FAQ section: how the regular student should respond to coronavirus pandemic
Will students have the opportunity to obtain their degrees?
In most schools, the situation is quite fluent, as there is still no adequate data about the danger and the continuity of the pandemic. The virus has caused considerable delay in higher education so that the students can probably have trouble in getting their degrees. For many students, quarantine measures are substantial and affect studying routine tremendously. Some of them were involved in various study abroad programs. Some of them took part in their internships or fieldwork.
For now, all such activities are suspended, and students risk to get fewer credits than required or even fail to enter future courses. Generally, schools and universities follow almost the same scenario to respond to the COVID-19 attack, but in every educational institution, there are their own rules. Thus, to have the most recent and adequate information, you should contact your university department.
What scenario to expect in terms of on-campus classes and events?
The answer is clear. All the on-campus classes have been canceled to protect students. Therefore, the studying process will be remote, and lectures and seminars will be held in the form of online classes for all students.
If we talk about on-campus events, the chances are high that colleges will postpone the events, except for a few workshops, which are obviously remote mow.
I have planned to go abroad and join the university program in another country this summer or fall. Will I have to cancel it all?
The virus is extremely unexpected, and for this reason, we cannot foresee how the events will develop. Since the circumstances considering COVID-19 are not predictable, we do not have a single and decisive answer to this very question. Currently, we can claim exactly that all programs planned for Spring 2020 are now canceled. If the pressure is going to rise, they will be forced to cancel the trips for the Summer as well. If there are any changes to the program you participate in, you will be surely notified.
How should we, international students who study here, treat the measures and the quarantine in general?
COVID-19 has caused a tremendous threat to the students’ health. Thus, the US administration has had to take measures to provide the most beneficial situation for traveling. Therefore, if you planned the trips for this time, you need to contact the agency responsible for moving between countries for the COVID-19 pandemic period.
What steps should I do if I feel sick? Is there any guidance?
If you feel under the weather, the first and foremost step would be to staying home. You cannot risk the life and health of people outside. You are socially responsible, and the best way to prove it is to engage in social distancing. The next step would be a call to your primary care provider. If there are circumstances that hamper you contact your primary care provider, feel free to reach Student Health Services. If you need help, these services will try to answer your questions via online platforms.
If you are an international student and you feel sick, you should also contact the Student Health Centre for help.
I have noticed that my family-member showed the symptoms of flu after returning home from abroad. What should I do?
There are basic recommendations that everyone has to follow to protect themselves from any kind of respiratory illness. These are basic steps, and, for your own sake, try not to avoid them:
- try to wash your hands with antibacterial soap as often as possible, even if you are staying home;
- never touch your face with unwashed hands;
- stay away from sick people or keep 2 meters distances between you and a sick person;
- if you cough or sneeze, use a tissue or your bent elbow;
- try to keep your room nice, clean, and disinfected.
What offices I can still visit during the quarantine time?
If you need some help or you have questions to answer, you can do it remotely. Each and every office has managed to convey its facilities in the online format. Therefore, you can get everything you need without leaving your house.
Will it be possible to submit official appeals or financial aid claims online?
In this case, your task is to contact the department and check how it conducts the procedure. In general, it is possible to send the document via email or by uploading it to the portal.
What are the circumstances that will enable the students to come back to the on-campus studying?
You will not get access to any campus of the university until there is an official claim from the government of the country.
How do computer labs work now?
Since most campuses are closed, each and every activity that the students were engaged into, is closed for an uncertain period of time. Therefore, you can conclude that computer labs are closed as well. If you need remote access, you should contact your individual departments to get it.
All my textbooks are on the campus, and I can get them back now. How should I act in this situation?
If you find it difficult to find the appropriate materials, many libraries are ready to help you remotely. Together with the university administration, libraries are now developing the digitized versions of all necessary materials to provide flawless studying processes.
Do I need to make use of a VPN connection to study remotely?
No, you do not have additional apps or systems to have access to your classroom.
At home, there is no computer or laptop. Since the labs and the libraries are closed, will the university give such students temporary equipment?
You should contact your mentor and tell what your problem is so that they can address it quickly and find what you need in the shortest possible period.
Will this remote teaching touch upon every discipline?
In general, all classes are now held in the form of online lectures or seminars. You should ask your professor for further and more in-depth details.
Is it possible to suspend payments or get a refund for the classes that I cannot attend online?
If you face any challenges or inconvenience considering the way classes are conducted, you should at once contact your instructor and tell the details. There should be ways to help you cope with it and get into the studying mode. The instructor can advise you on various alternatives and suggest ways to cooperate with the tasks during the quarantine time, especially if the situation will continue until the end of a semester.
Are there still credits that the university takes into account during the quarantine time?
All students who study at the university will be evaluated at the end of the term on the basis of regular tests, which can be possibly conducted remotely. To have the best academic performance, continue doing in-class tasks, and participating in the classes to show the professor your commitment.
