Winthrop University: New Student Orientation - Frequently Asked Questions
Contact Information
New Student and Family Programs
248 DiGiorgio Campus Center
Winthrop University
Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
E-mail Us

New Student and Family Programs


Frequently Asked Questions About Orientation


Orientation Fees and Registration

Freshman Orientation

Family Orientation

Course Registration

Still Have Questions?


Orientation Fees and Registration

What is the cost for Orientation?
Freshman Orientation is $145.
Transfer Orientation is $50.
Freshman Family Orientation is $15.
Transfer Family Orientation is $10.  

What does my Orientation fee cover? 

The Orientation fees pay for the cost of meals provided, mailings, operating costs, student staff salaries, advising and registration, other services associated with Orientation, and Welcome Week in August.  

When do I pay my Orientation fee?
Orientation fees are placed on the students' accounts and can be paid through the Cashier's Office or Wingspan. Fees take at least 48 hours to appear on student accounts.  

If I register for a session and decide not to attend, can I receive a refund?

Refunds will be given only to students who cancel by the deadline. Requests for refunds must be received in writing vial email by the Office of New Student and Family Programs by the registration deadline for each session.   No refunds will be granted after the deadline.   If you wish to cancel your registration or no longer plan to attend Winthrop, please email the Office of New Student and Family Programs, and we will cancel your Orientation registration.   

Please note: No refunds are issued for students who attend Orientation and then withdraw from Winthrop.  

How do I register for Orientation? Students can register online 

Is there a difference between the Freshman Orientation sessions?
Each summer session is the same. You may choose which session works best for your schedule; however, all new students are required to attend one Orientation session. Eagle STEM Scholars must attend Session II.

Please note that the Fall Freshman Orientation session in August is not an overnight session. Residential students will move into their assigned residence hall room on the morning of the first day of the Fall Freshman Orientation in August. Commuter students will return to their off-campus residence at the end of the program on Wednesday and return in the morning for the Thursday events and to register for fall classes.  

What if I need to make a change to my registration?
To change your Orientation session, go back into the Orientation Registration System and follow the onscreen directions. Please note: a $10 session change fee will be added to the student's account. This fee will be applied for each change made and is non-refundable.

I tried to register for a session but the website said it was full. Can I be put on a waiting list?
Unfortunately, we do not maintain waiting lists for Orientation sessions due to high volume. Sessions are first-come, first-serve so we encourage you to sign up as soon as you know which one you can attend. If a session is full, you will need to register for a different session.  

What if I cannot attend any of the Orientation sessions?
If you have a scheduling conflict and cannot attend any sessions, please contact the Office of New Student and Family Programs at 803/323-2387.

Is there a deadline to register for an Orientation session?
Yes, there is a specific deadline to register for each Orientation session, typically two business days before the start of the session. The deadline exists to allow us time to adequately prepare for each session. Visit the Orientation Registration tab to view deadlines for each session. 


Freshman Orientation

Do I need to attend Orientation? Is it mandatory?
All freshmen and transfer students are required to attend an Orientation session to receive important information about attending Winthrop University, to meet with their academic advisor, and to register for their classes. In addition, freshmen will stay on campus in one of our residence halls during summer Orientation, meet other new students and current student leaders, and learn about the many opportunities that await them at Winthrop University.  

If I have a family member who is a Winthrop alumni, do I need to attend Orientation?
Winthrop is ever-changing and will be a very different campus than the one your family member may have experienced. Orientation is essential for you to learn the current campus atmosphere. Remember, all new students are required to attend Orientation.  

Are the programs required during Orientation?
All programs are required for you to get the most out of your Orientation experience and in order to register for classes. The entire Orientation session is designed to jumpstart your success at Winthrop University and give you all the tools you'll need. Make the most of it--you only have one Winthrop Orientation.      

Do I need money for Orientation?
You may want to bring money for a visit to the Winthrop Bookstore, a Welcome Week pass, or late-night pizza delivery, but none is necessary. All meals throughout the program (lunch and dinner on Day 1 and breakfast and lunch on Day 2) are included in your registration fee, and you will not be required to buy anything else while you are here.  

What time is Orientation over?
The second day of Orientation lasts until approximately 5 p.m. All students are required to stay until the end of the program so please make sure that you register for a session that will allow you to stay until 5 p.m. Parents and family members may pick students up as they check out of the Residence Halls around 5 p.m. No exceptions will be made to leave Orientation early.  

What if I need to leave early on the last day?
The last thing you do before you leave Orientation is register for classes. Please make sure to register for a session date that will allow you to stay until 5 p.m.   

