Move to Online Fall Semester

Why aren’t students approved to live in College housing off campus receiving the 10% tuition reduction?

The tuition reduction for students studying from home reflects their lack of access to campus facilities and the richer experience of learning among one’s peers. Students living on or near campus have some access to many campus buildings and services, including high-speed WiFi while on campus; the library, dining halls, fitness center, and common computing spaces; and some academic spaces as needed.

In addition, students living on or near campus will be part of the student community and share responsibility in creating a safe and healthy environment for all. The health center will conduct testing and monitoring for all students and is poised to provide medical care for any student who is not learning from home. In order to maintain the safety of the entire community, all students who are part of the local social network must follow the same safety protocols. With the specific rules for 2020-21 related to COVID-19, the limits we have set on the size of gatherings are to protect our campus and the Easton community as a whole.

How will the remote student experience this fall semester be different than it was in the spring?

This summer the faculty and staff have been working tirelessly to prepare for the fall semester, knowing there was the possibility that we might have to start or transition to remote instruction at some point during the term. The final weeks before the start of the semester will allow us to finish all of those preparations. Professors will be implementing strategies to effectively teach challenging and engaging courses; staff are prepared to offer the support to remote Leopards just like we do when we gather on campus; and ITS has invested in the technology and training needed to support our ambitious agenda for fall 2020. Teletherapy services will be provided in accordance with the state licensing laws that apply to where the student resides.

I would like to come to Easton but did not meet the criteria. Can I just rent a private apartment?

The College’s decision to move to an online semester is meant to keep students at home. Students are not permitted to rent private apartments unless already given permission to do so by the Residence Life Office. This is not solely due to our four-year residency requirement, but also to help protect the College Hill community. Students who are not already approved to rent privately will be required to reside in college housing when they return for the spring semester. As a reminder, students who are not approved to access campus and do so will face significant disciplinary consequences, including suspension from the College.

I am being charged for a meal plan, does that mean dining is open?

Yes, dining services will operate and students will have access to all-you-care-to-eat meals and grab-and-go options. Dining services staff will need to serve all food (no buffet style) in the all you care to eat venues.

What is the status of students living in the McCartney Street or other off-campus housing?

Students who have private leases with McCartney North and South, or other off-campus landlords, will be allowed on campus. Students will be asked to confirm their plans to live in private housing by July 29.

I was supposed to live in McCartney North and South but want to learn from home. Can I?

Students should contact the property manager for McCartney North and South to discuss ending their lease. Once approved, the College will be notified to change the student status to learn from home.

What is the plan for student belongings that have been in storage?

Students who contracted with one of the College’s endorsed storage companies will receive a direct communication by Aug. 3.

Are more Residence Life details available?

Yes. Residence Life has its own set of Fall 2020 FAQs.

What about new student orientation? How will I meet classmates and professors?

This year’s virtual Orientation will provide new students with the opportunity to meet faculty, staff, student leaders, and other new students at Lafayette. Orientation familiarizes new students with our shared community and academic values and expectations, encourages an understanding of the importance of operating in Lafayette’s pluralistic and inclusive community, introduces resources that can assist in making a successful transition to college life, and aims to instill an appreciation for the value of an academically rigorous and diverse community. Phase 1 of Orientation has been ongoing throughout the summer and has consisted of virtual opportunities such as the Faculty Advising Drop-In Hours, Faculty Themed Discussions, and Campus Resource Drop-In Sessions. Phase 2 of Orientation will begin on Thursday, Aug. 13, and will conclude by Sunday, Aug. 16. Every new student will hear from their orientation leader in August about their specific virtual Orientation schedule, which will consist of events including Convocation, A Day in the Life of a Lafayette Student skits, sustainability programming, Achieving Academic Success, wellness programs, interactive games and activities such as the Marquis Mission competition, Getting to Know the Career Center, a Title IX discussion, and other important sessions.

I am an international student currently in the United States. What are my options?

You can study remotely while in the United States either away from campus or on campus. To comply with SEVIS reporting requirements and the College’s arrival deadlines, you will need to indicate in a forthcoming survey from the Office of International Student Advising where you will be spending the semester.

I am an international student currently living in my home country. What are my options?

