Frequently Asked Questions about SVP

Answers to many of the most frequently-asked questions about SVP can be found below.
What does SVP stand for?

Summer Vestibule Program.

Do I have to go to SVP?

If you are accepted to the College of NTID, SVP is a mandatory orientation.

My friends aren’t going to SVP. Why do I have to?

If you are accepted to the College of NTID, you will need to attend SVP. Those students accepted to the other colleges within RIT (College of Science, College of Engineering, etc.) are expected to participate in their own orientation at a later date/time.

How long do parents generally stay?

Because all workshops/meetings are optional for parents, it is up to you if you'd like to stay for a few days or leave after your student moves into his/her dorm room. However, please know that your student will be taking placement tests (check their schedule on Move-In Day). So, please do say your well-wishes so that the student can settle in and prepare for the placement tests, classes, etc.

What does Move-in Day look like?

When you arrive, we will have signage directing you to park in "L" lot. 

You will need to go to the Student Development Center ("SDC").  Parents/families will wait in one line to obtain their Parent folder with the schedule and other information in it.  Students will wait in another line before going into the large room (we call it SDC 1300/1310).  Students will NOT be given any keys until the following items are done - also known as our "checklist":

  • Vocational Rehabilitation form to be signed by student with VR info, address, email, phone number and any information about your IPE (Individual Plan of Employment)
  • Media Release form to be signed by student for your local hometown newspaper
  • Pick up your binder with your assigned group number, initial schedule and orientation information as well as Career Seminar curriculum.  You will bring this with you to ALL your events/meetings/classes/placement tests.  You are not to leave it in your dorm room.
  • Email check - be sure you know your RIT DCE username (abc1234) and password - this is REQUIRED in order to be able to log into eServices, placement testing, etc.
  • Confirm your Career Sampling choices - once you sign off, you will NOT be able to change it.  If you haven't filled it out yet, please go to to fill out the Career Interest Survey - it will save you time in line!
  • Confirm your communication preference - we get our information from what you filled out online on the LCBQ form (  You can also ask about taking sign language classes Fall semester if you'd like
  • If you are a transfer student from another college, you will double-check to make sure NTID Admissions has your most up-to-date transcript.  Whatever we have is what we use to determine transfer credits
  • If you need special testing accommodations as approved by RIT's Disability Services Office, you will want to stop here to confirm and we can explain what you need to do to get your accommodations
  • You can pick up your mail box/post office key
  • You can pick up your housing key
  • THEN - you can go back to your car, unload it to wherever you will be living and move in your things until the next thing on your schedule!
What can I bring?

This depends partially on where you will be living. Here are some printable checklists for the residence halls and the RIT Inn & Conference Center.

You can ship your belongings to: 

Student Name
5000 Nathaniel Rochester Hall
Rochester, NY  14623

Do NOT ship your boxes/packages or other mail to this address until ONE WEEK prior to your move-in date for SVP.  If your packages arrive any earlier, the post office may NOT accept the packages and ship them back to your return address!  Please contact the NRH Post Office if you have any questions.

***Remember, FedEX or UPS or DHL do not deliver to post offices, so you should not put a P.O. box # on the label.

What are placement tests?

During SVP, you will take placement tests in math, reading, and writing. Placement means determining what level of classes you should take – not too easy but not too hard. Be sure to bring a calculator for the math test.

What is sampling?

Students are required to sample two majors. They will select these majors on the following website: Please be sure to fill out the Career Interest Survey (Career Survey) because the results from that will determine which majors to sample during SVP. Sampling will either determine or confirm your interest and abilities for different majors. You’ve dreamed of being an engineer, but after you sampled it, you found it really wasn’t for you, for a variety of reasons. By sampling, you’ll already have a bit more knowledge of other majors, allowing you to make an informed decision.

When will I get my class schedule?

