Students.

Is it mandatory for students who plan on commuting from home during the school year to stay overnight at the summer orientation in June?


Why Do Students Stay Overnight in the Residence Hall During KickStart?

To meet each other of course! All students, whether planning to live on-campus or commute from home will stay overnight in one of the residence halls with another new student during the KickStart session. This will provide plenty of opportunities for you to get to know some of your classmates. After mandatory programming is done at 8:30 p.m., students will do get-acquainted activities, play games at our TRAC or Rec Fields, or hangout. There will also be board games, gaming stations, TV, and refreshments so students can continue to hang out with each other. It is great to see students at breakfast the next morning excitedly talking with the KickStart classmates they got to know the night before.

Will I be able to receive my orientation date of choice?

In June because we limit the number of student participants in each session they are filled on a first-come basis. Therefore, if you register early you are more likely to receive your 1st choice orientation session. Once a session is full the system will close the session.  If someone changes their reservation, a session may open back up. August and January sessions have no limits on the number of student registrations.

What are my chances of getting the courses I need if I attend a later session?

The first people to register have the opportunity to register for courses offered during preferred/peak class times (i.e. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.). Some popular introduction courses at these times tend to fill up faster. You might have to take it earlier or later in the day than you would prefer, but you will still be registered for these classes. Some general education subjects (i.e. psychology, sociology) are also more popular than others so you may have to choose an alternate subject. Required courses like Freshman Seminar, English, and Math add sections as they are needed throughout the summer. You will be able to register for all the credit hours you need. It may not be at your first choice time or subject.  Students attending August or January (spring semester) should contact the Office of Advising to set up an appoint for advising before their KickStart.  Students will still have to attend KickStart and Semester Launch even though they have been advised for classes. Failure to attend could result in your schedule being cancelled and you will have to wait until the first day of classes to register again.

Will someone from Financial Assistance be at orientation to answer questions/concerns?

Yes!  We strongly encourage students and their parents/guardian meet with the student’s financial assistance counselor to review the financial aid award letter and cost of attendance. The morning of Day 1 the Office of Financial Assistance will have counselors available at 9 a.m.  So if you come down to campus early you will have plenty of time to meet with a counselor. There are times in the schedule that programming is flexible and when both parents and students can meet with a representative from the Financial Assistance office. We do ask that parents and students wait for the designated times because the Office will purposely designate that time to only first-year students and families.  Except for the Saturday session, families can also take time after KickStart finishes on Day 2 to meet with a counselor.

What happens if I am late to orientation? Who should I notify?

If you think you may be running late, please call our office at 217-206-8181 before 11:30 a.m. Our program begins at 12:15 p.m. If you are going to arrive later than 1:30 p.m. you will need to reschedule your session.

Where will the students be staying during orientation?

All students during the June sessions will stay overnight in one of the residence halls that has been designated for Orientation that summer (either Founders Residence Hall or Lincoln Residence Hall). During the August and January orientation sessions students living on-campus will move into their permanent housing assignments the morning before KickStart Orientation begins.  Students living at home will commute for the orientation sessions in August and January only.

Are parents required to attend New Student Orientation?

No, but parent / family participation is strongly encouraged. The Parent / Family sessions provide family members with information, resources and contacts that will aid them in helping their student succeed at UIS.

Will I be able to tour the campus/housing facilities during orientation?

Yes, there will be opportunities in the schedule for campus tours. Housing tours will be offered only if construction/refurbishment allows.  By staying in one of the residence halls you will get the idea of the size and layout of the residence halls.

What is your refund/cancellation policy regarding New Student Orientation fees?

The Orientation and Guest Fees are non-refundable.

How can we get to campus from the train station or airport?

There are several cab companies you can contact to arrange pick up and drop off times. Please visit our Travel and Accommodations web page for more information.

If I haven’t sent back my Acceptance of Admission Form to the Admissions Office yet, can I attend orientation?

No. By accepting admission you will have access to the online orientation form and the advising and testing services offices will have access to your records to properly advise you.  When you send back your Acceptance of Admission Form you will receive a Welcome email from New Student Orientation within a couple of days.  Within a week of your acceptance of admission you will be on our new student lists and we will mail our orientation brochures to you and your parents.

What will I be doing during orientation?

There is a general schedule of the day for students and parents/families members on the website. You and your parents/family members will receive a detailed schedule in your KickStart Guidebook when you check-in to orientation.