Frequently Asked Questions
For Fall 2016 Admits
- What is SOAR? SOAR stands for Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration. It is the University’s comprehensive orientation program intended to ensure the smooth transition of first-time freshmen and transfer students to California State University, Long Beach.
- Do I have to attend SOAR? All newly admitted freshmen and transfer students are required to attend a SOAR workshop for orientation, advising & registration before their first semester with CSULB.
Some majors or programs may also sponsor a mandatory orientation for new students. Read all CSULB mailers carefully and adhere to department/major regulations as your attendance at SOAR is a separate university requirement.
- Who is eligible to attend SOAR? Newly admitted undergraduate freshmen and transfer students are required to attend SOAR. Graduate and post-baccalaureate students are neither required nor eligible to attend SOAR.
- When will I receive information about SOAR? You will first read about SOAR via your CSULB Admission email. The next communication you will receive about this required workshop is the SOAR Information email, which will be sent to all newly admitted, undergraduate students beginning in November.
- What is a MyCSULB account? MyCSULB is a self-service, on-line account that all CSULB students can access. You can view your personal information (e.g.: e-mail address, phone number, address), academic record (e.g.: test scores & grades), finances (e.g.: outstanding balances) and much, much more! You also use your MyCSULB to register for your courses! Need some tips for how to navigate through your MyCSULB? Click here for a walk-through of how to utilize MyCSULB.
- How do I make my SOAR workshop reservation? You must submit your Admitted Student Reply Form and CSULB Enrollment Deposit prior to making a SOAR reservation and attending your required workshop. Once those are submitted, reserve your space at SOAR by taking the following steps: (1) log into your MyCSULB account, (2) click on the Student Center link located in the upper left-hand corner, and (3) on the new page, scroll all the way down and click on the SOAR link. Further instructions will be provided to reserve your space.
- When can I make my SOAR workshop reservation? You can make your SOAR workshop reservation beginning Tuesday, April 12, 2016. The deadline to make your reservation is Monday, July 4, 2016.
- How much does it cost to attend a SOAR workshop? There is a required workshop registration fee for the One-Day Freshman and Transfer workshops - the fee is $62 for each workshop. There is a $130 fee for the Freshman Overnight Program.
- What does the SOAR fee cover? The fee covers all services and materials provided during the workshop. Items provided include SOAR Student Handbook, SOAR & CSULB publications, CSULB E-mail Account, a SOAR lunch, and a parking permit.
- Does my financial aid award cover my SOAR fee? Unfortunately, no.
- Is there a fee-waiver for the SOAR fee? Unfortunately, no.
- How soon after making my reservation will I receive a SOAR Confirmation email? Confirmation emails are generated by Enrollment Services on a regular basis. You should receive it approximately one week prior to your reserved SOAR workshop. If you have reserved your workshop space and do not receive this email three (3) business days prior to your workshop date, please contact SOAR at (562) 985-5515.
- TRANSERS STUDENTS: Do I need my final transcripts at SOAR? No, final transcripts are not required to attend SOAR. Transfer students are instructed via their SOAR Confirmation email to bring an unofficial copy of their transcripts (and grade cards, if any) to their workshop to assist with course placement. All students (freshmen and transfers) are notified of the final transcript deadline by the University.
- Can I get a refund for this program? The SOAR fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.
- Can parents/guests attend SOAR? SOAR workshops are for registered student participants only - SOAR cannot accommodate guests in workshop classrooms. The Division of Student Affairs and the department of Parent and Family Programs sponsor the Parent and Family Orientation program (PFO) that is designed for parents, guardian, and/or other family members and is only offered during summer. For further information and summer dates, please visit the Parent and Family Orientation program web site.
- What takes place during a SOAR workshop? SOAR students will receive an orientation to campus through a campus tour, academic advising, as well as information regarding University requirements and policies. You will also register for classes and receive a print-out of their class schedule. We also hope that throughout the day you will connect with other new students and make new friends.
- How do I know which college my major belongs to? Visit Colleges & Majors to view a listing of all undergraduate majors.
- Can I change my SOAR workshop date after making my reservation?
You will need to be certain of the SOAR workshop you pick during the online SOAR workshop reservation process. The system will not allow you to change dates once you select the Confirm SignUp button. If you are unable to attend your reserved SOAR workshop due to extenuating circumstances, please contact the STARS/SOAR office at (562) 985-5515 for assistance.