All international students may fully engage in Lafayette’s remote offerings from their home country. An upper-level international student with a valid F-1 visa may return to the U.S. to pursue online study but must comply with SEVIS reporting requirements and the College’s arrival deadlines. In accordance with current SEVP guidance, first-year students may not enter the U.S. and take their first semester online. Existing SEVIS records will be updated accordingly.

What about International Orientation?

International Orientation will take place virtually throughout the fall semester with a kickoff event on Aug. 2. A detailed schedule of upcoming events will be shared that day.

 

Admissions & Aid

Can I petition to take a “light load” with prorated tuition?

The light load (a course load below three courses) policy is designed for seniors in their last semester who don’t need a full-time course load to graduate. Other students who believe they have an extraordinary circumstance must petition the Academic Progress Committee in order to take a light load. Approval is not guaranteed. Students must engage with their academic adviser to review the impact on progress in their major and overall plan for completion and determine which course(s) should be retained for the fall semester. This academic plan should be attached to the petition for consideration by the Academic Progress Committee. Those approved for a light load may not transfer back additional credits earned at a different institution during the semester of the light load at Lafayette. Please note: first-year students are not eligible for a light load as such a petition would be detrimental to an incoming student’s academic progress.

A light load can have implications for financial aid, NCAA eligibility, and international student status.

Students approved for a light load prior to the start of the semester will be billed a prorated tuition based on the number of classes. Since taking three to five classes is considered a full load, tuition is prorated in thirds for those taking a light load. The tuition for one class is $9,085 (1/3 of $27,256), and tuition for two classes is $18,170 (2/3 of $27,256). Lafayette does not have a traditional part-time degree-seeking population, and the above rates reflect a special compromise to the full-time status that the student agreed to when admitted to Lafayette.

Can I enroll in the Part-Time Studies program?

The Part-Time Studies program is not the same as a “light load.” Part-Time Studies is a separate program in which non-traditional students, community members, and staff members take one or two classes. There is not a pathway for a full-time student to be re-classified as part-time. The light load (below three courses) option is designed mostly for seniors in their last semester who don’t need a full-time course load to graduate.

Will tuition be the same for students studying from home and students who live on or near campus?

No. Students studying from home will see a 10 percent reduction in their tuition.

How will the reduction in tuition cost impact my financial aid?

Lafayette will continue to meet 100 percent of the calculated demonstrated need of our students. Nevertheless, a reduction in the cost of attendance leads to a recalculation of student needs relative to the new cost; the recalculation reduces the aid awarded based on need. Merit scholarships indexed to the cost of tuition will also be adjusted. Most students receiving need-based financial aid should not see an increase in their out-of-pocket expenses.

When will student bills be released?

Aug. 17 with a due date of Sept. 1.

What is the difference between deferral and leave of absence (LOA)?

  • Deferral – (applies to incoming first-year students and transfers) postponing initial enrollment by a semester or the full academic year.
  • Leave of absence (LOA) – (applies to sophomores, juniors, and seniors) taking a semester or more off for a personal or medical reason. Some refer to this as a gap semester/year. More details on leave of absence can be found in the Academic Availability FAQs

What’s the process to defer my offer of admission?

The deadline to request admission deferrals (to January or August 2021) has been extended to Wednesday, July 29. Email admissions@lafayette.edu with a brief explanation of why you are seeking to defer enrollment and to which semester. You will be notified if the deferral is granted and the impact on need-based financial aid and merit-based scholarships. Those seeking deferrals on varsity athletic rosters or receiving athletic scholarships should first discuss with their head coaches.

What are the implications for financial aid if I defer?

If you defer to spring 2021 (one-semester deferral), your financial aid will be adjusted to meet one semester’s demonstrated need. Students have eight semesters of institutional scholarship and grant eligibility. Therefore, a deferred student’s financial aid “clock” will start with spring 2021 rather than fall 2020.

 If you defer to fall 2021 (academic-year deferral), you must reapply for need-based financial aid by completing the 2021-22 CSS/Financial Aid Profile and the 2021-22 FAFSA by March 1. Demonstrated need is evaluated each year, so the amount of need-based financial aid for 2021-22 may vary from that originally offered in 2020-21.

If I defer my enrollment, will my Marquis Award/Scholarship/Fellowship be honored? What if I received an athletic scholarship?

