Families and guests

Family members of new first-year and transfer students are strongly encouraged to attend family orientation, which takes place while students are at NSO. This program is separate from the student experience.

Family Orientation is designed to give you an opportunity to ask the questions you don't want to ask while sitting next to your student and to interact with other parents and family members who may be experiencing some of the same things you are going through. As important partners in your student’s success, we have designed this orientation program just for you.

During Family Orientation, we will share information about academic programs, student life, safety and wellness, and opportunities for your involvement in the VCU community. Guests will also have the opportunity to engage with administrators, faculty and staff, and other VCU parents and families. You'll also meet some of our amazing students and have the opportunity to ask questions of your Family Orientation Leaders about their student experience.


A nonrefundable program fee is required for all guests attending NSO; fee waivers are not available. The cost is charged during online registration as follows:

  • Summer orientation, first-year students: $50/guest
  • Summer orientation for transfer students: $25/guest
  • Winter orientation: $25/guest

The first-year guest fee covers lunch and an afternoon reception on day one, facility fees, orientation staffing, and program materials. 

The transfer guest fee covers a meal, parking, facility fees, orientation staffing, and program materials. 


Overnight stays

Overnight accommodations are not included for family members/guests but there are several options available. Housing on campus is available in the Cary and Belvidere Residential College at a rate of $50-$170 per night depending on family size. Please note that this is not the residence hall students are housed in during NSO. To make a reservation, visit https://forms.gle/EaW4tpVDoD2jws4C8.

Several area hotels offer special rates during the summer for NSO families and guests. See www.visitrichmondva.com/hotels/ for more information.


Orientation attendees should download the Ram Guide app from the App Store or Google Play. After downloading the app, search for the Orientation 2019-2020 guide by clicking on the magnifying glass icon. Download the Orientation guide. Then utilize the menu (the three bars in the upper left hand corner) to access the First-Year or Transfer schedules. Then select your date and schedule type (family) to see all of the events!

You may also view all of the orientation events by visiting http://guidebook.com/guide/102945.

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