Frequently Asked Questions: Summer 2015

Are you getting excited or nervous for the start of classes this fall?  While you might not have actual homework to do this summer, there are many things that you will need to complete over this summer in order to make your transition to college life at PhilaU as smooth as possible.  I asked students to post some frequently asked questions on our Facebook group page, and I got some excellent submissions.  I have posted the questions and answers here to help you out!  Please read through them all to save yourself some time and confusion later on!

We are truly looking forward to having you join us as a student at Philadelphia University this fall.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us, but please use these resources to help yourself first!  Be sure to read the Welcome New Students booklet that we sent in the mail.  You can also view this booklet online by clicking here.  You should read every page because it has all of the information that you will need.  Without further ado, here are the FAQs…


  • When can we sign up for housing?
    • Starting June 1, you can access the PhilaU Housing Portal here:  You will need to complete the housing agreement and the roommate matching form.  You can opt for a random roommate.  If you have been selected for the honors program, you can opt to live in the honors residence hall or you can opt out.  Only honors students can live in the honors residence hall.
  • What are the housing deadlines?
    • The housing contract is due June 26, and the deadline to select your roommate is July 17.
  • What is your survey like for roommate placement?
    • The roommate questionnaire includes a variety of questions such as: personal interests, style of music, cleanliness preferences, study habits, and time you prefer to go to bed. The computer attempts to match up students based upon as many variables as it can.
  • Where are honors students living?
    • For 2015-2016, honors students will live in Partridge Hall.
  • Can you be in the honors program but live with someone who is not?
    • Yes, but you will not be able to live in the honors residence hall with a non-honors student.
  • Can we pick the residence halls we want to live in?
    • No, residence halls are assigned at random.  All of the halls are great options, and one is not better than another.
  • When do we find out our housing assignment and roommate if we chose to do the questionnaire?
    • Housing and roommate assignments will be released via email in late July.
  • Can we request a double, triple, or quad type of room specifically?
    • No, assignments are chosen at random.  We try to accommodate all triple and quad requests, but some doubles may be in a triple or quad with an additional roommate(s).
  • What can I do if I don’t like my roommate or housing assignment?
    • We encourage you to work with your Resident Assistant (RA) to complete your roommate agreement or possibly complete a mediation meeting.  If those options fail, the room change process opens approximately two weeks into the semester and you can work with the Office of Residence Life to discuss other alternatives.
  • What will be in my room, and what can I bring?
  • Are students allowed to stay on campus in a residence hall during holidays?
    • Students must submit an application requesting to stay over Thanksgiving and Spring breaks, but students are not eligible to apply to stay during Winter break.  There is an additional cost to stay over Thanksgiving and Spring breaks.  Students are charged the University’s daily rate of $45 per day.  An email will be sent to student’s University account regarding all necessary break housing information.
  • Are freshmen allowed to have cars on campus?
    • No.  Students with 24 credits or more are allowed to register their car and bring them to campus.

Meal Plans

  • How do I sign up for a meal plan or change it?
    • All Resident students will automatically be signed up for the Premium 19 Meals per week plan.  If you would like to change this to the Standard 19 Meals per week plan, please fill out this form that will be sent to Residence Life:
    • Commuter students will not be assigned a meal plan.  If you’d like to sign up for a meal plan, please fill out this form that will be sent to Residence Life:

Fall Course Assignments

  • When are the math questionnaire and writing placement essay due?
    • These are due by June 1st.  We must receive these before you attend summer orientation or your schedule will not be ready for you.  You can complete this online using a link in your WebAdvisor account.
  • When will I get my class schedule for the fall semester?
    • You will get your schedule when you attend summer orientation.  We cannot give you your class schedule before you attend summer orientation.  At summer orientation, you will meet for a group advising session with a faculty advisor from your College or School.  You will also have an opportunity to get your questions answered by the staff of the Learning and Advising Center.  At the conclusion of the summer orientation program, you will receive your class schedule and your student ID so you will be ready to begin classes on August 24!
  • How do the placement tests work?
    • Students will take a time Writing Placement test to determine their readiness for college level writing. A new first year student could place into either WRTG 100- Intro to Academic Writing or WRIT 101- Writing Communication.
    • Math placement is a 3 question test to determine a student’s back in Trigonometry. This test combined with a student’s SAT scores and academic program will determine their Math Placement.
  • Will a later orientation date affect our class selection?
    • No. All new first year students are blocked scheduled by the Registrar’s Office at the same time prior to the beginning of New Student Orientations. You will not be able to see your class schedule until you attend summer orientation.
  • Can I transfer college credits from dual enrollment or summer programs?
    • Yes, you will need to send an official college transcript to Philadelphia University Admissions.  A transfer counselor will evaluate your transcripts and determine which credits will transfer in.
  • If I took a college-level English course this year or AP English Language (with a score of 4 or higher), do i have to take the English placement test?
    • No.  If the admissions office has confirmed English credit, please contact Erin Lucas in Learning and Advising at 215.951.2844.
  • Are there placements tests for subjects other than Math and English?
    • No.
  • How are foreign language placements determined?
    • There is no foreign language placement done prior to the start of an academic semester. You will be given an assessment the first day to determine your fluency in the foreign language course you are taking.
  • How can I get credit for my Advanced Placement (AP) courses?
    • Please send your AP exam scores to Philadelphia University Admissions.  A transfer counselor will evaluate your scores and determine which credits will transfer in.  For a list of AP subjects, required scores, and the PhilaU course equivalency, please click here:
  • How are other classes assigned if they are not based on placement tests, AP scores, or college transfer credits?
    • Each individual academic program at Philadelphia University has a set of courses that are predetermined based on your major.  These courses are different for each individual program and will be reviewed with you at Summer.  You can view the different course offerings for your major on the Philadelphia University website in the Academic Catalog for 2014-2015.

