First-Year Students

Congratulations on your admission to the University of Cincinnati! As you prepare for your first semester on campus, please follow these steps to ensure a successful start to your college career.

Step 1: Connect with your Bearcats Community

Connect with other admitted students on social media. Use #BearcatsBound to share the news of your admission with your family, friends, and the other Bearcats that will be joining you on campus in just a few short months!

Step 2: Access the Bearcat Portal

Personalized next steps just for you—including confirming your admission, registering for orientation, and signing up for housing—can be found within the Bearcat Portal. Here, you can keep track of your progress from now until the start of classes.

Step 3: Apply for financial aid

The FAFSA was made available in October of your senior year. If you have not completed it, make this a priority. Because some aid programs are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, early submission of your FAFSA ensures you receive maximum consideration for need-based aid. Be sure to contact Enrollment Services if you have any questions.

Scholarships and financial aid packages will be released beginning in mid-February. For additional details about this timeline, please visit our Financial Aid Timeline webpage.

Step 4: Confirm your admission by May 1

You can confirm by logging into the Bearcat Portal and submitting the online confirmation form and $100 (non-refundable) confirmation fee. Confirming is an important step towards becoming a Bearcat as it enables you to apply for housing and register for Bearcats Bound Orientation.

Please refer to our list of deadlines to ensure you confirm your admission in time to begin classes.

Step 5: Set up your student email account

Two to three business days after you confirm, you will receive an email with instructions for setting up your University of Cincinnati email address. This is how we will communicate with you about important enrollment next steps.

Step 6: Apply for housing

The fall housing application will be available on January 24, 2023, with the priority deadline on May 3, 2023. Students whose permanent residence is farther than 50 miles from Cincinnati's Uptown (main) campus are required to live in University Housing during their first year. If you are required, or choose, to live in University Housing, you will need to apply for housing by visiting the Housing and Food Services website.

Please Note: Students must confirm their admission prior to applying for Housing.

Step 7: Register for orientation

Registration for Bearcats Bound Orientation will open on January 23, 2023. Bearcats Bound is designed to assist you in making a successful academic and social transition into the University of Cincinnati community. During Orientation, you will have the opportunity to register for an advising appointment with your academic advisor.

Please Note: Students must confirm their admission prior to registering for Orientation.

Step 8: Attend advising appointment

After you attend Bearcats Bound Orientation, you will receive instructions about how to set up a meeting with your academic advisor and register for classes. This initial meeting with your advisor will also provide a good starting point for your relationship with them as you begin your Bearcats journey.

Please Note: Students must attend orientation before meeting with their advisor.

Step 9: Submit your final high school transcript

Admission offers are contingent upon successful completion of high school coursework. At the end of your senior year, once grades are final and you have graduated, you must work with your school counselor to submit an official, final high school transcript to verify graduation. Final high school transcripts must be submitted no later than July 15, 2023.

Final transcripts may be delivered to us in one of three ways:

  1. Secure electronic submission by your counselor is the preferred and fastest method.
  2. Mailed directly from the school to: Office of Admissions, Attn: Final Transcript, PO Box 210091, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0091
  3. In person to our visitor center desk in University Pavilion (open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) in a sealed and signed envelope from your high school. Opened transcripts will not be accepted.

Additional enrollment next steps can be found within your to-do list in the Bearcat Portal. This list is unique to you and will be updated based on your progress. Be sure to log in to the Bearcat Portal early and check your to-do list often. If you have any questions about your next steps, please contact Enrollment Services or one of the offices listed below.