Griffon Orientation: New Student Checklist

Each incoming student is required to complete an online orientation module and live Griffon Orientation session. Below, you will find a variety of tasks that should be completed before you begin classes at Missouri Western. The checklist is designed to help you complete various tasks in order, to ensure that you are ready for your online orientation module, Griffon Orientation session, and to begin classes.

Also, be sure to check your Missouri Western email regularly. Your Missouri Western email is the only account university offices will use to send important updates on financial aid, billing, or unique tasks related to your campus experience. Checking your email regularly will ensure you don’t miss anything.

First Steps: Complete before your online module

Your Goldlink account is your lifeline as a Griffon. Your Goldlink account is used to access financial information, pay your bill, register for classes, and so much more. Before completing your online module, it is important that you have access to your Goldlink account.

Set up your Goldlink:

  1. Go to the Goldlink site.
  2. Click on “Activate your account”
  3. Click on Account Lookup
  4. Enter your information

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine your eligibility for need-based financial aid (Pell Grant, SEOG, Access Missouri, federal student loans, federal work study, and Missouri Western competitive scholarships). FAFSA applications are available on Oct. 1 each year. You may complete the FAFSA online at Be sure to indicate that you want your results forwarded to Missouri Western State University, school code 002490.

To enhance academic success, Missouri Western requires first-year students who have not previously attended this University and are taking 9 or more credit hours to reside in University housing their first two semesters unless they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Are living with a parent, grandparent or legal guardian within a 50 mile radius of St Joseph
  • Are 21 years of age by the beginning of the academic year for which they are enrolling
  • Are a military veteran
  • Have completed more than 30 credit hours (not including high school classes taken for college credit)
  • Are married and/or who reside with dependent children

NOTE: Please submit a First Year Requirement Waiver if you meet any of the exemption criteria. These forms are also available through your Goldlink account.

Students need to apply for housing as soon as possible. (Please note that Missouri Western begins accepting housing applications on November 1.) Students will be required to pay a $100 housing deposit when submitting a housing application. No housing deposit waivers are allowed. You can apply for housing by following these instructions:

  • Sign into Goldlink
  • Click on the Student Life tab within your Goldlink account
  • Click on MyHousing information under the On-Campus Living section

All first year students must have either a housing contract or a granted waiver request on file with the Office of Residential Life. Failure to have a granted housing waiver on file will result in a room charge being placed on the student’s account. Click here for additional information about living on campus.

The Official Missouri Western Class of 2024 Facebook group is a space for students to connect with other incoming Griffons, receive updates for important deadlines, and get their questions answered by connecting with our New Student Initiatives team. We also host weekly Facebook Live sessions where students can ask questions related to topics including placement exams, financial aid, and getting involved on campus.

We design this group exclusively for students as a space to connect, therefore we do not accept requests from parents, guardians, or family members.

Students with disabilities who encountered barriers to equal access and inclusion while attending high school may encounter similar barriers in the college environment as well. If you are a student with a disability who is anticipating barriers to full participation in the Griffon Orientation online module or live session,  contact the Accessibility Resource Center to request accommodations.

Next Steps: Complete before your Griffon Orientation session

You will receive an email on May 18th with a link to complete our online orientation module. This mandatory module will walk you through all of the paperwork and steps you need to take to be prepared to enroll in classes. This module must be completed in full before your live orientation session.

  • Students attending a June session must complete the module by Friday, June 5th.
  • Students attending a July session must complete the module by Friday, July 3rd.

Missouri Western needs your official transcripts to confirm your enrollment and ensure you are placed in the correct classes. Make sure that you have sent the following to the Office of Admissions.

High school transcript (or HiSET/GED results)

Official ACT results (ACT code: 2344)

  • Send the results directly from your high school or ACT
  • Please note – This step is not required for students age 20 and older; however, placement tests may be required in some subjects

Official college transcripts

  • Send for ALL dual enrollment/dual credit courses taken in high school
  • Transcript must be sent from college/university that credit was granted through

Request that official transcripts be sent to:

Missouri Western State University
Office of Admissions
4525 Downs Drive
St. Joseph, MO 64507

Missouri Western State University requires all students to submit a Tuberculosis (TB) Screening Questionnaire

Students living on campus are required to submit:

  1. Tuberculosis (TB) Screening Questionnaire AND
  2. Meningococcal Immunization (MCV4 or MPSV4) documentation (given at 16 years of age or older) or if applicablesigned waiver that indicates you have medical or religious exemption from the meningococcal immunization OR
  3. Other official immunization records from the Health Department, a physician’s office, hospital or school.

Additionally, students who have ever had a positive tuberculin skin test, must submit a physician signed chest x-ray report with their health and immunizations records, prior to move-in to confirm the absence of active disease.

Prior to moving in, all documentation must be submitted by:

  • Mail: Esry Student Health Center, 4525 Downs Drive – Blum Union 203, St. Joseph, MO 64507 OR
  • Fax: (816) 271-4498 OR
  • Email:

Placement in math, reading, and writing courses at Missouri Western is determined by ACT/SAT sub-scores. Depending on your scores, you may be required to take development courses before completing your general education requirements in these areas.

If you have not taken the ACT/SAT, or if you are unsatisfied with your ACT/SAT score placement, we encourage you to consider taking placement exams. Placement exams are available for math, reading, writing, and foreign languages. Each test is available online, the unique instructions for each exam are available on the Placement Exam website.

In order to finalize your schedule during your advising session, it is very important that these tests are completed prior to your scheduled GO session.

If you plan to live on campus, you are required to have a Missouri Western meal plan. On-campus students sign-up for a meal plan through their housing application. If you are living off-campus, we encourage you to consider purchasing a commuter meal plan. Dining on campus is not only convenient, it also provides you an additional opportunity to connect with fellow students over breaks and meal times.

TO PURCHASE A MEAL PLAN, visit or contact the MWSU Business Office, Eder Hall, Room 104 (816.271.4324)

Students will receive an award notification from Missouri Western around the middle of December or as aid is awarded. You may access your information and accept offered awards online through Goldlink.

The U.S. Department of Education uses a process called verification to check the accuracy of student financial aid application data. Most applicants are selected by the Department of Education for verification at random. However, some are selected due to missing or inconsistent information.

If you are selected for verification, Missouri Western will notify you of the documents required to complete the application process. Keep in mind that your application will not be processed until ALL requested documents are submitted to the Financial Aid Office, all discrepancies are resolved and the necessary corrections are submitted to, and processed by, the U.S. Department of Education.

Questions? You will have an opportunity to talk to Financial Aid at your GO session, or contact them here.

Final Steps: Complete before classes begin

Attending your live Griffon Orientation is a mandatory step in the enrollment process. The online module walks you through completing necessary steps toward enrollment, but it is at the live session that you will meet with an advisor to confirm your class schedule. If you do not attend your live GO session, your class schedule is not guaranteed and you put yourself at risk for losing your place in the classes currently reflected on your Goldlink account.

Be sure you are registered for GO, and attend the full program. You will receive more information about the program in an email.

Parking is available for both residential and commuter students. You will need to register your car and pick up your parking sticker before classes begin. You will have an opportunity to do this during Griffon Edge.

You will need your student ID before you move-in or begin classes. You can visit the University Police office on the second floor of Blum Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. to get your ID. If you are living on campus and have not gotten your ID before move-in, arrive early. We will have a mobile Student ID station on site for move-in. Commuters will have the opportunity to get their Student ID during Griffon Edge.

Make Your Griffon Card the only Card on and off Campus!
You have enough to worry about in college without having to stress out about your finances. U.S. Bank makes it simple. Open a U.S. Bank checking account and turn your Griffon Card into your Campus ID and ATM/Debit Card — all in one. We’ve made it easy for you to manage your money with the best checking account for students in the country. Learn more about U.S. Bank!

Start using your Griffon Card as your ATM and PIN-based debit card today! Simply sign up for a U.S. Bank checking account at any branch, call us at 800-US BANKS (872-2657) or apply online at

For your convenience, U.S. Bank has an ATM in the Blum Union and has five branch offices in St. Joseph, MO including two that are in close proximity to the Missouri Western campus.

  • 2701 South Belt Highway – (816) 364-7337
  • 800 North Belt Highway – (816) 364-7692

The Griffon Alert system is designed to enhance and improve communication so that all members of the Missouri Western campus community can stay informed in the event of an emergency or campus closure due to weather. The system is designed for students, staff and faculty only, but each student may add additional emails and phone numbers for family members who wish to receive alerts.

Sign-up for Griffon Alert

Be sure to purchase or rent your textbooks at the Missouri Western Bookstore before classes begin. Professors will expect you to have them on the first day of class, and may even assign reading.

Confused about the book-buying process? Learn more about the bookstore, discounts, applying book vouchers, and more in this presentation, or view this video to see how to order your books online.

First, make sure you read the Residential Life student handbook to learn about the policies and guidelines you will be expected to follow while living on campus. Refer to pages 12-13 in the student handbook for a full list of items you need to leave at home. Some of those items include open-coil cooking appliances, burning candles and incense, portable heaters and flammable liquids.

Next, you’ll want to get in contact with your new roommates. This is important for multiple reasons. If you start chatting with your room and suitemates before Move-in Day, you’ll already form a relationship before you get here. Additionally, you’ll want to be clear on who is bringing what big items for your room. You’ll need to split bringing a television, mini-fridge (5 or fewer cubic feet), microwave, coffee maker, and vacuum.

Move-in for first-year students will be August 11th & 12th. Appointment times are required. Be sure to visit the official Residential Life Move-in website to sign up for an appointment and review check-in procedures.

Griffon Edge is a unique extended orientation course designed to give incoming freshmen and transfer students a head start, or an “edge,” on their Missouri Western experience. The experience offers you an opportunity to get acclimated to campus, learn about navigating college life, and most of all connect with fellow Griffons.  Griffon Edge 2020 takes place August 13th – 15th, learn more on our Griffon Edge website.

To ensure you are signed up for Griffon Edge, ask your advisor at orientation, or make sure Griffon Edge (CRN 15597) is on your class schedule.

Dates to Know:

  • August 11 & 12 – Move-in

  • August 13 – 15 – Griffon Edge

  • August 17 – First Day of Classes

Useful Links:

Website |(816) 271-4266

Business Office
Website | (816) 271-4324

Campus Dining
Website | (816) 271-4426

Financial Aid
Website | (816) 271-4361

Parking and Security
Website | (816) 271-5666

Residential Life
Website | (816) 383-7100