- What if I have general questions and I don't know whom to contact for the answer?
- How do I submit a picture for my PolarExpress card?
- What's the weather really like?
- How many students attend University of Alaska Fairbanks?
- What's the difference between a university and a college?
- What is the sales tax in Fairbanks?
- Is it beneficial for students to open bank accounts at Fairbanks branches rather than using the ones they have at home?
- What are important dates in the UAF academic calendar?
What if I have general questions and I don't know whom to contact for the answer?
Call the Office of Orientation at (907) 474-1103 with any questions regarding Orientation. They will also be able to help you and to direct you to the proper source of information for any other questions.
How do I submit a picture for my PolarExpress card?
There is no need to, since your picture for the card will be taken during Rev It Up.
What's the weather really like?
The weather in Fairbanks is very dynamic. In the summer, we experience beautiful, long days with only a few hours of dusk. In the winter, it does get cold, but it also allows for some spectacular sights like frost flowers by the river and ice fog.
How many students attend University of Alaska Fairbanks?
The total number of students enrolled at UAF varies by semester, but in general there are approximately 5,500 on the Fairbanks campus. Find out more about UAF, including the current enrollment numbers.
What's the difference between a university and a college?
The difference lies in the types of degrees offered. A "university" is an institution of higher learning that has an undergraduate school awarding bachelor's degrees and graduate and professional schools awarding master's degrees and doctorates. A "college" is less inclusive, offering primarily bachelor's degrees and a limited number of master's degrees. A college also can be an institution of higher learning or an undergraduate school within a university offering the bachelor's degree.
What is the sales tax in Fairbanks?
There is no sales tax in Fairbanks.
Is it beneficial for students to open bank accounts at Fairbanks branches rather than using the ones they have at home?
Unless you have a bank that has a branch here (making it easy for you to do your banking), we usually suggest students open local accounts here. We have an on-campus branch of the Spirit of Alaska Federal Credit Union located in Wood Center for your convenience.
What are important dates in the UAF academic calendar?
Important dates are posted on the academic calendar, which can be accessed online at www.uaf.edu/catalog/current/acad_calendar.html.
- How do I ship packages to myself if I want to receive them before I arrive at UAF?
- How can I assure my parents that I will be okay when I arrive at UAF and am on my own for the first time?
- What should I do if I am having second thoughts about going to UAF? Should I still give it a chance?
- Should I bring my own computer?
- Can I live off campus?
- Is it okay for me to bring a bike to campus?
- When can international students move into their residence hall room?
- Is it possible to find out what textbooks are required for courses before the semester starts? Do faculty members post this on the web or portal?
- When is new-student orientation?
- Are there Orientation sessions students need to attend during the summer?
- When can first-year students move into their residence hall rooms?
- Is there someone to help me move in?
- How long should parents stay for Orientation? When should parents go home?
- Do you have any other good information for making my first year at UAF a success?
How do I ship packages to myself if I want to receive them before I arrive at UAF?
If you plan to mail boxes prior to the start of the semester, contact the UAF post office at (907) 474-7215. They will provide you with a mailing address. The post office will hold packages until you arrive on campus.
If you live on campus and need to have packages or mail delivered via UPS, Fed Ex or other carriers requiring a physical address, have the packages shipped to you using the following information and address:
Your hall, room number and phone number
732 Yukon Drive
Fairbanks, AK 99775
The Residence Life office will contact you once your package has been received.
How can I assure my parents that I will be okay when I arrive at UAF and am on my own for the first time?
The best time to assure your parents that you will be okay at UAF without them is now. By proving your maturity and sense of responsibility now, they will be confident in you and your decisions as a college student. It is also important for you and your parents to understand that part of life and growing up is making mistakes along the way, and that communication is essential for a smooth transition. Also, sometimes it is a good idea for you and your family to map out some expectations that you have for one another before you leave for school.
What should I do if I am having second thoughts about going to UAF? Should I still give it a chance?
This decision is truly up to you and your family. You really must consider if UAF is the best fit for you personally, and for your academic and career goals; however, it is important to remember the reasons why you applied to UAF and why you first decided that it was the best place for you to be. We are confident that once you are here, Fairbanks will quickly become your home away from home. Get involved and keep an open mind, but more importantly, you must do what you feel most comfortable with. We know that you will succeed at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in many ways.
Should I bring my own computer?
Bringing your own personal computer is a personal choice. Many students find it convenient to own a personal computer. If you do not wish to purchase or bring your own computer, there are many computer labs located throughout campus and the residence halls for your use.
Can I live off campus?
Yes, you can. UAF has no restrictions as to who must live on campus.
Is it okay for me to bring a bike to campus?
You may wish to bring a bike for easy transportation around the campus area. If you choose to bring a bike, there are bike racks located around the academic buildings and residence housing for your use. We recommend that you purchase a strong bike lock to secure your bicycle.
Is it possible to find out what textbooks are required for courses before the semester starts? Do faculty members post this on the web or portal?
Once you register for classes, you can choose to pre-order textbooks directly from the UAF bookstore. For more information visit the bookstore's website at www.uaf.edu/bookstore/.
Do you have any other good information for making my first year at UAF a success?
- Make time to be with friends and family to say goodbye.
- Fill out all UAF paperwork carefully. Open and answer all mail from the university.
- Bring part of your home with you: pictures of friends and family, yearbook, posters.
- Get to know the physical environment of campus and campus services.
- Seek out faculty members and your advisor. Take advantage of office hours.
- Remember, being independent doesn't mean you have to do everything yourself. Seek help when you need it.
- Explore academic options. Most college freshmen do not know what they want to major in. Most will change ideas about majors; not knowing is normal.
- Remember, new friends can't immediately fill the gap left by separation from long-standing friendships.
- Get involved in at least one campus activity in the first semester.
- Make time in your schedule for exercise, sleep and sit-down meals.
Campus Life Questions
- What might an average day be like for me as an UAF student? How busy do you think I will be?
- What are the different meal plans, and how do they work?
- How do I get my PolarExpress card?
- What does my PolarExpress card do?
- What do I do if I lose my card?
- Is it safe to walk around campus at night by myself?
- Is it hard to get around campus?
- Are classes far away from residence halls?
- Is there a workout center on campus and is it open to all students?
- Should I start out with a job my first semester?
- If I get sick while on campus do I go to the school nurse on campus or to the local hospital for treatment?
- What is the secret to first-year success?
- What opportunities are there to become involved in campus organizations?
What might an average day be like for me as an UAF student? How busy do you think I will be?
A typical day is different for every student here at UAF. It will most likely even vary from day to day. One day, you might have your first class of the day at 8:30 a.m., while another day, you might not start class until 2 p.m. Some days you might be on campus most of the day, leaving you plenty of opportunities to go to the bookstore, library, Wood Center and other places.
At night, after your homework is done, there are seemingly endless school-sponsored events and programs related to both academic and student life, including concerts, lectures and seminars, art shows, etc. There are also many different activities that you can become involved in, such as a religious group, cultural club, intramural sport, sorority or fraternity, volunteer organization or other special interest groups.
It is important to recognize that you can be as active and involved at UAF as you choose to be. Depending on whether you are working, volunteering, are active in student organizations, establishing new friendships, or more importantly, tending to your academics, you might find that your days can become extremely busy. We encourage you to purchase a student planner as soon as possible. As sad as this sounds, your planner will become your new best friend. If you take care of it and tend to it often, it will take care of you. You cannot believe how many headaches and stressful situations you can avoid by keeping an up-to-date calendar and centralized to-do list. Having great time-management skills--which is an essential component of being a successful college student--begins with a planner!
What are the different meal plans, and how do they work?
Meal plans are the best way to ensure you get healthy food while at school. It's also a great way to budget for the entire academic year. There is no need to worry about money for meals--they're already paid for! Nutritious and tasty all-you-care-to-eat meals are available at the Lola Tilly Commons. Munch Money is accessed via your Polar Express card and may be used at our other campus retail establishments like the Wood Center food court, Coffee shop, Pizza Piazza, West Ridge Café and Campus Cache. UAF Dining Services offers a variety of meal plans tailored to the needs of individual students.
You can find out all about the different meal plan options in our online academic catalog.
How do I get my PolarExpress card?
You will receive your PolarExpress card during Rev It Up. If for some reason you don't make it to Rev It Up the first day of Orientation, you may go to the PolarExpress office in 116 Eielson. Please note that if you lose your card, there is a replacement fee.
What does my PolarExpress card do?
Your PolarExpress card is your passport to campus. It allows you access to your dorm room and the 23-hour study area in the library after normal library hours. It grants you entry to the Student Recreation Center, it's your meal card and your identification to participate in intramural sports, it gets you discounts at some local businesses, and much more.
