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California State University, Long Beach
Important information about the university's response to COVID-19
STARS/SOAR, Student Transition & Retention Services / Student Orientation, Advising & Registration
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Frequently Asked Questions

Newly Admitted Students for Fall 2020

  1. What is SOAR?
  2. Who participates in SOAR and what do I have to complete?
  3. When will I receive information about SOAR?
  4. What is a MyCSULB account?
  5. How and when do I make my SOAR Virtual Workshop Reservation?
  6. How much does a SOAR Virtual Workshop cost and what does this SOAR Fee include?
  7. Is there a fee waiver for the SOAR fee? Does my financial aid award cover my SOAR fee?
  8. How soon after making my SOAR Virtual Workshop Reservation will I receive a SOAR Confirmation email?
  9. What is the Online Pre-SOAR Program and Online Advising & Registration Course?
  10. What is the SOAR Virtual Workshop?
  11. How do I know which college my major belongs to?
  12. How do I change my major?
  13. Can I change my SOAR Virtual Workshop date after signing up? What if I can't make it to my scheduled virtual workshop date?
  14. I already attended a SOAR On-Campus Workshop in the past but ended up not attending or left the university. I'm back this semester. Do I need to attend SOAR again?
  15. Can parents/family members/supporters attend SOAR?
  16. Do I need a parking permit?
  17. Who do I talk to if I need disability-related accommodations?
  18. When do I need to pay my course/tuition fees?
  19. How do I get my Beach ID Card?
  20. How do I find on-campus or off-campus housing?
  21. When does the Fall 2020 semester begin?

Need additional assistance or have a specific question?
SOAR is open virtually Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm. Please send an email to SOAR@csulb.edu with your specific question or concern and be sure to include your Beach ID number (student ID number) so we may quickly access your files and expedite service. SOAR and its partners around the campus continue to monitor this fluid situation surrounding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please know your message is important to us and we will respond in 3-4 business days. We thank you in advance for your patience!

  1. What is SOAR?

    SOAR stands for Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration. It is the University’s comprehensive orientation program intended to ensure a smooth transition for first-semester freshmen and transfer students to California State University, Long Beach. Due to concerns of COVID-19 and large gatherings, SOAR has moved its services and resources online. All newly admitted students are required to complete the Online Pre-SOAR Program, Online Academic & Registration Course, AND participate in a SOAR Virtual Workshop. We will offer on-going orientation programming throughout the academic year and provide Summer 2020 SOAR students with Welcome to The Beach! swag/gifts once the fall semester begins.

  2. Who participates in SOAR and what do I have to complete?

    All first-semester freshmen and transfer students are required to complete the Online Pre-SOAR Program, Online Academic & Registration Course, AND participate in a Zoom SOAR Virtual Workshop. The Online Pre-SOAR Program and Online Academic & Registration Course use BeachBoard to introduce you to our campus community, its resources/services, university policies, expectations of our community members, your General Education, major requirements, and information about how to register for your first-semester courses. Instructions on how to use these virtual tools will be provided. Associated deadlines will be included as part of email communications from the university. Additionally, certain majors or programs may also sponsor a mandatory orientation for new students. Read all university messages carefully and adhere to department/major regulations as your participation with SOAR is a separate requirement. Please note that all university correspondences will be sent to your assigned university email account (@student.csulb.edu). Activate your Beach Mail here.

    *Online Advising & Registration Process - Your College Advising Center will communicate how to contact them by phone and email to answer your specific question and concerns.

  3. When will I receive information about SOAR?

    You will first learn about SOAR when you receive your University Admission email. After submitting your Admitted Student Reply Form and Enrollment Deposit, the next communication from the university will include information about SOAR's online programs and virtual workshop. Additional information including login directions and deadlines will be emailed as part of a sequence of university communications.

  4. What is a MyCSULB account?

    MyCSULB is a self-service, online account that all 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! Login to MyCSULB via the university's Single Sign On portal, then click on the MyCSULB icon. If you have any problems accessing Single Sign On or MyCSULB, contact the Technology Help Deskat (562) 985-4959 or helpdesk@csulb.edu.

