Frequently Asked Questions
We've provided answers for common questions we receive about the SOAR experience.
Contact Orientation & Transition Programs if your question is not listed here.
What is SOAR?
Student Orientation, Advisement and Registration—or SOAR—is Missouri State University’s orientation program for new first-year students and their families. SOAR is designed to help you feel:
- Comfortable with Missouri State resources and the campus environment
- Confident in your ability to succeed here
- Connected to others in the Missouri State community
- Curious about opportunities and experiences available to you
At SOAR, you will:
- Bond with other new Missouri State Bears.
- Learn about opportunities and resources Missouri State offers you.
- Speak with faculty and academic advisors about your future plans.
- Register for classes.
Am I required to attend SOAR?
Yes, if you have earned fewer than 24 transferable credit hours AFTER their high school graduation. (Credit hours earned while enrolled in high school do not count toward this 24 hour limit.)
Students with more than 24 hours earned AFTER high school graduation are considered transfer students. Transfer students must complete an online transfer orientation program.
Nontraditional students can take part in alternative orientation and registration opportunities offered by the office of adult student services. Nontraditional students:
- Are 22 years of age or older
- Are married and/or have children
- Have not been in school for an extended period of time
- Are primarily taking evening courses
Are parents or family members required to attend?
Family members are encouraged to attend, but not required. Family members should be registered in advance of your session in order to attend SOAR.
Do I need to attend all the activities at SOAR? What if I cannot attend the whole program?
Yes, students are required to attend ALL scheduled SOAR activities. Those who don't will be asked to return to a later session to register for classes.
Before selecting a SOAR session, ensure you or your family members have no conflicting commitments. OTP does not allow students to attend closed sessions due to previously-made arrangements.
What happens if I cannot attend any SOAR sessions?
All incoming students are required to attend an orientation session prior to enrolling in classes. You may request an exemption If extreme circumstances make it impossible for you to attend SOAR.
Contact Orientation & Transition Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 417-836-3060 to request an exemption. Include your full name, BearPass number, and a detailed reason for your request.
When should I begin making travel and other arrangements?
Make arrangements AFTER you have registered for a SOAR session and received a confirmation via email. OTP does not allow students to attend closed sessions due to arrangements made before confirming your SOAR session.
How do I register for a SOAR session?
View our registration page for instructions.
Can I attend a closed session? Do you have a waiting list?
No. we do not have a waiting list for any session. Capacity is determined by facility space and how many students we can reasonably serve each session. Contact the Director of Orientation & Transition Programs at 417-836-3060 or at email@example.com if you have questions about closed sessions.
Will I get any classes if I come to a later session?
Yes. Many academic departments open new seats in classes for each SOAR session. These seats may appear closed on the class schedule prior to your SOAR session, but they will be available during registration.
I did not receive a confirmation email. What should I do?
First, check your email account's spam or junk email folders, as confirmation emails are sometimes sent there. If the confirmation is not there, you may not have fully completed registration. Remember, your session is not confirmed until your enrollment deposit is submitted online.
I'm unable to register for SOAR using my personalized site. What should I do?
Check to see if:
- You have been admitted to the University for the summer 2023 or fall 2023 semester.
- You have accepted your offer of admission and paid the $150 enrollment deposit (for fall students only).
- You are using the email address and password you entered when you applied to Missouri State.
- Once you’ve completed these steps, reach out to Admissions@MissouriState.edu if you are still unable to register for a SOAR session. In your email, please include your full name, date of birth, and state that you need help accessing SOAR registration.
Is there a waiting list for closed SOAR sessions?
We do not maintain waiting lists for SOAR sessions; however, SOAR sessions occasionally become available, so check the reservation system regularly to see if your desired session has opened.
Since registering, I have changed my major. What should I do?
Follow our instructions for changing your reservation information.
Update your major at least seven (7) business days prior to your scheduled session. We are unable to make changes to students' advising group at SOAR after this deadline.
I've registered for a session date, but I'd like to change it. What should I do?
Follow our instructions for changing your SOAR session date.
We caution you to ensure space is available in a desired SOAR session BEFORE canceling your reservation. Staff will not be able to return you to a canceled SOAR session date if no available seats remain.
How do I cancel my SOAR accommodation reservation and/or a family member’s registration?
Our Fees and Refund Information page includes instructions for cancelling your SOAR reservation or aspects of it. Cancellation and refund requests must be made at least seven (7) business days prior to your SOAR session to be considered; requests made within one week of your SOAR session will not be granted.
After registering for SOAR, I have decided not to attend Missouri State. What should I do? Can I get a refund?
Students who wish to withdraw their admission offer and cancel their SOAR session should complete the Withdraw My Admission Offer form. More information is available under the "Request a refund" heading of the enrollment deposit page.
May I attend SOAR with my student?