What do I do if I lose my card?
If you lose your card, you need to cancel it by calling the 24-hour lost-card reporting number at (907) 474-7657. You can purchase a replacement card at the PolarExpress office in 116 Eielson.
Is it safe to walk around campus at night by myself?
No matter where you are, it is always best to walk with someone else, especially at night. UAF offers many services to foster the safety of students, such as blue lights distributed throughout campus, security escort services (call 474-7721 to have a community service officer escort you) and frequent tips on how to stay safe. Also, the campus shuttle system runs into the early evening to provide transport even after evening classes. Visit the University Police Department website for more information at www.uaf.edu/police/.
Is it hard to get around campus?
UAF has a very user-friendly campus. An interactive map is online at www.uaf.edu/campusmap/. You will have several opportunities for campus tours during the Orientation program, and there is a shuttle system to help you get around. Also, there are large campus maps located in several places around campus. Pay close attention to the signs in the parking lots to avoid parking in restricted areas.
Are classes far away from residence halls?
While there may be some exceptions, most classes are not far away from residence halls. It usually won't take you longer than 10-12 minutes to walk to class from your residence hall--though some classes may be much closer. Once you receive your residence hall assignment and compare it to your class locations, you will get a better idea of how much time you need to give yourself to get to class. During the winter, we suggest you add a few extra minutes to get to class from your residence hall.
Is there a workout center on campus and is it open to all students?
The workout area is the Student Recreation Center on lower campus. It has three basketball courts, a running track, a dance floor, free weights and machines and a climbing wall! If you would like to swim, play racquetball or use the ice rink, the pool, courts and rink are located next door in the Patty Center. Bring an extra pair of shoes and your PolarExpress card for entry.
Should I start out with a job my first semester?
The decision of whether or not to start out with a job during your first semester is a personal choice. If you wish to work or must work for financial reasons, there are many opportunities for employment on campus, which can be a great way to meet other students, get involved on campus and learn to manage your time.
As academic and student life are an important part of the college experience, it is also important to consider how employment will impact your overall transition into academic and student life. For current job listings, visit www.uakjobs.com. Another great way to find employment opportunities on campus is by attending the Student Job Fair.
If I get sick while on campus do I go to the school nurse on campus or to the local hospital for treatment?
UAF has a health center on campus where you can receive free visits with a doctor or up to four counseling sessions per year. The health center fee is part of your tuition and fees. The Student Health and Counseling Center also provides some medications at a low cost to students. If you have a severe injury or illness, or if it is after hours, there is a local hospital in town.
What is the secret to first-year success?
Learning to manage your time efficiently is one of the hardest and most important secrets to success. Asking for help and advice about time management from your peers, your family, your professors, teaching assistants, academic advisors, etc., may be helpful to you. Also, as time goes on, managing your time will become easier.
It is important to remember that other new students are going through many of the same things that you are. Be open and willing to reach out to your peers and the UAF community. Get involved in campus life and campus culture. Remember that while everything might not happen for you right away, there are plenty of opportunities to find your niche. Realizing that you are going through a pretty big transition from high school to college--or from another institution to UAF--trying your best to go with the flow and not being afraid to ask for help along the way is another great secret to a successful first year.
What opportunities are there to become involved in campus organizations?
There are currently more than 110 student organizations at UAF. Many of these student organizations will be at the resource fair that occurs at the beginning of the semester on the main level of Wood Center. This is a great opportunity for new students to learn more about involvement opportunities. If you have other questions about campus involvement, contact the Leadership Program at (907) 474-1170, or visit www.uaf.edu/leadership/.
When do students register for classes?
Depending on what your status is (e.g., continuing degree, new and returning degree, nondegree) your registration date may vary. It also varies by class standing (i.e., freshman, sophomore, junior, senior and graduate). You can find these dates on the web at www.uaf.edu/register/. It is also printed at the beginning of every registration guide, which can be found at the Office of Admissions and the Registrar.
Will I be required to take a math or language placement exam?
There is no language placement exam required at UAF. If you have taken the SAT or the ACT in the last two years, that will serve as your math and English placement exam. If you have not taken either of those tests, or if it has been more than two years, you must take the COMPASS test. You can schedule this test with Academic Advising, Rural Student Services or UAF's Community and Technical College. There are even study guides available for those tests through Academic Advising.
When will I receive my class schedule?
You can view your class schedule online at http://uaonline.alaska.edu any time after they have registered online.
