New Student Checklists


Here's what you need to know before you attend orientation! 

You've registered for New Student Orientation. Now, it's time to check off a few to-do list items before attending!

What to do before Orientation

  1. Access MyPortal. MyPortal is where you will find valuable information and resources throughout your time at CofC. In MyPortal, you can view financial aid awards, transcript evaluations, pay deposits, apply for housing and more! 

  2. Submit a Cougar Card Photo. Now that you are joining CofC, you will need an official College of Charleston ID card, known as the Cougar Card. You will use your Cougar Card to access events, facilities and services across campus. To submit your photo, log into MyPortal and click the Cougar Card Portal tile. Sign in using your student credentials. Select "profile" and "click to submit a new photo." Your card will be available at Campus Services HQ during orientation. Examples of acceptable photos and further information can be found here.     

  3. Make sure your phone number and address are correct in MyPortal. It is important that we have your cell phone number in the correct fields so you can receive updates and emergency information. 

  4. Lawful Presence Compliance is required by June 1 for U.S. citizens who haven’t submitted the FAFSA. You must verify lawful presence before being permitted to register for classes during orientation.

  5. Review Information about Placement.  The College of Charleston does not do any placement testing. Please review the webpage for information regarding placement in math and foreign language.

  6. Submit your AP/IB scores.  All freshman and transfer students should send their AP/IB scores and final transcripts for dual enrollment or transfer coursework before you attend orientation.  If you are a freshman, don't forget to have your final high school transcript sent to the College. 

  7. Make plans on where you will stay for orientation.  If you are interested in staying on campus during the June or July orientation sessions, please check out the orientation on-campus housing information and sign up.  Housing is NOT included with your orientation registration and you will need to register for that separately. For off-campus options, please check out the travel section of the orientation webpage.   

    For students attending the August 17 and 18 orientation session who have on-campus housing for the 2023-2024 school year, you will receive information later this summer regarding early move in for an additional fee on Wednesday, August 16.  
  8. Review required immunizations, complete and upload the immunization record form. The immunization record form has valuable information that allows Health Services to provide students with the best possible care. Please review the webpage and make sure you are in compliance with the immunizations and required dates.

The form should be submitted by May 15 for summer orientation (fall admits) and December 31 for January orientation (spring admits). For more information refer here.

The College of Charleston requires three vaccines:

The MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) requires two doses at least 28 days apart for students born after 1956. Students typically receive their first dose on their first birthday or later the second dose is given 28 days after the first does or later. 

The Quadrivalent Meningitis Vaccine is administered at 16 years of age or after (Meningitis Serogroup B vaccine not required). Students over the age of 24 are not required to get a meningitis vaccine if they do not already have one.

Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap) must be admistered within the last ten years. 
New incoming students who are not in compliance with the College of Charleston immunization policy will have a registration hold placed on their account that prevents them from registering for classes at orientation. View the steps for uploading immunization records.

How to Prepare for In-Person Orientation Days

  • Set up your email on your phone. 

  • Make sure your official transcripts from all colleges you attended before (including dual enrollment) have been send to the College of Charleston as least two weeks before your orientation session.  Your course registration at orientation may be delayed if your transcripts are not submitted in time to be evaluated.
  • Check out the new student calendar in the quicklinks section of the orientation webpage for reminders about things to do before move in and the beginning of classes.  It is posted in February for summer orientations and in November for spring orientations.  

  • If you received an email adding you to an academic advising module, please complete it before your assigned session.

  • Please check your College of Charleston email regarding any holds you might have on your MyPortal account that could prevent you from registering for classes during orientation. The orientation hold on your MyPortal account is the one hold that should be there and will be removed on your assigned orientation date. To view your holds in MyPortal, log in and select the "holds" tile.  

  • Check out the list of what you should bring to orientation and the sample schedules.    Students and families will receive their individualized schedule at check-in.  

  • You will receive an email to your CofC email account a week before your orientation with check-in instructions and other important information.  

Academic Advising

At orientation, you will be choosing your classes for the upcoming semester. This process can be exciting, yet overwhelming for new students. Be sure to review Preparing for your Orientation Advising Session.


Housing is guaranteed for incoming first-year students who complete their housing application by 11:59 p.m. EST on May 1.

Rates for on-campus housing are per person, per semester. The Housing Contract is a binding contract for the entire academic year (two semesters) from August to May. 

Learn how to apply for housing on the Campus Housing website.

View our residence halls in this 360º video playlist.

Laptop Requirement

All students are required to have a laptop computer.

Campus computer labs will be offered on a limited scale at the Addlestone Library. Providing an alternative to computer labs, IT will furnish students with the necessary software so that they can conduct their computer lab assignments on their personal computers.

Financial aid may be available for this. Visit Financial Aid for information on any available options. Information Technology has a limited number of laptops and WiFi Hotspots available to loan to those students who cannot afford one.

We do not recommend Chromebooks because they cannot run all of the software you may need and some models have issues connecting to our wireless network.

Both Apple and Dell have established College of Charleston online stores where you can take advantage of reduced pricing when purchasing personal computers. Both sites include models recommended by Information Technology at various price point options.

Please refer to the IT laptop requirement webpage for information regarding system requirements.  

Dining and Meal Plans

First-year students (regardless of credit hours) and transfer students classified as first-year students upon acceptance by Admissions, who live in campus housing, are required to purchase a College of Charleston First-Year Student Resident Meal Plan for the academic year.

You will choose your meal plan when you apply for housing. Don’t worry, you will have the opportunity to make qualifying changes to your meal plan until Drop/Add, once you’ve had a chance to see how you use it.

Health Services

Complete and upload the College of Charleston immunization record form  needed by Student Health Services. You'll receive an email that you are in compliance before you can register for classes at orientation.

Tuition and Financial Aid

You will need to access your eBill via MyPortal. It’s important to check this out because tuition is going to be individualized for each student. We recommend creating an "authorized user." Here's a step by step guide to set up an "authorized user." For more information about your eBill, contact the Treasurer’s Office.

Phone: 843.953.5572


For more information on financial aid, please visit their website.

How to access your eBill:

  • Login to MyPortal
  • Click on the "ebill" tile

Specialty scholarships require a separate application. Use your CofC email credentials to log in. Apply by January 15 for scholarships that will be applied to the upcoming fall tuition. Reach out via email for more information.

eBill Authorized User

The Colleges does not mail bills. All billings is done electronically, and you are responsible for setting up the authorized users for your account.  The Treasurer's Office will send eBill notifications to your College of Charleston student email address and to any email accounts that you have authorized. 

By law, student financial records may not be shared with anyone without the student's written consent.  So, if people other than you (your parents or an employer, for example) need to view a student's account and make payments on that account, the student will need to set up each one as an authorized user in the ebill system.  

The instructions for setting up an authorized user can be found on the Treasurer's Office website.  

Veteran and Current Military Students

If you are a military veteran, currently in the military or a dependent, the Veteran and Student Military Services office is a great resource. The office and student lounge is located in the lower level of the Lightsey Center. 


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