Orientation Checklist

Reserve Your Orientation Date

After you have paid your New Student Fee, you will receive a confirmation e-mail addressed to your NIU e-mail account.  Do not finalize plans to attend the program until you receive a  confirmation from NIU's Orientation Office.

Plan for Placement Tests

Placement/proficiency testing must be complete prior to attending orientation. Students may register for orientation prior to testing.  For detailed testing information, including testing dates, contact Testing Services at 815-753-1203 or  www.niu.edu/testing  Transfer students should contact their major college offices if they have questions.  

For Transfer/Re-enter Students ONLY

Bring a copy of all transcripts from your previous school(s).  Unofficial and/or incomplete transcripts will help when meeting with an advisor. Also, review your Transfer Credit and Degree Progress Report. To access this form, logon to MyNIU at  www.niu.edu/myniu  Print a copy of this report to bring, along with your transcripts, to orientation.

Pre-Orientation Academic Advising Preparation

Review the  Academic Advising Preparation website before you come to orientation. This site will help you prepare for your advising session, learn about other academic majors and minors, and help you prepare for registration.

Wear Comfortable Walking Shoes and Bring an Umbrella

We suggest that you and your guest(s) dress casually, wear comfortable shoes for walking, and bring an umbrella or rain gear in case of inclement weather.  Most meeting rooms are air-conditioned so we suggest that you bring a sweater or sweatshirt.  All orientation facilities are smoke-free. If you bring a cell phone or other electronic device, you will be asked to turn it off or set it to silent mode during orientation presentations as a courtesy to the presenters and other orientation participants.

Special Assistance

If you or a parent/guest will need special assistance due to a disability, please call or e-mail the Orientation Office in advance of your orientation date.

Student Financial Aid

To be considered each year for financial aid you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit it via the Internet at  www.fafsa.ed.gov, or complete and mail the paper application. Apply as soon as possible, as some funds may run out quickly. Contact the Student Financial Aid Office at 1-800-892-3050, visit their website at  www.fa.niu.edu, or e-mail them at  finaid@niu.edu for more information on the application process.

Immunization Record

The Illinois College Student Immunization Act (110-ILCS 20) and university policy require that all students born on or after January 1, 1957, enrolling in a class at the NIU DeKalb campus provide written evidence of current immune status with respect to certain communicable diseases, or evidence of exemption from this requirement, by the tenth day of the first term enrolled. Please fill out the  immunization form. All immunization information can be mailed to:

Northern Illinois University 
Health Services; attn: Immunization Office
DeKalb, IL 60115-2879

Records can also be faxed to: 815-753-9910

The student's name and Z-ID number must be clearly printed on any information submitted. A health care provider must sign all information. We recommend that you keep a copy for your own records. All required and recommended immunizations can be obtained at Health Services for an additional charge. To avoid a late fee, all immunizations must be on file and in compliance with the state law by the tenth day of the first term enrolled. A registration encumbrance will also be placed on the records of students who are not in compliance.

For assistance, contact the immunization office at 815-753-9585. 

Student Health Insurance Waiver 

If you have other health insurance coverage and do not want the additional protection offered by NIU, be sure to complete the waiver form by the tenth class day of the first term enrolled. Important: You MUST provide proof of other health insurance coverage with the waiver form; or your request to be removed from the plan will be denied.  A waiver must be completed and submitted each year.

Housing & Dining 

After you are officially admitted to the University, new students will automatically be sent residence hall information. If you do not receive information, check your enrollment status with Northern Illinois University Office of Registration & Records at 815-753-0681. If you need another copy, you may call Housing & Dining at 815-753-1525.

Obtain University OneCard (NIU ID) / Open TCF Checking Account

To obtain an NIU OneCard (photo ID), you will need to know your Z-ID number, which will be printed on your name tag provided at check-in. Obtaining your NIU OneCard at orientation may save waiting in long lines when school starts.

Your OneCard can be linked to a TCF Bank Totally Free Student Checking Account, and it can be used as an ATM/Debit card wherever PIN-based transactions are accepted. TCF Bank (Member FDIC) has a branch conveniently located on campus in the Holmes Student Center along with five ATMs throughout campus.


We know the day begins early. If you would prefer to arrive for the day before orientation, there is a hotel in the Holmes Student Center that will be offering a discounted rate for orientation program participants.

Need More Information? 

Contact the Orientation Office by phone (815-753-1535) or e-mail ( orientation@niu.edu).