Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions  

General Orientation

How do I sign up?
Beginning in early May, you will receive information on how to logon to myRedDragon to signup. Choose the menu link "New Student Orientation Sign Up" on the Admissions tab. The dates available for your major will appear and you will be prompted to complete the required fields to make your reservation for yourself and any guests attending with you.

Your payment total will depend upon the number of guests attending and their options. You will NOT be able to sign up until early May. If you are having trouble accessing myRedDragon, please contact the Help Center at 607-753-2500 during call center hours.

How do I know what dates are available for my major?
Major-specific Orientation dates can be located on the First-Year Orientation or Transfer Orientation pages.

Why do I have to pay a new student fee?
SUNY Cortland's orientation program and transition programs are self-supporting. All fees reflect the direct costs of the services provided. Included in the fee are your housing, meals, linens, ID card, Orientation materials, staffing and faculty advisors for Orientation. The fee also includes resources and activities to help with your transition for the first few weeks of the semester.

What if I need to change my attendance date for Orientation?
If you need to change your session date after you have signed up online, please call our office at 607-753-4727 to see if there is still space available in the session you are interested in attending.

When does the Orientation program begin?
First Year Orientation:  Check-in is at 10 a.m. in Corey Union
Transfer Orientation and Advisement: Check-in is at 8:15 a.m. in Corey Union

Will I receive a confirmation?
The session you sign up for in myRedDragon is the session you are assigned to attend. Once you have signed up you will be brought to a confirmation page. Please print this for your records. You also will receive an email confirming your session assignment. 

What if I want to change my major?
If you want to change your major, you must contact the Admissions Office to determine if there is room in the major that interests you. Some of our popular majors close. If the Admissions Office approves your change of major request, you will need to confirm the orientation dates available for your new major. 

If you have already signed up for an orientation, our office will need to confirm if there is space available for you at that session in the new major. Every session has a maximum number of students per major. If you have not yet signed up, once the major change is processed your new major and the appropriate session options should appear in myRedDragon.

Where do I park when I arrive on campus?
Orientation parking is available in the Park Center Lot, conveniently located next to the Park Center. Please refer to the campus map provided at

How will I get to the Orientation program building from the parking lot?
SUNY Cortland buses will be provided to transport you from the parking lot to the Orientation program building. If you are a first-year student or guest who will be spending the night on campus please bring personal belongings with you.

I am not able to drive to Cortland. What other transportation is available?
There are bus options, as well as airports and other ground transportation available.

Who are the Orientation Assistants?
Orientation Assistants, or OAs, are SUNY Cortland students who have been selected to help you in your transition to campus. These talented students will be with you throughout your orientation experience to answer your questions, share their knowledge and put you at ease as you embark upon your academic journey at SUNY Cortland.

When will I get my Student ID card?
Students will have their ID picture taken during their new-student Orientation program. ID cards will be available for pick up once students move onto campus. Getting your ID when you first arrive on campus is important as your ID is your key to get into your residence hall, your access to meals and holds a declining balance account.

The Orientation fee will cover the price of the student ID card. Please refer to the Auxiliary Services Corporation website for further information about the student ID card

First-Year Orientation Specific

What are the First-Year Orientation fees and what is included with them?

First-Year Guests:  Guests who choose the full program, meals, and spend the night in the residence hall are charged $80 per person. Guests who choose the full program and meals and are not spending the night on campus are charged $60

What should I bring to a First-Year Orientation?

  • Your Orientation session confirmation email
  • Bedding (twin sheets, blanket/sleeping bag) and pillow
  • Change of clothing
  • Alarm clock
  • Toiletries
  • Fan or umbrella (depending on weather)
  • Comfortable clothes and shoes
  • Swimsuit, athletic wear, and tennis shoes for our rec center
  • Any documentation about college or AP credits you expect to transfer to Cortland
  • Your questions and concerns
  • Energy and a positive attitude

What should I expect during First-Year Orientation?
You will learn about campus resources, learn about your academic major, get a preview of campus life, spend the night in one of our campus residence halls, learn about academic and campus policies, meet with a faculty advisor, set your class schedule, learn strategies for a great first semester, meet other new students and have fun!

What if I have AP or College Credit?
Please bring any unofficial transcripts or test scores to Orientation. If there are further questions or concerns please refer to specific information for Freshmen with College Credit.

Transfer Orientation and Advisement Specific

What are the Transfer Orientation and Advisement fees and what is included with them?
Guest Fees for the Transfer Orientation and Advisement program are an additional $25 per person. This fee covers the cost of the program, meals and materials.

What should I bring to Transfer Orientation and Advisement?

  • Your session confirmation email
  • Comfortable clothes and shoes
  • Unofficial transcripts and information about classes that you may be taking over the summer or your last semester
  • Your questions and concerns
  • Energy and a positive attitude

Family/ Guest Specific

My student is a First-Year or Transfer student, should I attend Orientation?
Yes.  We encourage parents to accompany their students during the Orientation program.  We have special workshops just for you about being a Cortland parent/ guardian and what to expect.  Parents and students are together for most meals and several workshops, but there are times of day when you will be attending separate workshops.  

My student did not register me to attend an Orientation program. How can I be added to their reservation?
Parent/guest reservations may be added up to one week prior to your student's assigned Orientation session date through the Orientation Session reservation system in myRedDragon. Your student should access the Orientation Session reservation system as they did previously and then select “Edit Order”. Your student should then make any additions to their reservation, and then select the red button at the bottom of the page. A new order page will display the amount paid and additional amount owed. Enter your billing information on the left side of the page and then select the red button at the bottom of the page. Print out your new Orientation Receipt.

As a family member or guest of a student attending First-Year Orientation is there overnight housing available?
Family member and guests who desire housing will be placed in a residence hall with other parents and guests. 

Can I arrive the night before?
Unfortunately we cannot accommodate early arrivals for our Orientation programs. If you need to arrive the night before you may stay in a local hotel.

I can no longer attend an Orientation program. How do I cancel my reservation?
Parent/guest reservations may be changed or cancelled up to one week prior to your assigned orientation session date by calling our office at 607-753-4727. Please note, no refunds will be issued the day of the program.

After Orientation Specific

I met someone at Orientation that I would like to be my roommate, what should I do?
Unfortunately, no housing accommodations can be made after Orientation. All other housing questions should be referred to Residence Life and Housing located in Van Hoesen Hall or can be reached at 607-753-4724.

What if I need to change my major or make schedule adjustments?
We encourage students to keep the schedule they made at Orientation. Any minor class changes can be made during the first 5 days of class during the drop-add period. Any other extenuating circumstances or questions should be referred to Advisement and Transition at 607-753-4727.

When or how can I get my books?
Once students have registered for classes they can bring their student schedule to the College Store located in Neubig Hall where they can purchase their textbooks.  Students also can save time by ordering their books online through Auxiliary Services Corporation.

I am interested in becoming an Orientation Assistant, what should I do?
You should visit the Leadership and Employment webpage of the orientation website ( Applications are available at the start of the spring semester and due by mid-February. For further questions feel free to contact Advisement and Transition at 607-753-4727.