Resources for High School Counselors

Don't let the OCC process intimidate students. We'll take you through pre-admission to registration so that you can support your students with confidence. Lets bridge the gap together. 


If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Office of Student Recruitment. We are happy to help! Send an email to or call (315)498-2221.

The Major Steps

There are a few keys things that need to be done for a student to officially become a Lazer. Choose from the specific steps below to find out more in-depth information. 

Before Applying

If students have questions about what major to choose, would like to visit campus, or just have general question about OCC, then this is the perfect time to connect with a Recruitment Specialist. You can have a Recruitment Specialist visit your school or they can connect virtually through text, email, or live session. 

OCC College Visit for High Schools

If you want to speak with a Recruitment Specialist who specializes in working with students from your area, here are their specialties. Please visit the Connect page for their contact info or to sign up to visit campus.

Exploring Academics

If your student hasn't decided on a program, a great jumping off point is our 8 Schools. Each School focuses on a specific academic area and houses the correlating degrees and certificates. 

Onondaga's 8 Schools

If students still aren't sure of what they are interested in after talking to a Recruitment Specialist, our Career Services can help students discover their options. They can get in touch by email


Applying is easy! No essays and no SAT/ACT scores required. The application takes about 5 to 10 minutes.

If students are unsure of what to major in, they can simply choose a School that is closest to their area of interest. 

Apply Now 

After Submitting an Application

Applications take 2 weeks to be processed once they are submitted. Then the student will receive an acceptance email and letter sent to their home. This letter will include the contact information for their Onboarding Contact.

Each student is assigned an Onboarding Contact, an OCC employee that acts as a single point of contact through the rest of the admissions process. This person will help students with the steps to enroll in classes, complete paperwork and help with any questions. They will also connect students with various offices on campus including financial aid, advising, etc.

Onboarding Contacts will reach out to students via text message and to their personal emails they included on their OCC application. Please encourage your students to check these frequently as their Onboarding Contact will be directing them with next steps. 

Students should:

For questions, please call Student Central at (315)498-2000

Financial Aid

We encourage students to apply for financial aid as soon as possible. A good time to do this is right after they apply.

Some helpful information:

  • FAFSA application:
  • Students and families/support members should also complete the TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) application, which will link directly from the FAFSA. This is for NYS residents only. 
  • Parents will need taxes from 2 years ago (ex: 2018 taxes will be used for 2020)
  •  The OCC school code is 002875

After submitting your FAFSA:

Once Financial Aid has received your FAFSA information, the student will get a letter in the mail and an email letting them know that their financial aid package will be available via their personal or OCC email (steps to set up an OCC email are located in the "Setting Up Accounts" tab).

If the student receives an email from Financial Aid letting them know that their FAFSA is incomplete, it may be due to one of the following:

  • Missing Signature
    • If the student is check as Dependent and a parent or guardians' signature is missing, Financial Aid will let them know.
    • If the student is checked as Independent Financial Aid will reach out to verify more information.
  • Selected Verification
    • Any student who applies can be chosen at random. If chose, Financial Aid will send an email with a link and the student must upload tax return information (W2, 1040) for Financial Aid to verify. 
  • Citizenship Verification
    • If a student is flagged by the government, financial aid must verify the student's citizenship. Financial Aid will send an email and the student must submit their birth certificate and/or passport to be verified.


For more complete information on the financial aid process visit our financial aid website. 

Financial Aid 

Reach out to or (315)-498-2000. 

Pay Tuition Bill

For guidelines on how to pay tuition bill, please visit

Important note for students that live outside of Onondaga County: they must fill out a Certificate of Residence form in order to be charged in-County tuition. If they do not submit this form, they will be charged out-of-state tuition rates. 

Looking for information on scholarships? View that tab below. 

Setting Up Accounts

Once the student has received their acceptance letter and their transcript(s) have been turned in, they'll receive an email with a link to set up an OCC email and a MyOCC account (student portal). Follow the email instructions step by step.