  5. How and when do I make my SOAR Virtual Workshop Reservation?
    You must first submit your Admitted Student Reply Form and Enrollment Deposit prior to making a SOAR Virtual Workshop Reservation. Once those are submitted, make your reservation via MyCSULB starting Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Follow the directions below to make your virtual workshop reservation:
    (1) Login to Single Sign On by using your Beach ID number (student ID number) and password
    (2) Select the MyCSULB icon
    (3) From the Student Center page, scroll all the way down and click on the SOAR link. You will be directed to the SOAR workshop sign-up webpage where you will see all of the available dates
    (4) Virtual workshops are on a first-come, first-served basis and fill quickly by early May.

    The deadline to make a SOAR Virtual Workshop Reservation is Monday, June 1, 2020.

  6. How much does a SOAR Virtual Workshop cost and what does this SOAR Fee include?

    There is a required $62 SOAR Fee to participate in the Online Pre-SOAR Program, Online Academic & Registration Course, and SOAR Virtual Workshop. The fee covers all technical support service provided for the online program and the virtual workshop. Additionally, SOAR participants are invited to attend on-going orientation programming that takes place during the academic year such as workshops on applying for scholarships, finding employment, preparing for graduate school and getting involved with campus life. Finally, SOAR students will also receive a Welcome to The Beach! swag/gift bag once the fall semester begins– details will be emailed to students in August.

  7. Is there a fee waiver for the SOAR fee? Does my financial aid award cover my SOAR Fee? Can I get a refund?

    Unfortunately, there is no fee waiver available for the SOAR Fee and Financial Aid does not cover this fee. If you encounter any challenges paying the SOAR Fee, please contact SOAR (soar@csulb.edu) so that we may explore any available options. The SOAR fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.

  8. How soon after making my SOAR Virtual Workshop Reservation will I receive a SOAR Confirmation Email?

    A SOAR Confirmation Email will be sent to you from the Admissions department. This email will confirm your scheduled virtual workshop date and time, a list of items you must complete before participating in your virtual workshop, and a Zoom hyperlink to use on your workshop date. You should receive it approximately two (2) weeks prior to your reserved SOAR Virtual Workshop date. If you do not receive this email, please check your Junk Folder as sometimes it is accidentally re-directed there. Still cannot find it? Contact SOAR (soar@csulb.edu) at least three (3) business days prior to your scheduled virtual workshop so we can re-send the confirmation email to you.

    *Online Advising & Registration Process - Your College Advising Center will communicate how to contact them by phone and email to answer your specific question and concerns.

  9. What is the Online Pre-SOAR Program and Online Advising & Registration Course?

    The Online Pre-SOAR Program and Online Advising & Registration Course use BeachBoard to introduce you to our campus community, its resources/services, university policies, expectations of our community members, your General Education, major requirements, and information about how to register for your first-semester courses. After submitting your Admitted Student Reply Form and Enrollment Deposit, you will receive an email with instruction on how to access these online programs. You should complete both programs in BeachBoard at least one (1) week prior to attending your SOAR Virtual Workshop.

  10. What is the SOAR Virtual Workshop? What should I have with me during this virtual workshop?

    Both first-semester freshmen and transfer students must participate in a virtual workshop. You will learn more about campus life from current LB State students, e-meet other incoming students, and participate in activities. After participating in your virtual workshop, your SOAR Hold will be removed. You should have access to your SOAR virtual workshop confirmation email which contains the Zoom link and password to the session, any notes taken during your BeachBoard courses. Finally, you should have a laptop or desktop with stable internet access in order to participate. If you have concerns about access to technology, please visit www.csulb.edu/students   

    *Online Advising & Registration Process - Your College Advising Center will communicate how to contact them by phone and email to answer your specific question and concerns.

  11. How do I know which college my major belongs to?

    Visit Colleges & Majors to view a listing of all undergraduate majors and their assigned college.

