Fall Semester Q&A
Updated August 3, 2020
COVID-19 and Returning to Cornell in Fall 2020
This is a historic moment in the life of Cornell College. There are many uncertainties ahead, and we are emboldened to meet the challenges together as we provide the best education possible. We are embracing and making the most of our block plan to minimize disruption to our delivery of a world-class education.
We will welcome students back to campus in August as a part of our Caring Community, and we have put a number of safety precautions in place to do everything we can to keep our campus healthy.
We are realistic in acknowledging that pandemic-related variables and health-based responses will continue to evolve. With the block plan, we’re in a position to change our approach rapidly to respond to current health conditions (on campus, in our area, and nationally) and minimize disruption to your education. That could mean enhancing the safety precautions we have on campus to protect our community even further, or it could mean returning to online instruction during any block for everyone’s safety. How we care for each other, as a residential community, will play a significant part in determining what happens next.
Fall plan and Principles
Students, faculty, and staff will return to campus in a phased approach dictated by our guiding principles and the current status of the COVID-19 virus in Iowa, with specific attention to Linn and Johnson counties. A research team of Cornell faculty and students has been working hard to review local COVID-19 testing and hospital data to create a comprehensive fact-based decision-making matrix for the college.
Our guiding principles for responding to the pandemic are these:
- We value the Cornell community and the life, safety, and dignity of each of its members.
- Our goal remains to facilitate learning in an immersive environment, with a preference for in-person classes and interactions.
- We strive to work with individual needs, when feasible.
- We take into consideration our impact on the wider Mount Vernon-Lisbon, Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City community.
- We base decisions on scientific and medical data and public health recommendations.
- Like the block plan, our solutions may be distinctive, creative, and informed by the unique needs of Cornell.
We take a holistic view of multiple data points when considering the progress of the virus in an area specific to Cornell College. We have elected to focus our attention on the areas of campus, and the two counties where faculty, staff, and off-campus students reside and work. Those triggers include internal and external triggers.
- What structural mitigation is in place?
- Are cleaning protocols in place and implemented?
- Do we have the PPE we need, and is the supply chain more secure?
- Are community members using the college symptom checker?
- Are we below a 5% threshold of reported cases on campus?
- Are isolation and quarantine spaces ready if we need them?
- Are procedures in place to transport people identified as symptomatic?
- What is the extent of spread in our identified community?
- Are local resources to provide care for both COVID-19 patients and routine medical and emergency care easily available?
- Is the severity of the disease in our area within our acceptable range?
- Is testing in place for symptomatic people through Test Iowa?
- Can area clinics keep up with routine appointments?
The campus community, and parents who are enabled via student information sharing, will receive an email each time we change phases. A green bar on the top of the website home page will indicate our current phase, and the current phase will be indicated on our COVID-19 Plan to Resume On-Campus Operations in a green bar with bold text.
A team of two students, a chemistry faculty member, and a statistician have worked exhaustively together through the Cornell Summer Research Institute to build our body of data and triggers that inform our decision making. They pull data from COVID-19 in Iowa and the Linn County Coronavirus website, and use guidance from the World Health Organization guidelines to determine our metrics.
Professor Jai Shanata is the research advisor, Brandi Shanata is the statistics consultant, Cornell senior Robyn Luchesi is a biochemistry and molecular biology and philosophy major and is a student researcher, and Cornell sophomore Gwen Paule is majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology and Spanish and is a student researcher.
Health and Safety Strategy
In order for our campus to remain residential at this time, all members of the Cornell community who are physically present on campus will need to work together and commit to following our safety guidelines to minimize the risks we collectively take. As you would expect, we will first take an educational approach to the Cornellian Commitment Pledge in asking those who are not honoring it to do so. Ultimately, if someone continues to not follow our Cornellian Commitment pledge, they will be asked to participate in courses remotely. In other words, they will not be allowed to be on campus.
Everyone returning to campus must take responsibility to create a Caring Community, where each of us is as invested in the health of everyone else on campus as we are in our own health. We know that caring is an integral part of the Cornell spirit, and we are counting on each of you to commit to consciously living it, every day, as we reconvene. Every member of the campus community will be asked to sign the Cornellian Commitment pledge before returning to campus to study or work.