The email account is where the Financial Aid package will go, as well as be a primary form of direct communication with the student on all things OCC. Please encourage students to get in the habit of checking their college email. 

The MyOCC account is how students will register for classes, see their grades, and pay their bill.

Need help?

Have the student send an email to or call Student Central at (315) 498-2000. 

Registering for Classes

First year students will meet with an advisor to register for classes. Students can visit their School page to sign up for an appointment to register for classes or reach out with any questions they have. 

Housing Application

This is for students interested in on-campus housing. They must submit a separate housing application after they have:

  1. Applied to OCC and chosen a major
  2. Registered for at least 12 credits and 9 of them taken on campus

Things to note:

  • There is a non-refundable $200 application fee
  • Students must submit all required documents outlined in the admission and housing application processes in order to be assigned a room.

Visit the housing website to learn more.

Residence Hall Application

For questions about housing applications, send an email to For questions about residence life, send an email to 

Additional Programs

Depending on your students' needs and individual situations, they may qualify for one or more of our equity- and support-focused programs. Please see the below programs for details. 

The Box of Books program is available to all students, and all students are invited to apply for scholarships. 

Students with an IEP

Students who had a documented disability in high school should submit their 504 plan, IEP, and a copy of psychological testing to OAR upon admission to OCC. Other forms of appropriate documentation include reports from a student's physician, ACCESS/VR, Department of Veterans Affairs, or Workers' Compensation. All reports must detail the exact nature of the disability.

You can fax the information to 315-498-2977.

For assistance you can email or call 315-498-2245.

Office of Accessibility Resources

Veterans Affairs

For military veterans or children of military vets only

The Veterans Affairs office acts as a direct link between our students and the VA regional office, which includes handling VA benefit certification and payment inquiries. We're here to help you through the traditional college process, academic planning, and assistance with your VA education benefits. 

Veterans Affairs

Reach out with questions at or 315-498-2200. 


Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) provides academic advising, career counseling, financial support, and paid internship opportunities to ethnically underrepresented, economically disadvantaged college students pursuing a career in science, technology, math, or engineering.

Qualifications include:

  • New York State resident of at least one year
  • Historically underrepresented (see the first page of the application)
  • Intends to pursue a STEM degree
  • 12 credit hours at OCC
  • Average of 82 or above, or GPA of 2.7 or above

For the complete qualifications and the application, view our CSTEP page. 


Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

The mission of EOP is to provide access, academic support, and financial assistance to first-time, full-time students who show promise for succeeding in college, but who may need additional support throughout their time at Onondaga. The program is designed to strengthen personal development and assist in building academic skills as students transition to the College's social and cultural environment. If you think your student is a good fit for this comprehensive program please visit the webpage.


Box of Books

We've partnered with Barnes & Nobles to to help reduce the price of textbooks and make the process of receiving them easier. Students will receive all of their books in the beginning of the semester, and it's free to sign up.

To use the program:

  1. Students should be registered for classes
  2. Then they can reserve their box of books with the Bookstore online
  3. Students should pick them up at OCC's bookstore before classes start or have the books shipped to them for free

For a more complete look at the program, visit Box of Books


We offer substantial scholarships through the OCC Foundation. Students from all backgrounds and all degree programs are eligible for scholarships and are encouraged to apply. It's free to apply and doesn't require any essay writing. Students can view available scholarships and apply here

Excelsior Scholarship

This scholarship program is offers NYS residents tuition-free college at New York's public colleges and universities to families making up to $125,000 a year. To see if a student is eligible, view the qualifications on New York's Education site.


Helpful Contacts

For specific questions about any of the information above, please use the connected web pages as well at the email and phone numbers provided as it relates to the subject.

If students need guidance relating to Lazer ID cards, getting their email and WebAdvisor accounts set up, or other general questions, they should contact Student Central.

Student Central