Orientation Guidelines

Line of students and staff registering for Orientation

2021 Orientation Reservation Guidelines 

UPDATE - policies below apply to new students attending Cal Poly for the current 2021-22 academic year. 

Reservation Deadlines & Fees

SLO Days & WOW Exemptions

Supporter Reservation


Changes, Refunds & Cancellations

Orientation Request Form 



Reservation Deadlines & Fees

  • Orientation Enrollment Begins - Monday, April 8, 2021
  • SLO Days Exemption Requests - Thursday, July 1, 2021
  • Late Fee Begins - Thursday, July 1, 2021
  • Change of Date Requests - Thursday, July 1, 2021
  • First-Year and Transfer Reservation Completion - Friday, August 6, 2021
  • WOW Exemption Requests - Friday, August 20, 2021
  • Withdrawn Student Refund Request - Friday, August 20, 2021

All newly admitted students are required by the University to attend SLO Days and the Week of Welcome (WOW) orientation. 

All SLO Days sessions have limited capacity. Space is not guaranteed until your submitted payment is received for your reservation. There is no wait list for closed/locked sessions. Change of date requests for SLO Days must be submitted by the Orientation Request Form before Thursday, July 1, 2021. If approved, a change of date fee of $50 will be applied to the student's orientation reservation. Failure to submit request prior to the deadline or submit payment before the preferred SLO Days date will prohibit the student from participating in the event. 

Newly admitted students - both first-time freshmen and transfer students - must participate in and register for the mandatory orientations. Transfer students participate in a single-day SLO Days session, which will be based on the college of their major.

Readmitted students may seek a written approval from their College Advisors to receive exemption from one or both orientation events. Please follow the instructions found on our website, HERE

We encourage students to make their reservations as soon as April 8, 2021 to avoid incurring a late-fee beginning on July 1st at 8:00 AM (PST). The late fee will be applied to the overall orientation reservation which is reflected under the Week of Welcome portion.

SLO Days/Week of Welcome (WOW) Overall Exemptions

All first-year and transfer students are required to register for and attend orientation (SLO Days and the Week of Welcome). In rare, extenuating circumstances, a student may be granted an exemption from attending all or part of orientation. Circumstances may include a medical need, family circumstances, or inability to travel to San Luis Obispo at the time of session. If our department is unable to place you into another available SLO Days session, this will be another reviewable circumstance. 

Request to be exempted from SLO Days must be received by Thursday, July 1, 2021. Exemption Requests for Week of Welcome must be received by Monday, August 20, 2021. Failure to submit requests prior will result in an immediate denied request. 

Documentation may be required as part of request, and it is not guaranteed an exemption.

Freshman Students: All first-time freshmen students are required to stay on campus in provided accommodations during the overnight portion of their SLO Days session. Students may request an exemption from the overnight component for the following reasons only: 

  1. Live within or stay with family that lives in San Luis Obispo County 
  2. Medical need or other extenuating circumstances 

Orientation registration fees will remain the same regardless of whether or not the student is granted an exemption from the overnight segment of SLO Days. Overnight accommodations are not provided for registered supporters. The university provides one night of accommodations for students as part of their session. Please check our website for additional information on recommended supporter accommodations. 

All requests for Overnight Exemptions must be received by July 1, 2021 at 8:00 AM (PST). Transfer Students: Overnight accommodations are not included with the registration for both students and guests. 

Supporter Reservation

We encourage our parents and supporters to participate in SLO Days and learn about the Cal Poly experience. Register up to two (2) supporters per student under your student's orientation registration tab in their Cal Poly Portal. We encourage you to register as soon as possible. Once a payment is submitted on the student's portal, you may not edit the reservation.

To add or cancel guests, you must complete the Orientation Request Form a minimum of 14 business days prior to your registered SLO Days event. Failure to submit the requests prior will result in an immediate denied request.

We will be providing presentations that will be beneficial to you and your student's success at Cal Poly. Our campus partners will be collaborating with us to provide you the same information that would have been shared at in-person events. Don't miss this opportunity to get acquainted with our campus resources!

Changes, Refund & Cancellation Policy

Recorded footage will be available shortly after SLO Days sessions begin. "How to access" this footage will be announced at our website and on our social media. Recorded sessions will only be accessible for students and supporters who registered and submitted payment. 

Change of date requests for SLO Days must be submitted by Thursday, July 1, 2021. Requests postdated after that date will not be granted. Please note, a $50 change of date fee will automatically be applied to the orientation reservation account, which must be processes immediately. Failure to submit immediate payment will result in the no change of date.

Refunds will be applied automatically to students who have been rescinded from the university for the academic year of 2021-22. Students who have withdrawn their application from the university must complete the Orientation Request Form by August 20, 2021 to receive their refund. Please note, a processing fee of $50 will be applied to the overall reservation. 

Refunds will not be offered to students who miss their SLO Days session. Options include completing the Orientation Request Form to select a new available date or participate in the recorded presentation. Recorded footage will be available shortly into SLO Days sessionsand "how to access" will be announced at out website and on our social media. Recorded sessions will only be accessible for students and supporters who registered and submitted payment. 

Students attending Cal Poly in Fall 2021 cannot cancel their orientation registration.

As part of our COVID-19 health and safety protocols, students coming to campus are required to get tested twice a week. For more information regarding testing, visit the COVID-19 info tab on your Cal Poly Portal.

To request a change in SLO Days session, request student or supporter refund, or an overnight exemption, click here to access the Orientation Request FormPlease allow 14 business days from the date it was submitted to be reviewed and note that your request is not guaranteed to be approved or denied. 


Published February 28, 2020 - Updated March 5, 2021

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