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New Students

Welcome to ESF! We’re so happy that you’re joining us as a Mighty Oak for Fall 2024! 

This page contains everything you need to know and do to prepare for arrival.


We’re looking forward to helping you get settled at ESF through a variety of events and sessions. Orientation is designed to help new students:

  • Meet your classmates and peers
  • Be welcomed by ESF’s faculty, staff, and administration
  • Meet with your advisor and finalize your schedule
  • Learn about resources available to you
  • Understand ESF values and student expectations
  • Find out how to make the semester a success

Students enrolled in the Sustainability Management online degree program will have access to a fully online orientation course. Enrollment and access details will be sent by email later this spring.

Students participate in orientation sessions at the Gateway Center


New Student Orientation | Dates will be announced later this spring

New Student Checklist

Your ESF and SU IDs are needed to access online resources, both on and off campus, and to receive email.

Please Note: Official campus communications are sent via your email. Please check this often.

Complete the following through your MyESF portal:

  • Add your photo
  • List your emergency contact information
  • Acknowledge ESF policies
  • Waive FERPA proxy (if desired)

Transfer students may choose to live in off-campus apartments in nearby neighborhoods. SU’s Office of Student Living provides a variety of apartment listings and transportation information. Additional off-campus housing agencies and resources are listed online. 

New York State law, SUNY policy, and Syracuse University policy direct the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), meningococcal meningitis, and COVID-19 immunization and vaccination requirements for ESF students. 

Online Students: In the detailed instructions at the top of the ESF Immunization History Form, please note the Online-Only Student Exemption for those enrolled in all online classes, not living in on-campus housing, and/or not attending more than 5 credit hours of in-person classes on campus in one semester.

MMR: MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) or an approved medical or religious exemption is required for all in-person students taking six or more credits.  

Meningococcal meningitis: All in-person students taking six or more credits are required to either provide proof of meningitis vaccination or sign an acknowledgement of the risks. 

New students will receive a separate email with more information and instructions regarding how to submit this information to the College. Please check your email address regularly. This must be submitted prior to your arrival. Failure to complete this action item by the deadline could result in dismissal from the College.

COVID-19: The COVID-19 vaccination is not required as a condition for enrollment to SUNY campuses, but it is strongly encouraged. Students are asked to upload their COVID-19 vaccine and booster information via the SUNY portal.

More information and a link to the SUNY portal can be found on the ESF Health and Well-Being page.  

For most students*, refunds will be processed through a third party called Bank Mobile.  You should have received notifications from them to set up your preference.  Please refer to their website for more information.  If you need additional assistance, please contact the Bursar’s Office at or call (315) 470-6652. 

*If you are an international student or a visiting student, you will receive a check from ESF.  Your refunds will not go through Bank Mobile.  You will be emailed by the ESF Cashier when it is ready.  Please bring your ID to 102 Bray Hall for pick up. 

To assist in budgeting for educational expenses, ESF offers interest free Installment Plans.  Applications as well as scheduling of and making payments can be completed online via the ESF Student Portal where you find your bill. 

For more information regarding collection policies, withdrawals, liability schedules, and other student account information, please visit the ESF Bursar page

Students must complete two online programs designed to promote responsible decision-making in college around alcohol and drugs, sexual/interpersonal violence, and bystander intervention. An email will be sent with details on how to access and complete these courses.

Failure to complete these courses will affect your ability to register for future classes.

If you applied for financial aid, you will receive an email notifying you that your financial aid award is available online. Follow the link to view and print your award. Accept or decline your award online.

You will receive an email notifying you to access and pay your ESF bill in MyESF. 

SU will bill you directly for any SU classes, meal plans, and parking permits for off-campus and commuter students (if applicable). ESF financial aid is not transferred or applied towards your SU bill.

ESF has partnered with a company called BankMobile Disbursements to deliver financial aid refunds. If you receive an email from them, this is NOT SPAM. Please make sure to set up your preference so your refund is not delayed.

All full-time students are required to have health insurance — either through their family’s plan or one affiliated with ESF. This ensures students can access health care services when needed, and that ESF students have access to an affordable, cost-effective private insurance plan with benefits that have been carefully reviewed and approved by the College.

International students participate in a separate, required international student policy. International student health information is further detailed here. Any domestic student may choose to enroll in this plan even if they are not required to. For more details regarding the SUNY ESF health insurance program please visit or call: 866-535-0456

Please note: The ESF Student Health Insurance Plan is separate from the ESF Student Health Fee. The ESF Student Health Fee is a mandatory fee that all students must pay. 

What You Need to Know

Finalize Your Schedule at Orientation*

All new students are preregistered for the fall semester by their academic department over the summer. Class schedules are distributed at Spring Orientation, and you will meet with your advisor to finalize. Any changes require the approval of your academic advisor.

Purchase Your Textbooks

Once you receive your class schedule, you can purchase your textbooks online and have them delivered (a delivery fee may apply) or you can pick them up at the Schine Student Center on the SU campus free of charge.

Request Academic Accommodations/Adjustments

Students seeking disability-related accommodations and supports should do so through the Center for Disability Resources at Syracuse University.

Decoding Technology at ESF

Students use various softwares and applications to access ESF resources. Here are the details to Decoding Technology at ESF

Obtain a Parking Permit*

Commuter and transfer students are eligible to purchase a permit at

Parking options are mainly at Skytop on SU’s South Campus located 1 mile from campus. Free shuttle buses to the main campus are available. If you choose a parking garage through SU, you will also be charged a refundable deposit for any required access device(s) such as a proxy card or a smart card and key fob. The deposit for these devices will be refunded when the devices are returned to Parking and Transit Services within two weeks of the expiration date of the permit. For more information visit


* Not applicable to online students.