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Summer Orientation Guidebook

How much does Summer Orientation cost?

A student and two (2) family members may attend Summer Orientation without any charge. As the Orientation program is required for all new students, the cost of the experiences are covered by your enrollment deposit. Additional family members may attend but will be required to cover the cost of lunch at $15.00 per individual. If you have additional family members attending, please be sure to RSVP so we may plan accordingly for your day.

For Welcome Weekend, everything is included with no additional cost. Students will participate in events and activities throughout the four-day weekend. Parents and family members are encouraged to attend on Thursday, August 17 for move-in and the opening of Welcome Weekend. Family members will receive complimentary lunch and dinner on this day as well as the opportunity to attend the New Student Convocation.

What do I need to do before Summer Orientation?

As you prepare for your Summer Orientation experience, please be sure to complete the following items PRIOR to your session:

  1. Register for Summer Orientation!
  2. Activate your ONU email.
    Make sure to start regularly checking your email account. ONU faculty and staff will use this email address to communicate important information to you.
  3. Review your information to ensure it is correct.
    Log into Self-Service Banner. Please review the information available in each category and your Personal Information. This information will help you in day-to-day activities while at ONU. If you have already logged into your ONU email, you will not be prompted to log in again.
  4. Take the Modern Language Placement Test online ( Additional Information )
  5. Sign-up for on-campus housing if you are living on campus
  6. Complete the Medical History and Immunization History forms . These forms are available online. You can start filling these forms out now and bring with you to Summer Orientation.
  7. Sign-up for your TREX online course (Arts & Sciences students only beginning March 1)
  8. All Incoming Pharmacy students need to read the Technical Standards (Appendix G) then print, complete and return the Technical Standards Form at Summer Orientation
  9. You are going to be a Polar Bear, but now you want to know who else will be here too! Join the New Polar Bears Facebook Group to connect and get to know each other before August!

Starting to think ahead to August? Additional details and the full list of items to complete can be found here.

How do I sign-up for Summer Orientation?

All students attending Summer Orientation must register online to reserve a date. To register, please click here .

Prior to registering, please make sure you know the following:

  • First and Second choice for the dates you would like to attend
  • Names and the number of individuals who will be attending with you
  • Name and city of your hometown newspaper (for press releases throughout your time at ONU)

Can I stay overnight before Summer Orientation?

Two options are available within Ada for overnight stay prior to Summer Orientation sessions.

The Inn at Ohio Northern University
401 West College Avenue
Ada, Ohio 45810
Local (419) 772-2500 * Toll Free (866) 713-4513
Located in the heart of the ONU campus, The Inn location is steps away from the University’s vibrant campus life and the first session during Summer Orientation. Stay in our deluxe hotel rooms and experience the height of luxury for exceptionally low rates. Reservations may be made online at Please use promo code ONU17 to ensure the deepest discount. In addition reservations may be made by calling (866) 713-4513. Please refer to ONU Summer Orientation Program to receive the best value. All room rates include the Fresh Start Breakfast, high-speed Wi-Fi, business center access, onsite parking, local and long-distance telephone call (in-room), and 24-hour fitness room. 

If you would prefer to stay on campus during your visit, we also provide accommodations the night prior to your orientation session.

If you are interested in staying on campus, please make your reservation online at least four days in advance of your visit. Students attending will be housed in an upper-class residence hall in a double room with another incoming student of the same gender. Guests attending will be housed in an apartment complex. The apartment complexes have two-bedroom options (sleeping a maximum of two) and four-bedroom options (sleeping a maximum of four). All rooms are provided with twin XL beds. Each guest will be provided with two flat sheets, pillowcase, wash cloth, hand towel, bath towel, pillow and blanket. The rooms do not include any other items so please plan accordingly for your stay. There is no charge for incoming students staying overnight. The cost for the 2 bedroom apartment is $40. The cost for the four-bedroom apartment is $60. Check-in for housing will be on the evening prior to your session from 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. in McIntosh Center. Check-out for housing is on your session day from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. in the Freed Center. Questions regarding on-campus housing reservations may be directed to 419-772-2400.

Join us on for an opportunity meet and make connections prior to the Summer Orientation Session! The Inn will offer their full Pub Menu from 6-9:30 p.m. The Good News Bears, the Summer Orientation team, will also be in attendance from 6-8 p.m. to meet with new students and parents. New students and family members are welcome to attend as an opportunity meet and greet. This session is not required but available for any individuals who will be in town the night prior to the orientation session.

