Freshman checklist

Welcome, freshmen!

Important information about VCU's response deadline

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on K-12 school systems throughout the country, VCU has decided to move the freshman response deadline from May 1 to June 1 for students who were accepted to the university by April 1. Please note that you must pay your deposit before signing up for Orientation, applying for on-campus housing or registering for classes. 

We can't wait to have you as a part of our RAMily!

Congrats on your acceptance to VCU! We can’t wait to meet you. To help you get started, review our handy-dandy checklist for all the need-to-know info about how to accept your offer of admission and prepare for enrollment at VCU:

The Certificate of Admissions specifies your name, your VCU ID number, entry semester, admission status, degree program, residency status and any admission conditions. Review all admission information for accuracy and notify the VCU Office of Admissions of any inaccuracies or questions.

If you were classified as a non-Virginia resident for tuition purposes and believe that this classification is inaccurate, you may request that your status be re-evaluated prior to Aug. 1 for fall or Dec. 1 for spring by contacting your application processor.

Your eID is your key to everything VCU! Visit VCU my eID to activate your eID, which authorizes use of VCU’s electronic services. It lets you do things like:

Note: You must obtain your eID before you can make a reservation to attend Orientation, apply for housing or set up your VCU email account.

Pay your tuition deposit to let us know you'll be joining us at VCU! Reserve your space in the upcoming class by submitting the following nonrefundable tuition deposit to the Office of Admissions:

  • School of the Arts undergraduate program: $300
  • All other undergraduate programs: $100

If you’re receiving a scholarship or financial aid, request a tuition deposit waiver by submitting the Response form, along with appropriate supporting documentation.

Response deadline: 

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on K-12 school systems throughout the country, VCU has decided to move the freshman response deadline from May 1 to June 1 for students who were accepted to the university by April 1. 

Note: You must pay your deposit before signing up for Orientation, applying for on-campus housing or registering for classes.

High school transcripts: We’ll need your final high school transcripts to seal the deal! Final transcripts must be on file by August 1. The Office of Financial Aid will not be able to disburse any of your awarded funds until VCU has received your final transcript. Ask your guidance counselor to send your final high school transcripts to the VCU Office of Admissions as soon as possible before classes start. Check the academic calendar to verify when classes start for the semester in which you'll be enrolling.

Note: VCU reserves the right to revoke your admission acceptance if your final transcript indicates that you do not meet the criteria for acceptance.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate scores: To ensure you receive credit for your The VCU Transfer Center evaluates Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate credits from high school, you must submit your AP and IB scores directly to VCU’s Transfer Center. AP scores must come directly from The College Board and IB scores should come directly from the International Baccalaureate office. We cannot accept AP or IB credits from a high school or college transcript.

Dual enrollment transcripts: Students who completed dual enrollment/early college credit while in high school, must submit official college transcripts from the dual enrollment college/university to VCU prior to July 31. Transcripts can be mailed to the VCU Transfer Center at 900 Park Ave., Box 842532, Richmond, VA 23284.

Check into programs and resources that help make college more affordable.

  • If you haven’t already, apply for financial aid by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid by the March 1 priority filing date. You can submit your FASFA as early as Oct. 1. If you miss the priority deadline, you should still apply because you may still be eligible for some types of assistance.
  • Check your new VCU email account for award information, required documents to complete your file and additional information.
  • Send in scholarships, billing and authorizations.

Get immunized and keep yourself healthy and happy!

Math: All first-year students must take the math placement test before registering for Orientation. You can access the test at You will need your math placement test score to complete Step 8 “Prepare to Register for Courses”.