If I am traveling from out of town and arriving at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, how do I get to campus?
Winthrop does not have a shuttle service to and from the airport. The Office of New Student and Family Programs recommends Carolinas Cab Company. They may be reached at 866/488-5438 (toll free) or 803/324-8813 (local). Uber or Lyft may also meet your needs. Students can find directions to Winthrop University online.  

What are the food options on campus during Orientation?
All of the meals during Orientation will take place in Thomson Cafe'. Thomson is the main dining area on campus that is buffet style and has a variety of stations. The Dining Services website has more information on campus dining. 

Do I have to stay the entire two days?
Yes, students should make plans to stay here until 5:00 p.m. on Day 2. Please make sure that you register for a session that will allow you to stay until the end of the program at 5:00 p.m.

A medical and immunization form was enclosed in my acceptance packet, can I bring it to Orientation?
Yes, you may bring your form to Orientation. You will have an opportunity to turn the form in during Orientation Check-In or at Health & Counseling Services while on campus. Proof of immunization or immunity (see Immunization Form) is REQUIRED of ALL students in order to start classes and must be submitted to Health & Counseling Services prior to the first day of class.  Documentation of immunization means a healthcare provider or health department must sign your Immunization Form OR you must attach an official certificate such as from the military or health department.  

I would like a different major than what I indicated on my application. How do I change it?
Students wishing to change their major should complete the Change of Major Form. Students should, if possible, complete this form by early June to ensure that the correct major is on file for Orientation. You will also have an opportunity to make a major change during Orientation Check-In.  

I'm going to be a commuter. Do I have to stay on campus during Orientation?
All students are required to stay on-campus during Orientation, even if they will not live on-campus during the year. The required stay is only one night--so make the most of it! It's a great way to meet other new students and get a better feel for college life. Also, it helps make sure the students don't miss out on any information or sessions by being delayed in traffic.  
What do I need to bring to Orientation?
We've compiled a list of items to pack.   

Can I leave the Residence Halls at night?
Students are not allowed to leave the Residence Halls at night during Orientation. Get to know fellow new Eagles and make sure to get some rest before gearing up for Day 2!  

Are the Residence Halls safe?
The residence hall where you will be staying in is very safe. The doors are locked at night and the bedroom doors lock as well. There are also at least two Orientation Leaders living on each floor, as well as professional and graduate staff members in the building. 

Are the Residence Halls co-ed?
Yes, the Residence Halls are co-ed; however, males and females are housed on separate floors.  

I want to room with my friend during Orientation. Can we sign up to stay in the same room?
Rooms are assigned at random. We encourage you to utilize this opportunity to meet new friends by staying with others you may not know as well at Orientation. Make the most of your one Orientation night by meeting new faces!

Transfer Orientation

What's the difference between the Transfer Orientation sessions?
There are two types of sessions for transfer students: Transfer Orientation Full Day sessions provide opportunities to learn about Winthrop, services available to students, and ways to get involved on campus, in addition to advising and registration.  

Advising and Registration Only
sessions are intended for students returning to Winthrop and who are familiar with the campus or who have a legitimate conflict that would not allow them to attend a Full Day session. Post-traditional students should also consider attending this type of session.

I'm a transfer student and have attended Orientation at my previous institution. Do I need to attend Winthrop's Orientation?
All students must attend one Orientation session. Winthrop has its own academic policies and involvement opportunities--it is important to learn these differences. Winthrop understands Transfer Students may have busy schedules, which is why Advising and Registration Only sessions are available for those applicable.  

How long will Full Day Transfer Orientation sessions last?
Transfer Full Day sessions will last until 5 p.m. Students attending a Full Day session should make arrangements to be on campus until then and make sure to choose a session date that will allow them to stay until 5:00 p.m. in order to register for classes.  

What additional support does Winthrop offer transfer students?
Military, Adult, and Transfer Services (MATS) provides student support services and programming tailored to the unique needs of post-traditional, veteran, and transfer students. If you have any questions regarding your transition to, or during your time at Winthrop, please contact MATS at or 803/323-4784 or visit their website. During full-day Orientation sessions, you'll also have the opportunity to interact with Transfer Orientation Leader and Mentors (TOLMs) who are current post-traditional, veteran, or transfer students available to answer all of your Winthrop-related questions.

What opportunities are there for me to meet other new students outside of Transfer Orientation?
In addition to meeting students during your Transfer Orientation sessions, be on the lookout for a wide variety of events held by the Office of Military, Adult, and Transfer Services (MATS) at the beginning of each semester designed specifically for new post-traditional, veteran, and transfer students. Information about these events will be available prior to and during your Orientation session.