- I already attended SOAR in the past but ended up not attending CSULB or left the University. Now, I’m back this upcoming semester. Do I need to attend orientation again? If you have previously attended CSULB and are resuming your studies, you may be required to attend SOAR. Students who have been away from the University for more than three years will be required to attend CSULB's new student orientation and advising workshop because of the changes to General Education, major requirements, and CSULB policies. You will register for a SOAR workshop via MyCSULB.
If you have been away from CSULB for less than three years, you may voluntarily participate in SOAR to become re-acquainted with the University. If you completed SOAR and attended CSULB within the past three years you may request to be exempt from attending a second workshop by contacting SOAR at (562) 985-5515 or firstname.lastname@example.org to begin the exemption process. *Please note that students who have been away from CSULB less than three years will be required to attend SOAR if significant changes to General Education and/or major requirements occur.
- FRESHMEN: Do I have to take the EPT/ELM before attending my SOAR workshop? Students should complete any required placement exams by the Fall 2016 deadline. This allows ample time for the exams to be processed and results forwarded to CSULB. Your CSULB Admission Email explains if you are required to complete the English Placement Test (EPT) and/or Entry Level Math (ELM) and their respective deadlines. These exams are used to help advisors place you into appropriate academic courses. Your admission to CSULB will be rescinded if you do not complete these exams by the deadline.
- What should I bring to my SOAR workshop? You should bring a copy of your CSULB Admission Letter, SOAR Confirmation Email, photo ID card (driver's license, high school/community college ID, passport), documents verifying college credit (unofficial transcripts and AP/IB exam results) and placement results (EPT, ELM, EAP scores). Refer to the back of your SOAR Confirmation Email for a complete list of what to bring. We encourage you to wear comfortable shoes for the walking tour. You may also visit the SOAR web page Preparing for SOAR that includes additional helpful information as you prepare to attend your orientation workshop.
- Where & what time do I check-in for my SOAR workshop? The One-Day Workshop is a day-long program that begins at 8:00am (check-in outside Brotman Hall) and concludes at approximately 5:00pm (various locations throughout campus). The Freshman Overnight Program follows a different time line. Please refer to your SOAR Confirmation email for complete details.
- Where do I park when I attend my SOAR workshop? You will need to park in the student lot designated for SOAR participants. Please refer to your SOAR Confirmation email for the appropriate parking lot during your workshop.
- Who do I talk to if I need special accommodations due to a disability? Students in need of special accommodations due to a disability should contact Disabled Student Services (DSS) at (562) 985-5401 at least two weeks prior to your scheduled workshop.
- If I can’t make my scheduled SOAR workshop and have already paid, can I just show up to one that works with my schedule? No. We can only accommodate and assist those who we are expecting for the day. Space is limited. If you need to reschedule your workshop date, please contact us at (562) 985-5515.
- When do I need to pay my course/tuition fees? Course fees should be paid within 24 hours of registering for your Fall 2016 classes. Failure to pay your fees by the payment due date will result in cancellation of your class schedule unless you have a fee deferment in anticipation of a financial aid award.
- How do I get my CSULB student ID card? After registering for your classes at SOAR, you will have the opportunity to visit the ID Card Services Office to have your photo taken and receive your CSULB ID Card. Be sure to bring your driver’s license, state issued ID, high school, community college ID, or passport to obtain your CSULB ID.
- How can I get a semester parking permit? Non-transferable student permits can be purchased on-line via CSULB Online Parking Services.
- How do I find off-campus housing? The City of Long Beach offers a variety of housing options from apartments, condos, room, and houses. CSULB’s Housing and Residential Life maintains a computerized database that allows students to search for housing vacancies based on the type of housing (apartment, condo, single room, etc.) and location.
- How can I find a job? There are many on-campus and off-campus job opportunities for CSULB students. Career LINK provides students with the ability to search and apply for full-time and part-time jobs, internships and on-campus interview opportunities. The University Student Union (USU) offers on-campus paid, work study, and volunteer employment opportunities. University Outreach and School Relations provides opportunities to work on behalf of CSULB as a campus tour guide, outreach specialist, and publication editor - call (562) 985-5358 to inquire.
- When does the Fall 2016 semester begin? First day of classes is Monday, August 22, 2016. Visit the Academic Calendar for more details.
- Who can I talk to if I have additional SOAR questions or concerns? You may contact SOAR at (562) 985-5515. Please have your CSULB campus ID number ready when you call – we look forward to working with you!