You will take the placement tests and go through sampling first. If you have not already been accepted to a major, you will apply to one OR come into the Career Exploration Studies program. When you attend your new department meeting, you will get your new fall schedule. Please pass this information onto your VR counselor. You will have full-time status.

Which immunizations are required?

REQUIRED vaccines are TWO doses of MMR vaccine given after first birthday, ONE dose of meningitis ACWY (Menactra) vaccine if under age 22 and a booster of this shot needed after age 16.  If over the age of 21, a signature is required on on-line Immunization Record.

DON'T WAIT! If you don’t have the documents, contact your doctor today. Please go to the Student Health Center website for more details and to fill out the FOUR electronic health forms.  Once you fill out the Immunization Record on-line, you will recieve a Physician Verification form in your RIT email account.  This form can be taken to your physician for his/her signature and RETURNED to the Student Health Center to be approved.  

Where do I get information on health insurance?

To get information about health insurance, go to If you do not see the information you are looking for, contact the Risk Management office at 585-475-6135.

Can parents stay in the dorm room?

No. Parents may stay in one of the local hotels.

I can't show up between 9am-1pm to pick up my key on Move-In Day. What do I do?

It is important that you arrange your travel plans to arrive to the SVP program on move-in day. If you need to arrive the night before, you are welcome to stay at a local hotel on your own. Early move-in to your RIT housing assignment might be permitted BUT you need to contact Housing Operations ahead of time and there may be a daily charge of $50 to your student account.  

You will have a busy schedule and late arrivals to campus will complicate your schedule. However, if you are arriving late due to circumstances beyond your control, please contact the SVP office/Karyssa Martin, Staff Assistant (585-286-4586 VP or to let us know what time you will be here so we can prepare for your arrival. If you arrive between 2pm and 6pm, please go directly to the SVP Office inside the Lyndon Baines Johnson building, office #2593 to pick up your keys and housing contract as well as your orientation materials. If you arrive after 6pm on Move In Day, you must make your own arrangements at a local hotel (at your expense) and come to the SVP office the next morning at 7am only. We will give you your housing key but you must be prepared to start your orientation program at 8am (you can move your personal belongings to your room later that evening, not at 7am). The SVP schedule will not permit any make-up sessions if orientation activities are missed due to late arrivals.  So, please follow the schedule so you don't fall behind.

Do I stay in the same room for SVP and the rest of the academic year?

The room you move into for SVP is the room you will stay in for the rest of the academic year.

Is there transportation to or from the airport, train station, or bus station?

RIT does not supply transportation to/from the airport, train station or bus station. Students/families should plan on taking a cab/taxi (cost approximately $20 - $40). If you or your student know of someone arriving (or going) to the airport, train station, or bus station around the same time, they could share the cost of the cab/taxi.  New York also has Uber/Lyft - so that's another option too!

Will my academic counselor be available?

You will have two different counselors – one for SVP (Career Seminar Instructor/CSI's) and one for the entire academic year (fall and spring semesters). Your CSI will have time to chat with you about any questions or concerns you may have during your Career Seminar class time. Your academic counselor won’t be assigned until you are accepted into a major at the end of SVP. Each counselor/academic advisor supports a specific major.

How do I buy books with VR authorization?

Go to the Barnes & Noble College Bookstore at Park Point. Go to any cash register and ask if they have your VR book authorization. More information can be found here.

How do I buy books without VR authorization?

Send your new class schedule and booklist with costs to your VR counselor. E-mail your VR counselor to ask why you don’t have book authorization. Purchase your books. Pay for the books yourself. Keep the original receipt so you can get the refund later (if your VR covers books).

What are Tiger Bucks?

"Tiger Bucks" are a convenient debit account accessed through the RIT ID card and available to all RIT students, faculty, and staff. More than 75 on- and off-campus locations accept Tiger Bucks for a number of services and products.

How do I add to or change my meal plan?

You can add or change a meal plan online at or in person at RIT Dining Services (SAU, A410), Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Please note that changes to dining plans may only be made during the first week of each academic semester (fall and spring) until 4:30 p.m. the Friday of that week.

