Hybrid Orientation FAQs

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For more information about the 100% virtual orientation option, or general orientation FAQs CLICK HERE. 

Am I required to participate in a hybrid orientation?

No, attending a hybrid New Student Orientation session is optional. Hybrid orientation is a blended session consisting of in-person/on-campus and online programs during your scheduled session. If you do not opt-in to a hybrid experience, you will complete your required orientation 100% virtually. 

Is hybrid orientation an additional program option for students this summer?

As our campus administration and units start making plans for reopening, we are offering a hybrid program option, where students can choose if they want to experience being on campus for a portion of their orientation session. We are planning to offer both hybrid and virtual orientation experiences for incoming fall term students at this time, but please note that this could change due to the evolving nature of COVID-19 and its impacts.

Will Family Orientation have a hybrid option this summer?

No, Family Orientation is available in an online format only. For additional information, please visit https://parents.utexas.edu/FamilyOrientation.


Registering for Hybrid Orientation

If I have already registered for freshman virtual orientation, can I switch to a hybrid session?

Beginning on May 10, if you have already registered for New Student Orientation, you can log in to your orientation confirmation page and select ‘Update/Change Registration’ to change your registration from a 100% virtual to a hybrid program. Please note that hybrid orientation participants will receive additional charges for housing and meals. You will receive a new confirmation email reflecting the change if you chose the hybrid orientation. Your New Student Orientation selection must be completed 10 days prior to your scheduled orientation session. Keep in mind, space is limited and will be filled on a first come, first served basis, so we encourage you to make your selection as soon as possible. 

As a transfer student, will I be able to register for a hybrid transfer session?

Yes, transfer students will have the option to register for either a 100% virtual or hybrid orientation. If you are interested in a hybrid transfer session, you will need to select transfer session three; we want to insure that all transfer students have ample time to submit all admissions requirements in order to select from either available orientation option.

How do I select a hybrid orientation session if I have not registered for any orientation session as of yet? 

If you have yet to register for orientation, you can select either a hybrid or 100% virtual session during registration. Register for orientation here.

What if I do not want to participate in a hybrid session?

If you have already registered for New Student Orientation and want to remain in a 100% virtual session, no further action is required. If you have yet to register for New Student Orientation, you can select your desired program option during registration. Register for orientation here

What if I need to switch to a different session in order to select a hybrid option?

All orientation registration including the hybrid experience is provided on a first come, first served basis. 

If you would like to select an available hybrid session that is a different session than the 100% virtual one you initially registered for, please log in to your confirmation page and select ‘Update/Change Registration’. Next, you will return to your orientation registration where you will be able to view and select an available hybrid session.

What if all the hybrid orientation options are full for the session in which my college/school is participating?

All orientation registration is provided on a first come, first serve basis. Your orientation registration will only display sessions that are available for your college. If you only see 100% virtual options, those hybrid session are at capacity. If you have additional questions, please contact us at nss@austin.utexas.edu

Can I get on a waitlist for a hybrid orientation session?

Orientation sessions do not have waitlists. If the session you wish to participate in is full, you should register for a different session. You can continue to check the system to see if a space opens up in your desired session, but New Student Services cannot place you in a session that is full; sessions must maintain caps in order to ensure that all students have quality time allotted during college and advising meetings in preparing to successfully register for your classes.


Costs and Cancellation Policy

Will there be an additional fee if I choose the hybrid option?

Yes, you will be charged an additional $60 to cover your room and meals. You must pay for your hybrid orientation when you register via What I Owe. You will not be placed in a session or receive a confirmation email until you have paid. You must submit your payment by 11:59 p.m. CST on the day you register or you will be dropped from the session for non-payment.

Can I get a refund if I cancel my orientation registration?

If you are unable to attend your scheduled session in June or July, whether a 100% virtual or a hybrid session, you must cancel at least 10 calendar days* in advance to receive a refund excluding a $25 non-refundable cancellation charge.

You will receive a refund check in the mail within two to four weeks of cancellation. If you do not cancel within the required time period, you will not receive a refund.

If you registered to attend June or July orientation and fail to attend (no show), all fees are non-refundable and can only be transferred to an August session. 

*You must register to attend August Orientation if you do not attend orientation in June or July. There will be no refunds issued for August Orientation.

What if I have registered for a hybrid session and cannot attend due to COVID-19 or other illness? 

Please stay home if you are sick or feeling ill. If you need to change your orientation from hybrid to 100% virtual in the situation, please contact our office at nss@austin.utexas.edu as soon as possible.

If a student is in the COVID-19 isolation period prior to their scheduled session, they should not end isolation early to attend orientation, but rather contact NSS to get assistance in rescheduling their session. The same is true for a student who has been told they need to quarantine due to an exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.


