First Year Experience (FYE)

Frequently Asked Questions

First Year Experience Logo

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions Page! We've compiled some helpful information to ensure your first year on campus is successful.

Course Planning & Registration
Books & Supplies
Viking Card
Paying for School
Support Services
Career Services
Student Health and Wellness
Parking and Transportation Services

Course Planning & Registration
I have questions about course registration, changing my class schedule, or the classes I need for my major. Where can I go to find this information?

First-year students with questions about course registration or major requirements should schedule an appointment with their advisor or go here for more information.

What sports teams does CSU have?

Tickets are different for each sport, and not all sports require tickets. Information about tickets can be found here

How do I get tickets to games?

CSU has 8 men’s and 11 women’s sports teams. Information about each team can be found here.

Books and Supplies
How do I know which books I need?

The first week of class, you will get a syllabus for each class which will include what textbook(s) you need. If you want to order your books ahead of time, you can look at required books for each class here

Do I have to purchase all the books for every class?

It really depends on the class! We recommend looking at your syllabus or speaking with your instructors

Should I buy books in person, online, rent, or e-books?

It depends on your preference and learning style. If you highlight and write in your textbooks, than renting probably is not the right fit. If you do not like reading from a screen, maybe you would rather use a physical book instead of an e-book. 

When should I buy books?

You can buy books from the Viking Outfitters, the campus bookstore either in person or online!

I don’t have my own computer, are there ones on campus I can use?

Information Services & Technology (IS&T) maintains several general computer labs equipped with over 200 large, 22-inch screen computer monitors across campus for free computer access to students. A list of all General Computer Labs and specific details concerning them can be found here.

Students can also borrow laptop computers, tablets, MacBook Airs, or scientific calculators for free at the Mobile Campus laptop loan counter either in the Student Center or at the Circulation Desk in the Michael Schwartz Library in Rhodes Tower

Do I get free printing as a CSU student?

Limited free printing is provided to every student (2,000 black & white pages or 160 color pages per semester). More information on print purchases and refunds can be found here

My classes expect me to use Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other software that I don’t have. Where can I get Microsoft Office?

Did you know all CSU students get free access to Microsoft Suite to download on their personal laptops? Microsoft Suite includes Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, Skype, and OneDrive. For more information about downloading the Microsoft Suite, click here.

Viking Card
What is a Viking Card and why do I need one?

The Viking Card is the official identification card for all Cleveland State University students, faculty, and staff. The card is required for all active members of the Cleveland State University community. Departments use the Viking Card ID as a means to grant access to information and services. Use your Viking Card ID to access buildings, labs and parking garages, to check out books at campus libraries, take tests, use your meal plans, carry Vikingcash to make on-campus purchases and to attend  CSU sporting events. Information about how to get your Viking Card can be found here

What do I do if I lose my Viking Card?

There are a few steps you will need to take if you lose your Viking Card. Click here to find out more.

Do I need to have a meal plan? What types of meal plans are there?

Residents who live on campus (in Fenn Tower or Euclid Commons) must purchase a Residential Meal Plan. All other students may purchase any Voluntary Meal Plan or Residential Meal Plan if they desire. Information about dining options and meal plans can be found here.

I have questions about my FAFSA and paying for school, who should I talk to?

Paying for college can be confusing! We recommend you speak with the Financial Aid Office.They have created some FAQs that might answer your questions. Don’t forget that FASFA for the following academic year opens October 1!

Does CSU have any scholarship opportunities for incoming first-year students?

Yes! A list of scholarships can be found here.

I have a documented learning disability and need accomodations, who do I talk to about that?

The Office of Disability Services is here to help students with documented disabilities and need for accommodations. Information about the process of registering with the Office of Disability Services can be found here.

I am an international student, is there an office or department that focuses on that?

The mission of the Center for International Services and Programs (CISP)  is to serve and promote an urban university where students, faculty and staff gain international knowledge and experience. More information about the resources and support that is available can be found here.

Where can I find more information about the resources offered in the Library?

The Michael Schwartz Library houses great resources for students, such as personal librarians for departments, database access, and a collection of e-books. More information about the Michael Schwartz Library can be found here.

I’m nervous about my English classes and writing at the college level, is there anyone that can help me?

The CSU Writing Center and WAC (Writing Across the Curriculum) Program are here to help! The Writing Center offers individual appointments with tutors, workshops, and writing resources to help students adjust to writing at the college level. More information about the Writing Center & WAC Program resources can be found here.

