Frequently Asked Questions
General Questions & Answers
The goals for the programs are the same: helping you begin the process of making the transition from high school to Radford University; advising you about your academic program, and enabling you to register for your fall classes, and addressing your questions about the RU experience. Since you will be accomplishing the same objectives, you may opt to attend either type of program. In making a choice, however, you and your family should think about the following:
- Quest 2-Day is Radford’s traditional two-day orientation program, which was first offered in 1979. Quest is highly recommended if you are the first child in your family to attend college in general or RU specifically; if you would like a brief taste of what it is like to live on campus; if you would like to meet other new students; and/or if you are traveling to RU from some distance. On the family members’ side, we cover transition issues and answer questions in more depth during Quest 2-Day than we do in Quest 1-Day.
- Quest 1-Day is an abbreviated one-day orientation program. If you have an older brother or sister who is in college (especially if he/she attends RU); if you are not interested in the social aspects of the orientation experience; and/or if you live close to Radford and would prefer an experience in which you arrive on campus early in the morning and depart later the same afternoon, Quest 1-Day would be a good choice. Please note that we deliberately accommodate fewer students and guests during Quest programs so that we can accomplish the same program outcomes in a truncated time frame.
All registration for Quest must be completed online - phone reservations cannot be accepted.
Shortly after you have signaled your intention to matriculate at Radford University by making your $200 tuition deposit, a compass icon will appear on your MyRU portal. The reservation system will open on February 1 at 8:00 a.m. Clicking on the compass following that date will link you to the reservation system. Reservations for individual Quest and sessions are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Remember that you must make your $200 deposit ($400 if you will be living on campus for Fall) before the icon will appear. Also, there is sometimes a slight delay between the posting of the deposit and the appearance of the icon, so wait a few hours and look for the icon again. If you still do not see the icon, contact the Office of Admissions for assistance.
Why is a cap placed on the number of students and parents who can attend Radford’s orientation programs?
The numbers we can accommodate in each program are limited for two main reasons. First and foremost, we want to keep the size of advising groups small enough so that all students who attend receive personalized attention. Second, RU’s orientation programs share the campus with other summer programs and conferences, and there is a limited amount of space in the auditoriums in which will be making presentations, in parking lots, in dining facilities, and—in the case of the two-day Quest programs—in residence halls.
The cost of attending any of RU’s orientation programs is included in the one-time New Student Matriculation Fee that will appear on the statement that you will receive from Student Accounts in August. There is no additional charge for incoming students.
With rare exceptions (like the opening welcome), students and parents will attend separate sessions during our orientation programs. Students will be led by Quest Assistants and parents by Parent Orientation Guides, who are former Quest Assistants who are specially trained to lead parents.
We encourage at least one parent, guest, or family member to join each new freshman at Quest. Attendance is especially valuable if the family is new to higher education. However, a significant number of new students attend orientation without their parents, and you will not be disadvantaged if a parent/guardian cannot accompany you.
Family members of all ages, including young children, may attend as guests. Each will be assessed the guest fee. However, we recommend that your family make alternate child care arrangements for very young children if possible. There are no provisions for child care in our orientation programs. Moreover, guests are in information sessions and panels almost continually during Quest, and young children will undoubtedly find little to engage them during those sessions.
In order to have a successful orientation experience, you must bring the following items:
- The Radford University username (i.e., email address) you will be assigned and the password you will set before you arrive. (Do not have someone else set your password)
- A photo ID
- Your immunization form, if it has been completed
- A pen
- Personal items to make your experience more enjoyable: a backpack, water bottle, etc. Summers in Radford are notorious for producing afternoon showers and thundershowers, so we strongly recommend you bring an umbrella, raincoat, or poncho.
- If you are attending a two-day Quest session and will, therefore, be staying overnight, bring toiletry items, your favorite pillow, a change of casual clothing, and a jacket or sweatshirt for the evenings, which may be cool. Buildings are air-conditioned.