If you received any level of Marquis Award, it will be applied upon matriculation to the College.

For athletic scholarships, read this FAQ.

As an international student, am I able to defer my enrollment?

Yes, international students admitted to the Class of 2024 or who are new transfer students may request to defer enrollment to January 2021 (one semester), or to August 2021 (academic year). See the fifth question under Resource Alignment for more information.

Can I defer for fall and then decide whether to defer for a full year based on whether the campus will be open in spring 2021?

That may be possible on a case-by-case basis. Please email admissions@lafayette.edu.

Won’t deferrals by members of the Class of 2024 interfere with the College’s plans for the Class of 2025?

There will be a limit to the number of students approved to defer so that enrollment for the Class of 2025 can be managed.

Will there be a spring orientation for those who defer?

Yes. The format has not yet been finalized.

Is my financial aid put in jeopardy by taking a leave of absence?

No, your financial aid would not be in jeopardy, as long as you are not enrolling in another institution. As part of our regular process, students must reapply each year for need-based aid. Your file will be reviewed by a member of the financial aid team who will consider all information included in your application, as well as our costs for the year.

My financial situation has changed, and I need your help. What should I do?

Please complete the Financial Aid Appeal Form and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid. Though we reduced the cost of attending Lafayette, we will see if any additional consideration is warranted.

Can I reapply for admission to the Class of 2025? What is the difference between deferring and reapplying?

If admitted to the Class of 2024, and you choose not to enroll, you may re-apply for admission for the Class of 2025, provided you have not enrolled as a degree-seeking student elsewhere.  While we would hope to re-admit you again, there is no guarantee that will happen in a selective admission process.  A deferment does guarantee your admission into the following class.  If you enroll as a degree-seeking student elsewhere, you may choose to reapply for admission as a transfer student at a later date.  

If you are a returning student and choose to take a leave of absence, contact your class dean in Scott Hall for instructions.

As a first-year student, may I take courses elsewhere if I defer? Is there a limit to the number of credits I may transfer in?

It may be possible to earn a limited amount of academic credit from other institutions while holding deferred enrollment status at Lafayette. The awarding of credit occurs after matriculation (i.e. after beginning courses at Lafayette) and via a formal petition to the registrar. Courses are evaluated on a course-by-course basis and in general must be comparable to those offered by Lafayette; approval is not guaranteed. For first-year students seeking more than one semester’s worth of credit (12-16 credit hours), it may be necessary to reapply to Lafayette as a transfer student. Doing so may impact your financial aid and athletic eligibility. Learn more.

Would there be guidance as to which courses would meet Lafayette criteria?

As per the transfer policy each potential transfer course is individually evaluated by the relevant department head. This normally includes providing a course’s syllabus, textbooks, and outcomes. It is the responsibility of the individual student to secure approval from both the academic adviser and the relevant department head for each course they would like to transfer. Students are strongly encouraged to secure course transfer approval prior to enrolling as a visiting student at another institution.

 

Healthy Campus: Students

How many students will be allowed on campus?

In order to keep campus density low, we will allow a minimal number of students to return to campus, based on this application process. At most, we anticipate accommodating about 20 percent of our students in campus housing. We also anticipate that some students who received prior approval and have leases with private landlords, including McCartney North and South, can choose to return but need to inform the College.

What will life be like on campus? What will be available to students?

Students will be required to wear masks, and no athletic events or other large campus gatherings will be held. Students will receive a Guide to Campus Life with information about recreation, counseling, and dining. Upon arriving on campus, students will receive a COVID-19 addendum to the Student Handbook that will include adherence to physical distancing protocols; limits on social gatherings and travel off-campus; and participation in all testing, tracing, and symptom-checking activities. While we will maneuver in the space differently, there will be options to meet people, but we will monitor disease activity. Students who come to campus must consider those in their residence hall as a group, not unlike a family that spends most of its time with each other.

Will there be social events on campus?

We anticipate very limited in-person activities as it is important to include our entire community in our programming. Most College-sponsored activities that are held virtually can be accessed by those on campus and those learning from home. Programming done in person must observe all physical distancing guidelines, and masks must be worn.

Will students on campus be required to carry a meal plan?

Yes.