Do the credits value the same?
Yes. To maintain an appropriate academic performance level, you should be active and do the homework on time. It will ensure your great academic record.
If my classes are canceled, what should I do? Do I need to drop them? Can I have an alternative?
You should understand that the classes are still present in your schedule. They cannot be canceled. You should continue taking part in online discussions and do the homework. Your credits will still depend on your in-class involvement.
Can I miss the deadline if I contract COVID-19?
If you are not feeling well, make sure to let your instructor know it. Do not panic if you notice COVID-19 symptoms. Call to your healthcare provider or regular doctor and follow the instructions. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you should be engaged in total quarantine and avoid meeting with people. If you feel worse, immediately ask for professional help.
If I have classes to start in April, should I consider them to appear in my schedule?
In general, most classes you will have remotely. However, to get full information in terms of a new discipline in your schedule, you need to ask your instructor.
COVID-19 related problems caused substantial financial hardships for me. Can someone help me?
If you are facing some financial challenges due to the situation around the virus, you can try contact your university to receive an advice.
Can I gave any refunds for the expenses?
In general, each school and university has its own policy towards refunds for the students during the quarantine.
Actually, the rule is that the universities should compensate room expenses if they ask their students to leave the dormitory. Also, there should be money-back guarantees for the students who underwent board issues.
Even if the university promised to refund the expenses to some extent, the circumstances are now absent until the COVID-19 quarantine period ends. The universities will have to conduct massive calculations to provide clear and fair refunds for each student.
If there are families who suffered from Coronavirus pandemic and now have no possibility to pay for the university, there are special adjustments for them. The university can adhere to the costs to the present family's income until the situation is stabilized.
On the side note, you should understand that such measures will be conducted and performed on a case-by-case basis. Thus, try to treat the payment issues carefully, as such policy is not a common case at all.
If I have to move out on short notice, will I get any financial assistance?
The situation is still controversial, and the outcome depends on the decision of the university, but in some cases, this scenario is possible.
For some students, the decision to move out has posed an extreme financial burden. They faced difficulties in paying for their bus, train, or plane to return home. In many cases, the administration of the university suggests its financial aid, and all you need is to address the financial aid office of the university and explain the situation. If you cannot afford your travel home, you should immediately contact the administration, discuss your particular situation, and then see whether there can be any additional help in such a tough situation.
If I need to stay on campus, what can I do?
For some students, the campus is the only place where they can stay, and there are a few reasons for such a restricted choice. First of all, they can simply have no place to go. Second of all, they can be from different countries where the outbreak of the disease is much worse. Thus, there is no point for them to return home in such dangerous times.
Therefore, universities are forced to ask their students to leave the campus, but if your situation is unsolvable, you should contact your campus administration office and fill the form of approval to stay there.
If I participate in a work-study program, will I still be paid?
Actually, the answer is YES. If you have been engaged in federal study-work programs, you should collect your payment checks, even if your employer has shut down due to coronavirus infection.
This rule is applicable if the campus had to close after the term has started. You should expect to get paid as well if the university is still meeting its wage share requirements.
Graduate students who take part in such activities should also be paid if the staff of the university still gets their salaries. However, if you only plan to participate in a study-work program, this will not take place in the nearest future, unfortunately.
Will pandemic affect campus tours and weekends?
Many schools now have canceled prospective visits from other universities. In some cases, they only postponed the visit. Lots of universities have also canceled the admitted weekends for the students. Some universities are as well against admissions events to be held in the upcoming weeks.
Such measures, as social distancing protocols among the universities, are used as a precaution during the pandemic period. Therefore, even if you have planned a series of tours, you still should wait till the end of this unstable situation. Universities try to keep their trainees informed and tuned concerning the latest news, so you will definitely get the information if these severe quarantine measures are loosened and new regulations implemented.
I’m an ESL student. How should I deal with my SAT exams?
Foreign students who need to pass their SAT exams are supposed to contact their university department to learn more about the procedure in the current situation. If it is an urgent matter for you, you should immediately contact your instructor and then explain your problem to the authorized person.
If you are asked to wait until the situation is more stable, you can use this time for your own benefit and get ready for the test. This is another form of standardized tests that focuses more on high-level vocabulary and good reading. Therefore, if you need to wait, you can focus your attention on these aspects and improve them. Don't miss the opportunity to become better and take advantage of your free time.
Early Decision and Early Action Measures
Nowadays, humanity faces enormous challenges, and we need to respect it. Quarantine measures are temporary, but we have to treat them responsibly and do our best for the sake of others. We hope these quarantine measures will help resolve this tough situation, and students will be back to their normal studying routine soon, but now online learning is the only way.
We hope this Q&A section helped you figure out different misunderstandings and get a clearer picture of what is going to happen in the next couple of weeks and how to operate in such situations.