You're In! What's Next?

Welcome to Cardinal Country! You are a part of a genuine community that embraces a strong culture of growth and opportunity.  What are you waiting for?  You have a few "Next Steps" outlined here. And if you have questions, you'll find contact information to our departments where you will experience friendly, approachable staff to assist you. Consider "Bookmarking" this page and coming back to it as you need to!


Step 1: Activate your SVSU Account

Now that you have received your SVSU acceptance letter, it is time to create your official SVSU account which gives you access to

Many of you may have created a log-in and password if you completed the online application for admission. This account was just for the purposes of applying. You will now create a new account which will be your official SVSU account. This account gives you access to which is your one stop online account for all things related to being a Cardinal! Your username was provided in your acceptance letter and you will use the below link to activate that account and establish your password.

Activate Your SVSU Account

What is is the online student portal. To login, you must have a SVSU username and password. mySVSU allows you to:

  • Access your student e-mail account, which is where all official communication is sent
  • Register for orientation
  • Register for classes
  • Pay tuition
  • See your roommate assignment
  • Check your financial aid status
  • Review your grades
  • Perform many other tasks related to your education at SVSU


To activate your SVSU account, you will need your username and student ID,  provided in your acceptance letter. If you cannot find your acceptance letter, please call the Admissions Office at 1-800-968-9500. Due to security concerns, we will not provide usernames through email.

It is strongly suggested you take a few moments and complete the Password Security Enrollment process, which will ask you a few security questions, allowing you to reset your password by answering those questions at a future time. 

You are assigned your SVSU username and student ID upon acceptance to SVSU. It is provided in your acceptance letter. If you cannot find your acceptance letter, please call the Admissions Office at 1-800-968-9500. Due to security concerns, we will not provide usernames or student ID through email.

You can simply put a "0" (zero) in front of any 6 digit ID number to convert it into a 7 digit ID number for tech access. This will allow you to complete the account activation process.

If you have activated your SVSU account but have forgotten your password, you may reset it through Password Self Service (link: or call (989) 964-4225.

Step 2: Financing Your Education

Several types of financial aid can help pay for your education:  federal, state and institutional aid, SVSU scholarships along with student loans and payment plans.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine student aid eligibility. The FAFSA can be completed beginning Oct. 1st  for the next academic year. Some aid may be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Types of Aid

SVSU administers more than $87.9 million in financial aid each year: over $30 million in scholarships & grants, $55 million in low-interest loans and $2.5 million in student employment.

  • Scholarships may be awarded based on academics, financial need or both.  Scholarships are considered gift aid and do not have to be re-paid. The SVSU Private Scholarship Application will be available Dec. 1, 2016, and is due April 1, 2017.
  • Grants are based upon a student’s financial need or upon a student’s skill or ability (merit-based).  Grants are considered gift aid and do not have to be re-paid.
  • Loans are available to assist students with unmet educational costs. Loans do need to be repaid, and should be considered carefully. Students should always file a FAFSA first in order to be packaged with any federal loan eligibility. When eligibility is exhausted, parent and alternative loans are considered.
  • Student Employment provides part-time, on-campus employment for students to earn money for education expenses.  


Saginaw Valley State University’s tuition rate is the lowest of the 15 state universities. The Tuition and Fee Schedule provides a detailed cost of tuition rates per credit hour and other academic fees. For an estimate of annual costs, including tuition, room and board, please refer to our Cost of Attendance page. 

SVSU Cost of Attendance is the estimated cost based on a yearly amount including other educational expenses. 


SVSU offers housing for over 2,700 students, and was rated #1 in Michigan by in 2015! We offer affordable housing & dining rates for freshmen, transfer students, and upperclassmen.

Use the Net Price Calculator to get a more precise estimate of YOUR costs based on YOUR circumstances. 

To accept the scholarships and/or financial aid package you have been awarded by SVSU, you must accept your financial aid award letter in Financial aid award letters will begin to appear in early December 2016.  