- Complete a daily symptom checker online every day that you are on campus (and starting two weeks before you arrive on-campus).
- Wear a face covering any time you are in a classroom, academic building, Thomas Commons, Cole Library, residence hall common areas, campus offices, or within six feet of others.
- Practice physical distancing by trying to keep six feet or more from others.
- Keep your hands washed and use sanitizer.
- Help track COVID-19 on campus. You may be asked to take a randomized COVID-19 antigen test through the Health Center to monitor campus trends. There will be no cost to you or use of your family’s insurance for our randomized testing.
- Be prepared to cooperate with a request to self-isolate away from your residence hall if you’re part of a contact trace. We will have self-isolation spaces available for you.
- Be adaptable. Living together in community means we’re all going to have to consider changes to our daily schedules, where we walk, who we gather with, and how we do many normal, everyday things.
- Everyone will be required to wear a face covering and complete the symptom checker daily.
- Cleaning procedures and materials are enhanced.
- Hand sanitizer and surface cleaning materials are available at the main entrance of every building.
- COVID-19 testing will be conducted.
- Self-isolation and quarantine spaces are available.
- Structural mitigation is in place (plexiglass shields, one-way staircases, closed common spaces, airflow and filtering modifications, drinking fountains turned off, etc.).
- Dining modifications are in place.
- Classroom modifications are in place (specific morning start times, 6 ft distancing, seating charts, no food or beverage allowed).
- Office procedure modifications are in place (make appointments before going to an office, more transactions will be conducted virtually).
- Changes to the daily schedule to reduce the volume of students in shared spaces (including residence hall bathrooms, dining areas, and academic building hallways).
- Outdoor locations are designated for periodic class sessions or small group meetings (bring your own folding chair).
- Limits on the numbers of people who can gather in various locations.
- Monitoring of internal and external conditions will be done daily to determine if the campus can advance to the next phase safely or needs to go back to a previous phase to safeguard the health of the campus.
Remaining at home or living off campus and taking classes online is the option you may choose until we are able to move to phase 4 of our campus plan.
You are expected to bring face coverings with you to campus. If you cannot obtain a face covering, we will have a limited supply available to ensure everyone is able to comply with the face covering requirement. If you leave your residence hall room and forget your mask, stop by the Campus Safety Office, Thomas Commons Info Desk, or Cole Library main desk to ask for a disposable mask.
If you are part of the random sample being tested (there will be tests happening each day), you’ll be contacted via email and given information about reporting to our testing facility in Ebersole Hall.
Community members will be contacted via phone or email if they are part of a contact tracing event. If a student is a positive contact, they will be asked to isolate for 14 days and will be tested, monitored for symptoms, and continue to complete the symptom tracker daily.
We will have a number of spaces available for isolation and quarantine. In some cases, you may be asked to isolate in your residence hall room; in other cases, we’ll use one of our quarantine spaces for you to isolate. We’ll help provide a packing list and work with you in contacting your faculty member to be able to continue coursework and help provide meals to you during this time.
You’ll work with our staff in the Health Center to determine the need to quarantine. During this time, you can expect to complete the daily symptom tracker, have daily telehealth meetings with the health center staff until you have no fever for at least 3 full days, verify your symptoms have improved, and it’s been at least 10 days since symptoms arose. We’ll help with a packing list of things to take with you, working with your faculty member to continue in the course or pursue a health withdrawal, and help provide you meals while you are quarantined.
- Classrooms and meeting rooms will have door signs indicating the maximum capacity for physical distancing.
- Common spaces that are open will have signs indicating maximum capacity for physical distancing.
- Residence hall rooms, campus apartments and houses will have a limit of twice the number of occupants (this will mean a maximum of 4 people can be in a double room at one time). Gathering size restrictions for common areas in Armstrong House and The Cottage are to be determined.
- Student organizations are encouraged to hold meetings and events either virtually or outdoors whenever possible. In-person meetings are limited to the number allowable in the chosen space.