  12. How do I change my major?

    First-semester freshmen may change their major prior to participating in your SOAR Virtual Workshop. An unofficial request for a change of major can be made on your SOAR Online Freshman Advising Survey –a professional advisor will review your request and either approve it or change your major to "Undeclared."

    First-semester transfer students are not allowed to change majors. Please contact Transfer Admissions at (562) 985-5471 to learn more about this admissions policy or to request a change of major.

  13. Can I change my SOAR Virtual Workshop date after making my reservation? What if I can't make it to my scheduled virtual workshop date?

    You will need to be certain of the SOAR virtual 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 virtual workshop due to extenuating circumstances, please contact SOAR within 24 hours of your scheduled workshop date to reschedule. Call (562) 985-5515 or email soar@csulb.edu for assistance.

  14. I already attended a SOAR On-Campus Workshop in the past but ended up not attending or left the university. Now I’m back this upcoming semester. Do I need to attend orientation again?

    If you have previously attended the university and are resuming your studies, you may be required to attend SOAR. Students who have been away from for more than two (2) years will be required to complete the Online Pre-SOAR Program and participate in a SOAR Virtual Workshop because of the changes to General Education, major requirements, and university policies. Those who have been away for less than two (2) years may apply for an exemption by emailing SOAR (soar@csulb.edu) – we will evaluate your request and respond as quickly as possible.

  15. Can parents/family members/supporters attend SOAR?

    SOAR is exclusively for first-semester students. Parents/family members/supporters should consider participating in the Parent & Family Orientation program to learn how they can best support their college student.

  16. Do I need a parking permit?

    You will not need a parking permit in order to complete SOAR since everything will be done online. As for the upcoming semester, non-transferable, virtual student permits can be purchased online via the Online Parking Services portal. Also, please consider Sustainable Transportation like carpooling, riding your bike, or using the campus shuttles.

  17. Who do I talk to if I need disability-related accommodations?

    The Bob Murphy Access Center (BMAC) supports students with disabilities through accommodations and services, including but not limited to sign language interpreters, real-time captioners, assistive technology, and alternative media. Please complete the SOAR-BMAC Disability-Related Accommodations Form if you will require disability-related accommodations and/or are in need of these accommodations during your virtual workshop. Be sure to submit this online form at least three (3) business days prior to your scheduled virtual workshop. Once you have submitted this online form, a BMAC representative will reach out to discuss the confidential registration process. If you have additional questions, please contact BMAC at BMAC@csulb.edu.

  18. When do I need to pay my course/tuition fees?

    Course fees, payment deadlines, Payment Plan sign-up, and Financial Aid Disbursement information can be found on the Student Financial Services website.

  19.  How do I get my Beach ID Card?

    In August or once the semester begins, you will have the opportunity to visit ID Card Services to have your photo taken and receive your Beach Identification (ID) Card. Be sure to bring your driver’s license, state issued ID, high school ID, community college ID, or passport to obtain your Beach ID card. You will need this card to access a wide range of services/benefits like free admission to athletic events, support from tutorial centers, and access to campus resources/services.

  20. How do I find on-campus or off-campus housing?

    Student interested in on-campus can visit the Housing & Residential Life website to start an application. The City of Long Beach offers a variety of housing options from apartments, condos, rooms, and houses. Housing & Residential Life maintains an Off-Campus Housing website that allows students to search for housing vacancies based on the type of housing (apartment, condo, single room, etc.) and location.

  21. When does the Fall 2020 semester begin?
    First day of classes is Monday, August 24, 2020

Need additional assistance or have a specific question?
SOAR is open virtually Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm. Please send an email to SOAR@csulb.edu with your specific question or concern and be sure to include your Beach ID number (student ID number) so we may quickly access your files and expedite service. SOAR and its partners around the campus continue to monitor this fluid situation surrounding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please know your message is important to us and we will respond in 3-4 business days. We thank you in advance for your patience!