Getting Ready for Freshman Family Orientation

1. Ask your student to register you as a guest for Orientation

Students are encouraged to bring guests when attending orientation! We offer a separate, concurrent family program for freshman sessions. When your student reserves their Orientation date online through our registration system, there is an option to register guests.

Adult guests ages 13 and up are assessed a $65 fee, children ages 5-12 are assessed a $30 fee, and children 4 and under are free. These fees cover the costs of the family program, which include meals, space, staffing, parking, and materials provided throughout the session. Please pay the guest fee via our online reservation system in order to confirm your participation in Orientation.

2. Arrange overnight accommodations

Freshman students are encouraged to stay overnight in the residence halls during their two-day Summer Freshman Orientation. Students may reserve an overnight space when they register online for an orientation session online. The cost of this reservation is included in their New Student Fee, which is assessed once a student registers for courses.

Family and guests who are traveling long distances can review our Where to Stay page for overnight accommodation options. We encourage students and families to wait to make hotel accommodations until after you confirm your student’s orientation reservation. Information on which hotels provide transportation to and from Mason’s Fairfax campus is also provided on the Where to Stay page.

3. Review the Freshman Family Orientation schedule

In order to make the most of your orientation experience, we encourage you to review the family orientation schedule before your session. Please note that the family program runs concurrently with the student program. While there are a few sessions that students and guests attend together, the majority of the programming will be separate and concurrent.

Day 1 of Freshman Family Orientation begins with check-in at 8 a.m. and ends with our family reception, which runs until 8 p.m. We encourage all guests to return for Day 2 of orientation, where our family program is held from 8:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m. For more information on sessions, please review our family orientation schedule.

4. Print your parking pass

The orientation parking pass allows you to park in a designated parking lot on the Fairfax campus for free. This pass is specific to your orientation date, so please be sure to download the correct pass to avoid any parking issues. Download the orientation parking pass, print out the pass, and place the pass on your driver-side dashboard when you attend orientation. Please note we do not validate parking in any of the parking decks on campus.

5. Encourage your student to complete important items

We provide a Freshman Orientation Checklist that details all of the important items students should complete before attending Orientation. Please remind your student to review the Checklist and complete the following before attending orientation:

  • Set up Patriot Pass and MasonLive email accounts to receive important communication from the university
  • Submit final transcripts and AP or IB scores to Admissions
  • Accept or decline the financial aid package (if applicable) via PatriotWeb
  • Upload a photo for a Mason ID
  • Complete the immunization records form and bring all necessary documentation to orientation to submit to Student Health Services
  • Review the registration guide to prepare for the course registration process

It is important that students complete these Freshman Orientation Checklist items themselves, to ensure that they (a) fully understand Mason policies and processes and (b) are prepared to navigate Mason systems when they begin classes.

6. Stay connected as a Mason Family

Families are encouraged to join the Mason Family Association in order to receive our weekly e-newsletter, the Mason Family Flash. Our e-newsletter provides timely information for families, which includes important dates and deadlines, events happening on campus for students and families, and information that covers key topics we know are important to our Mason families. 

Connect with us on social media by liking our public Facebook page George Mason Family Programs for the most up-to-date news about programs, events, and activities. Families can also request to join the closed Facebook Group George Mason Family Association to connect with other Mason parents and family members!