August 10, 2020

Updated Fall Semester FAQs

Dear Goucher community,

As Goucher announced on July 31, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the college is now planning to move the fall semester entirely online. We understand that the transition to online learning this fall has created new questions regarding academics, student affairs, and other essential topics. As such, we have updated our Return to Campus list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to address these new questions and provide the most up-to-date information.

We encourage all students to discuss their fall planning with their academic advisors, faculty advisors, or the Office of Student Support & Outreach. Each of these offices will be able to help provide advising and support for individual student needs.

We also recognize that some in our community face financial challenges to online learning, and the college is working to help support those students. The Janet Cane Fisher '38 Fund has been established to provide emergency financial assistance, and students may apply to the fund to help support access to laptops, WiFi, as well as other needs during this challenging time.

The list of the updated FAQs is included below and on the Return to Campus website. If you have additional questions, we encourage you to reach out to for further assistance.

Be well.


How will science labs, dance and performing arts classes, and art studios take place in an online setting?

Faculty are reaching out to their students individually with details, but overall they are being conducted virtually in accordance with the best practices in each discipline. For example, some science labs will be sending kits of materials out to students.

Will classes be Pass/No Pass?

At this time, given the additional time we have all had to adjust and plan for online learning, our usual policy is in place for that fall where students may choose to take two courses per academic year on a pass/no pass basis. The pass/no pass option must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the end of the tenth week of classes and for half-semester courses by the end of the third week. Pass is equivalent to any grade from A through C- as normally interpreted at Goucher College. A grade of P or NP will not affect a student’s grade point average. Faculty are reviewing if the P/NP policy should be revised for fall 2020. If it does, it will be communicated to students before the deadline.

Who should I contact with questions about scheduling?

Please contact your advisor with any questions about scheduling. Current students who have been authorized by their advisor may register and add/drop fall courses online that do not require instructor or departmental approvals, until:

  • Wednesday, August 26 – add first seven-week courses
  • Friday, August 28 – drop first seven-week courses
  • Wednesday, October 14 – add second seven-week courses
  • Friday, October 16 – drop second seven-week courses
  • Friday, August 28 – add full semester courses
  • Friday, September 4 – drop full-semester courses

The last day a student may drop a semester course without a withdrawal appearing on the transcript is the ninth day of classes. If a student drops a class after this time, the student will receive a grade of “W”. The last day to withdraw from a course is the end of the tenth week. Deadlines for half-semester courses are in proportion to their seven-week length. Check the Important Dates for Students calendar for exact dates.

How will classes take place for students in different time zones?

Faculty are reaching out to their students on this question as well. For early morning classes with students in different time zones, some may move to the afternoon, and some may move part or all of the course asynchronous.

How can I get my academic accommodations for the online semester?

If you have a disability that requires accommodations or temporary impairment (conditions include but are not limited to mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), please visit the Accommodations and Services section on the Accessibility Services website to make a request and submit documentation. If you are a returning student and have already established accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS), please ensure that you’ve renewed your accommodations through the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE)The Coordinator of OAS, Amanda Freeman, is available by appointment to answer questions and discuss any implementation issues you may have. Please address general inquiries to

Student Affairs

How can I retrieve my belongings that were left on campus in the spring?

An announcement will be shared with students soon regarding options for picking up, shipping, or storing their belongings. The update will include a time frame for completion as well.

How will we develop a sense of community for students?

The Student Affairs team will be working diligently to engage students with their respective clubs, organizations, and intentional virtual events. Planning will be done in collaboration with our returning students to ensure that these are opportunities that will garner student’s attention. Additionally, all services will be modified to be available online, including a new version of the “mobile dean.” We are planning on the “virtual dean.”

Will clubs still happen in the fall?

Absolutely. Led by Aisha Rivers, the Office of Student Engagement is working with our partners in IT to support opportunities for clubs and organizations to be able to utilize Zoom for club meetings and events.

Will there be another room draw when we do return to campus?

This has not been determined. More information will be shared later in the fall term.

What are the criteria for exemptions to live on campus?

The exceptions to residing on campus this fall are our recognition that the move to remote instruction and the decision not to offer campus housing may create additional hardships for students. Students that are in unsafe housing situations, are experiencing housing insecurity, and/or are facing extraordinary circumstances that may render them unable to successfully engage in academic study in their homes are eligible to request an exception to reside on campus.

Will I get a refund for meal plans/room & board?

Yes. Financial Aid is working to repackage all students.

Student Financial Services

Will tuition, room and board charges be reduced as a result of Goucher going online?

Tuition costs will remain the same. Courses delivered remotely will be taught by Goucher’s faculty and will be applied toward your degree. As always, class sizes will be small, allowing for faculty to get to know you and interact with you. The college has incurred significant costs in order to increase our ability to deliver quality instruction remotely.