Family Orientation 

Do parents and family members need to attend Orientation?
Family Orientation is not mandatory. However, we encourage parents and family members to attend to learn more about Winthrop and ways you can support your student as he/she transitions into the Winthrop Community.   

What exactly is Family Orientation?

The Family Orientation program offers parents and family members the opportunity to learn about various campus services, policies and procedures, and also assists them in understanding the challenges their students may face. The goal of Family Orientation is to provide you with the information to help support your student as he/she transitions into the Winthrop community. At each full day Orientation session, family members have the opportunity to attend Family Orientation.

What should I bring/wear to Orientation?
Parents and family members attending Orientation should wear comfortable clothes and shoes since they will be walking around campus during the day.

Are there sleeping accommodations for the families?
Accommodations in the Residence Halls are only for freshman students attending the two-day, overnight summer Freshman Orientation. Parents and family members who are attending Family Orientation and would like to stay overnight in the area can view a list of hotels that give a Winthrop discount.  

If I am the parent/family member of a freshman, plan to attend Freshman Family Orientation, and spend the night in the area, what should I do during Day 2 of Freshmen Orientation?
Since Freshman Orientation is a two-day, overnight program and Freshman Family Orientation is held on the first day only, many parents and family members choose to stay overnight after Family Orientation to explore the area on Day 2. There are many things for parents and family members to do in the Rock Hill/Charlotte area. 

Can parents and family members go to course registration with their student?
Only students are allowed in course registration during Orientation. There will be an ample number of Academic Advisors, Orientation Leaders, and other professional staff ready and available to help with scheduling, navigating the system, and any other problems.

Can my boyfriend/girlfriend/brother/sister hang out with me while my parents are at Family Orientation?
Only new students can participate in Orientation activities. Students and family members will do some activities together during Orientation but will spend much of their time in their separate programs. The Orientation programs are specifically designed to meet the needs of the population attending. Additionally, this is a time for you to get to know your new home and start feeling comfortable here. If non-students are present, they will be asked to leave.

Course Registration

Can parents and family members come to registration with their student?
Only students are allowed in course registration during Orientation. There will be an ample number of Academic Advisors, Orientation Leaders, and other professional staff ready and available to help with scheduling, navigating the system, and any other problems.  

Can students make changes to their classes after they register?
Yes, students can make changes to their schedule until the end of the add/drop period.   When is the last day I can change my schedule? There is an add/drop date that students must adhere to for each semester. 

How do I register for classes?
Students register through their Wingspan accounts. You will attend a session during Orientation that will provide more information on how to use Wingspan and how to register for classes.  

How will I know which classes to register for?
Students will meet with an Academic Advisor prior to registering for classes to assist them in deciding which classes to register for. Students can also see which classes they are required to take in order to graduate by visiting the Degree Works page on their Wingspan account or by checking out the Degree Checklist page. During Orientation course registration, Academic Advisors, Orientation Leaders, and other professional staff will be present and ready and available to help with scheduling, navigating the system, and any other problems.  

What if I haven't decided what to major in?
Winthrop provides advisement for undeclared majors in our University College. You will begin by taking courses that will fulfill our general education requirement.  Applicants who have not confirmed their choice of major but know which general area they are interested in can consult with your personal admissions counselor for additional information.  

What happens if my bill is not paid by the due date?
All students must validate their schedule through the Cashier's office even if there is a zero balance. Some arrangements for billing must be made or your schedule will be dropped.  Please contact the Office of Records and Registration for more information.  

What if I need to get into a class and it is closed? How can I get an override?
Students should talk to an Academic Advisor during Orientation course registration and may need to get the permission of the appropriate Department Chair.

If I have Wingspan login problems, what should I do?
If you are a current student using your Winthrop email username and password, please contact the IT Helpdesk at 803-323-2400. If you are not a current student and are trying to use your 8 digit campus ID (with the W in front) and PIN, please contact the IT Helpdesk. Wingspan is compatible with recent versions of most popular web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.  Device-specific and service-specific browsers such as Web TV and some hand-held devices may not provide full Wingspan functionality.


Still Have Questions?

Check out these other Winthrop websites that have lists of FAQs:

Family Programs
Freshman Admissions
Transfer Admissions
General Admissions
Financial Aid
Cashiers Office
Residence Life
Records and Registration
Traffic and Parking
Office of Accessibility
Cultural Events

If you still have unanswered questions, feel free to contact the Office of New Student and Family Programs via email at

Last Updated: 1/22/20