Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How will I be notified about Orientation details?

Students will receive initial information from Penn State via their emails used on their admission application to Penn State.  It is very important that you follow the steps indicated in the emails to activate your PSU account.

Do I have to attend Orientation?

Yes, all degree-seeking students are required to attend Orientation. At Penn State New Kensington orientation is a 3 day program.

What happens at Orientation?

Orientation is a chance to meet with faculty and staff, begin to develop academic and co-curricular goals, become familiar with campus resources, and schedule courses for your first semester. This is your opportunity to begin implementing your academic plan!

NSO Day 1 includes meeting with an academic advisor and planning your course schedule, learning about campus resources and developing a time management plan. There is a special track for parents and guardians.  NSO Days 2 & 3, scheduled for August 16 & 17th, will include: teambuilding, small group workshops, student meetings, academic convocation, academic college and program meetings and participating in Penn State campus traditions.

What should I bring to Orientation?

For the first part of Orientation, Academic Advising Day, you will need a valid driver’s license or state-issued ID card.  All students should review their “to do” list in LionPATH before attending orientation to be sure all items have been completed. First year students must complete the ALEKS placement test, pre-NSO homework, Educational Planning Survey and the Pre-registration Activity Guide through LionPATH prior to attending NSO Day 1. Information about this will be e-mailed directly to you prior to your Orientation Day.

How much does Orientation cost?

The fee for Orientation is $30 and assists in off-setting the costs for orientation programs.

How and when do I schedule my classes?

For first time college students, a main feature of Academic Advising Day is the opportunity for each student to meet individually with an advisor about their first semester at PSNK. Prepare for this by downloading the LionPATH app on your smart device and completing the pre-NSO homework.

For all students, feel free to put interesting classes in your LionPATH shopping cart! Your academic advisor will review your choices with you, then you can make any necessary changes and officially register! Penn State is a complex university, so students are not permitted to enroll in courses until meeting with an academic advisor.

Is it mandatory that parents attend Orientation?

No, but it is highly recommended that a parent or guardian attend Academic Advising Day (NSO Day 1). The parent sessions run concurrently with the student programming on that day.

Where do I get my ID and parking pass?

You will take your ID picture and then receive your PSU ID card during orientation. Bring a valid driver’s license or state-issued ID card to complete this process.

Student parking is free of charge. Students must complete a motor vehicle registration form in order to receive a valid parking permit.  Permits must be renewed each year, and can be picked up during the first two weeks of each semester in the main lobby of the Administration Building, or any other time in the office of the Public Safety Manager, Conference Center 054.  A valid PSU ID is required when picking up your permit.

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

Yes, they will have a session during orientation as well as be available afterward to answer individual questions/concerns.

How will I know what books I need? Is the bookstore open during Orientation?

The Barnes & Noble bookstore will be open during orientation, in addition to their regular business hours during the semester; it’s located on the lower level of the Student Union. Textbooks can also be purchased on the bookstore’s website.  Our Orientation Leaders can show you how to order your books through Penn State’s student information system, LionPATH.

Can I bring a friend?

No. Parents or guardians are welcome to attend Academic Advising Day (NSO Day 1); however, guests beyond this are not permitted to attend any part of Orientation.

Can I come in late or leave early if I have to work, have a doctor’s appointment, etc.?

No. If you arrive late or leave early, your Orientation experience will be incomplete. When planning your Orientation Day, please choose a date that you are available for the entire day.  Schedules will be provided to you for Orientation Days but it is recommended you plan to be available the entire day. It is important to arrive on time for check-in, and stay engaged and in attendance for all of Orientation.

I cannot make my originally scheduled Orientation Advising Day (NSO Day 1). May I reschedule?

Yes. A minimum of 48 hours’ notice is preferred because the university prepares to advise students individually at on-campus orientation. To change sessions, please login to your VZO account.