1) Log-into with username and password.
2) Go to Self Service
3) Select Students
4) Click ‘My Financial Account’
5) Click Financial Aid Award Letter Accept/Reject
6) Choose a Financial Aid year & click submit
7) Review your Award Letter
8) At the bottom under ‘Accept/Reject Your Awards’ choose ACCEPT ALL or REJECT ALL within the drop down menu & click submit (or you may Accept/Reject by individual award).  

Accepting your Financial Aid Awards as soon as possible holds your scholarships, loans, and other aid offered to you by SVSU. SVSU does not require pre-payment of an orientation or housing fee to hold your financial aid award.

No. SVSU does not require pre-payment of an orientation fee or housing prepayment to hold your financial aid award. 

Financial Literacy is important when applying and accepting financial aid and paying for tuition. Review our simple, easy to follow guide to help you take control of your finances.

Step 3: Sign Up for SOAR

SOAR is your first of three steps in the freshman orientation program at SVSU. 

What happens at SOAR?
During this interactive program, you will be teamed up with an Orientation Leader and a small group of fellow new Cardinals for your day on campus. Some of the event’s activities include:

  • Registering for your Fall classes with help from an academic advisor;
  • Learning about involvement opportunities and student life on campus; and
  • Connecting with your future classmates and making new friends!

How do I register for a SOAR date?
All students register for orientation online via After logging in to your portal and submitting your non-refundable $95 orientation fee, you can select the SOAR date you would like to attend. For an easy to follow, step-by-step guide on how to sign up for SOAR, please click here.

Are you a transfer student?
Instead of attending SOAR, you will attend a different program that has been specifically designed to assist new transfer students. Contact us at or (989)964-4070 to learn more. 


SOAR is mandatory for all incoming freshmen, but trust us, you’ll be glad you came.

Since the $95 orientation fee is non-refundable, the Office of Orientation Programs encourages student to carefully consider paying prior to making a decision to attend. Paying your orientation fee allows you to reserve a session date for SOAR. These events begin in May, and you will register for your classes at this event. Some students prefer to reserve a place at an early SOAR event to ensure the best course selection possible. Others prefer to wait until they have decided to attend to avoid a possible forfeiture of those funds.

SOAR sessions are reserved and filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Once your registration is received, a confirmation screen will be displayed instantly and confirmation materials with the assigned SOAR date will be mailed as well.

If you need to change your SOAR date, you can do so online. Simply log in to and go to the "Orientation Registration" page that you used to register initially. Select a new date from the available sessions, and click submit. 

During the SOAR events for the Fall semester, SVSU hosts a Parent Conference for parents and family members. This program is separate from the student program, and parents are able to select which Conference Sessions they are most interested in attending to create their own experience.

Step 4: Experience Housing and Dining

You've wanted to live at a place without your parents for what seems like forever! While living on campus is not mandatory, over 70% of the Fall 2016 freshman class chose to live on campus!

SVSU's residence halls will be your home away from home!

Contract for Housing Starting in December

Housing contracts for freshmen who are admitted and plan to start at SVSU the following August are mailed in December. Incoming freshman housing materials are automatically mailed to all freshmen who are admitted.  Housing is granted on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are looking to enjoy the benefits of living on campus, reserve your space as soon as materials are available! The status of your housing contract affects your roommate and any single room requests. 

Requesting Roommates

You may request a roommate. Three criteria are used to award roommate requests:

a.)  Mutuality - each student must request the other student.  Changes, adds, deletions, etc., must be in writing from the SVSU student's official email address.

b.)  Roommate requests must be submitted early; a general deadline is May 1st for all students.

c.)  Contract materials must be received on or near the same date.

Students in special programs may not have preferences honored due to community limitations by the advisor.  It is not possible to honor all requests, although every attempt will be made to do so.  Final determination of room assignments rests with the University.

The status of your housing contract affects your roommate requests, single bedroom awards, and preferences for first year areas.


Freshmen may rank preferences among all first-year living areas.  Date received is considered for granting single bedrooms and matching roommate requests.

Students in special programs may not have preferences honored due to community limitations by the advisor.  It is not possible to honor all requests, although every attempt will be made to do so.  Final determination of room assignments rests with the University.