Will all dining facilities be open?

No, but students will have both grab-and-go and all-you-care-to-eat options. Depending on local/state restrictions it may become necessary to transition to mostly grab-and-go meals.  Students will be expected to have a meal plan commensurate with their class year and living environment.  

Can I come to campus if I am learning from home?

No. We need to minimize the number of visitors to campus for health and safety reasons, and someone who is not an on-campus resident or living on College Hill may not visit campus.

Can students travel to/from campus during the semester?

Students who reside on campus are expected to remain in the Lehigh Valley. Students who are learning from home are not permitted to visit campus.

Will there be new policies within housing?

Yes, including wearing of masks, practicing social distancing, and forbidding cross-visitation and guests. Please review Residence Life’s set of Fall 2020 FAQs.

Will all members of the campus community be provided masks, and if so, how will they be obtained?

Yes, two masks will be provided to faculty and staff who must be on campus. Faculty and staff will receive their masks through their departments; students will receive their masks when they arrive at the pre-move-in testing location. Additional/replacement masks can be purchased at the College Store. Individuals also are welcome to supplement College-provided masks with their own.

What is the process for reporting someone who does not appear to be following the regulations outlined by the College?

The concept of collective responsibility requires that members of the community hold each other accountable for adhering to the behaviors that will help keep us all safe. We hope that our ongoing educational program will help reinforce the importance of these behaviors. However, if any member of the community has concerns, those can be addressed best by emailing covid-19@lafayette.edu.

Will the fitness center be open?

Yes, for limited hours as long as permitted by the state (Northampton County remains in green phase). Students will be required to register for a time slot using IMLeagues, and registration will be limited to those students with permission to be on campus. Masks must be worn at all times in the facility, limited services are available, and physical distancing will be achieved by reducing pieces of equipment for use. The pool will not be open.

Will all students living on and near campus be tested for COVID-19 as a condition of enrollment for fall 2020? How will that testing be conducted?

Yes, students will be tested upon arrival and participate in monitoring testing thereafter. This will help rapidly identify those who should be isolated immediately, limiting introduction of the virus to campus. Combining initial testing with ongoing monitoring of a specific percentage of the student population will assist in identifying small clusters of disease before community spreading can occur.

How do I find out more information about orientation for the Class of 2024?

Please visit the Class of 2024 website for details about orientation and other events.

 

Healthy Campus: Faculty & Staff

How will you determine who continues to work from home?

Divisional vice presidents (or equivalent) will continue to make determinations on which staff members can fulfill professional obligations from home. Faculty and staff who need to be on campus and also need teaching/working accommodations due to health vulnerabilities or other factors should submit this brief form to HR.

Will I be able to work from my lab, office, or classroom?

Unless the Commonwealth declares that Lafayette has to cease all non-life-sustaining operations, faculty members will be able to work in their offices and laboratories. In particular, those choosing to teach from their office or from an assigned classroom will be able to do so.

Will all members of the campus community be provided masks, and if so, how will they be obtained?

Yes, two masks will be provided to faculty and staff who must be on campus. Faculty and staff will receive their masks through their departments; students will receive their masks when they arrive at the pre-move-in testing location. Additional/replacement masks can be purchased at the College Store. Individuals also are welcome to supplement College-provided masks with their own.

Is COVID-19 testing available for College employees?

Testing is available for all faculty and staff who fill out a brief screening questionnaire online or at the health center. To complete the screening questionnaire online, visit the patient portal, enter your Lafayette credentials, and select “forms” on the menu. Testing for faculty and staff will be conducted at a local lab facility.

Will testing for COVID-19 be covered for employees enrolled under our Capital Blue medical plan?

Capital BlueCross has advised that they will cover testing with no member copay when the test is ordered by a healthcare provider, including Dr. Goldstein, under circumstances such as diagnostic testing for symptoms consistent with COVID, confirmed exposure to an individual diagnosed with COVID, and/or concern about exposure to individuals or groups suspected of having COVID.

For more information on testing coverage with Capital BlueCross and resources for members, please refer to the Capital BlueCross Coronavirus Resources website.

What is the process for reporting someone who does not appear to be following the regulations outlined by the College?

The concept of collective responsibility requires that members of the community hold each other accountable for adhering to the behaviors that will help keep us all safe. We hope that our ongoing educational program will help reinforce the importance of these behaviors. However, if any member of the community has concerns, those can be addressed best by emailing covid-19@lafayette.edu.

Will the fitness center be open?

Yes, the fitness center will be open to students only and for limited hours as long as permitted by the state (Northampton County remains in green phase). This may change for faculty/staff at some point during the fall semester. The pool will not be open.

How is Lafayette leadership making decisions in concert with local school districts, given that so many faculty and staff have children in schools?

We have not coordinated our decisions with school districts, but we do understand the hardship that will be created for our faculty and staff if schools are not open. Should that be the case, we will help employees find ways to balance competing priorities.

What collaborations exist between the College and local community to provide information sharing should a local or College outbreak occur?

We are keeping the city and local neighborhood apprised of our plans and will make immediate notifications of COVID-19 cases on campus. Coordination with public health officials is a state guideline.

How will the symptom tracking process work? What happens with the data that is submitted?


Each morning all approved on-campus students and all faculty and staff (working on campus or remotely) are expected to complete a daily symptom and history questionnaire. The personalized link with screening questions can be completed in less than a minute.

Faculty & Staff: The first question of the symptom tracker is “are you coming to campus today?” If the answer is “no” then no further questions will be asked and the daily symptom tracker is completed for that day.

Symptom tracking data: Data for faculty and staff is anonymous. Data for students is being collected. The protocols are different for students because their proximity to others in their residences puts them at greater risk.

As the COVID-19 pandemic is evolving, the College’s FAQs are updated regularly. Please refer to the most recent set of FAQs at all times. If the answers aren’t clear, please reach out to your supervisor and/or Human Resources.

 

Academic Adaptability

Can I petition to take a “light load” with prorated tuition?

The light load (a course load below three courses) policy is designed for seniors in their last semester who don’t need a full-time course load to graduate. Other students who believe they have an extraordinary circumstance must petition the Academic Progress Committee in order to take a light load. Approval is not guaranteed. Students must engage with their academic adviser to review the impact on progress in their major and overall plan for completion and determine which course(s) should be retained for the fall semester. This academic plan should be attached to the petition for consideration by the Academic Progress Committee. Those approved for a light load may not transfer back additional credits earned at a different institution during the semester of the light load at Lafayette. Please note: first-year students are not eligible for a light load as such a petition would be detrimental to an incoming student’s academic progress.

A light load can have implications for financial aid, NCAA eligibility, and international student status.

Students approved for a light load prior to the start of the semester will be billed a prorated tuition based on the number of classes. Since taking three to five classes is considered a full load, tuition is prorated in thirds for those taking a light load. The tuition for one class is $9,085 (1/3 of $27,256), and tuition for two classes is $18,170 (2/3 of $27,256). Lafayette does not have a traditional part-time degree-seeking population, and the above rates reflect a special compromise to the full-time status that the student agreed to when admitted to Lafayette.

What is the difference between deferral and leave of absence (LOA)?

  • Deferral – (applies to incoming first-year students and transfers) postponing initial enrollment by a semester or the full academic year.
  • Leave of absence (LOA) – (applies to sophomores, juniors, and seniors) taking a semester or more off for a personal or medical reason. Some refer to this as a gap semester/year.

Can I take a leave of absence? What is that process like?

This option is available to upperclass students. (Incoming students should see the FAQ on deferrals within the Admissions & Aid FAQs). Students would contact their class dean to request a leave of absence as soon as possible, but no later than August 14th in order to avoid incurring charges. The Office of Advising will process a leave of absence once the class dean receives an email directly from the student confirming that they are electing a leave for the semester. To return to full-time study, a student would submit a Request for Reinstatement form to their class dean by the deadline stated on the form, depending on the desired semester of return.

When do I need to declare my leave of absence?

For upperclass students, the deadline to request a leave of absence without incurring any charges is the business day before the first day of classes (Aug. 14). Once classes begin, if an upperclass student elects a leave of absence, prorated refunds of tuition and room fees will be made based on the College’s refund schedule.

Is my financial aid put in jeopardy by taking a leave of absence?