Are there upper-class students to assist during Summer Orientation?

Good News Bears (GNBs) are a group of energetic, dedicated and fun leaders who know first hand what it's like to be a new student at ONU. Reflecting on each of their own personal experiences the GNBs are ready to assist each new student with his/her concerns as they make the transition to Ohio Northern University.

Meet the Good News Bears

Where do I go for help with my FASFA and Financial Aid?

Our Financial Aid staff is here to guide you through the financial aid process, so please contact us with any questions you may have. You can reach us from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 419-772-2272 or Our fax number is 419-772-2313.

As you prepare for your arrival in August, keep in mind the items you will need to complete for your Financial Aid and scholarships.


  • Accept or decline your students loans in Self-Service Banner
  • Apply for any loans needed including: Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized, Parent PLUS or private loans
  • Click here for application links and instructions
  • Notify ONU of any community/external scholarships you will be receiving
  • Set up your eBills account and add any authorized users whom you want ot have access to view or make payments on your student account. Instructions for adding authorized users are available here .


  • Ensure all loans are approved and ready for fall semester
  • Fall billing statements will be available to view online through the eBill site . Students and authorized users will be sent an email notifying them when the bills are able to view.
  • Log-in to eBill site to view your billing statement, make payments on your balance due, and sign up for a payment plan if you are planning to use one for the Fall semester


  • Ensure your Fall semester bill is covered in full prior to the start of the semester by paying your account online, setting up a payment plan to cover the balance due, or ensuring you have enough financial aid in place to cover the balance due
  • Check your student Self-Service account (click on "Financial Aid Services" then "View Requirements for My Financial Aid") for any additional requirements for financial aid eligibility.
  • If an on-campus job is desired, search and apply for job openings

Do I need to take the Modern Language Placement Exam?

The Department of Modern Languages strongly recommends that all students who will study French, German, or Spanish at ONU take the placement exam. Students of Arabic, Chinese, Japanese or Russian should contact the Department of Modern Languages at .

ALL STUDENTS who have foreign language requirements (see list below) MUST TAKE AND PASS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE COURSE to satisfy the requirements.

Exam Instructions:

  1. To take a placement exam, visit
  2. Select Ohio Northern University from the menu.
  3. Input the password polarbears1.
  4. Answer the questions as well as you can, without using a dictionary or other outside help.
  5. At the end of the test, you will receive a score that indicates where you should begin language study at ONU. Please bring this information with you to your summer orientation.

If you have questions or believe you should be placed at a level different from what your score indicates, please consult the Department of Modern languages at

The following majors have foreign language requirements:

*Advertising Design
*Applied Mathematics
Art Education
*Athletic Training
Communication Studies
Creative Writing
Criminal Justice
*Education – Early Childhood
*Education – Middle Childhood
*Exercise Physiology
*Graphic Design
Language Arts Education
*Mathematical Statistics
Multimedia Journalism
**Music Performance
*Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
Political Science
Professional Writing
*Psychology (excluding Behavioral Neuroscience concentration)
Public Relations
Social Studies
*Sport Management
*Studio Arts
Youth Ministry

*A foreign language is required for students choosing to complete the Bachelor of Arts degree in this major.
**This Bachelor of Music major includes a foreign language requirement

For additional information:
Department of Modern Languages
Letter with Instructions/Information
Retro Credit Policy

How do I submit the results or scores from Post-Secondary Courses, AP credit or Placement Exams?

Modern Language Placement Exam:

At the end of the test, you will receive a score that indicates where you should begin language study at ONU. Please bring this information with you to your summer orientation.

Post-Secondary Courses:

Ohio Northern University accepts coursework for transfer credit from accredited institutions if a grade of 'C' (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or better was earned in the course and the content applies toward the student's intended course of study at ONU. Only credit, not grades, transfer. Transfer credit can be accepted from institutions lacking regional accreditation but having accreditation by an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

  • It is the applicant/student’s responsibility to provide the required documentation necessary for determining the acceptability of work for transfer credit at ONU.
  • Credit may be accepted only upon the recommendation of the specific ONU department or college in which the coursework is appropriate.
  • Transcripts from each post-secondary institution previously attended are required. Please have them sent directly to the Office of Admissions by U.S. Postal Service. 525 S. Main St., Admissions Office, Ada, Ohio 45810
  • For additional information, visit the Registrar .

Advanced Placement (AP) Credit:

  • The university grants credit for College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement Tests to those high school students achieving at least the minimum score established by the department in which credit is being sought.
  • Test results should be sent directly from the AP Testing Center to the University Registrar.
    • 525 S. Main St., Registrar’s Office, Ada, Ohio 45810
  • Final decision rests with the chairperson of the department. Some courses are Major specific.
  • A combined maximum of forty-five (45) quarter hours or thirty (30) semester hours of AP, CLEP, IB, and/or ONU Institutional Examination credit can be counted toward graduation.
  • Any credit received will not be posted until mid-July.
  • For additional information, visit the Registrar or the Advanced Placement webpage . You may also contact the Registrar’s Office at 419-772-2029 with any questions.

What is FERPA?

Ohio Northern University recognizes its responsibility to protect students and former students against improper disclosure of information. The University will comply with all applicable state and federal laws, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), that relate to retention and disclosure of information about students and former students.

Students may sign an Academic Information Release Form to allow others the right to obtain confidential information from their student record, such as GPA, grades, financials, etc. Students may also choose to sign a Nondisclosure/Confidentiality Form if they wish to have no information shared. You should think very carefully about choosing who may or may/not have access to your educational record.

Questions regarding FERPA can be directed to the Registrar’s Office (419-772-2024).

Are there opportunities to refresh my knowledge in science courses before the fall?

ONU provides two courses as summer refreshers for those students entering in the fall.

Chemistry Refresher
College chemistry is not an easy course. It needs to be rigorous in order to properly prepare students who will use chemistry in their major field of study and/or their professional careers. However, any student who has the ability and motivation to prepare for such careers should be able to master the fundamentals of chemistry.

We offer you an opportunity to experience a smooth start into college chemistry. Most of you have had no chemistry since your junior year in high school. Much of the specialized vocabulary, symbolism, basic theory, and fundamental calculations can easily slip from your mind. To alleviate this problem, we are once again offering a chemistry refresher course during the summer for any who wish to take it.

This four-day course is an intensive (6 hours per day) and interactive review of the material ordinarily found in a good high school chemistry course. The intent is to prepare students for a successful start in General Chemistry at ONU.

This summer the course will be offered twice - July 17-21 and August 7-11 and students can either commute or stay on campus. For those staying on campus the total cost of the Chemistry Refresher including room and board is $360.

For additional information, please click here .

Biology Refresher

The biology professors at ONU understand the conversion from high school biological sciences to college level science is a daunting task. We found one of the most difficult adjustments is the fulfilling of the expectations of your professor in terms of what we assume you already know in our areas of expertise. Therefore, reviewing that material before the first semester begins will put you in a good position to start the year even if you do not register for the BioRefresher course.

If you want to improve your biology base knowledge, review your biology basics, forge ahead in acquiring much needed lab skills for Biology 1201 or 1311, hone your basic bio math and statistics aptitude, review the cell structure, or gain some knowledge for the first time concerning protein structure, enzymes and enzymatic reactions, enjoy an opportunity to obtain your own data and review basic techniques of graphing followed by descriptive statistics—then this is the course for you! This may also be the course for you if you think it has been awhile since you had a great review of the biology subject matter previously listed.

This course has been developed for incoming students majoring in: Biology and its sub-disciplines within the Pre-Professional Majors along with Molecular Biology, Forensic Biology, Environmental-Field Biology, Medical Laboratory Science Majors and Pharmacy Majors.

This summer course will be offered twice – July 10-16 and July 24-30 and students can either commute or stay on campus. For those staying on campus (which includes meals) the total cost of the BioRefresher including room and board is $415. The cost for commuters is $250 (commuters wishing to have meals provided throughout the refresher will pay $335).

For additional information, please click here .

Can I bring a car to campus? How do I get a permit?

Yes. All students are permitted to bring a vehicle to campus and required to register their vehicle by purchasing a parking permit from the Security Office. The Security Office can be reached at 419-772-2222. All students wishing to purchase a parking pass can click here . Permits will go on sale on July 1, 2017. Questions can be directed to the Security Office at 419-772-2222.

Where will I live on campus? What do I need to bring if I am living on campus?

All first-year students residing on campus will complete a housing application and be matched based on your interests, similar sleep patterns, and other factors. Remember to complete the application completely and honestly so that we can pair you with your most compatible roommate! The housing  applications are due June 29.

If you know who you would like to room with, you can select a roommate when submitting your housing application. Each student will need to complete the housing agreement and emergency contact information prior to roommate selection. Both students must select and accept each other to be paired as roommates. The request must be mutual in order to be fulfilled.

All first-year students will be assigned to one of four residence halls on campus: Founders (co-ed), Maglott (co-ed), Park (co-ed) or Stambaugh (co-ed). For additional information on each residence hall, view the Housing Profiles online. You will receive your housing assignment by July 15.

What ONU will provide for you:

Provided in the Residence Hall Rooms:

  • Bed (loft or bunk)
  • Blinds
  • Cable
  • Carpet
  • Closet Space
  • Desk Chairs
  • Desks
  • Internet

Provided in Common Areas:

  • Microwave Oven
  • Stove/Oven
  • Television
  • Recreation Equipment
  • Vending Machines

What you need to bring:


  • Alarm clock
  • Wastebasket
  • Fan
  • Mugs, Cups, Bowls, and Eating Utensils
  • Personal Decorations (plants, posters, pictures, etc.)
  • Filing Cabinet
  • Radio/Stereo
  • Under-bed storage containers
  • Desk Lamp
  • Dry Erase Board


  • Bedspread
  • Blanket
  • Linens (mattress measures 6’5’’-extra long)
  • Pillows


  • Hangers
  • Laundry Bag/Basket
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Rain Coat/Parka
  • Winter Coat
  • Small Sewing Kit
  • Winter Clothing
  • Dress Clothes

Cleaning Supplies

  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Disinfecting Wipes
  • Air Fresheners


  • Shower caddy
  • Shampoo
  • Body Wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Hand Soap
  • Towels
  • Wash Cloth
  • Shower Flip-Flops

School Related

  • Backpack
  • Notebooks
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Computer/Laptop
  • Printer


  • Umbrella
  • Flashlight
  • Personal First Aid Kit

Nice to Have

  • Board Games
  • Bicycle
  • Frisbee
  • Roller Blades
  • Sports Equipment
  • Memory Foam or Mattress Pad

What to Coordinate with Roommate:

  • Iron and Ironing Board
  • Mini Refrigerator (not exceeding 1.5 amps)
  • Recliner/Futon

Where will I eat on campus?

At ONU, there are several options on campus for food. Our goal is to provide every guest with a variety of great taste sensations.

We now have a new executive chef in Chef Allen Blankenship. Hired in January of 2013, Chef Allen has made many improvements in our menus and overall choices. Chef Allen comes to us with years of experience and has planted firm roots in the community.

The main dining hall, served as an all-you-can-eat experience, is in McIntosh Center. The facility, open seven days a week, offers several food stations including: Main course, grill, Red Hot Chef, deli, vegetarian, pizza, salad bar and desserts. There are also special occasions hosted such as Steak Night, Luau Night, Chef's Fare, Halloween Dinner and Christmas Dinner. We have instituted our "Mindful" plate which has all the components of a well balanced meal, and is offered daily. New this year, 60 percent of our menu choices are from the "mindful" category. Also to insure students have healthy choices everyday we are offering fresh cut fruit in several locations throughout the cafeteria, along with our whole fruit. Several of our cereal choices are healthy, angel food cake is offered daily as a dessert option, a "Silk Milk" machine has been added to our beverage offerings, and we are now offering fair-trade coffee. On the vegetarian line we now offer Mediterranean salad and two types of hummus, along with with daily, fresh-made pita chips. Our salad bar has grown immensely over the last two years with a larger variety of fresh composed salads daily. All of our menu choices are clearly labeled with nutritional information, we also display the menu above each line on digital screens.

White Bear Inn , now featuring WOW Cafe--American Grill & Wingery, also located in McIntosh Center, provides students with additional menu options. At WOW Cafe, the chicken is fresh, never frozen, and made to order. The hamburgers are hand-patted, made to order and our signature sauces are prepared using only the finest ingredients. This location provides a late-night option for students and is a very popular destination. White Bear Inn also serves as an on-campus convenience store for students. You can find a wide variety of options from cleaning supplies to garbage bags in addition to many special products throughout the year.

Polar Espresso is located in McIntosh Center featuring 'We Proudly Brew Starbucks' in addition to baked goods and a variety of bottled beverages.

Cosi is located on Main Street. From sandwiches to salads, from breakfast to desserts, the menu is full of delicious surprises, unique flavors and fresh ingredients that are a cut above the rest.

Meal Plans

For each new student residing on campus, you will automatically receive 19-meal plan your first semester. The weekly meal plan allows you 19 meals per week in the McIntosh Dining Hall. You may also use your meals as meal exchanges at White Bear Inn or Northern on Main during the allotted periods. More information.

Dining Dollars

The 19-meal plan includes $250 in Dining Dollars. Dining Dollars are convenient, safe, easy and smart. They work like a debit card. Funds are deposited into your account as part of the meal plan, and purchases are automatically deducted at the cash register. The terminal will display your remaining balance. Dining Dollars are designed to cover between meals or snacks at the White Bear Inn and Northern on Main, guest meal purchases, and items that are not included in the meal equivalencies. Unused Dining Dollars do not carry over from term to term.

For additional information, you may contact Dining Services at 419-772-2661 or visit the Dining Services website.

Can I commute from home?

In accordance with the University Housing Policy at least one of the following criteria must be met in order for a student to move out of the residence halls at the beginning of an academic year:

  • 3 years (6 semesters) in the residence halls or apartments
  • 23 years of age
  • The Student will be commuting daily from the permanent residence of their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) within a 30-mile driving distance of ONU. Please note that the Office of Residence Life considers the permanent home address of the Student's parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to be the address of record on file with federal, state and local tax agencies and where a minimum of  one of the Student's parent(s) or legal guradian(s) reside. This is the information that is on file through our Financial Aid and Admissions Offices.
  • Proof of an undergraduate degree
  • Proof of having served in the armed forces and qualified for veterans' benefits
  • Proof of Marriage and proof that student is residing with spouse within a 30-mile driving distance of ONU

If you do not qualify for any of the above criteria, you are NOT eligible to live off campus.  

Please print, complete and submit the Office Campus Housing form for review, verification and approval process to the Office of Residence Life. The form is available here. If you have any questions please email

ALL INCOMING FRESHMEN WHO WISH TO COMMUTE MUST TURN IN A FORM BY JUNE 29, 2017. All forms received later than June 29 will have to pay a $50 late-processing fee. You will be notified by e-mail regarding your status. You can view your status by going to Self Service Banner through the ONU.EDU website.

What is the Summer Reading Program?

The Summer Reading Program at Ohio Northern University is your first college assignment--an introduction to the habits of the mind and heart that will continue to be developed throughout your ONU experience. As a first-year student, you are asked to read a book over the summer months prior to arriving on campus, to reflect on a series of through-provoking questions, and to actively participate in small, faculty-led group discussions as part of the Welcome Weekend and Convocation in August. By engaging in the common reading and orientation discussions, you will begin to develop the skills of critical thinking and effective communication that are fundamental to your college education. Depending on the book, you will also be encouraged to contemplate the importance of integrating learning among disciplines within the arts and sciences and professional studies; of seeking understanding from different perspectives; and of striving for ethical responsibility.

The summer reading, completed by all incoming students, helps to provide a common experience and sense of community for students transitioning to college life at ONU. An essential part of the orientation process, the summer reading and discussions are an important foundation for academic success at Ohio Northern University.

The 2017 Summer Reading Book

The 2017 Summer Reading Book is being selected by current students at ONU. The selection will be announced in the Spring of 2017. Once chosen, copies of the Summer Reading Program Book will be available to purchase during Summer Orientation at the University Bookstore in McIntosh Center.

Check back for updates on the process, and the announcement of the selected book.

As you read the book, use the prepared reading questions as a guide to thinking about significant themes and to form a basis for the discussion that will occur when you return to campus in August. Keeping a journal where you can organize your ideas, ask your own questions and develop your thoughts on the various topics raised in the book is highly suggested. Such a journal will also be a valuable resource for additional discussions or coursework that your professors may assign in your classes.

Upon returning to campus in August for Welcome Weekend, you will meet with your Transitions Experience professor and your classmates on Friday, August 18 for discussion of the book. This discussion is the first meeting of your class – the location will be announced in August at Welcome Weekend. The following courses are included in the Transition Experience according to your College/major:

  • Arts & Sciences: TREX 1001
  • Business Administration: BIZ 1001
  • Engineering
    • Engineering and Eng. Education majors: ENGR 1041
    • Computer Science majors: ECCS 1101
  • Pharmacy: PHPR 1011

Following this discussion, all classes will join together to take the 2017 incoming class photo on the Tundra.

Dates to remember:

Welcome Weekend
August 17-20, 2017

Move-In Day
August 17, 2017

Connect with ONU Orientation: