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Summer Orientation Guidebook

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 BEFORE your session:

  1. Register for Summer Orientation!
  2. Activate your ONU email.
    Be sure to regularly check your email account. ONU faculty and staff will use this email address to communicate important information to you.
  3. Review your information to ensure that 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 fill these forms out now and bring them with you to Summer Orientation.
  7. Bring a copy of any classes you have taken/completed through the College Credit Plus (CCP) Program.
  8. Sign up for your TREX online course (Arts & Sciences students only, beginning April 1).
  9. All incoming pharmacy students need to read the Technical Standards (Appendix G), then print, complete and return the Technical Standards Form at Summer Orientation.
  10. You're a Polar Bear now, so why not discover who else has joined the family? 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.

Before 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?

A room at the Inn at Ohio Northern University 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 can be made online at Please use promo code ONUBEST to ensure the deepest discount. In addition, reservations can be made by calling 866-713-4513. Please mention "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, additional information will be available soon regarding the rates and process for registering.

Will upperclassman 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 FAFSA 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 you 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 eBill 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 before 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" and 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's/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's Office.


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
  • The final decision rests with the chair 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 can 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 can 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 can 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 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.

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.

The Chemistry Refresher will be held July 21-25 and August 5-9. Additional information is available here. Registration can be completed here.

Students in the Biology Refresher course Biology Refresher
The biology professors at ONU understand that the conversion from high school biological sciences to college-level science can be 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 1211 or 1301; 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! You could also benefit if it has been some time 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.

Dates for the Biology Refresher are:
Session 1 – Monday, July 15, to Friday, July 19 (deadline is July 8, 2019)
Session 2 – Tuesday, July 30, to Saturday, Aug. 3 (deadline is July 23, 2019)

Additional information can be found here. Register 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 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, 2019. 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?

Students in the residence halls All first-year students residing on campus will complete a housing application and be matched based on their interests, 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, 2019.

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, 2019.

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:The Macintosh Dining Hall

  • 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 is 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, 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 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, located in the library, features 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 can 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, which 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 a 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, 2019. 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 Common Program?

The Common Experience 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 participate in a number of academic activities over the summer months prior to arriving on campus, 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 experience and discussions, you will begin to develop the skills of critical thinking and effective communication that are fundamental to your college education.

The Common Experience helps to provide a sense of community for students transitioning to college life at ONU. An essential part of the orientation process, the common academic activities and discussions are an important foundation for academic success at Ohio Northern University.


The 2019 Common Experience is a multi-faceted exploration of mindsets, growth and learning. You will have a chance to participate in innovative welcome online activities, view a few TED Talks, read essays, and discuss what you have learned with faculty, staff, students.

The welcome activity is a 30-minute online program that includes survey questions, short reading passages, and brief reflection exercises. Along with the online welcome activity, you will be reading a variety of short texts about growth, learning, resilience, and college life. Once on campus, you will join other new students, your Orientation Leaders (OLs), staff and faculty in discussion of mindsets, growth and learning as these relate to your transition to life at ONU.


  1. Watch your email on July 1:  An email inviting you to participate in the online welcome activities will include a unique link for new ONU students. Follow this link and complete the activities. This email will also include the ONU professor-recommended TED talks and companion essays that you are to watch and read.
  2. Join Others in completing the online welcome activities, watching and reading.
    • ALL new students (first year and transfer students) are expected to participate in the online welcome activity. Consider watching multiple TED talks and reading multiple essays.
    • Your student orientation leaders (OLs) will also be participating in the online welcome activity, watching TED talks and reading essays. They are looking forward to having discussion with you during Welcome Weekend.
    • Faculty and staff, particularly those teaching the Transition Experience (TREX), Practice of Pharmacy (POP), and Foundations of Design, are participating in the online welcome activity, watching TED talks and reading essays with you!
  3. As you participate in the online welcome activity, watch TED talks and read essays, pay attention to how you are thinking, and what you are learning about how you learn.
    • Keeping notes while you complete online activities, watch and read in order to record your ideas, ask your own questions and develop your thoughts on the various topics raised 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. Watch for emails from your TREX, POP, or Intro professor with additional discussion questions.
  5. Welcome Weekend and Fall of 2019:  On Friday, August 23 from 1:15 – 2:15 pm you will meet with your TREX, POP, or Foundations of Design professor and your classmates for discussion of the common experience activities. This discussion is the first meeting of your class, listed below by your college of enrollment/major, and the location will be announced during Welcome Weekend.
Arts & Sciences: TREX 1001 Transition Experience
Business Administration:              BIZ 1001 TREX for Bus Students
Engineering: ENGR 1041 Foundations of Design
Pharmacy: PHPR 1011 Practice of Pharmacy I

Dates to remember:

Summer Orientation
June 13, 14, 20 & 21, 2019

Welcome Weekend
August 22-25, 2019

Move-In Day
August 22, 2019

Connect with ONU Orientation: