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New Student Guide

Congratulations on your decision to attend McDaniel College!

Can you believe it?

You'll be a McDaniel College student in just a few months.

We can’t wait for you to get here and we look forward to walking alongside you as you begin your journey on the Hill. Know that even in these uncertain times, we are preparing our campus for your arrival. The residential experience at McDaniel College is one where students, staff and faculty come together in our residence halls, dining halls, study halls and virtual halls to create an active, engaged community of learners, teachers and friends.


Before you can officially move in, there are some important steps you need to take. We’ve created this checklist to guide you through the process of moving to McDaniel. Our planning assumes a traditional kick-off to the academic year, but we are also ready if the impact of COVID-19 changes our plans. 

students walk under arch, past the Green Terror

IMPORTANT STEPS! Green Terror Checklist

There are a number of essential “to do’s” that will prepare you to become a Green Terror. Each step has a deadline and we want to help keep you on track. Let’s get started!


Mark Your Calendar! New Student Orientation AUGUST 18 - 21, 2022

The New Student Orientation events assist you in your transition to McDaniel, both academically and socially. Get settled in your residence hall, get to know your classmates, meet professors, and figure out where your classes take place on campus. By your first day of classes, you’ll feel like a Green Terror!

The goals of the New Student Orientation Program: 

  • Support new students as they begin the college and McDaniel experience.
  • Promote engagement with the values of the McDaniel community.
  • Provide accurate and relevant information about the McDaniel community.
  • Create opportunities and offer experiences in academic and social settings in which students can begin to connect with the campus community.
  • Support the connection of new students to faculty, staff, administration and other students at McDaniel with opportunities to start and build relationships.
  • Create opportunities for new students to connect with campus departments, offices and programs that will support student success at McDaniel.
  • Provide students with opportunities to discuss and reflect, in a supportive environment, on any fears and anxieties about starting college.
  • Establish a strong network and foundation in which students can move forward to a successful semester.
Staircase inside of Decker Center with tartan steps.

Taking Your First Steps on The Hill


Get Connected DEADLINE: NOW!

In order to complete many of the checklist items, you will need to activate your McDaniel Student Account. Once you receive your Welcome Home email, you’ll be able to login to your personal McDaniel Admissions Page to retrieve the credentials you need to activate your account. Be sure to record your Username and ID for future reference. Note that even if you've logged in to Financial Aid Self-Service, this additional setup will ensure your student account is fully complete and ready for you to complete other steps in the Transfer Student Checklist.

Once you have activated your account, be sure to create your McDaniel email password and start checking it daily for important information and updates! Please note that it can take up to 48 hours to be able to use your account credentials to access campus systems.

  1. Get your Credentials
  2. Activate your Online Account
  3. Access the McDaniel Portal
  4. Download Microsoft Office Suite that comes free with your Office 365 account. Go to  Use your McDaniel College email address and password.

Once you're connected, Get Tech Ready by reading up on campus Wi-Fi, Email Apps, and recommended technology. Visual learner? No problem! Check out a short video prepared by the Information Technology Department for step-by-step instructions.


Register for McDaniel Local DEADLINE: JUNE 1

McDaniel Local is one of the college’s signature McDaniel Commitment experiences. Serving as your first introduction to Westminster, Maryland, McDaniel Local is a mandatory two-day, one-night event designed to help you get to know your new community and make connections with fellow McDaniel students. McDaniel Local will hone your sense of purpose as you head into college and provide you the opportunity to connect with faculty advisors and register for your fall classes.

All students stay in on-campus accommodations for two days and one night. Meals are included in the McDaniel Local program. All program costs are included in first-year total costs, which includes tuition, room, board and fees. 

There are SIX McDaniel Local Sessions. Pick the one that works best for you. Registration for each session is limited, so register as soon as you identify your preferred session.

Through your McDaniel Local Experience, you will:

A group photo of students.

Make new friends and connect with current McDaniel students, staff, and faculty

Students at McDaniel Local event.

Register for your fall classes

Students taking selfie around downtown Westminster during McDaniel Local.

Explore our local community and learn about downtown Westminster

Your journey to campus is officially underway. Welcome Home!

The residential experience at McDaniel College is one where students, staff and faculty come together in our residence halls, dining halls, study halls and virtual halls to create an active, engaged community of learners, teachers and friends. The Welcome Home Guide will prepare you to complete steps 4-6 on your journey. 


Select a Meal Plan DEADLINE: JUNE 1

Our most popular plan, the Gold Plan, includes 19 meals per week at Englar Dining Hall, 75 Meal Exchanges at The Pub and $100 in McDaniel Bucks. Learn about the different meal plan options and choose the one that works best for you. You will officially select your plan during the Housing and Roommate Matching application in the next step.


Residential students only. Our Housing and Roommate Matching Application is the first step in identifying your roommate preferences. You’ll have the opportunity to indicate questions which are the most important to you and to list other information that will help us match you with a roommate. Learn more about the housing experience at McDaniel, and once you are ready, submit your application. Note that you must be a deposited student and have also completed the set up of your McDaniel student account (refer to Step 2) a minimum of 48 hours prior to completing the Housing and Roommate Matching Application.


On occasion, students have medical or other concerns that require special room assignments. If you are requesting special housing accommodations, download the special housing request form and submit it to the Office of Residence Life. 

