First Year Experience

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Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Involved on Campus

  • I can't wait to be a Buckeye! What can I do in the summer before my freshman year?
  • Ohio State offers many early arrival programs throughout the summer for you to participate in educational, leadership, or adventure activities; develop new friendships; learn how to take advantage of university resources; and connect with upperclass students, staff, and faculty who can help guide the way at Ohio. Summer early arrival programs are designed just for incoming first-year students. These trips and programs ease the transition to college by connecting you to peers and allowing you to find a place and passion at Ohio State — all while participating in fun and challenging activities.

    You also can apply to be an Ohio State Welcome Leader (OWL). OWLs come to campus a few days before official move-in begins and help facilitate the move-in process. For more information on becoming an OWL, contact University Housing: 614-292-8266 or

    You can also start looking for a campus job in the summer. Many continuing students secure their campus jobs in the spring for the following year. Check out the following resources to get a jumpstart on your job hunt:

    Finally, make sure to ask about getting involved at your orientation session. You’ll meet upperclass students, including Peer Leaders, who are experts at helping students get involved.

  • How can I find out about internships and co-ops?
  • Contact your college career office or visit the Career Counseling and Support Services website for information on internships and co-ops.

    You may also check with your academic advisor for suggestions on opportunities that might be right for you. Finally, start thinking about doing undergraduate research to gain experience in your field! Many colleges and departments have research opportunities for students. Check out the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry to find opportunities that might be right for you!

  • When can I study abroad?
  • While some study abroad programs require junior or senior standing, most programs can be arranged anytime, starting your first year! Study abroad trips can last as little as a week to as long as a year and take place throughout the world. The Office of International Affairs suggests you start planning your trip a year in advance of your departure. For more information about the variety of study abroad trips available at Ohio State, go to

  • How can I get involved?
  • There are countless ways to get involved at Ohio State—through residence halls, your major, recreational sports, and more than 1,000 clubs and organizations. To learn more about specific opportunities at Ohio State, visit the list of registered student organizations and check out the Student Involvement Fair at the beginning of each semester, where you can visit booths from more than 700 student organizations, campus departments and community agencies.

    Also, make sure to use resources on campus such as your RA, Peer Leader, community ambassador and professors/TAs for advice on other ways to get involved.

  • How can I explore Columbus?
  • Columbus offers many different eating and shopping options and lively art and music scenes. Take advantage of the opportunities you have living and studying in this smart and fun city: Explore Columbus!

Housing and Dining

  • What residence hall should I preference on my housing form?
  • There are many options for you when it comes to selecting on-campus housing. For specific information about your options and to learn more about what each hall provides, visit

    Living-learning communities might be a good fit for you! Some living-learning communities are geared toward academic disciplines, and others are aimed at specific interests that you might have — allowing you to start off your Ohio State experience with a built-in network of fellow Buckeyes who share your major, interest or background.

  • How can I change my dining plan?
  • You may make changes to your dining plan up through the second Friday of each semester. Keep in mind, it is easier to drop back from a larger dining plan than it is to add on to a smaller one.

    Also, check out information about dining plans, where dining halls are located and how to choose the right dining plan for you.


  • What are my options for textbooks?
  • Many students will wait until the first week of their first term to purchase their books for classes, but you can definitely get a head start before that to estimate your costs and identify your best option. You can determine what books you’ll need through Ohio State’s bookstore, Barnes & Noble. Click on the “textbooks” header and follow the steps that prompt you to enter the term, course, section information, etc. From here, you should be provided with ISBN numbers for your required texts, and you can determine which retail outlet is best for you (including book rentals for the term through Amazon, Chegg, etc.).

  • How do I drop a class?
  • Before you drop any class, you should contact your academic advisor to learn important information about dates and deadlines, as well as how dropping the class will affect your academic progress. Learn more at

    Once you have met with your advisor, you can add and drop classes through My Buckeye Link, your online academic center. My Buckeye Link is where you check your grades and find quick links to registration info, financial aid, your statement of account and other things you need.

