Student Orientation Frequently Asked Questions for Parents & Family

2021 Orientation Dates

For students starting their flight at Otterbein in Fall Semester 2021, your options for SOAR will be the following dates:

  • Thursday, June 17
  • Saturday, June 19
  • Friday, July 9
  • Wednesday, July 21
  • Friday, July 23
  • Tuesday, August 17 (ideal for students and families who cannot travel to campus twice during the summer)

Each session has a morning (9:00 am - 1:00 pm) and afternoon (1:00 - 5:00 pm) session that you can choose from in the SOAR registration process.

Frequently-Asked Questions

How does my student register for Orientation?

Have your student complete the online SOAR Reservation Form and payment as soon as you can to increase your chances of coming to your first choice of dates. This form requires payment via credit card.

If you have a concern with this option, please contact the Center for Student Involvement at 614-823-3202 or

Why should I attend orientation with my student?

The information that is shared during orientation is designed to help students be successful during their first year of college. As a parent or family member that will be supporting their student during college, the information that is shared will be helpful as the student makes their transition to Otterbein. Attending orientation is also an excellent way to learn more about the campus resources available to your students and an opportunity to meet Otterbein faculty and staff.

What does the registration fee cover?

The registration fee for guests covers resources and materials for the orientation program.

What time does orientation start and when can I expect to be done?

Orientation is offered as a four-hour program either 9:00 am – 1:00 pm with registration beginning at 8:15 am or 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm with registration beginning at 12:15 pm.

I have not gotten a confirmation for the date I registered for, what do I do?

All orientation confirmations will be sent directly to the student via their Otterbein email account. Emails will be followed-up by a postcard confirming your scheduled date. If you are unsure that your registration has been received, you can call the orientation office (614-823-3202).

Will I be with my student during the day?

Students and families will begin the day together, but will split into separate sessions. Most parents and family members have different questions than students so we provide programs that fit the needs of parents specifically. While parents attend their sessions, students will be getting to know other first-year students, meeting with a faculty advisor, and learning more about being a successful Otterbein student.

How will my student register for classes?

All students will be sent a personalized link to a registration survey to their Otterbein email by mid-May. Students must activate their Otterbein email to get this information. Once a student completes their survey, the Registrar’s Office will create a first-year schedule for the student. During orientation, students will meet individually with a faculty advisor to review the schedule and make any necessary changes or adjustments.

I have questions about Financial Aid, can I meet with someone that day?

Staff members from Student Financial Services will be available to answer questions during every orientation session. If you have many specific questions, it is in your best interest to call the Student Financial Services (614-823-1502) before orientation to be sure your questions can be addressed individually.

We are coming from out of town, where can we stay?

We are excited to welcome you to Oterbein’s campus. If you need overnight accommodations for your visit to Otterbein, you’ll find a variety of hotels conveniently located near campus.

Westerville Hotels

Renaissance Westerville Hotel (1.5 miles)
Ask about the Otterbein Parent/Friend Rate
409 Altair Parkway
Westerville, OH 43082

Aloft Westerville Hotel (1.7 miles)
Ask about Otterbein Parent/Friend Rate
32 Heatherdown Dr
Westerville, OH 43081
614-899-6560 x7114

Nearby Hotels

Hampton Inn & Suites Columbus-Polaris (2.6 miles)
Ask about Otterbein Parent/Friend Rate
8411 Pulsar Place
Columbus, OH 43240

Embassy Suites (2.7 miles)
Ask about Otterbein Parent/Friend Rate
2700 Corporate Exchange Drive
Columbus, OH 43231

Holiday Inn Express Columbus-Worthington (5 miles)
Ask about Otterbein Parent/Friend Rate
55 Hutchinson Ave
Columbus, Ohio 43235
614-977-0520 (Hotel Main Number)
614-896-8452 (Direct Line)

Courtyard by Marriott (5.1 miles)
Ask about Otterbein Parent/Friend Rate
7411 Vantage Drive
Columbus, OH 43235

Fairfield Inn & Suites Columbus Polaris (2.4 miles) 
9000 Worthington Road
Westerville, OH 43082

Holiday Inn Express – Polaris (2.7 miles)
8670 Orion Place
Columbus, Ohio 43240

Candlewood Suites Polaris (3.4 miles)
8515 Lyra Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43240

Extended Stay America (3.4 miles)
8555 Lyra Drive
Columbus, OH 43240

Hilton – Columbus / Polaris (3.4 miles)
8700 Lyra Drive
Columbus, OH 43240

Hilton Garden Inn (3.4 miles)
8535 Lyra Drive
Columbus, OH 43240

Comfort Inn North/Polaris (3.6 miles)
8400 Lyra Drive
Columbus, OH, 43240

Note: Otterbein does not in any way endorse these businesses, products, or services. This listing is provided as a resource only.

Remember to register for orientation!

Go to the registration form >