TIP: Track your meal plan usage online at!

What if I lose my RIT ID card?

Report it lost immediately to Dining Services at (585) 475-2071 or in-person at the Dining Services Office located in the Student Alumni Union (SAU), room A410 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. RIT Public Safety may also be notified 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (585) 475-2853. Once reported, your card will be deactivated preventing unauthorized use. You can obtain a new RIT ID card at the Registrar's Office. You are responsible for any usage on the card up until the time you report it lost/stolen.

Do you service hearing aids and cochlear implants? Can I buy batteries, earmolds, etc.?

Our hearing aid shop is located on the third floor of LBJ – room 3130. They provide hearing tests, hearing aid checks, hearing aid repairs, hearing aid and cochlear implant consultations, hearing aid evaluations, and cochlear implant mappings.

What size are the beds?

The dorm room beds are Twin XL. Some stores have the opportunity to buy where you are and they will be in a store here, when you arrive (Ship to Store). For example, you go on-line with WalMart to order some bedding or dorm supplies. There will be an option for you to choose to have it shipped to the Henrietta, NY store. Simply pick it up when you arrive or during your stay.

I want to try out for an RIT sports team. What do I do?

We welcome you to try out! Be aware that you can join a sports team for fun (Intramurals) or for competition (Division I or Division III). We do not have separate deaf and hearing teams. The only exception is DBA/Deaf Basketball Association. If you do want to try out for a competitive sport, please go to the RIT Athletics website, find the coach and email that person to indicate your interest in trying out. You will need to explain your previous experiences, awards, records, etc. NTID does have a liasion who assists in answering questions, offers support, etc. Feel free to also contact Skip Flanagan ( to talk more. Be aware that tryouts or practices/games may conflict with Orientation activities. You will be responsible to keep the coach and the SVP Coordinator informed if there are conflicts. We will work together to ensure that you are covering your responsibilities for both things.

If you need to meet with Financial Aid...

Please either call ahead at 585-475-2186 and press zero for an appointment (prior to SVP move-in day) when financial aid counselors will be in their offices in the Bausch and Lomb Building, or stop by during SVP move-in (see the parent schedule for an updated date/time to meet).

Will my health insurance be covered in New York State?
Generally speaking, your current health insurance MIGHT cover you during emergencies only.  If you need to see a doctor for a check-up or to get prescription medicine, your insurance plan may NOT cover you.  You must review your plan to see if you are covered in New York State.  If you are not and you seek medical help, you may be charged the full price for any medical services and that can be quite expensive!  Hospital visits, urgent care medical assistance can be VERY expensive!
Please go to the RIT Financial and Insurance website for insurance information.  Medicare and/or Medicaid may not be accepted in New York so you need to check and see if it will be accepted in New York/Monroe County/Rochester, N.Y.
Also, prescription medicine information can also be found at the Student Health Center's website too.
What is the difference between SVP and NSP?

SVP is the College of NTID Orientation program.  NSP is the New Signer's Program - designed to help students who do not know any sign language.  It is an educational/immersion experience to give our "oral" students a jump start in picking up ASL.  This program occurs BEFORE the SVP Orientation program.

What are the Rochester winters like? How do I know what to bring/pack/buy?

We expect our first snowfall in November and we’ve had snow as late as May! You will need to dress in layers – long underwear, thick socks, insulated boots, warm hats, gloves/mittens/scarves as well as a durable winter coat with a hood. In the winter months, we can get snow/ice and school will rarely be cancelled as Rochester/RIT has good snowplows/salting trucks. It does get windy as RIT’s property is flat and the wind can be quite bracing! Average lows in the winter months can be as cold as 18 degrees with average highs about 32 degrees but it has been anywhere between 0 degrees to the 20s as a high temperature. So, again, be prepared and dress in layers. Steaming hot tea/cocoa/coffee is nice too this time of year!
(More weather details: