Students: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated June 4, 2020, 1:58 p.m.

Students Frequently Asked Questions

Student Belongings
Residential Life
Courses, Enrollment, D-Plan, Special Circumstances
Tuition, Financial Aid, and Employment
Seniors and Graduation

Student Belongings

When will students who left belongings on campus receive them? How will students know when those have been shipped?

We are committed to completing the process for graduating students by mid-June, and for all undergraduates by August 15. If a student chooses a shipping option on their undergraduate housing questionnaire, we will email them when their items have been shipped.

How will this process work for graduating students?

We will pack and ship items first for students who are graduating. Unless the student indicates otherwise on the undergraduate housing questionnaire, we will begin packing graduating students' belongings next week, following all physical distancing and other public health requirements. We expect to begin shipping items before the end of May, and to complete shipping to graduating students by mid-June. Large items will be stored here in controlled storage until it is possible for students to return to pick them up. We will hold large items in storage for up to a year to give graduates adequate time to arrange to retrieve them.

Will Dartmouth cover the costs of shipping and storing student items?

Yes, the College will pay for returning and storing student items during this process.

How will the College work with international students to return their items?

At this time, international shipping presents a variety of challenges. Packing and storing those items may be the best and safest option for the time being. We will work individually with international students on the best and logistically feasible options.

What are the shipping restrictions on large items?

Anything flammable/hazardous/illegal, appliances/electronics, bicycles, carpets/rugs, dirty dishes/plates/utensils, exercise equipment, food and drink, furniture, mattresses, large paintings/artwork/signs, plants, refrigerators, televisions, and similar items cannot be shipped.

What about the belongings of students in living-learning communities and Greek organization facilities?

Our process includes all College-owned residential facilities for undergraduates. The director of Greek life will work with the leadership of organizations that operate privately-owned Greek facilities on a process for belongings left in those buildings.

Where are you storing things that students would like to leave on campus?

We expect that all items will be stored in controlled storage locations on campus. In the unlikely event that we need overflow, items will be placed in secure local storage at the College's expense.

What if a student's item gets lost or damaged?

Reimbursement requests for damage to personal property prior to shipping will be handled through the normal Dartmouth reimbursement process.

Why can't students watch via FaceTime or some other platform as their belongings are packed?

To be as efficient as possible, we hope to sort out concerns about individual belongings before packing begins, using the student's shipping form and following up with students if we need clarification.

When will students know if they can sign up for the controlled/timed on-campus return process this summer? What will that look like?

First and foremost, this will depend on the evolving public health situation. We expect to be in touch with students by mid- to late-June with an update for this option. The process will likely permit no more than one or two people (including a designated proxy if a student is unable to return), to come to campus during a designated two-hour time slot in July to collect their items. We will share details as we receive students' preferences, and process information. Again, all packing, storage, and shipping must be completed no later than August 15 so that we can clean and prepare the residence halls for possible occupancy in the fall.

Can students access packages previously delivered to their Hinman address?

Hinman has approximately 300 packages that arrived before spring break. We will store the packages until a student's return, or ship them by the end of spring term to the address the student has provided on the belongings form.

How should students retrieve their cars?

All students will be able to retrieve cars as part of the return pick-up process that we hope to be able to offer in July (see above). Or, they can pick up their car when they return to enroll in classes.



Are some students still on campus? If so, how many, and why are they still living on campus?

For a variety of reasons, about 300 students received approval to stay in residence halls for spring term. Approximately 169 students still remain. Following public health guidance, the students are required to avoid groups and social gatherings, and practice social distancing. They are also not allowed to let anyone else into their residence halls for any reason.

For the students remaining on campus, what facilities will be open and when? What facilities are closed?

There are limited facilities open on campus. The gym, library, Collis Center, and Robinson Hall are closed. Dartmouth Dining is preparing takeout meals only for those undergraduates approved to live in residence halls during spring term. Dartmouth is unable to offer meals for students, faculty, and staff living off-campus. Food to go is available at the Class of 1953 Commons daily during these times:

Breakfast: 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dinner: 4 to 6 p.m.

Access to meal pick-up at '53 Commons is limited to 10 campus residents at a time. The building will close for cleaning between each meal period. All diners should wash their hands before entering the building. All other dining locations will remain closed for spring term.

What should I do if I'm on campus and think I have COVID-19 symptoms?

Dick's House providers continue to be available if you have any health concerns. If you need to consult with one of our primary care clinicians, call Dick's House at 603-646-9400.

What if I or a family member get sick with COVID-19 and I am unable to take classes this spring?

We are trying to provide as much flexibility as possible through the design of the remote courses to help students maintain academic progress. Existing withdrawal policies remain available for those students who need them, in consultation with their undergraduate dean and other campus resources.



Why did Dartmouth move to online learning for summer term?

A residential summer term relying on physical distancing and severe restrictions on activities and gatherings would pose a significant public health risk to our students and to our faculty and staff, their families, and the Upper Valley community. Put simply, given the continuing progression of the disease, a wide geographic disparity in its containment, the continuing lack of adequate testing capability, and no widespread effective treatment, with the health and safety of our community being of paramount importance we cannot offer a residential summer term. As a result, all graduate and undergraduate classes will be conducted remotely.

How can I get technology help?

You can request support on the Dartmouth Services portal.

How will undergraduates be graded for spring term?

We are implementing a credit/no credit (CT/NC) grading system for all undergraduate courses during spring term 2020. All undergraduate student work will continue to be rigorously assessed and evaluated, and academic citations will still be awarded for exceptional work according to existing guidelines. Spring term courses may be used for general education requirements and can be applied toward a student's major but will not be factored into grade point averages; median grades will not be reported for spring term. While some students may thrive in this distance-learning scenario, we decided that uniform grading, for this term only, was the fairest way to support all of our undergraduate students, and would give our faculty time to focus on the content of their coursework while also providing the opportunity to develop assessments that can be used if remote learning continues into summer term. The CT/NC grading system will apply to undergraduate courses only; graduate and professional schools and programs will be using their typical grading systems unless they notify students otherwise.

Will interactive components of certain courses, including labs, drill, music/studio, and art/theatre, be adjusted to the online setting?

A final list of available courses will be posted on March 23. Faculty are working hard and getting creative to find ways to move as many courses to a remote format, however some are more difficult than others and not all may be available.

Can first-year students, sophomores, and juniors elect to take spring term as an off-term? If so, can summer term be available to all students who wish to attend?

Spring off-terms are an option, however there are considerations that need to be taken into account when changing your D-plan. For example, completion of the first-year writing and seminar requirements are a prerequisite for off-campus study and there are minimum credit thresholds that student-athletes must meet each year in order to be eligible for the following year.

Are sophomores still required to take a sophomore summer term?

Sophomores traditionally take classes on campus in what's called "sophomore summer." There is still an expectation that students will engage in a single summer residential term as part of the requirements for graduation. Each student should be in touch with the registrar's office to discuss any changes requested to the plan that the student currently has in place. 

How will the course adjustment period work for spring term? Will the add/drop processes, shopping period, and withdrawal policy remain the same?

At this time, there are no known changes in the existing processes.

How will online classes work for students in different time zones?

There will be a variety of course types based on the needs of specific courses and faculty. 

What technological platforms will the College be using for remote instruction? Will these platforms be provided to students free of charge?

Faculty will primarily use platforms that we already have on campus such as Zoom and Canvas that do not require an additional fee from students. 

Is the College planning to make adjustments to summer term?

Dartmouth has made the decision to suspend all undergraduate international programs for the full summer term and all domestic summer term programs scheduled for the months of June and July. This includes all summer term study-abroad undergraduate programs, including language study abroad (LSA), foreign study programs (FSP), and exchange programs; and Dartmouth-supported leave-term programs such as internships, research grants, and fellowships. Students who are pursuing leave-term opportunities that can be fulfilled remotely or with an alternative set-up from their current location and requiring no air travel may request an exemption from this policy. This decision does not apply to programs run by the graduate and professional schools, and students will be notified by their respective school regarding decisions about such programs.

How will undergraduates be graded for summer term?

On May 18 the Faculty of Arts and Sciences department and program chairs voted in favor of offering an expanded non-recording option for summer term 2020 only. Details on the NRO change are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

Will research be suspended or terminated?

As have many of our peer institutions, Dartmouth has ramped-down and paused on-campus research activities. Our goal is to minimize in-person contacts to limit the opportunities for the spread of the novel coronavirus, including interactions among our researchers, support staff, and the public. This is not a decision to cease research or scholarship. However, beginning on March 23, research staff and students must perform their scholarly work remotely, unless an extension for on-campus work has been granted to use a laboratory. We will be working with all members of the academic and funding communities to minimize the negative impact on faculty, staff, and students.

How should graduate students handle thesis and dissertation work?

Students should arrange to have private and public defenses remotely for all participants. Electronic signatures will be accepted on the thesis title page.

How will the 2020 fall term be structured?

Dartmouth intends to bring some number of undergraduates back to live and study on campus this fall—the largest number we feel can be accommodated while minimizing risk for students, faculty, staff, and our neighbors in the Upper Valley. In the most likely scenario, we expect to have a mix of in-person and virtual classes in the fall for both undergraduates and graduate and professional students. We will also need to modify the ways in which students live to achieve less density in our residence and dining halls and maintain capacity for students who fall ill or need to self-quarantine.

The COVID-19 Task Force is working to address other operational matters related to our gradual return, such as whether off-campus programs can run this fall, what facilities we will designate for quarantine and isolation space, and a host of other issues. As has been our process since the start of this pandemic, recommendations from the task force will be presented to senior administrators for consideration, taking into account the latest data on the spread of the virus. Our goal is to communicate final decisions on fall term operations by June 29.


What will happen to students who have work expectations in their financial aid package and depend on the income?

Employment during this period of remote instruction has been challenging for many students. On March 16, the College took steps to allow enrolled students the opportunity to work remotely for the duration of this public health emergency. Students who could continue their work remotely were encouraged and re-hired to do so and employers were encouraged to evaluate tasks that could be completed remotely and hire student employees if appropriate.

While these measures have resulted in the employment of many, there are still a number of students with work expectations in their financial aid package for spring term who are either unemployed or underemployed. We recognize that many of these students rely on this work income for essential needs and we have devised measures to assist students during this crisis by providing potential supplemental aid when unemployed or underemployed. Please visit the Student Employment Office for details.

Do students have to pay full tuition for summer term? What about room and board?

Dartmouth's teaching is a point of pride and distinction. For summer term, our commitment to excellent instruction will be no different, even with the delivery being different. Our faculty have quickly and enthusiastically embraced the challenge of planning for virtual instruction for the summer term. We will charge regular tuition for summer term, as are our peers, and we will strengthen financial aid to meet the increased need we know many students and their families are feeling as a result of the disruption from the pandemic. We will not charge room and board for summer term.

How will refunds for housing and meal plans be disbursed? Does this differ for students receiving financial aid?

Student bills are being updated to reflect appropriate room and board status and to reflect updated financial aid. 

How will students who bear the extra cost of living off-campus be supported, given that campus amenities, services and jobs are no longer available to them?

We are updating our financial aid packages to reflect these changing needs.



How will students without a reliable internet connection or printers be accommodated?

Our team is working to provide internet access to students who do not have it. We will provide an update next week.

Will the faculty use materials that can be procured online, and will textbooks/books required for courses be available for free?

The library staff are working with faculty to make as many resources available online as possible.

How will student accommodations offered through Student Accessibility Services (SAS) be ensured and respected in an online setting?

The SAS director is part of the academic continuity planning team working to transition courses to a remote format. Resources will be available to support approved accommodations in this context.



What are the plans for commencement for the Class of 2020?

Dartmouth will hold a virtual degree-conferring ceremony called Celebrating the Moment: Dartmouth 2020 on June 14. Event details can be found on the commencement website. In addition, the 2020 graduates will be invited to return to campus in June of 2021 for a special commencement celebration. A date and details about the 2021 event are currently under discussion.

Will graduating students have to pass the swim test or meet outstanding physical education requirements?

We have suspended the requirements of a successful swim test and all remaining physical education credits for those undergraduate students who are graduating through summer term 2020 and have not yet met these requirements.