First-Year Students

All first-year students, including commuters, 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. Each floor consists of two wings of double rooms down a hallway corridor. Restrooms are located on each wing of each floor. Showers are private and located within the restrooms. 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.

Please bring the following to FOCUS:

  • Personal toiletries for overnight stay
  • Phone charger – especially if using your phone as your alarm
  • A reusable 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
  • Comfortable walking shoes

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 attending June FOCUS wish to stay overnight in the residence hall, please e-mail at least 3 days before your FOCUS session. If transfer students wish to stay in Valparaiso before or after FOCUS, 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(s) 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 tell them that you’re attending a university event.

All Participants:



Meals included for 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 reasonable accommodations.

Please note that FOCUS requires much walking around campus and between buildings. Family members who are not able to walk a mile or more over the course of a day may find that FOCUS is not the best time to visit campus. For those in this situation, Family Weekend in the Fall may be a better time to visit campus.

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


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 had an IEP in high school or accommodations at another college/university. Send your documentation to the AARC as far in advance of FOCUS as possible to aid a seamless transition.

Getting Here:

Driving Directions

Contact Us

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