Shimer College


New Shimerian! We can’t wait to meet you. Here is the information you need to know about the days of Orientation, things you need to do prior to arriving, and things you need to bring with you.

imageThere are two examinations on the first day of Orientation, a math exam and a writing exam, as well as a discussion session. The math exam will be your typical math exam; the writing exam is a single timed essay based on Plato’s Euthyphro

The results of your math competency exam will affect whether the faculty decides you need additional help in math. If so, you will be given various math resources so that you are able to achieve a passing score on the math exam in the future. Download this packet to help you prepare for the exam. 

The focus of your discussion group will also be Plato’s Euthyphro. You will want to spend time reflecting on the reading in preparation. You should also read the Seminar Strategies handout to prepare for your discussion group.

Below is the checklist that you received previously, with forms available at the links included if they are needed. Please submit all documents to unless otherwise noted.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask via email or phone. We look forward to seeing you!

To Do Now:

____ Provide head shot photo

This picture will be used to make your student ID card and CTA U-Pass (if applicable), and be included with your online Shimer SonisWeb student account. It needs to be against a white or light background, with your face completely visible (think of it like going to the DMV, except you’re allowed to smile). It can be taken on a cell phone, as long as you can send it to us in .jpeg form,  and it’s 100 kilobytes or smaller, and oriented as a portrait. When you send the photo, please include your full name in the subject line of your email.

___ Mark your calendar for January 12, 2015

Orientation will be your introduction to living on-campus (if you choose to do so), academics, and the levels of community you will be involved in here at Shimer. It’ll be your first opportunity to meet students who you’ll be having classes and meals with, the faculty members who will guide you in your education, and the staff who can help you navigate your experience at Shimer. Classes officially start January 14, 2015.

___ Pay your $250 Orientation Fee

Either mail check to “attention of Joseph Fitzpatrick in Dean of Students Office, 3424 S. State Street, 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60616” or call Glendalyn Booker at 312.235.3514 to arrange for credit card payment.

____ Submit official transcript(s) to the Admissions Office

Must be an Official Transcript in a sealed envelope from your last educational institution(s).

____ Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required for any students seeking financial aid. Contact our Director of Financial Aid, Janet Henthorn (312.235.3507 by phone or email at, if you have any questions about this application, including whether or not you completed it already.

____ Apply for student loans at

____ Submit documentation of your independent external scholarships

____ Submit Course Preference Form

Your first semester of discussing the Great Books cannot begin until you have registered for classes!  You will officially register during Orientation, but we ask that you fill out the course preference form in order to make your registration as quick as possible. 

____ Finalize Payment plans with the Business Office

Our Bursar, Glendalyn Booker, can be reached at 312.235.3514 or

____ You should have received your SonisWeb login

When you made your deposit, you should have received login information for from Janet Henthorn, Director of Financial Aid, in order to accept your award letter. If you have not received a login, please let us know. SonisWeb is used by you to check your grades, update contact information, and keep track of your schedule. Shimer also uses it to keep all your important forms in one place, track your credits, and submit grades.

____ You will receive a Shimer email account…

…which will open up internal communication, and all the perks that come with a Google-hosted email account. It is crucial that you check your Shimer email regularly, especially once you start classes. You should receive directions on how to login to your Shimer email in a few weeks in the email you provided the Admissions Office with (the one you’ve received emails from us on).

____ Apply for on-campus housing (if applicable)

In most cases, traditional-aged first year Shimer students live on-campus in the residence halls of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).  A number of transfer students also choose to live on-campus.  If you already have indicated to your Admissions counselor that you wanted to live on campus, you have received an email from them with instructions on how to get that process started. Shortly following this email, you should receive an email from me that details housing options. If you do not receive that by the end of the week, please email me back and I will resend it to you. In the coming few days you will also receive an email from the IIT Residence & Greek Life department (  Read this information carefully as you consider what best meets your needs.

____ Complete Immunization Forms with a physician, and submit

The immunization form can be found here.

____ Provide verification of Health Insurance

All registered full-time students are required by Illinois law to carry health insurance. Please complete this Student Health Insurance Verification Form and send us a copy of both the front AND back of your insurance card.

Bring With You to Orientation:

____ Family Educational Rights and Privacy (FERPA) form

____ Photo & Press Release Form 

____ Bring your Social Security Card

____ Bring a government-issued photo ID

Acceptable photo ID’s are driver’s license, state ID card, or passport. A passport will fulfill both requirements.

____ Emergency Contact information

This is something you can do in advance using SonisWeb, but if not, we’ll walk you through it when you get here. You should have received the login information for that from Janet Henthorn. After logging into SonisWeb, there is a button on the top right section of the page with the label Emer Contacts (the button itself looks like a plus sign and a telephone). Click that, and once you’re redirected, press the “Add New Contact” button. Enter the contact information (Name, Relationship, and Phone Number) and then click Submit. On the next page, click “Enter Contact Information.” Click “Update Existing Record” on the final page. And then you’re done!