Information For Incoming Students

Get a head start on your freshman year!

  •  Welcome to your new life as a college student! Our faculty, staff and fellow students are more than happy to lend a hand and offer advice through your graduation day and beyond.  You are a part of the SFU family now! 

  • Students Frequently Asked Questions

    As an incoming student, we know you have many questions. Is there anything about Saint Francis University that you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask? Find the answers below!

    I have questions about my schedule and advisor 

    What will my schedule look like?
    Depending on your major, your schedule will typically have between 13 and 17 credit hours. Our classes run Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday. MWF classes are 50 minutes each; T/Th classes are a 1.25 hours long. 

    How do I select my classes?
    After you pay your tuition deposit, you will receive a packet of forms to complete. Within these forms will be a “Pre-Registration Form.” Once you return this form, the Advising and Retention Office will develop a schedule for you. When you come to Summer Orientation in June or July (SOAR), you will receive your fall schedule. 

    What is an advisor?
    An academic advisor is your “go to” person for all of your academic needs while you are a student at SFU. They help with things like: schedule changes, tutors, internships, study abroad, adjustment issues, etc. They are there to help you with just about anything you need!!

    Who will be my advisor? Or how do I get one?
    When you come for Summer Orientation (SOAR), an advisor will be appointed to you. You will get to meet this person during SOAR, August orientation, and throughout your time here. More likely than not, it will be a faculty member from your major department. If you are an exploratory major, you will likely get an administrator as your advisor.

    Will my AP or college in high school credits transfer in?

    YES! Students may transfer credits from other institutions such as college in high school, Advanced Placement Exams, CLEP, PEP and Armed Forces Course Equivalencies as long as the grade received was a “C” or higher. The grades you received in these courses do not count toward your grade point average, but it will give you credit toward graduation. The only exception is English composition. This course must be taken at SFU. For AP exams, we accept scores of 3 or higher. 

    What if I need help in my classes?

    I think that I need a tutor--what do I do?
    SFU has a full-time tutor coordinator who will find you a tutor. Tutoring is a free service offered by the University.

    I had extended time on assignments and tests in high school. How do I get extended time for tests in college?
    You need to make an appointment with a staff member from the Center for Academic Success. They can make all of the necessary arrangements for you once they have your documentation.

    I have questions about living on campus

    What if I do not like my roommate?
    This is a very common question that we get! Most of our roommate matches are successful- so keep that in mind when you hear “roommate horror stories!” As with real life horror movies, most of these stories either a) never happened or b) are based on fact but exaggerated for entertainment purposes!

    The first thing to keep in mind is that with any relationship, an open line of communication is KEY! Once you receive your roommate’s name (which is either sent to you over the summer or given to you when you come to SOAR), get in touch with that person right away. You can begin talking about what classes you plan on taking, how you want to set up your room, should you order loft kits (see below), etc… A word to the wise: While email and Text messages are great for a quick note, sometimes the true meaning does not always come across the printed text. The same can be said for finding your new roomie on Social Networking websites- first impressions are not always correct!

    When you get to campus, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with your Roommate and Resident Assistant to develop a roommate contract to set guidelines for your living space. The RA can also help you through any rough patches along the way. Most conflicts stem from, again, lack of communication. We usually find that once the roommates talk, things improve greatly and there is no need for a room change.

    There are times when residents find out that while they may make great friends, they are just not compatible as roommates. After the second week of classes, we have Open Room Changes which would give you an opportunity to move. If it is later in the semester, you can meet with your Area Coordinator to discuss your options.

    How do you select my roommate/ do I get to choose?
    We use a simple questionnaire to match roommates. However, if you already know someone who you would prefer to live with, you simply need to put their name down on your questionnaire and have them do the same. As long as these requests are put in early enough- we can accommodate. If we cannot (possibly because you or your roommate was a late admit), you can always talk to your RA or Area Coordinator about doing a room change during the open period.

    What is an RA?
     Resident Assistants are upper-class, full time students (sophomore or higher) who live in the residence halls and work with the residents. Freshmen residence halls have 3-4 RAs, with at least one RA living on your floor. Your RA will be one of the first people you meet when you move into your residence hall and will be right there with you for your first year here. Your RA will be planning programs, building your floor community, enforcing housing policies, and helping guide you through your first year and beyond.

    Can I get a single/private room?
    Designated private rooms are available to junior and senior students only. Medical privates are available as space allows. Please contact Kristen Radovanic at KCorcoran@francis.edu

    What does my room look like?
    Each room is furnished with a twin bed, desk, desk chair and either dresser/ closet or wardrobe. Furniture provided must remain in the room and cannot be stored. You are able to personalize your room by bringing a small loveseat or chair from home if you would like.

    Can I get an apartment off campus?
    The University has a housing requirement that requires all students to live on campus. Exceptions include students who commute from their parents home or are 21 years of age by September 1 of the academic year.  But why would you want to?! Between hall programs, making friends, being close to class buildings, evening/ late night activities, dining on campus, all inclusive utilities- including cable, why would you want to live anywhere else? Living in a residence hall completes your college experience!

    Do you provide transportation off-campus? 

    Does Saint Francis offer transportation for students to the bus and train stations, and airports?
    Students who need transportation to the bus or train station or local airports in Altoona or Johnstown can arrange for the service through the Center for Student Life. Students arrange their train, airline or bus tickets on their own and then visit the Center for Student Life to complete a shuttle service form three days prior to needing transportation. The Center for Student Life has a pool of drivers who are contacted and transportation is arranged.

    Once students get to Saint Francis, many students will make contact on their own with other students who live near their hometowns and they work out ride-sharing among themselves. We are also in the process of setting up an on-line ride board where students can post ride-sharing opportunities or ride requests. Visit life.francis.edu/Transportation for full information including schedules.

    Does the University offer transportation for shopping and other activities off-campus?

    The Student Activities Organization owns three vans and, through the Center for Student Life, coordinates shopping trips to the local WalMart each Wednesday as well as mall shopping every Friday night to Altoona or Johnstown. Shopping shuttles are offered free of charge to all SFU students. Additionally, students who find it necessary to get to a doctor for non-emergency treatment can request shuttle service as well.The SAO also offers other recreational trips each semester to provide an opportunity for students to get off-campus. Students have had the opportunity in the past to travel to a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game; Cedar Point and Busch Gardens amusement parks; Broadway tours of plays and musicals appearing in State College, Johnstown and Pittsburgh such as "Wicked", “Footloose” and “Les Miserables”; and other local theme parks, hockey games, and semi-professional baseball. Our most popular trip is the annual day trip to New York City in November. Other trips have gone to Baltimore Inner Harbor, Washington DC, Busch Gardens, museum exhibits in State College, and any number of other places within one to five hours of driving time from Loretto. These types of trips are offered at ticket or admission cost or many times reduced cost to our students with free transportation offered either via van or charter bus. Many times student groups come to us with an idea and we help them implement it and usually provide the transportation for little or no cost.The Center for Student Life is also the home of 75 clubs and organizations, the John F. Kennedy University Center, 10 fraternities and sororities, and most major events offered annually at Saint Francis. Visit life.francis.edu/Transportation for full information including schedules.

    How can I get involved and if I did things in our home parish can we here as well?

    There is a short training for Liturgical Ministries and many other opportunities to get involved. Please stop by and see Campus Ministry at Campus Ministry 115 Raymond Hall or call  814-472-3172 to speak to someone.

    How can Career Service assist me? 

    I am undecided on my major/I am thinking about changing my major, what can I do?
    Don't fear or fret, help is available. Our Career Services Office is able to set up a 1-1 appointment with you to talk about your options and get you on track. Career Services has a trained career counselor on staff who will have you take a very valid and reliable (helpful!) career inventory that will provide great feedback on possible majors/occupations. They have dealt with lots of students regarding choosing or changing a major, so you're not alone... they want to help you!

    I need to put a resume together. Can you help?
    Of course! First, they have a lot of sample resumes to give you an idea of what to put in it. Second, they like to see students try to put together a "draft" of their resume and then set up an appointment to review it. They offer suggestions and help you make it the best it can be!

    I need to find a part time or summer job. Do you know of any?
    Yes! Career Services posts all of the jobs and internships they hear about on our web-based job posting site called College Central. You may log in and browse for opportunities. In addition to that site, they can personally give you some ideas of places to apply and some leads of who might be looking. And, there are job fairs that they know about and encourage students (even freshmen) to attend for job leads. If that is not enough, they also have an Alumni Mentoring Database in which they can help you find alumni names to contact and ask for advice and job 

    I have questions about Dining Services

    What do I do if I have food allergies?
    Contact our Executive Chef or any member of management. They will review with you how they alert our guests to common allergies and as always ASK if you are not sure, one of the chefs will review all ingredients with you.

    I have a job/class when lunch/dinner is served... what do I do?
    Dining Services offers continuous dining in Torvian, that means food is available from 7 am till 7 pm, Monday through Friday and 10:30 am till 6 pm Saturday and Sunday. If you are in need of a meal for academic, athletic or a job commitment you may take a takeout meal from Torvian or notify a member of dining services management to prepare a box meal for you.

    Can I invite my family to have dinner with me?
    Yes! Dining Services is always happy when a student brings family or friends to dine with us. Most meal plans offer guest passes for the student to use when they have guests who are dining with them. Each meal plan is unique, please refer to the dining services guide that is published each academic year

    I have specific questions about the laptop program

    Where can I go for laptop help?
    The laptop help desk Scotus 103.  The hours are 9-4 weekdays plus the evening schedule which is posted on the web.

    How long does it take to clean my laptop after I got infected with virus/spyware?
    The scans to clean an infected machine can take up to 2.5 hours. If this is too long we can always re-image your laptop immediately on the spot, reducing the wait time to less than 5 minutes.  Always have your important data backed up before coming to the help desk!

    What does getting my laptop re-imaged mean?
    We will erase everything on your hard drive and reload it with the original image we gave you.  That means any virus/spyware infection is gone, but it also 

    How can Career Service assist me? 

    I am undecided on my major/I am thinking about changing my major, what can I do?
    Don't fear or fret, help is available. Our Career Services Office is able to set up a 1-1 appointment with you to talk about your options and get you on track. Career Services has a trained career counselor on staff who will have you take a very valid and reliable (helpful!) career inventory that will provide great feedback on possible majors/occupations. They have dealt with lots of students regarding choosing or changing a major, so you're not alone... they want to help you!

    I need to put a resume together. Can you help?
    Of course! First, they have a lot of sample resumes to give you an idea of what to put in it. Second, they like to see students try to put together a "draft" of their resume and then set up an appointment to review it. They offer suggestions and help you make it the best it can be!

    I need to find a part time or summer job. Do you know of any?
    Yes! Career Services posts all of the jobs and internships they hear about on our web-based job posting site called College Central. You may log in and browse for opportunities. In addition to that site, they can personally give you some ideas of places to apply and some leads of who might be looking. And, there are job fairs that they know about and encourage students (even freshmen) to attend for job leads. If that is not enough, they also have an Alumni Mentoring Database in which they can help you find alumni names to contact and ask for advice and job 

    What services does your Military Affairs office offer? 

    I have just been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces, how do I receive GI Bill benefits at Saint Francis University?
    First Time Receiving Benefits: Chapters 30, 30 (section 3020), 31, 32, 33, 34, 1606, 1607 If you are an honorably/medically discharged veteran of the Armed Services who wishes to utilize veteran benefits for the first time, fill out VA FORM 1990 (available at www.gibill.va.gov). A copy of this form should be sent to the Veterans Administration’s Eastern Office at: Veterans Administration, PO Box 4616, Buffalo, NY, 14240-4616, ATTN: MGIB, and a copy should be presented to the Veterans Certifying Official in Military Affairs at Saint Francis

    How do I to transfer my Post-9/11 GI Bill to my child or spouse?
    Upon completion of VA FORM 22-1990, the service member will receive a COE that states the exact number of months entitled to (available to transfer) and the rate they will be paid.  Upon receipt of the COE, the member should apply for transferability using the TEB website:  https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/TEB.  Once the transferability application has been approved, the DEPENDENT must go to the VA website to complete a VA FORM 22-1990e.  The VA will issue a COE to the dependent and the dependent must provide a copy of the COE to the schools certifying official.

    Does Saint Francis University have offer Army ROTC?
    Effective Fall 2009, Saint Francis will offer an ROTC program ON CAMPUS with an opportunity for students to receive FULL TUITION scholarships. In previous years, students had to travel to the Indiana University of Pennsylvania to participate in all ROTC activities (including classes). Unlike many other institutions, Saint Francis will award ALL students that successfully complete the ROTC curriculum with a Minor in Military Science to accompany your Major concentration in any curriculum.  To get the process started with acceptance into the ROTC program, please contact Major Rick Block by phone at: 1-800-487-ROTC or by email at rick.block@iup.edu. He is affiliated with IUP, but handles acceptance of Saint Francis students.

    I would like more information about your library.

    Is there quiet study space in the library?
    Yes, there are designated quiet study areas throughout the library.

    What reference services are available at the library?
    The Reference Desk is staffed 53 hours a week during the fall and spring semesters. An evening reference librarian is on duty Sunday through Thursday nights from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. You can also email, phone, or IM a librarian.

    What are the library hours?
    The library is open 102.5 hours a weekSunday – Noon to MidnightMonday to Thursday – 7:45 a.m. to MidnightFriday – 7:45 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.Saturday – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Does the library hire student workers?
    Yes, Go to the local web at http://localweb.francis.edu and click on Student Information. Under Support Services, click on Check Campus Job Listing. There you can search all job openings on campus or, more specifically, by keyword or department.

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    Study Hard. Play Hard.

    When your mental side needs a physical outlet, we have a wide variety of NCAA Division I varsity sports, intramural and club sports, as well as racquetball courts, workout facilities, nature trails, and even a golf course to tame your wild side.

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    If you wish to lead, follow St. Francis.

    In our complex times, St. Francis’s message of simplicity rings truer than ever: Humility. Generosity. Reverence. Service. Respect. Prayer. Joy. Love. These guiding principles of the Franciscans aren’t just ideals to be admired, they are values to be lived.

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    Prominent happenings of widest interest

    Easily stay connected to what’s happening on campus by frequently checking our campus calendar.

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