SVSU does not discriminate based on race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical impairment, disability or veteran status in the provision of education, employment and other services.

Private bedrooms and singles are an option for freshman, especially in First Year Suites. With the privacy of your own bedroom, you will share a living room, bathroom and kitchenette with roommates in your suite/apartment.

The advantage of making your housing prepayment early is housing assignments are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Cancellations for non-enrollment received in writing prior to the official payment due date for the fall semester will be assessed a $100 cancellation fee ($100 refund of $200 prepayment).  A resident who notifies Housing Operations in writing by May 1st preceding the contract period to cancel the contract for any reason will be charged a $200 cancellation fee if still enrolled; however, the housing contract is then binding for both fall and winter semesters, pending enrollment, thereafter.

Room assignments are published in July. You will receive an email in your SVSU email account once your room assignment has been made. Once your assignment has been made, go to and log in with your SVSU user name and password.  The Self Service section is on the right.  Open the “Students” drop down and you’ll see “MyHousing”.  Search by your last name to find your room.  After you find your room assignment, you can look up by building to find your roommates!


Information and an application is available at You’ll also be able to see videos of students who have been in the programs and want to share their experiences with you! Programs include: 

Cardinal Business Edge
Cardinals in Action
First Year Residential Experience
Foundation Scholars Program
Honors Program
Living Leadership

Each program has special activities associated with it, but everyone who is assigned to a freshman interest program must attend a pre-college two-day camp held in August. You’ll be made aware of these dates during the application process. In addition, three (in the process of being confirmed) of the programs are partnered with a General Education class, so you’ll be completing a University requirement as part of the program.  

Students may only change their meal plans during the first 5 business days of the semester. Please use the Meal Plan Enrollment or Change Form in the mySVSU portal under the Financial heading/E-Forms.

Generally first year students move in the Wednesday and Thursday before Fall classes begin. Students will receive a day and time they can check-in from the Housing Office in early August.


There are many ways you can stay fit and healthy at SVSU.

1) Campus Recreation and Fitness Programs are committed to “Building a Stronger Student Body.
2) There are diverse and intentional recreational activities for the campus community, including intramural, club sports, group and individual fitness programs and more.
3) Research indicates that there is a relationship between students who commit to a healthy lifestyle and academic motivation.
4) CampusDish, provider of Dining Services, has healthy and wholesome choices available every day. Nutrition and calorie information are available on a mobile app and in the dining locations, and they offer nutrition and wellness programs. 

Step 5: Explore Your Career Field

It’s not uncommon for freshmen to be unsure about their degree program or career path. At SVSU we are dedicated to help new Cardinals find a major that matches their interests and helps set them on the path toward completing a degree:

  1. FOCUS  is a free on-line assessment tool for students that helps match your interests, values, personality and skills with careers (and therefore, possible majors!).  It is one of the top three career planning systems in the USA according to the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE). After you have assessed your personal attributes and interests, the system helps you identify and analyze occupations and career paths that match your personal characteristics. FOCUS is free for SVSU students. To schedule an appointment to review your results with an academic advisor, please call (989) 964-4286.
  2. Explore career possibilities related to specific degree programs through “What can I do with a major in…” . This resource provides an overview of how majors lead to many career pathways. For each major you’ll find an outline of common career areas, employers, and strategies to help you maximize career opportunities.
  3. Finally, see your advisor regularly once you begin your classes here. The University General Education program gives you an opportunity to complete courses from several academic departments. An advisor can help direct you toward courses that match your interests and allow you to explore introductory classes in different degree programs. 


All incoming freshmen will register at their SOAR event after meeting with an academic advisor. Advisors and Orientation Leaders will also be available to assist with the registration process. 

At SOAR, you will meet with an academic advisor to discuss your major requirements and class options for your first year. You will also learn how to use advising tools like the University's course catalog, your program's online degree audit, and the Advising Handbook.

After SOAR, or if you have questions about future semesters, you can come in to the Academic Advisement Center for assistance. You can also access your Degree Audit through mySVSU to review required coursework at your convenience. 

