Students sitting on the grass and laughing

First-Year Orientation (SOAR)

Becoming a Cardinal begins with Orientation, and we are thrilled to welcome you to SVSU. In these unique and unprecedented times, these sessions may have to look different in order to keep our whole Cardinal family safe. However, we remain committed to guiding you and assisting you in your transition to life at SVSU and are continuing to monitor the situation and public health officials' guidance. At this time, we plan to host primarily in-person, socially distanced events alongside fully online options for those who cannot attend or are not comfortable attending in person. 

Of course, please also feel free to contact us at anytime if you have any questions!

If you need any accommodations to fully participate in SOAR, please reach out to us directly at


2021 Orientation Dates

Please note that these dates are subject to change as the situation with COVID continues to develop, and any changes will be communicated via your SVSU email as well as any external email on file.

Dates listed below are for the in-person, on-campus SOAR experience, unless otherwise noted. 

Tuesday, May 11th - FULL
Friday, May 14th - FULL
Tuesday, May 18th - FULL
Friday, May 21st (online session) - FULL
Thursday, May 27th - FULL
Wednesday, June 2nd
Friday, June 4th
Tuesday, June 8th (online session)
Thursday, June 10th
Wednesday, June 16th
Friday, June 18th
Thursday, June 24th (online session) 
Tuesday, July 13th
Thursday, July 22nd (online session)

Please continue checking your SVSU email regularly as we will be sending additional details and updates there, as will other important offices like Financial Aid and Housing.

How to Register for SOAR (Step-by-Step Instructions)

Step 1

If you have not done so, activate your SVSU username and password (using the credentials received in your acceptance letter).

Step 2

Submit payment for the $50 non-refundable orientation fee by following these steps:

  • To pay online, in the MySVSU portal, select "Students" under the Self Service (Cardinal Direct) Menu.
  • From there, select "My Financial Account" and then "Account Summary-Make a Payment-Payment Plans"

  • And then "Make a Payment"

  • Then, click the  "Make a Payment" button from the left column, and select "View All Items" to expand the list.
  • And then choose the "Orientation Fee" and enter the $50.00 amount for the orientation fee and complete the steps to submit payment. 

Step 3

Select your SOAR date:

  • Once you have submitted your payment, return to the "Students" tab and select the "New Students Next Steps" tab. Then select "Orientation Registration".

  • Complete this form to select your SOAR date, and click Submit. (You can review your confirmation details by returning to the Orientation Registration page. Current registration will be displayed at the top of the page.)


Need to Change Your Reservation?

If you need to change your SOAR date, you can do so online. Simply log in to mySVSU and return to the "Orientation Registration" page, and select a new date. 


 Please contact us at 989-964-4070 or with questions or if you need assistance. See you on campus soon!


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is orientation necessary?

At SVSU, we feel it is important for students to become familiar with academic requirements, important deadlines, and the University calendar. We also want to help students familiarize themselves with campus and introduce them to academic support services and extracurricular opportunities. During orientation, students will receive academic advising, schedule classes, and learn about ways to get involved on campus. We've also seen many lasting friendships begin at SOAR and have a significant impact on students.

Is orientation mandatory?

Yes! You must attend SOAR to register for your first year courses. Transfer students are required to complete Express Orientation.

When will I receive information about SOAR?

After you have applied and been accepted to SVSU, you should receive an Admissions Packet. Included will be information on the SOAR program, as well as instructions on how to reserve your SOAR date. To make a reservation, following the steps outlined on the Next Steps page by creating your online account and using mySVSU to sign up.

Will I get the SOAR orientation day I want?

Orientation days are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the registration is received, a confirmation screen is displayed instantly, and confirmation materials with the assigned SOAR date will be mailed to the student.

Is there an orientation session for my parents?

We hope to be able to once again offer the Parent and Family Conference during 2021 SOAR events. Please stay tuned for more details. 

Will I see my parents during SOAR?

In order to keep groups small and abide by room capacity limits, parents or guests will not be permitted to accompany their student through the day’s activities.

How many students attend each SOAR?

There are up to 120 students at each SOAR event.

What accommodations are made for those with special needs?

If you will need services to fully participate in orientation such as large print, interpreting services, braille, assistance filling out forms or assistance reading forms, please email SVSU is committed to provide equal access to all university services, programs, and activities. See information on policies, procedures, resources, and forms available to current students.

Who can I contact for further information?

If you have any questions, please email

Fresh Start is the second phase of your freshman orientation program at SVSU!

Save the Date: Friday, August 27, 2021

Please stay tuned for updates to this program and format! 

SOAR+ is your third and final phase of your first-year orientation program at SVSU!

SOAR+ is for currently enrolled first-year students completing their second semester. This is an individual degree planning appointment with an Advisor that will help you create a semester-by-semester plan from now until graduation, and will provide helpful information and important reminders to assist you in preparing for your second year's Fall and Winter course registration.

Undecided on a major? No problem! Complete the Focus Assessment and bring your results. We would be happy to talk to you about possible majors and future courses to consider while you make your decision.

Please contact us with any questions at

Note: SOAR+ is required for all first-year students!

Accessibility and Special Needs

If you believe you will need services to fully participate in orientation, please contact the Orientation Office by calling (989) 964-4070 or email

  • Large print
  • Interpreting services
  • Braille
  • Extended time for placement testing
  • Assistance filling out forms
  • Assistance reading forms

For more information on accessibility services offered to students, please see Accessibility Resources and Accommodations.


Wickes 117
(989) 964-4070

International Programs
Wickes 230
(989) 964-4473