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Housing, academic modifications announced for fall 2020

Returning students must indicate housing, meal plan preferences by July 15

By and
University News Editors
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Returning undergraduate students must submit housing and meal plan preferences by July 15, according to an email from Dean of the College Rashid Zia ’01 and Vice President for Campus Life Eric Estes. Students also received financial aid packages today, so that award amounts may inform their decisions about the coming academic year.

Both notifications follow the University’s Tuesday morning announcement of a tri-semester model for the upcoming academic year. Students will enroll in two out of the three terms offered, and campus life will be shifted to support social distancing and public health measures necessary to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, The Herald previously reported.

Housing

Given the University’s plan to house students in de-densified, single-occupancy residential arrangements, housing requests and groups formed in the first phase of the housing lottery this spring will change accordingly. In place of housing group formations, students may select one other student they would like to be placed near as part of a housing questionnaire, according to the Housing Assignment FAQs on the Office of Residential Life website. 

Housing assignments will be made according to semester-level priority, and assignments for the fall are for one semester only — students living on campus should be prepared to move out or change residences at the end of the fall. Juniors and seniors who did not already have off-campus living permission may also request on the form to be placed onto the off-campus permission waitlist.

Returning students will be notified of their housing assignments by Aug. 10, according to the email. Students will move onto campus on a staggered schedule between Aug. 29 and Sept. 1. No more than two people may accompany a student to campus during move-in.

A positive case of COVID-19 on campus will not lead to a full shutdown of campus operations, President Christina Paxson P’19 said in a news briefing Tuesday afternoon. “We are prepared to deal with illness, and we think it’s likely there will be some cases of illness,” she said.

Academics

In their email, Zia and Estes attached a “provisional, partial” course list for the upcoming academic year. Academic departments currently plan to offer more than 800 courses in the fall. Not all advanced course requirements will be available each semester, Paxson noted during the news briefing. Many will be offered only in the fall in order to accommodate concentration requirements for upperclassmen. 

Students will be able to review courses, delivery modes and schedules in Courses@Brown by July 27, and course pre-registration for the fall will begin Aug. 5. Shopping period will take place remotely, according to the Healthy Brown website. Classes will be offered online-only between Sept. 9 — when classes begin in the fall — and Sept. 15. 

Courses with 20 or more students will be held remotely, and all classes will have a remote participation option to accommodate students completing coursework from beyond College Hill.

Zia and Estes also noted that international students holding F-1 visas will receive more information from Global Brown later this week in light of a recent modification to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

The SEVP change, which was announced July 6, prohibits international students with F-1 and M-1 visas from studying in the United States if their course load is fully remote. Under a hybrid model of teaching such as the University’s, international students must certify that they are taking the “minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program,” according to a news release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“We’re going to have to offer very good advising to our international students to make sure that the curriculum they put together makes it possible for them to stay in the country,” Paxson said during the news briefing. “We’ll make sure our students won’t have to leave unless they absolutely have to or unless they want to.”

Financial aid

The Office of Financial Aid has determined awards and eligibility for the upcoming academic year, and will continue to work with students and families to finalize plans, Dean of Financial Aid Jim Tilton wrote in an email to students receiving aid from the University. Eligible students can view their financial aid awards in Banner Self-Service, according to the email from Zia and Estes.

The aid packages were not released prior to the announcement of the revised academic calendar, since they depended on the shape of the coming academic year, Tilton wrote in an email to The Herald prior to the finalization of the tri-semester plan.

Tuition fees will remain the same, Paxson said at the news briefing. The “value of education is very high” under a majority-remote model of instruction, regardless of revisions to the academic calendar, Paxson said.

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