New Student Orientation (NSO)

  • Do we stay overnight at NSO?
    • Yes, all students are required to stay overnight during summer orientation even if they plan to commute during the academic year.
  • What if I cannot attend the June or July NSO?
    • All students are required to attend one summer orientation session.  If you cannot attend in June or July, you can attend on Wednesday, August 20th.  The August summer orientation session is intended for students traveling from more than 250 miles away who are unable to travel to campus during the summer.
  • Is the housing for NSO random?
    • Yes.  You will spend one night on campus with a random roommate.  This is a great way to meet new people with no commitment to living with them for a year.
  • Do parents need to attend?  Do they need to get a hotel for NSO?
    • Parents are not required to attend summer orientation, but they are welcome to.  If they choose to attend, there will be an additional $60 fee per person to cover the cost of food.  Parents will need to make a hotel reservation in the area during their stay.
  • Can we pick our roommate for NSO?
    • No, this will be a random assignment for one night.
  • What do I need to bring to NSO?
    • Photo ID, pen and paper, comfortable shoes and clothing, health forms if not already submitted, bedding or sleeping bag for a twin bed, towel, toiletries, light sweater or jacket for air-conditioned spaced, and lots of energy and questions!
  • Can I change my NSO date?
    • If you need to make any changes, please call Student Engagement at 215-951-2634.

Bills, financial aid, and work study

  • When will bills come out?  When are they due?  How can I view my bill?
    • Billing statements are available online in QuikPay (accessible using a link in WebAdvisor).  The University does not mail paper statements.  Bills will be posted in July and December.  Fall tuition is due annually on July 31st and spring tuition is due annually on January 5th.
  • Can my parents access my bill?
    • Because college students’ financial records are protected by the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents do not have automatic access to students’ financial accounts.  The student is considered the person responsible for tuition and fee payment on their student account.  The process for parents to gain access to a student’s financial records is two-fold:
      • Set up your parent as an Authorized Payer in QuikPay so they can receive email notices about statements.  A link to QuikPay is available in WebAdvisor.
      • List your parents on their FERPA Financial Release so they can communicate with University offices on your behalf.
  • When will we know if we were accepted for work study and what our job is?
    • If you are eligible for work study, it was listed on your financial aid package.  In your financial aid award package and email, you were given instructions about how to complete and submit the Student Employment Application online.  You must complete this application in order to be considered for a work study job.  If you have been placed in a job, you will be notified by e-mail approximately one week prior to the start of classes.  If you do not receive an e-mail, then you should stop by the Financial Aid office to have your name and information added to the work study waiting list for any additional job opportunities that may become available.
  • How are work study jobs assigned?
    • Jobs are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, so you should complete the employment application as soon as possible.  In addition, if you have special skills or qualifications, they will be taken into consideration for job placement.

Due Dates and Reminders

  • June 1 – Deadline to complete Math Questionnaire and Writing Placement online (via WebAdvisor)
  • June 8 – Summer Orientation registration due (via WebAdvisor)
  • June 26 – Housing application and agreement due (Available via ResLife website starting June 2nd)
  • July 1 – Health Forms due (Be sure to make an appointment with your family doctor if you haven’t already! Mail to Health Center at PhilaU.)
  • July 17 – Roommate selection deadline
  • July 31 – Fall Tuition Due (Bills will be available online via WebAdvisor in July. Make sure that you have completed any loan applications or paperwork required. Call FinAid if you have questions 215-951-2940.)
  • July – make sure that you have your high school send your Final Official High School Transcript (required before classes start)
  • July – If you took any AP exams, please send us your scores through College Board for us to review.
  • July – FERPA release form must be submitted if you want a family member to be able to call PhilaU on your behalf with questions about FinAid or bills, you must complete this release form.
  • September 11 – Deadline to complete waivers for health insurance and tuition insurance (optional)