Each year, about five percent of RU’s new students do not attend Quest because they were admitted late in the summer, because they live more than one day's drive away, because family schedules do not permit them to attend the session(s) that remained open when they tried to register, because all sessions were full when they tried to register, or for various other reasons. For that reason, a final orientation session is offered after new students move into their residence halls and before classes begin in August. Online registration for this session is typically opened by mid-July, and all new freshmen who did not attend Quest must register online for and attend this program.
Class registration, whether it be for the first or subsequent semesters, is more than just selecting classes you wish to take. It requires selecting classes that meet your needs and keep you on a path toward graduation. At RU, even continuing students must meet with trained academic advisors before they are permitted to register for the next semester’s classes. During Quest, you will work closely with advising professionals who will help you make the best scheduling decisions possible, given your intended major and future plans.
My high school does not hold graduation until the end of the third week of June. When I register for my classes at orientation, will I be at a disadvantage in terms of class availability?
So that those attending the first orientation program of the summer do not have an advantage over those who attend later programs or those who cannot attend orientation until August, seats available in each section of freshmen classes are divided by the number of programs offered.
Radford University offers multiple sections of almost all introductory classes, the “solution” is usually as simple as selecting another section of the course that is offered at a different time. Rest assured that you will leave whatever orientation program you attend with a complete schedule of classes that meets your needs and starts you on the path to graduation.
After reserving a space in an orientation program, I decided on a different major, and the reservation system is now closed, so I cannot make an online change. What should I do?
When you check in, you will be asked to confirm your major choice, since that will determine the group in which you will be advised. You need only alert us at check-in that you wish to change your major, and we will place you in an appropriate group.
After reserving a space for my guests in an orientation program, the number who will be able to join me has changed; the reservation system is now closed, so I cannot make an online change. What should I do?
If you will have fewer guests than expected join you at orientation, you can inform us at check-in. We can arrange to credit your card (minus a small administrative fee) for guests who cannot attend.
If you want to bring more guests than were originally registered, please call the Office of New Student Programs at (540) 831-5923. While we will make every effort to accommodate additional guests, program space limitations may preclude our ability to do so.
Since all orientation programs are held during the workweek, all campus offices will be open 7:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. (Radford University’s summer schedule). To make it convenient for you and your guests, each Quest program concludes with an “Information Fair,” in which all key offices will be available in a central location to address your questions and concerns.
There is a week between the end of my high school classes and my graduation. May I attend Quest before I officially graduate?
You do not need to have officially graduated before you come to orientation. (Please make sure to have your final transcripts sent to Radford University’s Office of Admissions.)
Almost all visitors who are coming to Radford from any distance travel on I-81. Take Exit 109 towards Radford (turn right off the exit if you are coming from the north, and left if from the south); you will be on Tyler Avenue. Proceed straight for approximately 3.5 miles. You will see the campus on your right. Make a right turn onto Jefferson Street at the College of Business and Economics (COBE) Building, and signs will direct you to orientation parking. Lots M, N, and H will be most convenient to the check-in location in Peters Hall.
Student orientation leaders (affectionately known as Quest Assistants, or QAs) will greet you in the parking lots and direct you to check-in. There, you will receive a campus map. We have also strategically located signs around campus to help you find Quest destinations. Please see our parking map for more details.
Walking the Radford University campus will be part of orientation for students and for guests. Most people find our campus very walkable and mainly flat. Unfortunately, The Office of New Student Programs cannot provide transportation for those unable to walk. Please call the Office of New Student Programs at 540-831-5923 if you have any special needs or questions.
I earned an associate’s degree while still in high school. Should I attend an orientation program for freshmen or Transfer Quest?
We recommend that you attend Quest 2-Day or Quest 1-Day rather than Transfer Quest. Even though you will be entering RU with junior academic status, you will otherwise have far more in common with new freshmen.
Quest (our two day orientation) Questions & Answers
Each guest who attends Quest with an incoming student is charged $30. This covers two meals (lunch and dinner on day one) and all materials that families receive upon check-in.
Each family member who opts to stay on campus during the two-day program is charged an additional $20.
You may bring a maximum of four family members. You may reserve a maximum of two rooms for your family if they will be staying on campus.
