Students: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated March 24, 2020, 8:52 p.m.

Students Frequently Asked Questions

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

 

RESIDENTIAL LIFE

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 have received approval to stay in residence halls on campus. 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. Students who have received approval to stay on campus for interim will have the option to stay for spring term.

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

There will be limited facilities open on-campus. The gym, library, Collis Center and Robinson Hall are closed. Food to go will continue to be available. For the rest of interim, the Courtyard Café at the Hop is open daily, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. An updated schedule of available to-go food options will be made available to students who have been approved to be on campus at the start of spring term. To promote social distancing, all tables and chairs have been removed from the seating area and all meals will be prepared to go. Dartmouth Dining Service is asking that all customers wash their hands before entering. 

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.

What will happen to my belongings in my room?

Given that there were thousands of students here this winter, and given current campus conditions, this is a very complex issue and will take time. Currently, with the exception of Maxwell and Channing Cox, belongings remain in rooms and the rooms are locked down. No one has access to them. We will have more information about this for undergraduates on March 23. In accordance with federal and state guidance and our policies on remote work and learning, we are not allowing any students to travel to campus to collect belongings. We cannot increase the risk of transmission for people on campus or in the Upper Valley.

 

COURSES, ENROLLMENT, D-PLAN, SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

Why did Dartmouth move to online learning for all of spring term?

The rapid spread of COVID-19 and the local and global events that have occurred in recent days led us to conclude that we must take additional measures to protect and support our campus and the local community. As a result, all graduate and undergraduate classes will be conducted remotely.

How can I get technology help?

Our IT and student care teams are coordinating a process for students to request additional support or services, such as access to high speed internet that may be needed to participate in the remote term. Details on how to access the services will be rolled out during the week of March 23. We are redeploying our IT resources to triple the size of the team dedicated to fielding support requests for remote learning platforms and we will be offering extended support hours starting the week of March 23.

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.

When will faculty release updated course syllabi?

Faculty are hard at work adapting courses to a remote format and will be post updates as soon as they can.

Where can students find an updated spring term course timetable? Will all courses still be offered, and if not, when will students know of cancellations?

The list of available spring term courses, which includes arts and science and engineering classes, is available on the Timetable for Class Meetings. Most of the courses originally listed on the spring timetable remain. Approximately 20 courses have been cancelled and students enrolled in those courses have been informed by the instructors. We are updating the timetable as soon as we learn of a course cancellation. There are a few new courses added as well.

Is there guidance and will there be requirements for online courses, including exams and attendance policies?

Faculty committees are examining these issues considering the transition to remote learning. Updated or changed policies will be communicated as those decisions are made. 

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 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.

Can students accepted to FSP/LSA/LSA+ programs for spring term be allowed to change their D-plan or register for spring term classes?

Yes. Contact the registrar. Requests will be reviewed during the week of March 23.

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. Details about how courses are being offered will be made available next week. 

How will academic resources such as professor/TA office hours, tutors, and RWIT be made available?

Faculty teaching undergraduate classes will hold office hours. We are working on additional support services to be made available remotely and will have details in the coming week. 

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.

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.

 

TUITION, FINANCIAL AID, AND EMPLOYMENT

What will happen to students who have work-study jobs and depend on the income.

We have a team exploring options for students to do remote work study and work in other ways and will have more information soon. We have put in place a care team whose members are reviewing request from students that have health or financial hardships and providing support to those who need it.

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

Dartmouth's teaching is a point of pride and distinction. For spring 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 spring term. We will charge regular tuition for spring 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 spring 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. If a student/family has already paid, the student should log on to DartHub to request a refund.

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 and will have updates in the coming week.

 

ACCESSIBILITY

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

Our team is exploring what options are available to provide internet access to student 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.

 

SENIORS AND GRADUATION

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 in June and have not yet met these requirements.

Can seniors elect to take an off-term in the spring and return to take courses in the summer? If so, would they be able to participate in commencement, assuming it takes place?

A student who takes a leave spring term, has not yet met the 12R term limit, and has not graduated, may elect to enroll for summer term 2020 or winter term 2021. We do not yet know which or how many courses will be offered in summer term, and courses required to complete a degree may not be available. There may be other ramifications for athletes, international students, etc. Students should consider their own circumstances and speak to their advisers. The Undergraduate Deans Office will manage commencement march requests according to the same criteria applied in previous years.

What are the current plans for commencement? If commencement cannot proceed as planned, will Dartmouth offer an alternate ceremony/event at a later time?

We are monitoring the situation and exploring alternatives for commencement. A decision about commencement will be made by April 10.