During the townhall, we simply could not answer all of your submitted questions, but we committed to answering as many as possible on this webpage. Here are many of those questions, which have also been cross-posted in other sections of our COVID-19 webpages.
Wellness clinicians are currently providing mental health services by phone and video to any student that requests support. If you’d like to obtain a consultation with a counselor, you may complete this form or email at email@example.com and we will assist you in scheduling a consultation time. Upon completing the form, a member of the Wellness team will respond to your request within 24 business hours.
Currently, in order to qualify for the Gateway Scholarship, students are required to have a combined SAT score of 1220 or ACT score of 27. We know that many students are concerned about the possibility of not being able to take or re-take the test. Additional standardized test dates have been added in fall 2020, including a September administration. Prospective students are encouraged to take advantage of the additional testing opportunities in fall 2020. While we don’t know what the future looks like just yet and much remains out of our control, as of now, we are planning on using the same criteria mentioned above. Once we have more information about test dates, and how this impacts our application deadlines, we will reevaluate with the potential to utilize other equivalent benchmarks of student success.
We have been working diligently to gather data from our partners and host institutions to identify every available unspent dollar we can return to our Spring 2020 students. Every program is different and each may have separate guidelines for details such as starting and ending dates, inclusions, scholarship awards and local regulations. Therefore, we are working a case-by-case basis. Some programs have already communicated reimbursement amounts, but we need to hear back from all our partners before making a uniform and fair decision. We hope to finalize this process no later than May 15.
At this point in the spring, we simply do not know if or how budgets may be affected. Ursinus has already been speaking with our counterparts in the Centennial Conference about what fall may look like. But as it relates to budgeting, we certainly will not think about women’s sports differently than men’s sports.
So many of our athletics decisions depends upon both the NCAA and the Centennial Conference. It is our hope the slate of fall sports continues as planned, but final decisions will be made as we enter summer months. It is simply too early to tell at this time, though Ursinus has started exploring all options with other members of the Centennial Conference.
Yes. Should you, unfortunately, not enroll in the fall, you would receive the $2,100 originally designated as the fall 2020 credit.
Yes, Ursinus scholarships and grants will be applied to the fall semester. Returning students will receive aid packages beginning in late May and early June once the spring semester grades have been finalized.
In most cases, a gap semester (or year) will not change their scholarship levels, the exception being for students who no longer meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. (You can see review that policy here.) It would be beneficial for any student considering these options to speak with the office of student financial services, so they understand all eligibility requirements for both merit- and need-based aid.
The unexpected switch to remote learning in March was difficult for everyone, but especially difficult for students with insufficient or no Internet access, or who had limited workspace away from college. Accordingly, Ursinus and most other colleges tended to avoid requiring synchronous class meetings for all students. For the fall semester, we hope to all be together in person, but should some students—those who are immune-compromised, for example—not be able to return to campus, faculty are working on a “hybrid” classroom approach where remote students can join regular classroom sessions digitally from home.
The college did raise the cap on the number of spring and summer online courses that can transfer to Ursinus. As to your question about aid: yes, student financial aid packages for 2020-2021 will continue as previously communicated to you and are based on the expectation that students will complete two semesters of coursework at Ursinus in the coming academic year.
Ursinus has regularly accepted courses for transfer without the prior approval of the “Study Elsewhere Form” (available here) and will continue to do so. However, for a guarantee about what will and will not transfer, students are strongly recommended to complete the form and wait for a reply from the college before paying and registering for courses at other institutions. A course that would not transfer before the pandemic will still not likely transfer.
We know there are some concerns about remote learning and how that differs from our campus experience, which is something we have always been proud of. Ursinus will make every attempt to offer in-person courses in the fall semester. At the same time, both our faculty and staff will work during the summer on techniques for enhancing the quality of remote learning, should that become necessary in order to comply with both the recommendations of the CDC and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
We anticipate that a two-hour block will work for the majority of individual students moving out of their rooms. However, if you have reason to request an extension of time (if you are the designated individual to remove common room items or do not have the assistance of other people, for example), then please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. In most cases, the staff will be more than happy to work with you once the official move-out communication with dates, times, and the sign-up form goes out. Understand that the health and safety of Ursinus students and their families are top priorities as Pennsylvania re-opens our move-out plan is implemented. It is imperative that the move-out plan prioritizes social distancing and has people return to campus to collect their belongings as quickly as possible.
Damages are assessed based on intentional room damage, not normal wear and tear. We anticipate a higher level of wear and tear this year as a result of students not occupying and maintaining their residence hall rooms for the last several weeks of the semester. We also will take into consideration that you have a limited amount of time to move out and that will likely prevent you from repairing any damages.
Ursinus College is not responsible for any damages that happen during the academic year or during breaks, for loss or theft of any personal property of students or their guests or for damage of any natural cause as outlined in the Student Handbook.
In general, any money allocated to the Activity Fund Allocation Committee (AFAC) that is not spent during the academic calendar year (Sept—May) reverts back to the general college fund. There is no roll over for student clubs or organizations unless they have fundraised or collected dues from members. Since there was no concert and we did not contract for any services such as security, the performance artist, lights/staging, catering or other logistics, the money will return to the college’s general fund.
The College has carefully considered how to pass more funds on to students and will share the entire CARES Act allocation of approximately $1.1 million with students. Parking and other ancillary fees which would amount to a much less impactful amounts will not refunded, but will be rolled into this amount. Parking fees, which are not charged on a per use or per-diem basis, are charged to contribute a small part of the funds used to maintain the parking facilities. These funds continue to be expended with paving and other maintenance, as allowed by the Governor.
Many of our students and their families have new and changing financial situations. Student financial services is considering current and changing needs of each student. If your situation has changed, please contact Student Financial Services.
Because of the Governor of Pennsylvania’s directives, the timeline for re-opening the campus is not yet clear. We are awaiting further word from the Governor regarding when we will be able to open during the summer and, once we can, how we may begin introducing people back to campus.
Each year, funds that remain in any college department budget on June 30, returns to the overall budget of the college. This will occur in each department as usual.
Due to increased expenses overall and decreased revenues, the COVID-19 shut down is costing the college approximately $5 - $6 million, 10% of the operating budget. We are working hard to save in any way possible to cover these losses. Keeping the college on sound financial footing for the long term remains an important focus.
Yes. All students, including those who live off-campus will be included in the need-based distribution of the $1.1M. from the CARES act, which will be handled by Student Financial Services.
Dining dollars were part of the board fees which have already been adjusted. Bear Bucks which are declining balance accounts are different and will be carried over for 2020-21 or refunded at the request of the student.
All Ursinus faculty and staff will be paid through June 30, at their normal rates and regular schedules whether they can work remotely, on campus or not at all. There will be more information available regarding anything beyond July 1, as that date approaches. Kitchen and cleaning staff are not college employees and are managed by their respective employers (Sodexo and Olympus.)
The cleaning staff (Olympus) have been working overtime to make sure our campus is sterilized. We have worked hard with Sodexo to try to transition their employees in the least disruptive way. Many Sodexo employees have been redeployed to other accounts, those who were not, are eligible for unemployment compensation, which has been increased by the federal government to provide approximately full wages (and for some, even more) under the CARES Act.
We are very careful to provide market rate quality salaries and good benefits, equal to 30% of employee salaries. We believe working conditions are extraordinarily positive and we continue to be committed to our employees as our most important asset. Employees of the college are encouraged to speak with our Human Resources team if they have questions or concerns regarding benefits or working conditions.
Due to increased expenses overall and decreased revenues, the COVID-19 shut down is costing the college approximately $5 - $6 million. We are working hard to save in any way possible to cover these losses, while balancing the needs of our employees and students. Keeping the college on sound financial footing for the long term remains an important focus.