- Any mass meeting of faculty, staff, and students should be held virtually or physically distanced outdoors until we reach phase 4.
All student organizations and groups will have access to Zoom technology. While we await the steps that need to happen for your student organization to get its own Zoom account, Cindy Krob (x4234) can help create Zoom meetings/events for you. Please contact her to set up your needs.
We know that some students will need to leave campus for work, family commitments, and health appointments. Faculty and staff will be commuting to and from their homes. We ask each resident of campus to consider whether a trip off campus is truly necessary right now (and we hope this ask will be short term).
If you deem it is necessary, we ask that you take extra caution while you are away by wearing your face covering in public, washing or sanitizing your hands and property like cell phones and wallets regularly, maintain physical distance whenever possible, and elect to avoid situations of potential exposure whenever possible and to avoid businesses where physical distancing is difficult to maintain, such as restaurants and bars. You may consider showering and laundering clothes more regularly, based on your interactions with others.
Cleaning products, equipment, techniques, and frequency will be enhanced to mitigate surface-based exposure risks. Restrooms and residence hall kitchens will be cleaned and sanitized three times per day. Surfaces in classrooms will be cleaned daily. A cleaning staff member will work during all operational hours of Thomas Commons. Bon Appetit staff will clean dining surfaces during and in between cohort meal periods.
Submit a work order any time night or day.
In order to accommodate a variety of scenarios for students and faculty, we've modified course offerings on campus and online to minimize disruption whatever form your course of study takes.
Aug. 19-Aug. 23: move-in and orientation sessions for new students
Aug. 24-Sept. 16: Block 1 in residence
Sept. 21-Oct. 14: Block 2 in residence
Oct. 19-Nov. 11: Block 3 in residence
Nov. 16-25: Block 4 begins in residence
Nov. 25-29: Fall break residence optional, you may choose to stay or leave campus
Nov. 30-Dec. 11: Block 4 continues; on-campus residence conditional (for those who did not travel during fall break)
Dec. 12-Jan. 8: Winter break not in residence
We are offering courses in a variety of formats this fall to support our campus safety precautions. These new designations will be reflected in Self Service as hybrid, in-person, or online by the end of July.
Hybrid courses: Hybrid courses may include required in-person as well as required synchronous and/or asynchronous online instruction. The balance of in-person and online learning will depend upon the course. Students approved to live and learn off-campus for reasons related to COVID-19 may enroll and participate in the course remotely through required synchronous and asynchronous online instruction. Students enrolled in hybrid courses who are symptomatic or who must isolate or quarantine and cannot attend class in person will have the opportunity to participate in the course remotely.
In-person-only: While in-person-only courses may involve some online learning components, substantive instruction occurs on-campus and requires in-person attendance. Not open to students who have been approved to live and learn off-campus for reasons related to COVID-19.
Online-only: Instruction occurs remotely through required synchronous and asynchronous online instruction. Open to students living on- or off-campus.
All students should expect some online learning components in their courses. If a course you are registered for receives a designation that won’t work for your learning situation please contact your academic advisor right away to talk about options.
Some classes will be held in person in modified classrooms with appropriate physical distancing with online elements. Some classes will have a hybrid format of online and in-person sessions. Some classes will be offered fully online. Specifications for each class will be shared with you before each block begins.
Classrooms will contain fewer tables and chairs so that everyone in the classroom maintains 6 feet between each other. Faculty, staff, and students will be required to wear face coverings (masks and/or shields that cover both nose and mouth). Due to the requirement to wear face coverings when in the classroom, no food or drink will be allowed in the classroom.
Faculty, staff, and students are required to wear face coverings (masks and/or shields) appropriately during in-person class sessions and in all spaces, including bathrooms, when in an academic building. To mitigate the risk faced by others in the classroom, those who do not comply will not be allowed to remain in class. Some faculty may require that both a mask and shield be worn in the classroom.
Students should not attend class if they have a fever, are symptomatic, or indicate they have had contact with someone who has COVID-19. If a student shows up to class after indicating that they have a fever, are symptomatic, or have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 then they should return to their residence and contact the Student Health Center (319.895.4292).
