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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
New Students Starting Fall 2021

  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 Orientation Workshop/SOAR Virtual Orientation Workshop Reservation?
  6. How much does a Orientation Workshop/SOAR Virtual Orientation 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 Orientation Workshop/SOAR Virtual Orientation Workshop Reservation will I receive a SOAR Confirmation email?
  9. How and when do I enroll in courses?
  10. What is the Pre-SOAR BeachBoard Course?
  11. What is the Orientation Workshop/SOAR Virtual Orientation Workshop?
  12. How do I know which college my major belongs to?
  13. How do I change my major?
  14. Can I change my Orientation Workshop/SOAR Virtual Orientation Workshop date after signing up? What if I can't make it to my scheduled virtual workshop date?
  15. I already attended a SOAR 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?
  16. Can parents/family members/supporters attend SOAR?
  17. Do I need a parking permit?
  18. Who do I talk to if I need disability-related accommodations?
  19. When do I need to pay my course/tuition fees?
  20. How do I get my Beach ID Card?
  21. How do I find on-campus or off-campus housing?
  22. When does the Fall 2021 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 COVID-19 pandemic. Please know your message is important to us and we will respond in two-three (2-3) 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 new student 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, SOAR has moved its activities, services and resources online.. Your advising, registration, and orientation components will be held virtually to ensure your safety due to the pandemic – there is no need to come to campus for any in-person activities or events.

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

    All first-semester freshmen and transfer students are required to complete two components of the SOAR Experience:

    1. An Advising & Registration process coordinated by your advising center/department faculty advisor. The specific responsibilities for your Advising & Registration Process are based on your declared/intended major visit Colleges Advising & Registration to locate your major and assigned advising center.
    2. An Orientation Workshop process managed by SOAR that includes completing the Pre-SOAR BeachBoard Course and participating in a SOAR Virtual Orientation Workshop.

    The specific responsibilities and deadlines for your Advising & Registration and Orientation Workshop processes are based on your declared major. Both processes will be held virtually to ensure your safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic – there is no need to come to campus for any in-person activities or events.

    This summer, all new students will enroll in courses one week prior to your scheduled orientation workshop date registration information including your specific date, time and other important details will be included in a email from your assigned advising center/department faculty advisor.

    The specifics to your advising, registration and orientation will be sent via email, so be sure to check your BeachMail (_____@student.csulb.edu) and personal email accounts on a regular basis.

  3. When will I receive information about SOAR?

    After submitting your Admitted Student Reply Form and Enrollment Deposit, the next communication from the university will include information about SOAR's two required components: the Advising & Registration Process and Orientation Workshop Process. 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., phone number, address, emergency contact info), 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 Desk at (562) 985-4959 or helpdesk@csulb.edu.

  5. How and when do I make my SOAR Virtual Orientation Workshop Reservation?
    After accepting your admission and submitting your enrollment deposit, make your orientation workshop reservation via MyCSULB starting at 9:00am on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Follow the directions below to make your virtual workshop reservation:
    (1) Login to Microsoft My Apps by using your BeachMail address (________@student.csulb.edu) 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) Workshops are on a first-come, first-served basis and fill quickly.

    The deadline to make a SOAR Virtual Orientation Workshop Reservation is Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

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

    There is a required $62 SOAR Fee for the SOAR Experience. The fee covers all technical support service provided for the multiple online programs 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 package once the semester begins – details will be discussed during your SOAR Virtual Orientation Workshop.

  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 Orientation Workshop Reservation will I receive a confirmation?
    A SOAR Virtual Orientation Workshop Confirmation will be emailed to you at least two (2) weeks prior to your scheduled orientation workshop. It will list your specific course registration date & time, as well as confirm your orientation workshop date & time along with listing the workshop Zoom link, meeting number and password

    Didn't receive your SOAR Virtual Orientation Workshop Confirmation? Please check both your personal email account AND your BeachMail account (_____@student.csulb.edu). Check your Junk Folder as sometimes it is accidentally re-directed to this folder. Still cannot find it? Contact SOAR at least three (3) business days prior to your scheduled workshop date so we can re-send the email confirmation - email soar@csulb.edu.