Unfortunately no. Two-day sessions are arranged such that academic advising takes place during the afternoon of day one, and registration for classes is held on the morning of day two. Therefore, you must be present both days. If you cannot be present for both days, please reserve a space in Quest 1-Day.
We cannot honor Quest roommate requests. Students are randomly assigned Quest roommates (of the same gender) so that they have the opportunity to make new friends, but if two Quest students (of the same gender) strongly want to room together we recommend attending the same session and arriving at check-in together. Please notify your housing check-in associate that you would like to room together and we will do our very best to make that happen. Students may, of course, make mutual fall roommate requests through the Office of Housing and Residential Life. Roommate information for the fall will be distributed by the Office of Housing and Residential Life in late July or early August.
Guests and students are housed in separate buildings. (Please keep this in mind and pack separate overnight bags for Quest!) Having separate lodging for students and guests gives each the opportunity to interact with other similar Quest attendees. Quest Assistants are housed in each building.
Please note that while students are guaranteed on-campus housing, space for guests is limited. We recommend that guests planning to stay on campus make reservations as soon as possible.
Linens, pillows, and towels are available in the rooms. Rooms are cleaned and refreshed by RU’s housekeeping staff following each session of Quest.
La Quinta, a Best Western, a Super 8 and a Comfort Inn are located within four miles of campus. All are on Tyler Avenue, which is the road you will be on after you exit I-81.
Please leave your belongings locked in your car. At check-in, you will be given your building assignment(s); you can then move your belongings to the building, where someone will greet you with the key to your room. Following these instructions will keep you from having to carry your belongings around campus.
If there is not enough time between check-in and the opening welcome to return to your car and move your belongings to your room, New Student Programs staff will be present between 4:30 - 7 p.m. to give room keys to late arrivals.
We strongly recommend that students stay on campus. In previous years, virtually all students who have attended Quest (typically, all except local residents) have opted to stay on campus. This makes it easier for them to participate in social activities and have fun with their fellow new students during the evening of day one. Moreover, day two begins early: students must report to assigned campus locations no later than 7:45 a.m., and students staying off-campus must account for travel time, finding a place to park, etc.
Check-in is in Peters Hall. Quest Assistants and campus signage will direct you there from the parking lots, which are about a five-minute walk away. Check-in will begin no later than 8:30 a.m. and continue until approximately 10 a.m. However, we recommend that you be present at check-in no later than 9:45 am so that you have time to get your ID picture taken and proceed to the opening welcome, which begins promptly at 10:15 am. Please view our campus map for more details.
Quest concludes with an Information Fair at which most campus offices and services will be present; the Fair begins at 11:00 a.m. on day two, and it occurs concurrently with the distribution of printed fall semester class schedules and ID cards to students. As soon as students have their schedules and IDs and all questions and concerns are addressed at the Information Fair, you may start home. In past years, most attendees have been on their way by noon.
Quest One-Day Questions & Answers
Guests who attend Quest 1-Day are charged $20, which covers lunch and program materials.
You may bring a maximum of four guests. Each will be assessed the $20 guest fee.
Check-in is in Peters Hall. Quest Assistants and campus signage will direct you there from the parking lots, which are about a five-minute walk away. Check-in will begin no later than 8:15 a.m. and continue until approximately 9 a.m. However, we recommend that you be present at check-in no later than 8:45 a.m. so that you have time to get your ID picture taken and proceed to the opening welcome, which begins promptly at 9:15 a.m. Please view the campus map for more details.
No on-campus housing is available for those attending Quest 1-Day. However, a La Quinta, a Best Western, a Super 8, and a Comfort Inn are located within four miles of campus. All are on Tyler Avenue, which is the road you will be on after you exit I-81.
Quest 1-Day concludes with the Information Fair at which most campus offices and services will be present; the Fair begins at 3:30 p.m., and it occurs concurrently with the distribution of printed class schedules and ID cards to students. As soon as students have their schedules and IDs and all questions and concerns are addressed at the Information Fair, you may start home. In past years, most attendees have been on their way by 5 p.m.