No. Due to the requirement to wear face coverings when in public spaces, no food or drink is allowed in the physical classroom. Faculty should allow opportunities for students to leave the classroom to take a beverage break.
Yes. To assist in facilitating contact tracing, seating arrangements will be used.
Yes. For fall 2020, in order to facilitate social distancing happening on campus, block courses will have staggered morning and afternoon start times and designated lunch periods. Not all classes will meet both morning and afternoon, but you will have a 1.5 hour designated break between morning and afternoon classes. During each mid-daybreak, students will have an assigned shorter amount of time to pick up food from Hilltop Cafe or Zamora’s Market.
Yes. Some class meetings may be held outdoors; a 6-foot physical distance will be expected and face coverings may continue to be required. Students are encouraged to pack a camping chair or outdoor blanket to sit on while class is held outdoors.
The bookstore is open and stocked with books. Many more books are now available as an ebook to facilitate distance/online learning and provide better pricing. You can choose from new, used, rentals or digital titles. Visit www.cornellcollegeshop.com and click on Textbooks to get started.
If you place an online order, you will have the option of choosing "free shipping to the bookstore." You can also request delivery to your mailbox on campus in the special instructions or pick up your order at our pop-up location on the Orange Carpet in Thomas Commons on August 23rd. Hours are yet to be determined.
At this time, the maximum occupancy in the bookstore is 20 people. With physical distancing in place, you may be asked to wait to enter the bookstore until other folks finish their shopping and leave the space. We have facemasks for sale on our website, and we are expecting Cornell branded masks to arrive soon.
If you don’t feel safe returning to campus, can’t make travel arrangements, or suspect you might have been exposed to COVID-19, that’s ok. While the full course catalog will not be available for remote instruction, we have a wide range of classes available that will allow you to continue your course of study from home. We also have funds from the federal CARES Act to assist with COVID-related educational needs you may have, such as improved internet or technology, if you need to continue your education from home. To request an accommodation to study from home, you can submit a request for an exemption form to Residence Life.
A number of situations could happen in our personal lives related to COVID-19. We could get sick, we could need to self-quarantine, we might need to take care of a loved one who has gotten sick. In the event that you need to withdraw from a class or miss a block due to a COVID-19 event, you will be able to use a Block 9 or Block 10 flex block to make up that credit.
If you must leave campus due to a COVID-19 for one full block or more, we will refund room and board on a prorated basis, depending on a student’s financial aid package.
If you must leave campus due to a COVID-19 event for one full block or more, we will refund room and board on a prorated basis, depending on a student’s financial aid package.
Last spring some students had internet connectivity issues, so if you are planning to live and learn off-campus and you tend to have problems with your internet connection or do not have an internet connection, contact IT for support. Problem-solving can take time, so please contact them as soon as possible, ideally before August 15th.
Even if you are on campus, there may be online components to your learning in the fall and you may need to contact IT for assistance; the best ways to do that are to enter a work order request, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 319.895.3457.
Campus services support
The Cole Library Center for Teaching and Learning studios and consultants will provide face-to-face and virtual consultation and assistance options to suit all needs.
Rather than convening in large ensembles, our musicians will collaborate and perform in smaller groups. The theatre and dance departments will rehearse and prepare for performances in ways that observe social distancing and offer their performances remotely.
Student Life Changes
We can all expect our interactions to change this fall. While the weather is nice, you’ll even see additional places to meet and eat outdoors and take advantage of our beautiful campus.
You can contribute to our Caring Community by being a positive role model and adhering to Cornell safety guidelines and precautions; encouraging classmates, community members and friends to follow safety guidelines and procedures to keep others safe; modeling Cornell’s culture of caring; considering the safety of not just yourself but others at Cornell and the wider Mount Vernon community; assessing your health and staying home when feeling ill; keeping a positive "glass half full not half empty" attitude even in these unprecedented times; being patient, kind, and respectful to your Ramily; realizing that we all have a mutual responsibility to keep our community safe and acting on that responsibility; practicing inclusivity, so that ALL feel welcomed, respected, and included; advocating for the underrepresented, marginalized, and underserved; being a voice for those who don't have a voice, or whose voice goes unheard; and striving each day to make Cornell a wonderful place to live, learn, work, and play.