No, your financial aid would not be in jeopardy, as long as you are not enrolling in another institution. As part of our regular process, students must reapply each year for need-based aid. Your file will be reviewed by a member of the financial aid team who will consider all information included in your application, as well as our costs for the year.

Can a student take a course at another college or university while on leave of absence from Lafayette?

As per the transfer credit policy, this option is normally reserved for classes taken over the summer, for incoming transfer students, and for certain courses taken during the student’s high school career. In a leave of absence during a fall or spring semester, one or two courses may be considered for transfer back to Lafayette. Transfer course approval is not guaranteed and is contingent on factors such as course format and transfer equivalence. Please see the registrar’s transfer credit page and transfer credit petition form for more information. Students are strongly encouraged to secure course transfer approval prior to enrolling as a visiting student at another institution.

How will students studying from home get their textbooks?

All students now order their textbooks online. At checkout, students can enter the address to which they want their books shipped.

Will students studying from home be able to take laboratory and studio courses?

The faculty has been preparing for a semester that could have been interrupted, or where some students would have to isolate themselves for a period of time. As a result, most laboratory and studio courses have alternative structures in place, such as virtual tools through lab-at-home kits that were designed by our faculty specifically for the learning goals of each course. While some courses may have to be shifted to spring 2021, every effort is being made to minimize the number of such classes.

Has the fall 2020-21 academic calendar been finalized?

Yes. The updated 2020-21 academic calendar is available on the registrar’s website. Classes begin online Aug. 17.

What will the College do to make the online learning experiences excellent?

  • Flexible academic modalities: Faculty members are modifying their courses to accommodate online instruction according to best pedagogical practices. Building on their experiences from the spring semester—and with the support of multiple workshops, discussions, and training offered by CITLS, Learning and Research Technologies, the College Writing Program, and others.
  • Student support: Programs for student academic support—including the Academic Resource Hub’s programs for tutoring, supplemental instruction, and academic accommodations—have prepared to deliver their services online. 
  • Co-curricular and extracurricular engagement: Lafayette’s signature programs supporting student-faculty research and community-based teaching and learning are adapting to an online environment. Programming will offer opportunities for relationship building, academic exploration, and peer interaction.

Will this impact students’ flexibility in course selection?

As the faculty has been redesigning courses throughout the summer to accommodate partially remote instruction, we do not anticipate widespread changes in the courses being offered. Some courses that require hands-on experiences may be shifted to the spring 2021 semester.

How can I make adjustments to my schedule?

The move to remote instruction may make the timing of some students’ courses difficult, either for personal scheduling reasons or because of time zones. There will be an online add-drop process run through Banner available shortly before the start of the semester.

Access will open as noted (and remain open through Friday, Aug. 21):

Class of 2021: 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 7
Class of 2022: 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 10
Class of 2023: 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11
Class of 2024: 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 13

Additional information can be accessed via the Registrar’s website.

When will first-year students be assigned an academic adviser?

All first-year students will be notified in August and then can reach out to their advisers for discussion. 

Will there be classes held through the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week?

No. Instruction concludes on Friday, Nov. 20.

 

Will there be a January interim session?

Yes, according to current plans. 

Since all classes will be taught remotely, will the caps on course enrollments be increased?

No. While the physical structure of the assigned classroom may play a role in the enrollment cap for a course, those caps are set primarily to ensure the quality of the educational experience. Prioritizing educational quality remains the key issue in limiting enrollments in particular classes, and that is just as important in a remote environment.

 

Resource Alignment

Why is the tuition reduction for study at home set at 10 percent?

While all of our students will take their classes online with the very same faculty, the students who study from home will not have any access to on-campus, out-of-classroom educational experiences. While our financial processes do not assign a specific price to that part of the education we provide, we believe a 10 percent reduction is fair and reasonable.

What happens if I was awarded Federal Work Study but cannot work due to the plans for a remote fall term?

There may be certain student employment positions that will allow for remote work. In these cases, a student can work a certain number of hours and be paid for those hours. For students who cannot work remotely but still qualify for Federal Work Study, we need to wait for guidance from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) on how to proceed. As soon as this guidance is available we will contact the affected students.

What resources will be in place for advising and faculty office hours if I am studying from home?

Faculty members, academic advisers, and deans are all prepared to meet with students via Zoom during the fall semester.