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Arrival Instructions for August 2021

Instructions vary based on your vaccination status and where you will be living

All students who will live in on-campus housing should have received email by Wednesday evening, August 4, 2021 with detailed instructions based on your housing assignment and arrival time. Please read that email carefully and save it to refer to during your travel. If you did not receive email, contact the Housing office at or 607-255-5368, Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm.


Move-in dates for new students are August 19, 20 and 21. Move-in dates for upperlevel returning students are August 22, 23 and 24. If you will be arriving early for a pre-orientation program, refer to the instructions from that program’s office.


You can review your arrival date and time in the housing portal. If you need to change the date or time, log in to the housing portal to request a new time.


If you are bringing family members or guests with you, they will be permitted to enter campus facilities as appropriate. You and your guests are required to wear a mask and physically distance when in any campus building regardless of vaccination status.


Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated students must go directly to an arrival test


Cornell is requiring vaccination for COVID-19 for students returning to campus for the fall.  Students who are not able to obtain vaccination, or whose vaccination is not recognized by Cornell, will start their move-in process with a COVID-19 arrival test. Schedule your arrival test to coincide with the arrival/move-in time you selected. You can do so the day prior by using the Supplemental Test link on your Daily Check homepage for your arrival day. Be sure to complete your arrival test prior to moving into your fall residence. 


For those students arriving via personal vehicle, ride share, or taxi, please go to Bartels Hall, 554 Campus Road, for your test. For those arriving via public transportation or bus, please go to Robert Purcell Community Center, 107 Jessup Road, for your test. Upon completing your arrival test, you will receive a card that allows you to proceed with move-in. If testing is closed upon your arrival, please proceed to your building to call your RA for the after-hours check-in process and plan to proceed to Robert Purcell Community Center for testing first thing the following morning.


If you do not complete your arrival test within 48 hours of your arrival, your access to campus services will be restricted until you complete the test.


Remain away from others until you receive your test results. You may use your meal plan for meals in the dining halls, but remember to wear your mask and maintain physical distance.

Wear a mask at all times while indoors, and outside if you cannot maintain physical distancing.

If you are not fully vaccinated or have not begun the vaccination process, please go to the Cornell Health vaccination website for more information about where and how to receive your vaccination. You will also be enrolled through Daily Check for ongoing surveillance testing through the fall semester.

Fully vaccinated students, go directly to your arrival area

Fully vaccinated students should proceed directly to their arrival area. Follow specific instructions for arrival and move-in that were included in the email you received on August 8, 2021. Please note that you’ll be able to schedule your ongoing surveillance testing through Daily Check after your arrival.

Wear a mask at all times while indoors, and outside if you cannot maintain physical distancing.

Unloading and parking

Students/families may bring only one vehicle onto campus on move-in days.  You must be able to carry your own personal belongings. Vehicles over 14 feet in length are not permitted, except for SUVs, pick-up trucks, or standard vans/minivans.


You must adhere to the unloading locations specified in the email for your particular date and residence. Do not drive on any pedestrian walkways not designated for these locations. Bins/carts will be available at some buildings to assist with moving belongings from unloading point to building/rooms. “No Parking” areas, including fire access pathways, will be strictly enforced.

In most locations you’ll need to place your unloading permit on your dashboard; this will be your parking permit. You will unload into a staging area. While the driver moves the car to parking, students can begin moving items into their rooms.

The driver must remain with the vehicle during the unloading process. Do not leave your vehicle.

If you need accommodations for the move-in process, please contact Student Disability Services at


The University has prepared driving directions for North Campus, West Campus and South Campus, including a map of locations to park after unloading. Do not rely on GPS once you arrive in Ithaca. Please follow signs and/or directions from traffic personnel. You do not need to purchase a parking permit or pay a parking fee on August 19, 20 or 21.

Where to eat, and meal plans

Most of Cornell Dining’s eateries will be open during move-in days, and are open to students and guests. Student meal plans begin with lunch on Thursday, August 19, 2021. At most eateries guests can pay by credit card; some eateries also accept cash. Use Cornell Dining Now at to search for eateries by region of campus.

 Wear a mask at all times while indoors, and outside if you cannot maintain physical distancing. You may eat indoors and you may unmask while eating.



Family Orientation sessions will take place on August 19, 20 and 21, 2021 and will be repeated each day. Read about Family Orientation. Families and guests must wear masks at all times while indoors, and outside if you cannot maintain physical distancing.

Orientation for new first-year and transfer students will begin the evening of Saturday, August 21. Read more about Orientation.


Please visit or contact us at or 607-255-5368, Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm.