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What to Expect on Opening Day

Information for New Undergraduate Students

This page gives important information for fall arrivals.  Visit our page for new undergraduate students arriving in January 2020 here

Fall 2019

Cornell is transforming the new student move-in and check-in processes. This page will be updated with additional important information by mid-June.


To ensure a safe and efficient move-in experience, new students will be assigned a move-in appointment (date and time) during one of the following days:

     Friday, August 23, 2019; 8am-5pm
     Saturday, August 24, 2019; 7am-1pm

Students will be notified of their individually assigned move-in date and timeslot after housing assignments are released in mid-June. Adhering to your assigned timeslot will allow us to provide the best possible move-in experience. All new student are welcome to participate in programs that take place on Friday, and the University-wide Orientation will begin with New Student Convocation at 2pm on Saturday.

Most important … relax, and have fun! Lots of staff members and volunteers will be on hand to help guide you to the right place and answer any questions you have.

Required activities for Move-in:

Check in to your residence and move in to your room

Move in on your assigned day and during your assigned timeslot. You'll be provided information on how to secure your unloading permit later this summer. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to help you unload your belongings. A licensed driver must remain with your vehicle at all times.

After you unload your car, you will be directed to a longer-term parking area. You may then return to your room to unpack your belongings, attend welcome events, explore campus, or eat in one of Cornell Dining's eateries

Attend your Resident Advisor (RA) and Orientation Leader (OL) meetings


Meetings take place in your building on so you can get to know your residential staff and other students.


Tips for a successful Move-In:

  • Arrival time: Please plan to arrive for your assigned move-in day and timeslot.
  • Dress:  Ithaca weather can change quickly, and you may be walking across campus. Please dress for comfort.
  • Dining:  Campus dining rooms and cafés open beginning at 10:30am on August 23, so you and your family will have the opportunity to eat together and relax. Sign up for a meal plan ahead of time so you can start using it on your first day on campus. All eateries on campus also accept credit cards.
  • Free shuttle bus service: Numerous free shuttle buses will be available to help you navigate campus on Friday, August 23 and Saturday, August 24. We strongly encourage you to park your vehicle as directed by our staff during Move-In, and to use the shuttles. For those who prefer to walk, a suggested route will be available at
  • Red Shirt Resources: Need help? Look for a red shirt! Staff and volunteers will be wearing red shirts to identify themselves as an information source. They can answer your questions about what's going on during Opening Day, how to get from Point A to Point B, where to get a bite to eat, and myriad other inquiries.
  • Shopping for your room, or for text books: Many families spend some time on Opening day, or during Opening weekend, shopping for bedding, organizational units, textbooks, and other essentials. Many items can be bought at The Cornell Store's "Dorm Essentials" tent sale. Visit for information about purchasing textbooks, online or in person.
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