Yes! Parents and family members are encouraged to attend a special orientation program designed specifically to help them learn how to best support their student. Family orientation runs concurrently with (but separately from) student orientation. No programming exists for children; however, they are allowed to attend with you if necessary.
Students can indicate family member attendance while registering for a SOAR session. A nominal fee of $30 per family member up to two family members is assessed for family orientation programming.
Do family members need to be registered to attend? When is the deadline to register?
Yes. Any family members attending SOAR with you should be registered in advance of your session in order to attend SOAR.
Is there a limit to how many family members can attend SOAR with me?
Yes, only two (2) family members can attend SOAR with their student. We encourage students and their family members to register as early as possible to ensure they can attend.
I already registered for SOAR. How can I register my family?
Follow our instructions for changing your reservation information.
Will my student be with me during SOAR?
During much of the SOAR session, students and family members will attend different sessions, each tailored to their own needs. However, there are a few sessions that both groups will attend together. View our session schedules to see programs students and families attend together.
Will I be with my student when they register for classes?
No. Our goals at SOAR are to provide students the opportunity to build a relationship with their academic advisors and teach the skills necessary to register on their own in future semesters. These goals are best achieved without parents or family members present.
What options do family members have for overnight accommodations?
Limited on-campus accommodations are available to family members for a fee of $25 per person. You can reserve a room in your student's SOAR registration site. We do work with hotels in the Springfield area that offer discounted rates for families of Missouri State students.
Are students required to stay on campus overnight during SOAR?
Students attending a two-day session in June or July are required to stay in on-campus accommodations overnight. This cost is included in the student SOAR fee. Staying on campus overnight allows you to become comfortable with campus life and residential living, it’s more convenient and less expensive than off-campus accommodations, and it makes meeting other students much easier.
Unfortunately, on-campus accommodations are not available for students attending one-day sessions for the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. If you have signed a housing contract, you may have the option of moving into your residence hall room one or two days early for a small fee. (This option is not available to students attending a two-day SOAR session or returning from a previous semester.)
Arrangements must be made at least five days in advance of your arrival with Residence Life, Housing and Dining Services to ensure your room is ready. Contact Residence Life, Housing and Dining Services at 417-836-5536 or toll-free at 800-284-7535 for more information about this option and to make arrangements.
I live near Missouri State, or I will not be living on campus during my first semester. Am I still required to stay overnight on campus during two-day SOAR sessions?
Yes. Students are required to stay overnight on Day One regardless of their distance from campus or their first-semester residency.
What should I bring for my overnight stay on campus?
See our Prepare for SOAR page for a list of suggested items to bring for your overnight stay.
I'm coming from a long distance. Can I stay in the halls the evening before my session?To request early arrival housing the night before your SOAR session, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.
Are on-campus accommodations offered for family members?
Yes, family members do have the option of staying in overnight accommodations on campus. We have limited rooms available. We do work with hotels in the Springfield area that offer discounted rates for families of Missouri State students.
When should I begin making plans for travel?
Make arrangements (such as travel, hotel, etc.) only AFTER you have received your SOAR session confirmation via email. You will not be allowed to attend closed sessions due to arrangements made prior to receiving confirmation.
I've made other plans and cannot attend any open SOAR sessions. Can you make an exception for me or allow me to register for classes?
Attendance of a scheduled SOAR session is required by University policy before students are allowed to register. Students who cannot attend any SOAR sessions should contact the Director of Orientation & Transition Programs at 417-836-3060 or at email@example.com for more information.
Where can I find directions to Missouri State and SOAR parking?
View our Attend Your SOAR Session page for details.
Do I need a parking pass for SOAR?
Yes. You will be emailed instructions for downloading and printing a SOAR parking pass about two weeks prior to your scheduled session. Print and place this pass in your vehicle's dashboard.
Will I meet with an academic advisor at SOAR?
Yes! Academic advisors will meet with you to evaluate your previous coursework, help you choose courses to meet your educational goals, and answer any questions you might have.
When will I register for classes during SOAR?
Registration occurs near the end of the SOAR program. Plan to attend the full SOAR program, as students will not be allowed to register before the scheduled time.
Can I register for classes before I attend SOAR?
No, students must attend SOAR prior to registering for classes.
What are the fees for attending SOAR? What does this fee cover?
Please visit our fees and refund information page for details regarding fee amounts.
SOAR fees cover the costs incurred from operating the program, including meals, housing, social activities, publications and materials provided to participants, and wages for SOAR leaders and advisors.
When do I pay for SOAR?
Your SOAR session is included in your enrollment deposit which should be paid when you accept your admission offer. You will pay the fees for your family members when you register them for SOAR.
I have decided not to attend Missouri State. Can I get a refund of my registration?
Students who wish to withdraw their admission offer and cancel their SOAR session should complete the Withdraw My Admission Offer form. More information is available under the "Request a refund" heading of the enrollment deposit page. May 1st is the last day to request a refund.