  • What happens if I have to miss class for a reason like sickness or a death in the family?
  • Make sure to talk to your professors so that they understand your situation. Professors may be very willing to help you if you are open and honest with them. You can also receive documentation of a visit to Ohio State’s Wilce Student Health Center by visiting the front desk for a record of your appointment. For official university documentation of an illness or death in the family, contact the Student Advocacy Center.

  • How can I change my classes?
  • You may edit your course schedule by adding or dropping classes. Please check important dates for specific dates related to course registration deadlines. Make sure to talk to your advisor to confirm the changes are still in line with your degree requirements.

    To change your class schedule, go to, click on the Enrollment and Registration task, and select "Add a Class" or "Drop a Class."

  • How can I change my major?
  • Different colleges, schools and departments have different requirements for their majors. It is important to understand all of these requirements to remain on track for completing your degree. You will need to schedule an advising appointment within your college to discuss major options with your advisor. For more information, visit

  • How can I test out of a class?
  • For information about Credit By Examination, go to

  • What happens if I get accused of cheating?
  • Cheating is taken seriously at Ohio State. You are expected to do your own work and adequately cite ideas you receive from other sources. The Committee on Academic Misconduct works to ensure the academic integrity of The Ohio State University and determines appropriate disciplinary action in all cases involving cheating, plagiarism and academic misconduct. Each professor may handle cheating differently, but to make sure you protect yourself, familiarize yourself with the university’s basic tips and procedures at the Committee on Academic Misconduct website.

  • How is the First Year Success Series different from survey?
  • University Survey is a course first-year students enroll in during their first semester at the university. This course is designed to introduce students to Ohio State, their majors or colleges, our library system, how to schedule for classes and how to conduct other university business.

    The First Year Success Series is a First Year Experience program that offers more than 150 different events and lectures about transitional topics important to first-year students. Students are often required to attend a couple of success series events through their University Survey course, although you can attend many more sessions than required.

Campus Resources

  • Where can I go if I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed out?
  • There are many resources for you if you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, homesick, or are just having a hard time with your transition to college. One idea would be to talk to your Peer Leader for advice or a referral.

    Ohio State’s Counseling and Consultation Service also has many resources to help you with all of those concerns. You can learn how to cope with your transition through sessions on stress management, individual and group counseling sessions, or by finding helpful information on the office’s website.

  • I have financial aid questions; where can I go for help?
  • Find answers to many of your financial aid questions at If you don’t find the answer you need, the website has additional information on how to contact a financial aid counselor.

    Make sure to fill out your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) which will help you learn about aid options. The deadline every year is February 1. Also, the Student Wellness Center can help you learn about budgeting, credit management and other financial issues.

  • Where do I go when I’m sick?
  • The Wilce Student Health Center is a convenient place to go if you are sick while at Ohio State (map location). The Student Health Center is open during typical business hours. Call 614-292-4321 to schedule an appointment. All students enrolled at Ohio State are eligible to use the health service, regardless of health insurance coverage. In addition to providing health care through the doctors and nurses on staff, the Student Health Center also has a pharmacy, dental services, advice nurses, and many other services to help meet students’ medical needs.

    If you are ill over the weekend or are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or visit the Emergency Department at the Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University.

  • How do I sign up for Student Health Insurance?
  • All students registered at Ohio State for six hours of classes or more are automatically enrolled and billed for the University’s Student Health Insurance program.

    To opt out of your Student Health Insurance, you will need to provide proof of other health coverage, either through a job or by demonstrating that you are included on your parents’ insurance plan. You can opt out of your Student Health Insurance online, but you MUST follow the proper procedures to waive your coverage or you will be enrolled and charged for Student Health Insurance for the entire year.

  • How do I find out the CABS and COTA bus schedules?
    • Campus Area Bus Service: CABS
    • Central Ohio Transit Authority Bus Schedule: COTA
  • Do I have to have a computer? Should I bring a laptop or a desktop?
  • Incoming first-year students are eligible to receive an iPad for use throughout their time at Ohio State. While many students will find that the iPad will cover most of their computing needs, others will need to purchase a computer with additional features. The iPad can do many of the same functions of a traditional computer, but there are specific software programs and tasks that will not work on iPad.

