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Summer Orientation Guidebook

How much does Summer Orientation cost?

A student and two 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 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, Aug. 16, 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 in to 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 in to your ONU email, you will not be prompted to log in again.
  4. Take the Modern Language Placement Test online.
  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 them with you to Summer Orientation.
  7. Sign up for your TREX online course (Arts & Sciences students only, beginning March 8).
  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 of 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
866-713-4513 (toll-free)
Located in the heart of the ONU campus, The Inn 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 ONUBEST 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 calls (in-room), and the 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 upperclassmen 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 two-bedroom apartment is $40. The cost for the four-bedroom apartment is $60. Check-in for housing will be the evening prior to your session from 4-9 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.

Will upperclassmen students assist during Summer Orientation?

Good News Bears (GNBs) are a group of energetic, dedicated and fun leaders who know firsthand 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.-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 may need, 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 to 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 the 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 that 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 Banner account (click "Financial Aid Services" then "View Requirements for My Financial Aid") for any additional requirements for financial aid eligibility.
  • If you desire an on-campus job, 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 a Bachelor of Arts 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 College Credit Plus 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.

College Credit Plus 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 College Credit Plus institution previously attended are required. Please have them sent directly to the Office of Admissions by U.S. Postal Service to 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 45 quarter hours or 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 419-772-2024 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.

For additional information, including a Frequently Asked Questions section, please click here.  Questions regarding FERPA can be directed to the registrar’s office at 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 offer a chemistry refresher course during the summer for any who wish to take it.

This four-day course is an intensive (six hours per day) interactive review of the materials 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 22-26 and Aug. 5-9. Students can either commute or stay on campus. Additional information regarding cost and registration will be available at a later date.

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 that 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 Biology Refresher 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; 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.

Information regarding the 2018 refresher will be posted soon.

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 are required to register their vehicle by purchasing a parking permit from the security office. All students wishing to purchase a parking pass can click here. Permits will go on sale on July 1, 2018. 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 their 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! Housing  applications are due June 28.

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, you can 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
  • Raincoat/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 and an impeccable experience.

The main dining hall, located in McIntosh Center, re-opened as a renovated venue in August 2017. The design of this renovation creates a superior experience for students that goes beyond the basic expectations for a resident dining hall. From the contemporary, community-oriented atmosphere to the wide variety of fresh, made-to-order food selections, students can enjoy high-caliber aesthetics and gourmet food. The food stations available in the McIntosh Dining Hall include:

  • At 360 Grill, Mongolian-style fresh food preparation meets classic American Grill with an international flair – diners can choose ingredients and let our chefs prepare something specially customized for your taste buds.
  • Simple Servings provides safe and appetizing choices for students with food allergies or gluten intolerance, or those who prefer simply prepared foods.
  • The FiredUp station provides pizzas and individual baked pastas prepared right in front of you. 
  • At the Tossed salad bar, choose your ingredients and your entree salad will be tossed to order for a restaurant-style experience.
  • Our Mindful station provides a wide variety of healthy options for our health-conscious diners to make enjoying a healthier lifestyle an easy choice.
  • Daily Dish provides classic comfort lunch and dinner featuring student favorites and rotating specials.
  • Stacks, our signature made-to-order-deli, consists of wraps and toasted sandwiches prepared with your choice of fresh ingredients.
  • Our Simply To Go meals allow students to take a wholesome meal on the go.

All of our menu choices are clearly labeled with nutritional information, and we have digital screens that provide a description above each station. New this year, we have the Bite app, which students can download to see the daily menu, view nutritional information, receive notifications when your favorite meal is served, and more! We have also partnered up with MyFitnessPal, so students can scan a barcode located under each menu item to easily document the food you eat each meal.

We frequently host fun events that encourage student engagement, such as national food days, elite restaurant-style dinners, holiday dinners, gaming and movie nights, and more! These events keep it fun and generate excitement that keep students looking forward to what's yet to come.

Polar Espresso is located in McIntosh Center featuring Starbucks coffee, baked goods and a variety of bottled beverages.