Health and Safety Guidelines

Will students be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test? 

While a negative test is not required, we strongly encourage students attending a hybrid orientation session to get a test 72 hours before arriving to campus. Doing so will help prevent a situation in which a student may have to isolate in Austin if sick or potentially expose others to COVID-19. Rapid testing will be available on-site for students who would like to take advantage of this testing. Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate and reschedule their orientation session at no additional cost.

What if a student tests positive for COVID-19 while at orientation?

Staff are prepared to support students who test positive for COVID-19 during orientation. This includes support identifying option for safe self-isolation. The student will not be able to complete in-person orientation. They can reschedule for another hybrid session or convert to 100% virtual.

Are students required to be vaccinated to attend the in-person portion of hybrid orientation?

No, the university does not require proof of vaccinations. However, we encourage you to get vaccinated as soon as possible, ideally so that your arrival is at least two weeks after your second dose.

Vaccinations will also be made available to students on the morning of their departure for anyone interested. There is no cost for COVID-19 vaccinations. Additional information about how to access a vaccination on campus during orientation will be communicated to you prior to your session.

Will masks be required both inside and outside of buildings?

Effective as of May 19, masks are optional inside university buildings and outdoors. For individuals who are not fully vaccinated or have weakened immune systems, masking and social distancing are optional but recommended.

Will social distancing and campus density guidelines be enforced?

Yes, on-campus density and safety guidelines regarding COVID-19 will be in effect during the hybrid orientation. Students are expected to maintain social distancing and follow all traffic flow with signage and barriers.

Will there be temperature checks and symptom screenings upon arrival?

We will not be administering temperature checks or symptom screenings during the check-in process, but encourage you to download and utilize the Protect Texas Together app to track your symptoms.

What if a student tests positive after orientation?

If a student tests positive 5-7 days following orientation, they should notify the Behavior Concerns and COVID-19 Advice Line (BCCAL) by calling 512-232-5050 – Option 2 as soon as possible. Students will not get in trouble for testing positive. The contact team will then follow up with them to collect additional information. This process is completely anonymous and will not have any bearing your enrollment status.

Can students leave orientation after checking in?

Students are required to remain on-campus throughout the in-person portion of their orientation session. Once a student has checked in, they may not leave campus until checking out on Day 2. If you have questions or concerns during the program, you can contact on duty orientation staff at the front desk areas of the residence hall.

What if a student is found in non-compliance with any university health guidance?

We all have an important role to comply with the university’s health guidance. Students who do not comply with the university’s Institutional Rules or University Housing and Dining’s policies may be referred to Student Conduct and Academic Integrity in the Office of the Dean of Students for further action.


Hybrid Orientation Programming

How much of hybrid orientation will be on-campus?

Only Day 1 of your scheduled orientation session will have on-campus components, such as small group interactions, peer activities and an overnight stay in an on-campus residence hall. The remaining days of your session will be virtual. Your college and academic advisor meetings will take place online for both hybrid and 100% virtual orientation sessions. The hybrid and virtual experiences will also offer the opportunity to connect with other incoming students and student orientation advisors.

How should I plan my travel on Day 2 in order to complete the required virtual sessions?

Students will have space and internet access available on Day 2 in order to complete their virtual advising appointment on-campus. Students can check-out from the residence hall on Day 2 between 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Please do not travel during your required advising appointment(s). You will receive more specific information from your college/school regarding your advising appointment in the days leading up to your orientation session.

If you think traveling will prohibit you from attending required Day 2 programming, such as advising appointments, you may want to consider attending orientation 100% virtually. There will be opportunities prior to the start of the semester to make connections with your peers and the campus in-person during Longhorn Welcome Week August 20-28.

Will all programming of hybrid orientation be in-person?

No. Students who opt-in to the hybrid orientation programming will have the opportunity to participate in in-person small group meetings throughout their first day of orientation and are required to stay overnight at an on-campus residence hall. All students will then finalize their orientation experience virtually on days 2 and 3 (hybrid freshman sessions) and day 2 (hybrid transfer session). No matter which format you choose, all college and school meetings, advising appointments and class registration will be virtual.

Can I stay in my residence hall to complete the virtual portions of orientation?

You are encouraged to complete virtual portions of the program at designated outdoor areas compliant with health and safety guidance. However, you can stay in your residence hall until the check out time on Day 2. You are not able to extend your stay an additional night.

What computer equipment is recommended for hybrid orientation?