    It is completely up to you to decide if you want to bring a computer to campus. The university provides many alternatives to owning your own computer. Many students choose to utilize the campus computer labs, which provide free computer access to Ohio State students.

    If you decide to bring a computer to campus and need to decide between owning a laptop and a desktop, consider the benefits and drawbacks of different types of computers. Laptops are convenient and can be used in many areas of campus with Ohio State’s wireless services. Desktops have more space to accommodate additional programs and pose less of a theft risk.

  • How can I prevent my laptop computer from being stolen?
  • You will need to take extra precautions to secure your laptop and keep it safe on campus by not leaving it unattended or leaving your residence hall room unlocked.

  • What tech support is available to me for my devices?
  • You can receive free tech support services at the Buckeye Bar located in Thompson Library. The staff there will be able to help you with anything from your internet connection to advice on what device to purchase.

  • Does Ohio State offer any discounts on computer hardware or software?
  • Yes. Visit these sites for more information about recommendations and discounts:

  • Where can I go for academic assistance to help me be successful in my classes?
  • There are many places you can receive additional help in your academic course work; some areas specialize in specific areas, and some offer more general academic guidance. Make sure to talk to your academic advisor or FYE Peer Leader if you are having a difficult time in classes and need assistance finding resources or learning your options. You can also take a class to learn more about succeeding in the classroom offered through the Dennis Learning Center.

    For more information on academic help, seek out the following resources:

  • Where can I get help writing my resume?
  • Check with your academic advisor to learn about services from your college in writing and reviewing resumes, or you can contact your college career office for input.

    Ohio State’s Career Counseling and Support Services is another resource that can help you with your career decision-making process, and its website has many links to help you write resumes, cover letters, and work on your interviewing and networking skills.

    Finally, make sure to ask a peer to look over your resume (try an RA or upperclass student in your major). He or she can probably help you catch typos and work on great phrasing to highlight your skills.

  • Where can I find out about campus jobs?
  • There are countless opportunities for jobs in the campus area. In addition to the general Student Employment Office, these areas typically have many positions for students:

    You can also look for jobs in one of the many academic departments and facilities. You may be eligible for a position through the Work-Study program. If this applies to you, contact Student Financial Aid for more information on finding a campus work-study position.

    There are also many job opportunities in the area surrounding Ohio State, including local restaurants and stores. Check the classifieds in The Lantern, Ohio State’s student newspaper, for more ideas.

  • Where can I learn about making a budget and financial wellness
  • The Student Wellness Center in the Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC) can provide you with great financial basics training. You can attend one of their financial sessions through the First Year Success Series, or request free financial education and coaching at Their website,, contains helpful information about the basics of setting up a budget, selecting and using credit cards, investing, and more.

  • How do I get football and other athletics tickets?
  • Incoming freshmen can purchase football tickets beginning June 1 each year. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis, so order your tickets early! Student football tickets are only available online.

    If you want to sit with other incoming freshmen, we suggest you order Block O tickets, the student seating section in the stadium. Direct further questions to the Athletic Ticket Office: 1-800-GO-BUCKS (462-8257) or This is the same web page and phone number where you purchase basketball, hockey and other athletic event student tickets.

  • What kind of security do we have on campus?
  • Ohio State has its own university police force of highly trained officers to protect students and staff on campus and facilitate a number of programs to keep students safe through the Department of Public Safety. Make note of the locations of the blue light emergency telephones located throughout campus. These can be used during emergencies to call 911 and bring a University Police officer to your aid.

    Students can also access Lyft Ride Smart at Ohio State through the Lyft app for safe, discounted rides inside the university-designated service area from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

    While many individuals work to keep campus secure for students and staff, all members of the Ohio State community should use common sense and awareness to help stay safe. Check out these campus safety tips.

  • What are the rules about bringing a car to campus?
  • First-year students who are commuting to campus may be able to purchase an on-campus parking permit from CampusParc. First-year students living on campus are not eligible to bring cars to campus during their first year. For other details on parking eligibility, availability and pricing, visit

More questions? Please contact