There are a number of resources available on and off-campus for you to find positive and meaningful messages. We encourage you to follow the Health Promotion Instagram account and Facebook page to find positive messaging. Beyond this, Reverend Catherine Quehl-Engel has put together some calming and breathing techniques. This may also be a time when you connect with a religious or spiritual group. We encourage you to find a quote that provides meaning for you and use this to reflect on regularly.
The designated number of people allowed per room will be a guide to which spaces can be used for small group study across campus. Remember that when we have multiple people in a common area, face coverings will be required to protect one another.
In Cole Library common areas there will be signage on study tables indicating group sizes, limits to group size in study rooms, and access to public computers and late-night study hours will be reduced.
Student groups can meet virtually or in indoor locations while remaining under the maximum occupancy of the room. Student groups can plan virtual, indoor or outdoor gatherings, where social distancing continues. Through virtual events, whether students are on-campus or studying remotely, this will allow everyone to connect with one another and continue to find their Ramily. All groups will be expected to continue to follow our expectations as identified in our community expectations, respecting the dignity of all persons.
At this time The Midwest Conference President’s Council has agreed to continue to move forward on the plans for a fall athletic season—prohibiting non-conference competition for the fall season—so our athletic events will be Midwest Conference only. This means that team schedules will be different than planned and your coach will reach out to you with more information. There will also be strict testing protocols to ensure safety on our campus. All competing athletes will be tested to ensure they arena’t asymptomatic carriers prior to every competition in addition to the testing already in our campus plan.
On campus we will implement physical distancing for training and practice areas, and may institute staggered schedules for different groups within one team to minimize gathering sizes.
Please note the Midwest Conference and college-based decisions about fall athletics are still being finalized and details will be communicated as soon as possible.
For intramurals, we’ll be doing events at a distance for the time being. There are great resources online for yoga, ongoing meditative practices, and you can take advantage of being outside exploring Mount Vernon. We’ll be expanding intramural opportunities as we move into Phase 4.
To reduce exposure risks, you should make an appointment before going to a campus office, and you may be asked to meet virtually. If meeting in person, you’ll be asked to wear a face covering.
Working on Campus
We will support the needs of students to earn income and gain employment experience as much as possible with our campus employment options. Do expect modifications in how or where you work on campus.
Yes, eligible students can work on campus this fall. There will be adjustments to jobs, schedules, and protocols. Your supervisor will contact you about work schedules when you get back to campus.
Cornell is set up to pay employees working remotely if they are working in one of these five states: Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado, and Florida. If you will be taking classes online and live in one of those states, you may contact your supervisor to see if it is possible that you can work remotely.
Offices and workstations will be cleaned on a regular basis. In addition, supervisors and student employees will be provided with cleaning supplies and instructions so that spaces can be cleaned in between use by different student employees.
Residence Life Changes
Life in the residence halls and other campus housing is definitely going to look different this year, and we've staggered schedules for our campus community to reduce congestion in commonly used spaces at key times of the day.
You should request an exemption to live off campus and study remotely.
No. In order to reduce exposure, students who wish to remain in residence for the entirety of Block 4 may not travel during fall break (Thanksgiving). The Hilltop Cafe will remain open during fall break (Thanksgiving) and students can use their meal plan there.
Yes, masks are required in any common spaces in your residence hall, including hallways and bathrooms except when showering, applying makeup, shaving, brushing teeth. (Masks are not required in individual rooms.)
No. At this time, we are restricting students to enter only their own residence hall.
No, except on move-in day when two guests can assist a student for a short period of time.
We have few of those spaces (3 quads and 14 triples) and all students in triples and quads have been invited to move into doubles. Students may choose to remain in the double or triple room because the square footage per person is similar to that of double rooms.
Yes. This will allow students to take extra to-go meals from campus dining and prepare them in their residence halls. Specific safety precautions will be posted in every kitchen, including cleaning plans. Storage will be available in the refrigerators and freezer; other storage will not be available. Equipment including pots, pans, and silverware will not be available.
No. Stoner House kitchen will be closed.
Yes. Students will need to wear masks when in the laundry room. To reduce traffic in the laundry room, each floor in a residence hall will be assigned specific days on which they can use the laundry room. Some days will be open for any building resident to use.
Yes. Students will be encouraged to “skip a stall or sink”, leaving an empty toilet or shower stall or sink between them and another resident. Additionally, morning class start times will be staggered to reduce same-time traffic in residence hall bathrooms. Masks will be expected, except when actively showering, shaving, brushing teeth, washing face, or applying make-up.
Cleaning routines and materials have been adjusted in response to COVID-19 concerns, toilet lids have been added to each toilet stool and foot pulls have been installed on the back of each restroom door.
No. Hopefully these spaces can be reopened during a later phase.
No. Hopefully these spaces can be reopened in a later phase.
You should start a conversation with your roommate about your expectations and the college’s rules before you arrive on campus. If your roommate continues to ignore your expectations and the college’s rules, then you should involve your RA or another member of the Residence Life staff.
If the symptom checker tells you not to go to class, you should contact the Health Center (319.895.4292) for next steps. You’ll also want to email your faculty member about not being physically present in class. You should continue to participate in the class remotely.
We are holding 2 suite-style buildings for isolation or quarantine. Both provide bathrooms and kitchens, but food will be available from the Hilltop Cafe and will be delivered to your isolation or quarantine space.
Residence halls will close at 11 a.m. December 12. Limited exceptions may be allowed to stay over winter break; contact Residence Life if you need to make arrangements to stay.
Campus Dining and Meal Plans
Bon Appetit is committed to providing the same high quality and delicious meals to our campus community with modifications for safety and physical distancing. They have made extra effort to expand their service schedule to ensure that all students can safely utilize their meal plans.
Details about dining are being finalized and will be communicated before your arrival on campus. The dining program will follow a new schedule with extended hours and specific times for cohorts of students to enter Hilltop Cafe or Zamora’s Market to pick up food. In Hilltop Cafe, there may be very limited seating or no seating at all. Instead, students will be encouraged to enjoy their meals in a beautiful outdoor campus setting or in their rooms.
Meals will still be available through Bon Appetit and will be delivered to your isolation or quarantine space. We’re finalizing how you’ll order those meals now and will have them available when students arrive on-campus.
No. These are both closed to the public for the time being.
There may be limited times for faculty and staff to enter Hilltop Cafe or Zamora’s Market, but that may not begin until Block 2.
Returning to Campus
We will start to welcome students back to campus in August if our phased plan continues to support doing so. Currently, we have planned move-in dates as follows:
August 9-16: RAs, orientation leaders, flock leaders, student teachers, and sports medicine assistants*
August 10: Women’s Tennis, Women’s Cross Country, and Men’s Cross Country teams*
August 12: Football team*
August 14: Each One Teach One
August 16: Volleyball, Women’s Soccer, and Men’s Soccer teams*
August 18: Quick Start
August 19: First-year students
August 21: Transfer students
August 21-23: Returning students
*Move-in dates for athletics teams are subject to change based on MWC Conference scheduling decisions.
If you are a returning student, you will need to make an appointment to move in. Returning students will have 1 hour with up to 2 guests to help move in and will sign up for time periods. This sign up will be available soon. New students will have 2 hours with their guests to move in and will be assigned a time window to move in.
Yes. Beginning August 14, any student can use the “Drop and Go” plan. You will have 30 minutes to drop things off in your room. You will be expected to leave campus at the end of your 30 minutes and not return until your scheduled move-in day and time. Sign up for the Drop and Go will be made available soon.
- Thermometer (and start using the symptom checker two weeks before move in).
- Face coverings - 2 or 3-ply cloth face masks (bring enough masks to wear a clean one daily until you do laundry) and/or face shields are preferred. Face shields should wrap around your face from ear to ear, have a foam layer over your forehead, and cover your chin.