The costs for room and board (meal plans) for the fall semester will be credited to your student account.

What if I’m approved to stay on campus? Will I have room and board charges?

Yes, if you are approved to stay on campus, you will incur room and board charges.

Will I still be charged the student activity fee?

The student activity fee has been reduced from $200 per year to $100 (or $50/semester) given that our ability to host activities will be more limited.

Will my financial aid be adjusted due to the above?

If you were awarded need-based aid, your award will be reviewed and in most cases be adjusted based on a new cost of attendance. Broadly speaking, when we construct a financial aid package, we start by determining a student’s cost of attendance. Students not living on campus have a lower cost of attendance because they are not paying Goucher room and board. We then subtract out a student’s expected family contribution—which remains constant regardless of the budget—this invariably results in different levels of “need.” While a student’s merit scholarship is not impacted by this, other forms of need-based aid might be adjusted.

What if I am repackaged as not being on campus but I want to return to campus for spring?

The college has not decided what will happen in the spring as we will be monitoring conditions throughout the fall but if you have room on campus in the spring, we will once again review your need-based award.

If adjusted, when will I hear about the new financial aid package?

Student Financial Services is in the process of reviewing awards on a student-by-student basis with the goal of completing the process by end of business on August 11th. You will receive an email by that evening letting you know that your new financial aid is available for viewing on Net Partner.

When will I receive a new E-Bill statement?

You will receive an email on the evening of August 12 letting you know that your statement is available for viewing.

When is my balance due?

Payments or payment arrangements must be in place by August 17.

What if my payment plan monthly amounts included the balance from room and board charges?

You may change your monthly amount by visiting

For those with Annual plans we recommend (as an estimate) that you reduce your Annual plan by the cost of the Room and Board for Fall term only. Further adjustments may be needed after housing plans for Spring '21 have been released.

For those with Fall term only plans we recommend you reduce your fall plan by the cost of the Fall Room and Board.

If you need to recalculate the amount, use the UG Worksheet at

What if I already paid my balance, including room and board charges?

If, once all the changes above have been made, your statement shows an overall credit balance, we can either apply it toward spring or you can request a refund. Refunds can be requested at and will be available beginning August 19th.

If I was awarded Federal Work-Study (FWS), will I have the opportunity to work?

There may be certain student employment positions that will allow for remote work. In these cases, you would work a certain number of hours and be paid for those hours. For those of you who are unable to work remotely but still qualify for FWS, 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.

Will I be paid my FWS allocation if I am not allowed to work?

In the spring, the CARES Act allowed us to pay students who were eligible for FWS and who had jobs for hours that they would have worked that semester had we remained on campus. At this time, we do not have any indication that a similar congressional provision will be made to allow us to do the same for the fall semester. We are in the process of determining which jobs can be done remotely and, in which states are we able to pay students for hours worked remotely.

Can my FWS allocation be transferred to the spring semester?

Students are generally packaged FWS for the year. If a student is unable to work for the fall semester they can use their fall allotment in the spring semester if the hours are available.

Is health insurance still required?

Yes, all full-time undergraduate students must have health insurance. Goucher College will automatically charge students for Goucher's health insurance. You may waive this coverage and have the charge removed if you have comparable coverage. The waiver deadline is August 14th.

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

Taking a leave of absence is an option for currently enrolled students only and is managed by the Registrar's Office. Deferring enrollment is an option for new incoming students.

How can I defer?

To defer, you must send an email to and indicate whether you wish to defer to either the Spring '21 or Fall '21. You may defer admission for no more than two consecutive semesters.

During the deferral period, you may take no more than 12 college credits. Students who take more than 12 college credits will be required to reapply as a transfer student.

What happens to my aid if I defer?

Since need-based financial aid is determined and packaged on a yearly basis, you will need to resubmit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for need-based financial aid. The FAFSA for the following year opens on October 1.

If you received a merit scholarship, it will be continued providing so long as you take no more than 12 credits at another institution during their deferral period. Scholarship recipients who complete more than 12 college credits during the deferral period may forfeit the scholarship.

What happens to my aid if I take a leave of absence (LOA)?

Institutional aid is limited to eight semesters. The semester(s) when you are on a LOA do not count toward the eight-semester limit. Students receiving need-based aid will need to reapply each year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Note, if you have previously borrowed through the student loan programs, you will enter repayment after a six-month grace period. If you do enter repayment, the payment can once again be deferred once you reenroll on at least a half-time basis.

What if I had a prior credit from Spring '20 for room and board?

Your credit will be applied toward your fall '20 tuition.