Note: Answers to questions 1 and 6 have been updated to reflect a clarifying message from University Financial Aid.
To Our Undergraduates:
We write today to provide additional information regarding on-campus housing for the Spring 2021 semester. As noted in Monday’s message from the interim president and provost, this process begins while some other aspects of the spring semester remain unclear—and all have the potential to change based on new developments.
We regret that the pandemic continues to cause so much uncertainty. We strive to provide the most current and accurate information available, but also do not want to provide false certainty by communicating too quickly and/or failing to emphasize the rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic. We appreciate your patience.
Below are answers to some of the more common inquiries we have received since Monday. If additional aspects of the process remain unclear, please do not hesitate to submit them using this form.
- If students indicate a preference for on-campus housing by Oct. 12, but later learn that all or most of their courses will be taught remotely, can they change their preference without penalty?
Yes, if students decide they do not want to live on campus because of course delivery modalities, they will be able to change their preferences without financial penalty from University Housing. However, due to federal financial aid regulations, students may see changes in their financial aid or scholarship as a result of changes in their housing arrangements. We will provide additional details about deadlines for withdrawing room requests once we finalize dates for posting spring courses and their modalities in the Student Information System.
- When do you expect to post spring courses and their modalities?
The process of identifying spring course offerings and delivery options is underway, with posting expected in early November, before registration begins. We will provide more specific information as soon as it is available.
- What happens if course delivery modalities change after a student moves into campus housing for the spring semester?
Students who wish to leave campus housing because of a change or changes in course delivery will be able to do so without paying for housing for the entire semester. Students will be assessed a pro-rated fee for the time spent in campus housing.
- If students do not indicate a preference by next week’s deadline, are they locked out of campus housing for the spring?
Yes. The only exceptions that we will consider involve those students who experience a significant change in circumstances between October and late January. We expect that requests for on-campus housing will exceed available rooms, so must be firm about deadlines.
- The email sent Monday indicated that exceptions would be considered for extenuating circumstances. Should students list those circumstances on the Campus Housing form due Monday, Oct. 12?
No. We will consider exceptions separately from this initial process, with a different form.
- Will students now living on campus who opt not to live on campus in the spring be charged a penalty for leaving campus housing mid-year (i.e. because their original assignments from the spring were for the entire academic year)?
Students who choose to move off campus for the spring will not face financial penalty from University Housing, though due to federal financial aid regulations, students may see changes in their financial aid or scholarship as a result of changes in their housing arrangements. The pandemic’s impact required changes to most of the assignments made last spring.
- Will students who lived on campus this semester be able to remain in the same location in the spring semester?
Students will be able to remain in the same room or suite if they would like. They also will have the option to request a change in on-campus housing location.
- In the fall, students who had to move to new rooms or suites still paid the rates of their original on-campus housing assignments. Will that practice continue in the spring?
Yes, students who choose to remain in the same room or suite in the spring will pay the same rates for housing as they did this fall.
- Will students who did not have the opportunity to live on campus in the fall but approved for housing this spring be able to keep their original room assignments (i.e. the ones they selected in the spring of 2020)?
No. We will not relocate students now living in campus housing to accommodate assignments made in the spring of 2020. The university will work with students approved for spring housing regarding types of potential assignments (i.e. building, room, etc.). Some changes may have financial implications, and those will be shared before students make final decisions.
- Let’s say a student had a housing assignment from the selection process completed last spring, but then was ineligible for campus housing this fall. If that student is approved to live on campus in the spring of 2021, will the housing charge be the same as it would have been per the original housing assignment?
No. The pandemic’s impact required changes to most of the assignments made last spring, and the short timeframe of those changes meant that students living on campus this fall had little to no choice regarding their fall housing assignment. Because of the greater lead time in the process for allocating spring 2021 housing, students will have greater opportunity to consider room and/or suite selections. As a result, students approved to live on campus for the first time next semester will be charged the rate for that spring 2021 assignment. Housing will work with students to identify options within the range of the original selections made in the spring of 2021.
- Will more than one student be allowed to live in a suite?
Yes. Some suites with individual bedrooms already have more than one student living in them this semester; the total capacity depends on the number of bathrooms.
- Will student requests to live with or near other students be accommodated?
Because we are in the earlier stages of this process, we do not yet know how much flexibility the housing office will have in making specific assignments.
- How many additional housing slots will be available in the spring of 2021?
That figure depends on the number of students who choose to remain in campus housing next semester.
- Can students who complete the form before Oct. 12 but then change their minds return to the forms to indicate their new preferences?
The form can only be submitted once. Those who change their minds regarding on-campus housing before the Oct. 12 deadline will need to contact housing directly at email@example.com to indicate their new preferences.
Students may not change their submitted preferences after the Oct. 12 deadline unless they experience a significant change in circumstances (see question 4).
- When will students know whether they have been approved for campus housing?
Because the process has just begun, we do not yet have a firm sense of the volume of requests. After the October 12 deadline passes, we will be able to assess demand and provide an estimate of how long the review period will take.
Again, we appreciate your patience and cooperation as we work through this process with you.
Vice President for Campus Services
Vice President for Student Affairs