- Folding chair for outdoor class times and gatherings.
- Cleaning supplies like disinfecting wipes.
- Earbuds with a mic for when you are in a Zoom meeting at the same time as your roommate.
- Hand sanitizer for your personal space and when you're on the go.
- A USB charger to keep your phone, laptop, or tablet charged.
- Small overnight bag in case you need to self-isolate away from your room.
- Water bottle to fill up and carry with you (drinking fountains have been turned off, bottle filling stations remain available).
If you suspect you might have been exposed to COVID-19 within two weeks of move-in, or have been contacted as part of a contact tracing event, please consider studying remotely for Block 1.
While the full course catalog will not be available for remote instruction, we have a wide range of classes available that will allow you to continue your course of study from home. We also have funds from the federal CARES Act to assist with COVID-related educational needs you may have, such as improved internet or technology, if you need to continue your education from home. To request an accommodation to study from home, you can submit a request for an exemption form to Residence Life.
No. At this time we do not feel restrictions or quarantine is necessary; however, students who wish to arrive early and isolate on-campus can work with Residence Life to request this at a minimal cost.
If it is possible for a student to self-isolate at home for two weeks prior to returning to campus, we would encourage them to do so. All returning students are required to do the Symptom Tracker each day for two weeks prior to return.
Your decision about how you want to study for the fall semester will impact your student account charges for the semester based on your individual circumstances.
At the beginning of the semester you will need to commit to one of three options for room and board (meal plan).
- I will reside on campus for the fall semester.
- I will study from home for the fall semester and have completed a request for exemption.
- I want to reside at home for Block 1, but reside on campus for blocks 2-4.
Based on your choice you will be charged accordingly for the semester. If you must leave campus due to a COVID-19 event during the course of the semester, you will be refunded room and board consistent with our policy for blocks 7 & 8 of 2020 at the end of the fall semester (December-January timeframe).
If you are approved for a housing exemption to live at home for the fall semester, you will not be charged room and board for the semester and your Cornell funding will be reduced by 18%.
Yes. If you elect to move on campus beginning Block 2 or after, you will be charged room and board for the number of blocks you are on campus and your Cornell funding will be reinstated proportionally.
No. If you move into the residence halls and then choose to leave campus to take an online course at home, your room and board charges will not be adjusted. There is an appeal process if you feel there are extenuating circumstances.
No. If you choose to leave campus for Thanksgiving and complete your Block 4 class from home you will not receive a room and board refund as the residence halls and dining services will remain open during that time.
If you are enrolled at Cornell using either tuition remission or tuition exchange, your Tuition Exchange benefit will not be adjusted if you choose to reside at home for the full semester. If we send the student body home for any reason during the semester, you will also not have your room and board refund reduced.
Students that are living at home for the full semester, and are not commuting to campus for classes, will not be charged the student activity fee.
If you take fewer than three courses during a semester, you will receive a tuition refund. If you take two courses in a semester, you will be moved to part-time status, and you will be charged two-thirds of the semester tuition, receive two-thirds of your Cornell aid, and any federal and state grants will be reduced per federal and state regulations. If you take one course during a semester, you will be charged one-third of your semester tuition, receive one-third of your Cornell funding, and any federal and state grants will be reduced per federal and state regulations.
The following scenarios qualify:
- A course you are scheduled to take is canceled due to COVID-19 reasons.
- You cannot complete a course because you or a parent or guardian, spouse, domestic partner, or child are diagnosed with COVID-19, an individual with whom you currently reside is diagnosed with COVID-19, or you have familial caregiving responsibilities related to COVID-19.
- You are enrolled in an in-person-only course and cannot complete the course because you are required to quarantine or self-isolate.
If your family has had a change in financial circumstances please complete the special circumstance form and reach out to the Financial Assistance office to discuss how we may be able to help you. Contact Financial Assistance at 319.895.4176 or email email@example.com to speak with a counselor.
Still have questions?
Please email COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org and we will follow up with you during regular business hours.