Students studying in the Student Success Center.

First Year Students

First Year Students

Step 1: Activate your Access Account
You should have received an email, to the address you provided on your application to Penn State, inviting you to activate your student access account. You will have one week upon receipt of this email to activate your account. Without this account, you will not be able to view financial aid awards or complete the ALEKS Math placement exam. Additionally, without this account you will not be able to move through the orientation process or schedule courses. If your email link has expired, please contact Penn State Identity Services: 814-865-HELP (4357) or

Pro-Tip: Can’t find the email? Check your SPAM folder.

Step 2: Complete the ALEKS Math Placement Exam and the Educational Planning Survey
After you have paid your deposit, you will receive an email (to the address provided on your application) to complete the ALEKS Math Placement Exam and Educational Planning Survey. These assessments are required and must be completed as soon as possible. New students must complete this step in order to receive a formal invitation to register for New Student Orientation. Students cannot schedule fall courses without attending New Student Orientation. For more information about the ALEKS placement test, visit

Pro-Tip: The ALEKS Placement test should be taken very seriously! Allow 2-4 hours to complete the assessment and find a place with little distraction (not in a Starbucks!).

Not pleased with your score? After completing 10 hours of module work, students will have the opportunity to retest (students are limited to three attempts at the assessment). This is strongly recommended for engineering, science, and business majors who did not place directly in Math 140 “Calculus” on their first attempt at the placement. Also, give the Educational Planning Survey your full attention! This information is used to help tailor your advising session to your needs and interests.

Step 3: Select and Register for your NSO Date
One business day after you complete the ALEKS assessment you will receive an invitation to register for New Student Orientation. Multiple dates will be available and you will select the date that will work best with your schedule. Requests to change NSO date selections will only be considered if extenuating circumstances are presented.

Step 4: Complete Pre-NSO Homework
Seven days before your selected NSO date, you will receive an email with directions to activate your Penn State email and complete the Pre-NSO Homework. The Pre-NSO must be completed prior to attending your orientation date. Not completing the assignments will result in your not being prepared for the orientation meetings and prevent you from being able to register for fall courses during your advising session.

Mark your calendar and attend orientation! We look forward to meeting you and welcoming you to Penn State! 

If you have questions regarding the New Student Orientation for First-Year Students, please call Penn State Fayette Student Success Center at 724-430-4119 or email us at