FAQs: Questions from the Student Government Association


Will there be adjustments to my tuition, fees, room and board, or dining fees as a result of the move to remote learning?

Yes. Please see www.umass.edu/coronavirus/news/umass-amherst-will-adjust-student-room-and-board-fees .

I returned early from my study abroad program. Will I receive any account adjustments?

The university will reimburse students the cost of Spring 2020 flight changes up to $500, if the student’s program provider is unable to do so. Programs have been modified by program providers, but curriculum has continued and credits will be awarded upon completion. Students with individual questions should contact their advisor.

No decisions have been made at this time related to Summer 2020 study abroad programs.  Please look for updates on our Coronavirus website.

Can I receive a refund for a portion of my parking permit fee if I am no longer parking on campus?

Yes. See www.umass.edu/coronavirus/news/umass-amherst-will-adjust-student-room-and-board-fees  .   

Will students still receive paychecks for the full spring semester?

The university’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) has included a transition to remote learning for all students and a significant reduction in on-campus operations and personnel.

Student employees serving in federal work-study positions, students whose employment is subject to a collective bargaining agreement, student paid for hourly work on a research project, and students who have been identified as critical employees may continue their employment beyond April 4. These positions may be subject to schedule changes and/or remote work.

We recognize that the unexpected loss of income from student employment may add to the stress of an already difficult situation. With that in mind, the university has extended payroll for two weeks for student employees who have lost their work hours due to the disruption and has established a process to apply for additional support for student employees who face financial hardship as a result (see below).

Is financial support available for students who are facing hardships as a result of the coronavirus?

Students with personal circumstances or extreme hardships should contact the Office of the Dean of Students for support (See www.umass.edu/dean_students/student-support-request-referral). We are monitoring the bills being passed by Congress and will advise students of any additional help available.


Can I still live on campus?

No. The deadline for students to let the university know that they needed to remain on campus was March 18.

Can UMass help facilitate changes to my off campus lease?

Lease agreements for off campus housing are legal contracts between the student and the landlord. The university has no authority to intervene in the lease or to force landlords to change their policies. Fee paying undergraduate and graduate students with concerns regarding their leases should contact Student Legal Services. See https://www.umass.edu/slso/ for contact information and relevant informational seminars/events.


Will there still be attendance requirements for my course?  

Faculty are responsible for the content of their courses. The Provost has disseminated information about disrupted and resilient teaching to all instructors (see www.umass.edu/provost/disruption-resilient-instruction). That information included instructions for recording lectures and encouraged faculty to think about appropriate changes to their syllabus to enable a smoother transition to online. The Center for Teaching and Learning has also launched a Keep Teaching website and is offering phone and Zoom consultations to instructors to advise on how best to transition to remote learning.  If you have specific issues with your courses, please contact your professor or advisor.

Will the class withdrawal date be extended?

The deadline to withdraw from classes has been extended to April 29, 2020.

Can I still take an incomplete for my courses this semester?

Assignment of grades is the responsibility of the faculty member teaching each course. This is no less true during unprecedented circumstances like those we face today. The Provost’s Office and Deans will be encouraging faculty to take these circumstances into account and exercise as much flexibility as reasonably possible when determining grades for this semester.  For your specific circumstances, please contact your professor.

Can I take my courses pass/fail this semester?

Yes. Please see this announcement: www.umass.edu/coronavirus/spring-term-2020-guidelines-regarding-passfail-and-satunsat-options.

How will my study abroad credit be handled?

The International Programs Office (IPO) is working with the Provost’s Office and academic departments to ensure that students, especially graduating seniors, are able to receive the credit they were signed up for.  In the vast majority of cases, partner universities and study-abroad programs are making arrangements for remote completion of study abroad courses, so there should be minimal academic disruption.  Where this is not possible, IPO will work with academic departments to provide some form of comparable enrollment through UMass options (UWW courses, independent study, etc.) at no extra cost to the student.  Please contact abroad@ipo.umass.edu.

Will I still graduate if my courses/credits were disrupted?

The university intends to do whatever is reasonably possible to ensure that the graduation/certification of students scheduled to graduate this spring is not delayed due to the current COVID-19 situation. The Provost’s Office and Deans are working closely to determine the best approaches to these circumstances. Students in these courses can expect an update on the University’s coronavirus website as soon as these determinations have been made. You can also contact your professor with specific questions.

Can I still use the library for my classes and research?

Yes. Although the libraries, including the W. E. B. Du Bois Library, will be closed until further notice, Library staff will be updating the library website and will ramp up support for online services including scanning course reserve materials, digital interlibrary loan and online research support. All library resources still available are listed on the library website: www.library.umass.edu/about-the-libraries/covid-19-updates/

Student Support Services

Can I still use the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health this semester?

Yes. There are no plans to close CCPH. Please visit the CCPH website for more information: www.umass.edu/counseling/

Can I still use University Health Services this semester?

UHS remains open this semester, but patients are asked to call before coming to the building for care. Adult routine physicals are cancelled, but pediatric well visits remain available. The Pharmacy remains open. Students can also call in to the Telehealth appointment line to schedule time with a provider: 413-577-5101.

Can I still access the Assistive Technology Center while off campus?

The UMass Assistive Technology Center (ATC) will operate remotely Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and provide access to a wide variety of software to help students, staff and faculty access courses digitally. If you are a person with a disability seeking assistance in accessing your electronic courses through Moodle or Blackboard, ATC can provide access to: Screen readers; Magnification software; Dictation software; Text-to-speech programs; Task management applications; Note-taking tools for your Windows PC, Mac, iOS, or Android device; Chrome extensions to maximize your ability to access online classes; and Assistive Technology Work Stations. Individuals do not need to be a registered user of Disability Services to access much of this technology, but they do need to be registered to remotely access Assistive Technology Work Stations. Contact ATC at 413-545-9623 or atc@umass.edu, or visit www.umass.edu/it/assistive.


Will I still have my commencement this year?

The May commencement is postponed and future plans are still being drafted. Please see this announcement: www.umass.edu/coronavirus/news/announcement-about-umass-amherst-commencement. If you have suggestions on how to celebrate seniors and graduation under these circumstances, please write to commencement@umass.edu

Will UMass provide assistance in bringing students back to campus for a future commencement ceremony?

We recognize the disruption postponing commencement causes for our students and their families. However, we are not in a position to provide financial assistance to those students who wish to return to campus for any future events.


How is the university addressing employee health and safety?

Only those employees deemed critical remain on campus. Employees designated as working onsite who are over the age of 60, pregnant, or who suffer from a chronic health condition such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease are eligible for alternative work assignments during the COVID-19 outbreak. Such employees should contact Central HR at 413-687-2283 or Covid19HR@umass.edu, and the HR representative will work with the employee to approve the request and inform the supervisor. The employee is responsible for finalizing the details of work assignment with the department.

Is UMass advocating for any federal or state bills to support higher education during this pandemic?

Our government relations staff are reviewing all state and federal bills that are being produced in light of the coronavirus. The campuses in the UMass system are jointly advocating for those bills that directly impact higher education.

How can I stay up to date on decisions and changes on campus?

The UMass COVID-19 website (www.umass.edu/coronavirus/) is the best resource for information. Please continue to check the website for new information, and let us know if there are questions not addressed that we could add to the website.