WOW Cafe American Grill & Wingery, also located in McIntosh Center, opened in fall 2016. At WOW Cafe, the chicken is fresh, never frozen, and made to order. The hamburgers are hand-patted and made to order, and our signature sauces are prepared using only the finest ingredients. From kitchen to plate, we strive to deliver quality products, every time. We know you'll enjoy our food as much as we do! WOW Cafe features sauces inspired from flavors found throughout the world. Our award-winning signature sauces and spice rubs are made from scratch and can only be found at WOW Cafe. This location provides a late-night option for students and is a very popular destination. 

The C-Store, located in WOW Cafe, carries snacks, toiletries, gift items and more. This on-campus store makes it easy to grab a light snack or stock your residence hall room with food for later. 

Cosi, opened in fall 2016, is our Main Street location that provides students with a comfortable atmosphere and allows engagement with the community. Serving sandwiches, salads, coffees, lemonades and desserts, this national restaurant's menu is built around its centuries-old flatbread recipe that is fresh baked in a signature hearth oven. 

Northern Lights is located in the library, featuring Starbucks coffee, smoothies, baked goods and more!

Meal Plans

Each new student residing on campus will automatically receive the 19-meal plan their first semester. The weekly meal plan allows you 19 meals per week in the McIntosh Dining Hall. During the allotted periods, you may also use your meal swipes as meal exchanges at Cosi, WOW Cafe, Polar Espresso and Northern Lights. More information can be found here.

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 Polar Espresso, WOW Cafe, the C-Store, Cosi, Northern Lights, 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 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:

  • Three years (six 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 guardian(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 28, 2018. Students submitting forms after June 28 will have to pay a $50 late-processing fee. You will be notified by email regarding your status. You can view your status by going to Self Service Banner through the website.

What is the Summer Common Reading Program?

The Summer Common 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 thought-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 critical-thinking and effective communication skills that are fundamental to your college education. 

Summer reading helps to provide a common experience and sense of community for students transitioning to college life at ONU. Essential parts of the orientation process, the summer reading and discussions are an important foundation for academic success at Ohio Northern University.

The 2017 Summer COMMON Reading Book

A group of first-year students, faculty and staff at ONU have selected The Circle, by Dave Eggers as our Summer Common Reading for 2017.  

  • "Indicative of our Future??? This book presents one possibility that may arise based on our current trends in technology."
    • Bryan Peck, rising sophomore in Electrical Engineering
  • "The Circle brings up many issues surrounding our personal lives, technology, and privacy within the realm of today's social media."
    • Maybeth James, rising P2 in the College of Pharmacy
  1. Get the Book: Copies of the Summer Common Reading selection The Circle by Dave Eggers are available to purchase during Summer Orientation at the University Bookstore in McIntosh Center.
  2. Join Others in Reading the Book
    • All new students (first-year and transfer students) are expected to read this book prior to coming to campus in August.
    • Your student orientation leaders (OLs) will also be reading the book over the summer and are looking forward to having discussions with you during Welcome Weekend.
    • Faculty and staff, particularly those teaching the Transition Experience classes, are reading the book over the summer.
  3. As you Read the Book, use the prepared reading questions as a guide to thinking about significant themes within the book. Keeping notes while you read in order to record your ideas, ask your own questions and develop your thoughts on the various topics raised in the book is highly suggested. These notes will also be a valuable resource for additional discussions or coursework that your professors may assign in your classes.
  4. Welcome Weekend and Fall of 2017: On Friday, Aug. 18, from 1:15-2:15 p.m. you will meet with your Transition Experience professor and your classmates for discussion of the book. This discussion is the first meeting of your class – the location will be announced in August prior to Welcome Weekend. The following courses are in the Transition Experience according to your college/major:
    • Arts & Sciences: TREX 1001
    • Business Administration: BIZ 1001 TREX for Bus Students
    • Engineering
      • Engineering and engineering education majors: ENGR 1041
      • Computer science majors: ECCS 1101
    • Pharmacy: PHPR 1011

Throughout the fall semester, look for additional events on campus during which you can encounter the themes raised in the book.

Dates to remember:

Summer Orientation
June 14, 15, 21, & 22, 2018

Welcome Weekend
August 16-19, 2018

Move-In Day
August 16, 2018

Connect with ONU Orientation: