Return to Campus FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated September 1, 2020


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. However, the policy will be amended for this fall only by moving the deadline for changing to P/NP or taking W to the last day of class (Nov 18). The limit of two courses per year has not been changed, and courses in the major will continue to require a grade.

Who should I contact with questions about scheduling?

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 last day of classes (Nov 18). 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

What should I do about my PE requirement if I graduate in December 2020?

The PE requirement will be waived for students graduating in December 2020.

Testing/Health Issues

How frequently will students need to be tested on campus? Are we only requesting testing for students who show symptoms?

We will have a strategic plan for testing that will involve weekly campus-wide wastewater testing to monitor for increased presence of the virus on campus. Based on our population data, contact tracing, and symptoms, we will determine when and how often to test students on campus. Our initial plan calls for testing all students on four occasions, and then testing symptomatic students and contacts of positive cases on an as needed basis.

Will students, staff, or faculty be required to pay for testing?


Are faculty and staff going to be tested before they return to campus?

Our plan calls for faculty/staff who will be physically on campus to be tested. A detailed plan outlining faculty/staff testing will be shared in the coming weeks. Concerns about privacy will be addressed in these plans.

What supplies pertaining to COVID-19 or quarantine should students bring with them? i.e.: number of masks, thermometers, medical supplies?

We will be providing some of the supplies that may be difficult to find (thermometers) but will distribute a list of other items that may be useful. Please plan to bring 3-5 masks to campus. We encourage students to begin trying out various styles of masks now and wearing them for the length of time they anticipate they'd be in class to get a sense of preferred style and fit.

What will the procedures be for students who need to be quarantined?

Goucher College will use the key public health tools known as isolation and quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the campus community. Because there is typically little time to prepare for isolation or quarantine when instructed to do so, Goucher College has developed this planning guide to help students prepare to isolate or quarantine. This guide is for students who live on campus as well as students who live off-campus. For more information, see the Isolation and Quarantine Planning Guide (PDF).

Do we have a backup plan if there is a rise in cases? Which guidelines will we follow if there is another national or statewide call for closure and shelter in place?

We will be seeking input from our state and local health department on what number of cases would constitute what level of restrictive action (up to and including closure of the campus). While we await that input, we are working on developing a system to communicate risk, in real time, that is reflective of the data we are receiving from our wastewater and RT-PCR testing.

How can I best equip myself to support my ongoing mental health once I return to campus?

Recent events have created an excessive load of stress and emotional strain for much of the country with disparate impact on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. While Goucher strives to create a positive living and learning community this fall, things will definitely look and feel different. There are some skills that may help navigate the changes and ongoing stress and strain of the fall semester:

  • Willingness to reach out and seek support from various sources when needed
  • Tolerance for change to the environment
  • Creative problem-solving and flexibility
  • Initiative to maintain social connections
  • Tolerance to spending time alone
  • Adaptive self-care plan that supports emotional and physical wellness

Over the summer, we encourage student to take advantage of the EverFi training module on Mental Well-Being for Students shared with students via email in Spring 2020.

Another timely resources to bolster your emotional wellness is a free course offered by the American Red Cross – Psychological First Aid: Supporting Yourself and Others During COVID-19

What is the plan to support students’ emotional health and wellbeing?

We understand that emotional health and wellbeing are central to the ongoing academic success of our students. We will continue to leverage our JED Campus framework to ensure emotional wellness needs of our students are addressed and integrated throughout the college experience this fall. To this end, faculty, staff, and student leaders are trained in early warning signs, effective conversations, and access to resources to support students experiencing a strain to their emotional wellness. Creative programming and outreach efforts will continue through various student-facing offices including Student Engagement, Wellness, and the Student Counseling Center. The Student Counseling Center will continue providing mental health services via teletherapy to students. Student Support & Outreach is also available to provide students with the education, tools, and support needed to be successful.


The following answers reflect the current plan for Athletics, which is subject to change, based on local and state guidelines and risk levels associated with COVID-19.

Will athletes be required to wear face coverings during practice and matches?

No. Initially athletes will be required to remain physically distant at all times. As restrictions are lifted, contact practices and competitions may resume without face coverings.

How will the college handle visiting teams? Will they be required to be masked?

Visitors will be required to be screened by their own Sports Medicine staffs prior to traveling to Goucher. Upon arrival, masks will be required until visitors begin their warm-ups and competitions.

Will the athletes be required to be tested more frequently?

Student-athletes will be subject to daily temperature checks and symptom tracking prior to participating in any Athletics activities.

Will students who are exercising be required to wear a face covering?

This policy has not been finalized yet. We would ask that all members of our community exercise responsibly, alone, or in socially distant groups.

Will students be able to attend athletic events? If so, what measures will be taken? Will we need to reserve tickets in advance?

We have not determined a policy for spectators at this point.

Student Affairs/Residence Life

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.

Financial Aid/Registrar

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 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.

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 19.

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 14.

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 a 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.

Has the online transfer credit policy changed?

It has been amended only for summer and fall 2020: Online courses taken at Goucher or other regionally accredited institutions during the summer and fall of 2020 will not count towards the 12 credits maximum of online/distance-learning courses that can apply toward the 120-credit minimum required for a BA degree. The process for approval of transfer courses to satisfy graduation or major/minor requirements at Goucher is unchanged.


How will the Library operate in the Fall?

Beginning August 17, 2020, the Library will be open to Goucher College students, faculty, and staff. Everyone in the Library is expected to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing, following campus Face Covering & Physical Distancing guidelines.

Will library materials be available?

Library materials will be available to circulate and upon an item's return it will be cleaned or quarantined depending on material type. Study spaces will be available but in limited amounts following the College's social distance protocols. Reserves that cannot be made available electronically will circulate but will have quarantine periods before they are able to circulate again.

Will research help be available?

Research help will be available through chat, text, and email. Appointments must be made for any in-person research consultations through our online request form.

Will Library teaching requests be available?

Librarian teaching requests can be submitted online or via email to

Will printers be available to use?

Printing will be available in the Learning Commons, the 4th floor of the library, and on the 3rd floor of the Athenaeum directly across from the Library.

Will I be able to visit Special Collections and Archives?

Special Collections & Archives will be open by appointment only.

Please refer to our Library FAQ for additional information on accessing library resources now.

Don't see an answer to your question? See the FAQs here, or ask us by emailing