How do I select my classes?
You may pick up a class schedule catalog on campus in Signers' Hall, or you can look online at www.uaf.edu/register/. Follow the link under “Course Finder,” where you will be able to search through all the courses offered that semester. UAF requires that all students get the signature of an advisor at the time of registration. The first step is to speak with your assigned advisor, or talk to a general advisor. You must fill out a registration form, which can be printed out from http://uaonline.alaska.edu. After you have filled in the form, make a copy for yourself, then turn it in to the registrar's office. After 24 hours, you may go online to sign up for those classes. You must sign up online, or you will not be registered for those classes.
How do I make changes to my class schedule?
You can view and change your schedule online at http://uaonline.alaska.edu.
- Is health insurance available for students?
- If I identify as a student of color, what support is available to me at UAF?
- As a student with special needs and/or a disability, what resources and support are offered to me on campus?
- If I identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or if I am thinking about coming out, what support is available to me at SU?
- What electronic research options are available through the library? Can I access these resources from my residence hall room?
- Is there technical service and support available on campus if I need help with my computer?
- I am not purchasing the university's health insurance as I have my own family health insurance. Do I need my own health insurance cards or is a photocopy enough?
Is health insurance available for students?
Yes! The university has a health insurance plan for students provided by the MEGA Life and Health Insurance Company. Visit www.uaf.edu/chc/healthplan.html for more information.
As a student with special needs and/or a disability, what resources and support are offered to me on campus?
Disability Services, a program of the Student Health and Counseling Center, provides services to ensure equal treatment and access to educational opportunities. If you believe you qualify for special assistance, contact the coordinator of Disability Services to discuss your options at (907) 474-7043.
For learning disabilities, visit Student Support Services online at www.uaf.edu/sssp/ to discover how to get many different forms of assistance to make your learning experience the best it can be.
If I identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or if I am thinking about coming out, what support is available to me?
There are many members of the LGBT community in Fairbanks who can lend you support. You could start by contacting LGBT and Allies, a UAF student organization, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Other offices that may be able to direct you to peers, mentors, and support include:
What electronic research options are available through the library? Can I access these resources from my residence hall room?
UAF has two libraries on campus: the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library and the BioSciences Library (BSL). Rasmuson offers many online resources, including access to many online journals from AAACN Viewpoint to ZARDnews. The library also provides access to search engines for periodicals such as Academic Search Premier. The BSL provides many of the same services such as online journals and indexes. These services are available from the residence halls and anywhere on campus.
Is there technical service and support available on campus if I need help with my computer?
The Office of Informational Technology runs help desks in two locations: the Rasmuson Library and at 102 Butrovich on West Ridge on campus. They provide the current system status, the latest security threats and much more on their website at www.alaska.edu/oit/sc/. You can reach them at (907) 474-6564, toll free in Alaska at (800) 478-4667, by fax at (907) 474-2497 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
I am not purchasing the university's health insurance as I have my own family health insurance. Do I need my own health insurance cards or is a photocopy enough?
If you decide not to purchase the university's health insurance, you do need to bring your personal insurance card with you.
- I understand students are randomly assigned. Is there any consideration to where they are placed based on their major?
- Can I submit a roommate request?
- What happens with roommates who don't get along?
- When will I receive my housing assignment?
- Can beds be raised to provide storage space?
- Do you have co-ed bathrooms?
- What is the cost of a washer and dryer?
I understand students are randomly assigned. Is there any consideration to where they are placed based on their major?
No. A student is randomly placed with no consideration to program of study since many first-year classes are located throughout campus.
Can I submit a roommate request?
Roommate requests are always welcome by Residence Life. There is a specific area on the housing application to be filled out if you have a preferred roommate.
What happens with roommates who don't get along?
All students in housing are asked to complete a roommate agreement in the first few weeks on campus. This allows you to set parameters on do's and don'ts in the room. If there are complications once this is established you should speak with your resident advisor (RA) to request the RA mediate the issues at hand. Having a third neutral party involved usually helps facilitate a resolution. If this does not work, sometimes the resident director (RD) is involved. The RD is a full-time professional staff member who lives and works in the hall. As a last resort, room changes are made based on space availability.
Can beds be raised to provide storage space?
No, but you can loft your bed to create more space in the room.
Do you have coed bathrooms?
All bathrooms are designated male or female.
What is the cost of a washer and dryer?
UAF provides laundry facilities to all on-campus students at no charge.