Frequently Asked Questions for Family, Friends, & Guests of New Arcadia Students

Greetings families, friends, and guests of our newest Arcadia University students,

Welcome to the Arcadia family! Please know that we — your faculty, staff, and current students — are here to support you and your student. We all want your student to be happy, healthy, and successful at Arcadia University.

The purpose of this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) guide is to provide an overview of new student orientation and to answer commonly asked questions as new students transition into our community. We hope you find this information beneficial and that the answers provided help you become knowledgeable and informed as your student acclimates to Arcadia.

We ask, however, that you do not immediately solve problems or challenges on behalf of your student. Instead, support and encourage your student to self-advocate and help them take ownership of their Arcadia experience. College is your student’s opportunity to enhance their skills, voice concerns, and ask questions. It is also a time for your student to build resilience and grit, and develop their capacity to prosper. As they navigate their way to success and ultimately graduate from Arcadia, please know that we will be there to advise and provide assistance every step of the way.

Should you have any additional questions beyond these FAQs, please do not hesitate to contact us at or 215-517-2481.


The Orientation Planning Executive Committee

My student was accepted and has deposited. How does my student know what to do next?

Once your student deposited to Arcadia University, they will receive a Welcome Kit that outlines next steps. These steps include activating their Arcadia e-mail address, registering for Summer Orientation, uploading the necessary health paperwork, signing up for on-campus housing, learning about financial aid, and more. Your student will complete these forms but they may ask you for additional information. Please do not submit these forms for them.

When is Summer Orientation?

Orientation Dates for First-Year Students
  • Thursday, June 21 (recommended for Honors students)
  • Friday, June 22
  • Monday, June 25 (recommended date for Fall FYSAE students)
  • Friday, July 6
  • Monday, July 9 (recommended date for Gateway students)
Orientation Dates for Transfer Students
  • Friday, June 15
  • Friday, July 20
  • Friday, August 10

Summer Orientation is mandatory for all new first-year and transfer students. If there are extenuating circumstances by which your student cannot attend, your student should e-mail us at

NOTE: There is a one-day program for first-year students participating in the Fall First-Year Study Abroad Experience (FYSAE) program. All Fall FYSAE students and guests should attend this date. First-year students enrolled in the Honors and Gateway programs are strongly encouraged to register for the dates when identified. First-year students who are Fall FYSAE and Honors should attend the Fall FYSAE day.

Should I attend Summer Orientation?

Yes, we encourage families, friends, and guests to attend Summer Orientation! There will be programming specifically designed to help guests acclimate to the resources and supports available to your new student. When your student registers for Summer Orientation, they should note the expected number of guests. There is no fee for guests to attend Summer Orientation, however, should you desire to have lunch in the campus Dining Hall, tickets will be available to purchase with cash at morning registration. You can also purchase your ticket at the Dining Hall entrance with cash or credit card.

We will provide complimentary light refreshments in the morning for all attendees, and new students will receive a complimentary lunch. Registration for Summer Orientation begins at 8:00 a.m. in the University Commons, with the first session starting at 8:45 a.m. for first-year students and 8:30 a.m. for transfers. The day will conclude for first-year students around 5:00 pm, while transfer students will end at varying times depending upon the number of placement inventories.

If you need overnight accommodations, please see information about Nearby Hotels.

What will my student do at Summer Orientation?

Summer Orientation is the first step for new students to begin their transition to Arcadia University. New students will have separate, unique programming from families, friends, and guests. Students will take placement inventories to ensure they are registered for the appropriate level classes, meet new and current students, enjoy a complimentary lunch with their classmates and Orientation Leaders, and learn about various campus resources. Again, new student programming is separate from guests during Summer Orientation, but please don’t fear - your student can and will do it on their own!

What is Fall Orientation?

Fall Orientation, required for all first-year students, will take place Friday, August 23 through Tuesday, August 27. Fall Orientation kicks-off on August 23 with check-in in the Kuch Gym from 8:00-12:00 p.m., followed by a lunch based on your residence hall, see your student's schedule for additional information.  We will have the University welcome for students, family, and friends in the Kuch Gym at 2:00 p.m. 

Residential students will have ample time to move into their rooms. A Welcome Team, consisting of current faculty, staff, and students, will help you unload your vehicle and bring your student’s items to their room. It may not seem like enough time, but rest assured, especially with the extra unloading help, move-in has worked successfully over the years and it will be enough time for your student to get settled!

New transfer students have the option of attending the full five-day Fall Orientation (August 23-27) or a one-day, condensed program on Tuesday, August 27. Transfer students will be asked to submit an online form to let us know which program they plan to attend.

Should I attend Fall Orientation?

Yes, we encourage families, friends, and guests to attend Fall Orientation on Friday, August 23! At Fall Orientation, your sessions and activities will be separate from your new student, who will be meeting their orientation group and engaging in orientation programming. Guests may choose to participate in programming, but it is not mandatory. At 3:30 p.m., the Parent and Family Network will host a reception and at 4:30 p.m., you will say goodbye to your student. We promise your student will be in good hands!
For transfer students attending the one-day Fall Orientation on Tuesday, August 27, there is no programming for guests.

Once the fall semester begins, when can I return to campus?

As a family member or friend of an Arcadia student, you are a member of our Knight family! You are welcome to return to campus when invited by your student. We encourage you to mark your calendar for Family Weekend, which will be held October 11-12, 2019. Depending on when you click the link, you may view last year’s programming or see what we are offering this year.

As a FYI: if your student will be living in the residence halls, for safety reasons, they must escort you through the building.

What if my student is not adjusting well?

The adjustment to college can be a challenge for first-year and transfer students. Please know that we have resources at Arcadia that can support your students’ transition and well-being. Counseling Services provides services and resources for all students. Additionally, if your student is feeling sick, Student Health Services is available.

What other resources are available to my student?

The Office of Financial Aid and the One-Stop Shop provide details on how to pay for an Arcadia education, including information on different types of loans and work-study opportunities. The Learning Resource Network (LRN) and Disability Support Services (DSS) help enhance students’ academic experience and provide many services such as tutoring and accommodations.

My student is concerned that there is nothing to do on campus. Is this true?

No, it’s not! Once classes begin, encourage your student to read the weekly This Week in KnightLife e-mail every Thursday. The e-mail is robust and contains information about events and resources to help students engage at Arcadia. You can also review our list of recognized student organizations and direct your student to e-mail the Office of Engagement and New Student Programs at to seek help about getting involved. Please encourage your student to attend the bi-annual Activities Fair on Thursday, August 29, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. on Haber Green (rain location: University Commons, Great Room). The Activities Fair is a great one-stop-shop for discovering ways to get involved.

Please also pass along the following: KnightLife is our online engagement platform, and students can view the Events Calendar and learn more about Athletics, Office of Career Education, leadership opportunities, and the Community and Civic Engagement Center.

Who should my student ask if they have questions about living on-campus or as a commuter?

Contact the Office of Residence and Commuter Life for information about campus housing and to learn about the resources and supports available to commuter students. They can be reached via e-mail at

What is the Parent and Family Network?

The Parent and Family Network has various resources available for families and friends. The Network is a valuable resource, connecting you to University administration and other Arcadia families.

Join the Parents Network on Facebook

What if my question isn't answered here?

If your question is related to new student orientation or the transition of your student, e-mail us at or call 215-517-2481. As a friendly reminder, if it is a question that your student should ask or solve on their own, please encourage your student to contact us. To help other families, friends, and guests, send us questions via e-mail that you think would be valuable to include in these FAQs. For a complete listing of Arcadia University offices and facilities that may not be included in the answers above, please click here.