Chemistry: The Chemistry Placement Test is an online test used to place students into an appropriate general chemistry course based on their background knowledge. All students planning on registering for General Chemistry I (CHEM 101) are required to take the test. Majors who commonly require CHEM 101 include: engineering, biology, chemistry, forensic science, bioinformatics, environmental studies, interdisciplinary science, and many of the pre-professional health programs (pre-med, pre-pharmacy, etc.) This includes first-year students who have taken AP Chemistry. The Chemistry Placement Test is a prerequisite for CHEM 101. You can access the test at

Those earning a passing score on the test will be eligible to register for CHEM 101. Those not earning a passing score have two options:

    1. Complete the ALEKS online unit. (Information about ALEKS can be found online at After successfully completing one of these options students are eligible to register for CHEM 101. ALEKS must be completed by no later than July 31 (fall) or Jan. 10 (spring).
    2. Enroll in CHEM 100 – Introductory Chemistry and earn a B or better.

Foreign Language: Students who plan to continue studying a foreign language that they studied in high school must take the language placement test to determine the appropriate language class. Only students with transfer credit from other educational institutions are eligible to enroll in the next course within their language sequence. The foreign language placement test must be taken in person either before or during orientation. For more information about when and where tests are administered, visit

First-year students will be pre-registered for their fall coursework prior to NSO. First-year students must complete the course registration survey for the semester that you will be entering VCU. Before taking the survey, you must have taken your math placement test. An academic advisor will use your responses to the survey to create your class schedule, which you will review at Orientation. Your schedule is not confirmed until you attend orientation.

Fall 2020: The course registration survey will open on April 6, 2020.

Attending Orientation is required for all new first-year students and you must make a reservation to attend. Your reservation is not complete until your online payment is received. Payments are nonrefundable. All first-year students attend a two-day orientation session which includes an overnight stay in a residence hall.

Registration closes one week prior to each orientation date and the earlier you sign up, the better choice you will have of dates to attend. Special sessions are available for military, international and out-of-state students. We also have specific sessions dedicated for students with disabilities and those participating in various VCU summer programs such as Ram Camp, Summer Scholars, Acceleration, and TRiO Summer Bridge. Please contact to inquire about these special sessions and receive additional registration information.

Register for Orientation by visiting

Once you’ve registered for orientation be sure to complete the following steps prior to coming to orientation:

  • Complete Ram Ready at least two days prior to your orientation date or your registration may be cancelled. Ram Ready is a series of online modules that will help you learn more about VCU and will give you a great online resource you can refer back to for information about the university and your requirements. It is not a replacement for attending Orientation.
  • Download the Navigate app to get step-by-step guidance and other important “to do” items prior to fall start of classes. It’s like having an advisor in your pocket.

Programs for family members: Your family is invited and encouraged to attend Orientation. Special family and guest orientation programs review resources and services at VCU, highlight opportunities for family involvement and address the needs of both you and your family to have a successful transition. The family program is separate from the student program and provides opportunities for families to begin developing meaningful relationships with administrators and one another.

Overnight accommodations for families/guests: Overnight accommodations for families/guests are not included in the family/guest fee, but there are several options available. Housing on campus is available in the Cary and Belvidere Residential College at a rate of $50-$170 per night depending on family size and may be added when you register your guests for Orientation. Please note that this is not the residence hall students are housed in during Orientation.

Additionally, several area hotels offer special rates during the summer for Orientation families and guests. See for more information.

Student ID’d, that is. Submit your VCUCard photo now in order to avoid waiting in a line at NSO to have your picture taken. And you can guarantee that you look your best! Visit the VCUCard Office website to get photo specifications and find out how to submit your photo. You will obtain your VCUCard during Orientation by presenting a valid, government-issued photo ID.

VCU offers more than 800 courses during Summer Studies’ 11 different sessions, including online sessions. Consider taking a summer class to get a head start on your academic journey. Email for more information about enrolling in summer courses.

Visit for more details.

Freshmen are strongly encouraged to immerse themselves in the VCU experience by living on campus.

Sign up to receive text message alerts on your cell phone notifying you of campus emergencies.

Share the good news with your friends and family by using the hashtag #VCURamily in your social media posts.

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All the events and support geared to students make the transition to college easy and make people feel at home.

Aaron Varella
Class of 2019