You will need a computer or tablet with Zoom capabilities, webcam, headphones and a quiet place with a reliable internet connection. While students are on campus, they will have access to the free campus wifi. The university is not responsible for supplying students with technical equipment during hybrid orientation. All students are personally responsible for ensuring that their computer, tablets and other valuables are securely stored away during their orientation. The University of Texas at Austin is not responsible for lost or damaged items. If you have questions about technology requirements, please contact nss@austin.utexas.edu.

If I live locally, can I attend some on-campus programming, but not stay overnight in the residence hall? 

Students participating in hybrid orientation are required to stay overnight in the residence hall. You are expected to comply with all safety and on-campus orientation requirements throughout the program. To view orientation conduct expectations, please visit https://orientation.utexas.edu/orientation-conduct-expectations


Housing and Dining

Do I still stay on campus during Day 2 and Day 3 of the hybrid orientation?

No, you will need to make plans to depart on the morning of Day 2 of your hybrid program. You will need to make travel arrangements in order to complete Day 2 and Day 3 virtually.

What are sleeping arrangements?

There will be double and single occupancy rooms available during hybrid orientation,. Students can select their room occupancy preference during orientation registration. Students can change their room occupancy (single or double) preference up to 10 days before their scheduled orientation session.

Upon check-in, students in double-occupancy rooms are encouraged to discuss expectations with their roommate regarding COVID-19 precautions and behaviors (e.g., wearing masks in the room, etc.). Orientation and conference assistants' staff will be available to help discuss concerns and can assist if needed.

Can I pick my own roommate? If not, how are roommates assigned?

Roommates are randomly assigned. There will not be an opportunity to preference a roommate.

What amenities are offered in the residence hall?

All bedrooms have a community, connecting or private bathroom. Gender-inclusive bedrooms and bathrooms are available on each floor. Accessible accommodations are also available. Please contact nss@austin.utexas.edu for accommodations.

What steps are being taken for students’ health and safety?

University Housing and Dining is implementing policies and practices in alignment with the university’s health guidance. Facilities staff is taking precautions to ensure staff have appropriate personal protective equipment prior to working on the floors and entering student rooms to perform work. We have occupancy tracking measures in our dining facilities and digitally display our current occupancy levels to ensure appropriate social distancing. You can view the live occupancy status of our dining locations with the links on this page. Hand sanitizer stations are also available throughout the dining and residential areas on campus.

How are shared facilities being cleaned?

Our facilities staff are cleaning and disinfecting daily. All high touch areas, such as door handles, faucet handles, flush handles, elevator buttons and drinking fountains are disinfected a minimum of three times daily. All study area furniture and table tops are disinfected a minimum of two times daily.

What are the safety guidelines for dining?

Hand washing stations are set up at the entrances of the dining locations, and hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the serving and seating areas. There are also sneeze guards or clean barriers between patrons and dining staff at cash registers and all serving lines.

All food, condiments and beverages are served by staff in to-go containers. There is no self-service. Napkins and dining utensils have touchless dispensers.

Can my parents/guests visit my room in the residence hall?

No, guests are not able to visit students in their rooms. Family and guests can interact with students on-campus in common and outdoor spaces nearby.

How many meals are included in the cost of hybrid orientation?

Hybrid orientation participants will receive four meals during their say on campus (2 breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner).

Will vending machines and campus restaurants be available during hybrid orientation?

Yes, vending machines, coffee shops and on-campus restaurants will be available during hybrid orientation.

Can I bring my service/emotional support animal to hybrid orientation?

Yes, your service/emotional support animal can come to hybrid orientation, however, you must have them approved by Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) before your arrival.

Please go to the following link for more information: https://housing.utexas.edu/sites/default/files/SESApolicy.pdf



Is the cost for parking included in the cost of hybrid orientation?

No, parking costs are separate of hybrid orientation costs. Parking for hybrid orientation is services by UT Austin’s Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) department.

Can I park on campus during hybrid orientation?

You will need to select your parking option prior to your scheduled orientation session. An email will be sent to you from UT Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) in order to sign up for parking 7-10 days prior to your session. Make sure to thoroughly review the parking website for important information about traveling to campus, construction updates and other parking information. To review rates and select your parking option for orientation, please visit parking.utexas.edu/orientation-parking.

Check to make sure you are purchasing parking for the correction session (i.e. Hybrid Freshman Orientation or Hybrid Transfer Orientation). You can contact PTS with questions at pts-orientation_parking@austin.utexas.edu or (512) 471-7275 during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.). For a faster response time, you are encouraged to submit your inquiries via e-mail.

Can I be dropped off at orientation?

Yes, drop-off is available during the morning of Day 1 of your hybrid orientation. You will receive an email with parking options prior to your scheduled orientation which will include drop-off information.