  9. How and when do I enroll in courses? You will enroll in courses one week prior to your scheduled orientation workshop date. Visit College Advising & Registration to locate your major and access your advising center’s website, which lists the specific details, process, and deadlines based on your declared major. Additionally, step-by-step instructions for your Advising & Registration Process will be emailed to you by your assigned advising center/department faculty advisor. Regularly check your BeachMail account (_____@student.csulb.edu) AND personal email for the latest information. These emails will include directions on completing the Online Advising & Registration Course, a list of recommended first-semester courses, identify your assigned registration date & time, and how to connect with your advisor if you have any questions/concerns.

  10. What are the Online Advising & Registration Course AND Pre-SOAR BeachBoard Course?

    The Online Advising & Registration Course and Pre-SOAR BeachBoard 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 instructions on how to access these online courses, which will be available starting at 9:00am on Thursday, May 27. Complete the Online Advising & Registration Course one week prior to registering for courses. Complete the Pre-SOAR BeachBoard Course one week prior to participating in your orientation workshop.

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

    Both new freshmen and transfer students must participate in a SOAR Virtual Orientation Workshop. You will learn more about campus life from current students, e-meet other incoming students who share the same major, and participate in activities. Refer to your SOAR Virtual Orientation Workshop Confirmation, which contains the Zoom link and password to the session, and any notes taken during your BeachBoard courses. Also found in your confirmation is a link to what to do BEFORE and DURING your orientation workshop. 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 the Division of Student Affairs' Equity & Inclusion Resource Guide website. 

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

    Visit College Advising & Registration to view a list of all undergraduate majors and their assigned college, as well as access a link to its advising center website.

  13. How do I change my major?
    Freshmen
    should first visit the college advising center website for the major you want to switch to – visit the College Advising & Registration website for a complete list of majors and links to the appropriate advising center website. Then, complete and submit the online Change of Major request form found on their advising website. An advising center representative will follow up with you regarding this request and guide you through the rest of your advising and registration process. Finally, contact SOAR to ensure you are in the appropriate registration and orientation dates – email soar@csulb.edu for assistance.

    Transfer students cannot change majors without jeopardizing your admission status. Contact the advising center of the major you’re interested in, as well as visit the Admissions Major Specific Requirements for Transfer Students, Transfer Application Process: Explore & Declare Major, and Changing Major Process websites for additional information.

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

    The system will NOT allow you to change orientation workshop dates once you select the Confirm Sign Up button. If you are unable to attend your workshop due to extenuating circumstances, please contact SOAR as soon as possible or within 24 hours of your scheduled workshop date to reschedule. Call (562) 985-5515 or email soar@csulb.edu for assistance.

  15. I already attended a SOAR 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 been away from the university for less than two (2) years, you may be exempt from completing the SOAR Experience. Please contact SOAR at soar@csulb.edu to request an exemption – your request will be reviewed and a decision will be made as quickly as possible. 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 Orientation 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.

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

    Parents, family members, and supporters are clearly partners in your your success. Learn about the university, special resources and advice on how to best support your student by participating in the Parent and Family Orientation (PFO) program.

  17. Do I need a parking permit?
    You won't need a parking permit in order to complete the SOAR Experience 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 for those students who will have on-campus courses. Also, please consider Sustainable Transportation like carpooling, riding your bike, or using the campus shuttles.

  18. 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 five (5) 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.

  19. 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. Your specific account information is listed on Finances section of your MyCSULB account.

  20.  How do I get my Beach ID Card?

    In order to practice safe, social distancing, Long Beach State has transitioned to an online photo submission process – visit ID Card Services to learn how to submit your photo and obtain your Beach ID Card. Your card is key to accessing a wide range of services/benefits when you are able to come to campus like free admission to athletic events, support from tutorial centers, and access to campus resources/services.

  21. 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.

  22. When does the Fall 2021 semester begin?
    First day of classes is Monday, August 23, 2021.

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 COVID-19 pandemic. Please know your message is important to us and we will respond in 2-3 business days. We thank you in advance for your patience!