I think I might need help with my math courses, is there anyone that can help me?

The Math Learning Center, located in BH 230, offers an encouraging walk-in environment that promotes students’ mathematical learning. Experienced graduate and undergraduate Learning Assistants engage students and further their conceptual and computational understanding in all aspects of their mathematics coursework. Information about the Math Learning Center can be found here.

The Math Emporium, located on the second floor of the Michael Schwartz Library (RT 230) is a state-of-the-art learning center where students can interact with adaptive MyMathLab Plus software and a highly skilled instructional team. Students learn through an innovative, engaging, and easy-to-use program designed to help them become comfortable and proficient in basic mathematics.

If I have trouble with my classes, is there somewhere I can go for tutoring?

The Tutoring & Academic Success Center (TASC) offers free group tutoring, structured learning assistance, and supplemental instruction for a wide variety of courses each semester! They also success coaching and software assistance. More information on the resources TASC offers can be found here.

Is there an LGBTQ+ Center on campus?

Yes! LGBT+ Student Services is committed to enhancing the overall educational experience of the CSU community. They provide resources, support, and educational programming that promotes the academic and personal growth and development of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning students and their allies. They work to assure unrestricted access to and full involvement in all aspects of CSU, and strive to create a more inclusive welcoming campus climate for all students.  Stop into the LGBT+ Center in BH 211 or click here for more information.

Are there any resources for veterans?

Yes! The Veteran Student Success Program serves the over 600 veterans attending Cleveland State University and provides multiple services to all veterans, serving military personnel and military family attending CSU.

More information regarding the Veteran Student Success Program can be found here.

How can I get involved on campus?

The Center for Student Activities & Involvement (CSAI) is the University's hub for students with a wide variety of interests wanting to get involved on campus! More information about how to get involved can be found here.

Career Services
If you are interested in student employment, visit Career Services (RW 280)  or the following web links to learn more:

I’m interested in what Career Services offers

I need help with career planning.

I want to access Hire a Vike to look for federal work study positions, on campus employment opportunities, or internships. 

I need more information about campus student employment.

What resources are available to me as a CSU student related to health and wellness?

CSU’s Health & Wellness Services offers a wide variety of services including primary and same day care, health counseling, limited in-house pharmacy and lab services, shots and immunizations center. Visit them in IM 205 or click here for more information. 

The Counseling Center is free for CSU students and offers individual and group counseling services, as well as workshops and outreach programs. The Counseling Center is located in UN 220 and is staffed by both licensed mental health professionals and doctoral level trainees. 

The CSU CARE (Community Assessment Response & Evaluation) Team works collaboratively to support the wellbeing and safety of students, faculty, staff, and to promote a culture on campus that encourages reporting of concerns.

CASC (Counseling and Academic Success Clinic): CASC is an on-campus resource providing free, supportive counseling and coaching services to undergraduate and graduate students of Cleveland State University.

What services are offered by the Center for eLearning for current students?

The Center for eLearning helps students be successful online learners and offers students 24/7 Blackboard technical support and a self-paced Blackboard Orientation course.  Find out more here.

I keep hearing people talk about Starfish--what is Starfish and what can I use it for?

Click here to learn more about CSU's Starfish platform. 

What is Blackboard? Where do I go if I’m having trouble using it?

Blackboard is a web application that allows students to access supplemental materials posted by their instructors. Instructors also frequently use Blackboard as a place where students can submit assignments. To learn more about Blackboard or get help on using it, click here

My classes expect me to use Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other software that I don’t have. Where can I get Microsoft Office?

CSU offers each student up to 5 free downloads of Office 365 ProPlus for use on their personal devices. Office 365 ProPlus includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and more. For more information and to download, click here.

I’m having trouble using Microsoft Word/Excel, Blackboard, or other computer software. Where can I go to get help?

The Tutoring and Academic Success Center (TASC) at CSU offers assistance with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Presentation Software, basic Blackboard inquires, saving, sending, and transferring files, and more! Click here for more information

Parking and Transportation Services

CSU is an urban campus, with 5 parking garages for student use, along with multiple surface lots on the outside perimeters of campus. CSU’s parking permits are always in high demand, and it’s recommended students purchase parking passes the first day they are available. Every academic year, parking permits go on sale April 1, August 1, and December 1. Parking permit cost is determined by how close one parks to campus, with Green Permits (garages) costing more than White Permits (surface lots). If you’d like to further explore CSU’s Parking, or have further questions, click here.