If you have been receiving accommodations in high school, or diagnosed with a serious health concern, you may be eligible to have accommodations at SVSU.  Advantages of registering with Disability Services:

  • Students control distribution of Faculty Notification Letters
  • Recommendations for and training on Assistive Technology
  • Confidential services
  • Eligibility based on documentation and interviews
  • Join the student club, Ability First, to meet new friends and have fun at SVSU

The best way to get started is to contact the office of to begin the conversation!

Step 6: Discover Student Life

Explore opportunities for involvement; including Fresh Start Weekend, registered student organizations, recreational programs and more!

The next step after Orientation

Fresh Start Weekend is Friday, Aug. 26- Aug. 28, the weekend before classes start on Aug. 29, 2016.  Mark your calendars to attend events to help you make a successful transition to life at SVSU!

180+ Registered Student Organizations (RSOs)

RSOs are student-run groups that offer you opportunities to engage with other students with similar interests.  Many are tied to an academic program, providing a way to learn about your career field.  Others provide activities that you may enjoy, such as performance, service and more.  All RSOs use OrgSync to manage communication with other SVSU students. Browse the Office of Student Life website to see the many options!

Campus Recreation and Fitness Programs

From group fitness and team sports to outdoor adventures, we are committed to “Building a Stronger Student Body” and providing diverse and intentional recreational activities.  Two programs specifically for freshmen:

  • “Fit into College” is a FREE, yearlong program that focuses on leading a healthy lifestyle. You’ll work with student fitness coordinators to learn about exercise, nutrition and other healthy habits with other freshmen interested in doing the same!
  • The “Freshman Wilderness Experience” is an overnight camping program for incoming freshmen that happens before the start of the Fall 2016 semester. 


Think of Fresh Start Weekend as a Welcome Weekend to kickoff your college experience! You'll meet other Cardinals and have fun while becoming more familiar with the campus community with activities such as the freshman convocation, meetings with your academic department and college,  campus BBQ, service projects, recreation events, free entertainment, and more!

Certainly! One event that is a do-not-miss for all students is the Cards (short for Cardinals) Party! Held in September, this is like a college-fair, but is table after table of RSOs with students eager to talk about their activities. Be prepared for loads of free stuff! And if you miss this, Student Life can always put you in contact with one of the student leaders of the RSO that interests you.

Once admitted to SVSU, you can start creating your own OrgSync profile.  OrgSync can also help you:

  • Join, organize, manage and communicate with other students and RSOs;
  • Sign up for volunteer opportunities and track service hours;
  • Track involvement to create a resume or online ePortfolio

Intramural sports programs provide students an opportunity to participate in a variety of competitive and recreational sport activities with and against other SVSU students, faculty, and staff. Participants usually form intramural teams with their friends, residence hall floor/house, fraternity or sorority. 

Club Sports allow students to play a sport they love and bridges the gap between intramural and intercollegiate athletics. Club Sports are managed and run by students, including coach selection, travel, fundraising, scheduling, and practice.  These teams compete in various national organizations against regional and national colleges and universities.

Learn more at

Step 7: Pay Tuition, Housing, Meal Plans & Related Fees

There are many accepted payment methods available when paying your tuition & fees.

Payment Methods

  • Pay online by echeck or credit card
  • Pay by mail by check or money order
  • Pay in-person by cash, check, or money order

Payment Plans

Payment plans allow undergraduate students to spread their educational expenses over four (4) interest-free, monthly payments! They may wish to use the payment plan in combination with scholarships, financial aid or student loans to cover any remaining balance owed. Payment plans are available for graduate students also.



You may pay tuition at the Campus Financial Services Center in Wickes Hall 131-A.

A student may create a Parent PIN to allow parents, guardians and other authorized users to access his/her account information and make payments. Once logged in to mySVSU, go to Make a Payment select Parent PINs and follow the instructions. 

Contact the Campus Financial Services Center in-person in Wickes Hall 131-A or by phone at (989) 964-4900.