First-Year Students

All first-year students, including those who intend to live at home as a commuter during the school year, stay on campus between Day 1 and Day 2 of FOCUS. This is a wonderful opportunity, and one of the few times in the busy FOCUS schedule, to socialize and start to make friends with your new classmates. Because FOCUS is an important academic and social experience, students are not permitted to leave campus at any time during the 1.5 day session.

The only exceptions to the overnight requirement are: 

  • Students who are married; or
  • Students who are a military veteran; or
  • Students who are 22 years old or older; or
  • Students who have a dependent child for whom they provide primary care; or
  • Students who are participating in a late-night religious observance (e.g. Ramadan breaking of fast); or
  • Students who have provided documentation of a physical or mental health condition to the Access and Accommodation Resource Center (AARC) prior to FOCUS and the AARC has communicated a housing exemption accommodation to the orientation staff;

Freshman students stay with another new student in one of Valpo’s first-year residence halls. Bed linens, pillow, and towel are provided. First-year residence halls are not air-conditioned so one fan will be provided per room for FOCUS. All university residence halls have shared restrooms on the corridor with the double rooms. Showers are private and located within the restrooms on each corridor.

Please bring the following to FOCUS:

  • Personal toiletries for overnight stay
  • Alarm clock (phone charger if using your smartphone as your alarm)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • A resusable water bottle – there are fill stations throughout campus
  • Book bag for carrying registration materials
  • A tablet or laptop for advising – The device can be older and/or borrowed. It does not need to be new. The device is only needed on Day 2 of FOCUS.
  • Umbrella/rain gear if rain is forecasted
  • Clothing layers to prepare for air-conditioning inside and hot weather outside

Transfer Students

Transfer students should bring everything on the list above except overnight items. The FOCUS program for transfer students is complete on Day 1 so transfer students do not need to stay overnight on campus. If transfer students wish to stay overnight in the residence hall, please e-mail at least 48 hours prior to your FOCUS session. If transfer students wish to stay in Valparaiso before or after their FOCUS session, they may also make arrangements on their own with a local hotel.


Parents/Guardians or any other guests of students participating in FOCUS should make their overnight arrangements off campus for the day or days surrounding FOCUS. There are a variety of local lodging options near campus. Many local hotels offer a Valpo discount if you call to make the reservation and alert them to the fact that you’re attending a university event. 

All Participants:


Meals provided to all registered FOCUS participants include continental breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Day 1; breakfast and lunch on Day 2.

Special Needs

Students or parents/guardians with special needs should notify FOCUS staff at 219-464-5413 prior to arriving to make arrangements for appropriate accommodations.

Contact the Access and Accommodations Resource Center before FOCUS if you have overnight stay needs beyond regular double room with shared bathroom.


More Information:


Register for FOCUS

Placement Assessments


Resources, Fees, and FAQs

Welcome Week

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Local Lodging Options

Parents/Guardians are responsible for arranging their own lodging and for any lodging charges.


Contact the Access and Accommodations Resource Center (AARC) before FOCUS if you need housing accommodations. If you had an IEP in high school or accommodations at another college/university, now is a good time to send documentation to the AARC to ensure seamless transition.

Getting Here:

Driving Directions

Contact Us

Student Affairs
New Student Orientation
Harre Union, Suite 250
(+1) 219.464.5413
Debbie Lowenthal
Executive Assistant
Bonnie Dahlke Goebbert
Assistant Dean of Students
First-Year Students and Commuter Programs