NEXT STEPS You made it this far!

Before you get started on this next section, there are a few things you should know. This portion of the checklist contains a lot of important information and it will take you awhile to get through it.  It will require you to think and consider what your hopes and expectations are of your college experience.

We recommend you work on this in short intervals, over a few days, to give yourself ample time to read it thoroughly and reflect on each activity.  Your admissions counselor will be available to you throughout the summer to answer questions and cheer you on as you complete each task.


Take your Placement Exams DEADLINE: JUNE 1

Placement exams in English, Math and Language help us determine the best level for you to begin your academic coursework. You don’t have to take all of the Placement Exams at one time (in fact, we wouldn’t recommend it), but they should all be completed no later than June 1 to make sure that you’re ready for advising during your McDaniel Local session!


Upload Your 1Card Photo DEADLINE: JUNE 1

Your McDaniel 1Card is your official identification card and offers a convenient account— McDaniel Bucks—for making purchases on and around campus. You get to choose the photo you'd like to use: just be sure to follow all of the photo specifications. Make sure you submit your photo online BEFORE you attend your McDaniel Local session.


Finalize Your Financial Aid DEADLINE: JUNE 10

Not completing your financial aid checklist will lead to an incorrect bill. Login to Financial Aid Self-Service via the MyMcDaniel Portal to be sure that you’ve completed all required financial aid items, including accepting any remaining aid that is pending.  You'll find the Self-Service icon on the Quick Links tab of the portal.


If you have your own comparable health insurance coverage, you’ll need to waive the McDaniel health insurance.  The broker website to complete the waiver will be available in early June.  Students who have not waived McDaniel’s insurance will be enrolled and will see this charge reflected on their bill. For more information on the Health Insurance Waiver, check out the Understanding your Bill Reference Guide. 


Your First Year Seminar is an innovative topical and thematic course you’ll take this fall. Designed to introduce you to the liberal arts and help you make the academic transition to college, your First Year seminar will both challenge and excite you. Take time to view this year’s seminars pick your top choices through the online rating survey.


Our Student Accessibility & Support Services (SASS) Office assists all students with documented disabilities. If you plan to request accommodations at McDaniel College, you are first required to submit the online SASS Registration Form. A variety of other Academic Resources and Supports are also available through the Academic Life office.


Be sure to complete the important (essential! mandatory! critical!) Pre-Entrance Student Health Form with official Immunization Record mailed to you and available online. You can’t enroll without them (it’s state law!), so schedule any doctor visits now.


Request Final Documents DEADLINE: JULY 1

Believe it or not, you aren’t quite done with the Office of Admissions yet (we know, we know.) Review the document list and send any missing required documents to the Office of Admissions as soon as possible. These include: Candidate Information and Deposit Form | McDaniel Honor Code | Final Official High School Transcripts | Official College Transcripts | Official AP/IB Test Scores | Official SAT/ACT Test Scores


Pay your Bill DEADLINE: JULY 15

Your first bill for the fall semester will be printed and mailed June 10 and is due by July 15. There are a variety of options for paying your balance and you can view your statement and pay your bill online through McDaniel’s Self-service online portal. The Bursar's Office website will help you understand and review your bill, finalize pending financial aid, set up a payment plan, and much more.


Representing McDaniel College in the classroom and on the field? All student-athletes who intend to participate in intercollegiate athletics at McDaniel must complete the NCAA Due Diligence Form prior to practicing, competing or receiving institutional financial aid. The Participation Agreement Form and additional medical forms are also required. Your coach will contact you over the summer with instructions on completing your incoming student-athlete paperwork.

students 2022

Understanding Your Bill A Reference Guide

Your bill is composed of a variety of charges. Understanding each charge is an important step in your financial planning. Among these are: Tuition, Room and Board, Fees, Security Deposit, and Health Insurance. You may also see Pending Financial Aid, Outside Scholarships, and Credit Balances. To better understand your bill, we have created a reference guide to answer any questions you might have.

McDaniel College Financial Aid Director Kemia Himon assists Financial Aid Specialist Aza Smith

Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) A Family Discussion

As a college student, your McDaniel records (including your academic and financial records) belong to you. This means that McDaniel College staff are legally required to have your written permission before we can disclose details of your academic and financial accounts with others (including parents or guardians). If you would like to authorize us to share your education records with parents or others, you must complete the Release of Student Information Form. 


Complete a FERPA Authorization DEADLINE: AUGUST 10

Unless you complete a FERPA Authorization to Release Information form, we are unable to share details including (but not limited to) tuition, fees, and other account charges, student account payments and other student account status, and overpayment refund checks with anyone other than you, regardless of who made payment on your student account.


Every new student is REQUIRED to complete a series of online McDaniel Safe Colleges Training courses in alcohol and drug abuse and sexual violence prevention as well as Coronavirus awareness. This will take a few hours, but you don't need to complete them all at once. You may take the courses in multiple sittings.

Green Terror mascot with cheerleaders.

Your are officially a Green Terror! Did you make it? Welcome to the Hill!

Are you through the entire checklist? Great job getting so many items crossed off your list. You are joining a thriving community of learners eager to develop themselves and make an important impact on the world. Congratulations on your decision to attend McDaniel. Our academic community eagerly awaits your arrival. Welcome to the Hill.