Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Student FAQ

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Fall 2020 Course Schedules and Delivery

Will fall semester courses and services be delivered online? (8/7)

Courses will be delivered through a combination of face-to-face, hybrid and online courses. 

If all my classes are online for fall, do I have to come to campus? (7/24)

While USF is offering many face-to-face courses this fall, students will not be required to select face-to-face classes. Students will have a mix of face-to-face, online, and hybrid courses that best fit their academic needs and interests. We are encouraging students to choose what works best for them. Students with all online (AD) classes do not have to come to campus.

I am not comfortable returning to campus and do not learn well online. Am I able to defer my enrollment for a semester without penalty? (6/23)

Continuing students who are not willing or able to return to campus or are not comfortable in the online environment may be inclined to defer enrollment for another semester, but we strongly encourage students to stay on track to four-year graduation. We’ve boosted support services to help students and instructors transition to the online environment.

Students who defer continuing their education may not meet the renewal requirements for any scholarship that they may have received, and as a result, would have to petition for an exception to the renewal requirement. New students admitted to enroll in the fall semester cannot defer to the spring semester without authorization from the Dean of Admissions.

Note that any scholarship or waiver awarded by the Office of Admissions is only valid if the student starts in Summer or Fall. Deferring to Spring will result in the cancelling of any scholarship or waiver.

What should I expect for my on-campus classes? (7/24)

On-campus course delivery will vary from course to course, depending on numerous factors. Still, some percentage of the instruction will occur face-to-face with safety precautions in place to support a healthy environment, including physical distancing, face-covering requirements, and enhanced cleaning protocols. In some cases, smaller classes will be held in classrooms large enough to contain the entire class and will meet face-to-face on a regular schedule each week. Other classes may be delivered online for the most part, but students will come together physically at specified times during the semester for various purposes, as determined by the instructor. Classes too large for the students to meet together in a classroom on a regular schedule will be divided by the instructor into two or more cohorts. These cohorts will alternate meetings either in the classroom face-to-face or synchronous/live online on a schedule determined by the instructor.

How will labs and studios classes be delivered? (7/24)

Labs and studios will be delivered in the modality that will best achieve successful learning outcomes and meet specialized accreditation standards. Some lab courses may be delivered online, while others will be delivered in a hybrid model, where a portion of the course (e.g., a lecture) is delivered online, with the lab portion on campus.

If I want to make changes to my schedule, what do I do? (7/24)

The process for registering for classes or changing your course schedule has not changed. Students can register and adjust their schedule through Schedule Planner in MyUSF. Students can view updates to their course sections by reviewing the “Student Section Detail” screen in OASIS.

I am scheduled for on-campus courses but I do not want to come to campus this semester. Can I opt to take them online? (7/24)

Many classroom (CL) and hybrid blend (HB) courses have an online (AD) section. If you have a CL or HB course that does not have an online section that you can switch to, you will need to register for a different course that is offered online by the end of the Drop/Add period.

Will there be any additional changes to the fall course schedule? (7/24)

Routine changes to details like classroom location may occur, so be sure to check your schedule ahead of time for on-campus attendance. We will be monitoring demand for existing course sections to make routine adjustments as needed.

With all classes having an online component, when will the distance learning fee be charged? (7/24)

Only asynchronous All Online (AD) and Primarily Distance Learning (PD) courses will be charged a distance learning fee of $30 per credit hour. If AD or PD courses are delivered synchronously, no distance learning fee will be charged.

If I start attending a CL or HB class face-to-face, can I switch anytime during fall semester to attending online? If so, how? (7/24)

If your CL or HB course has a complementary AD section and there is no waitlist, you can switch to the online cross-listed section in Schedule Planner. If you need help navigating this switch, contact your academic advisor. Be advised that once you switch to online, you cannot revert back.

If there is a significant spike in COVID-19 cases at some point during the fall semester, will face-to-face courses shift online? (7/24)

USF’s plan for fall 2020 is designed to be flexible, and the university can revert to a previous phase based on COVID-19 conditions. Faculty have been advised to prepare for quality online delivery at any point in the coming semester should conditions dictate.

My course schedule has all my courses online which may be a problem with my Veterans Administration benefits. Is there someone who can guide me? (7/24)

The Veteran Success office/center on your campus can help you navigate your options to ensure that you can utilize your earned benefits.

Who can advise me on U.S. student visa requirements to make sure my schedule complies? (7/24)

USF World advisors have been monitoring international students’ schedules as the university updated the course schedule, and the U.S. government considered changing visa requirements. Although we believe potential issues have been proactively addressed, please contact your international advisor to review your schedule.

Are any special precautions being taken for senior citizen students? (7/24)

Following guidance from the State of Florida, USF’s senior citizen students (aged 60+) who are auditing courses will only be permitted to take online courses during the fall semester. Seniors taking for-credit courses are also encouraged to take courses online but will be permitted to take any course at their discretion.

If I get sick and can’t attend class, what should I do? (7/24)

Notify your instructor and seek medical treatment from Student Health Services/Wellness Center on campus or your personal medical provider. If you feel well enough to continue the course online, do so. If you are too ill to attend the class online, you will need to discuss your options with your instructor.

Are all fall semester classes still going to be online after Thanksgiving break? (7/24)

Yes. After Thanksgiving, for the protection of the community, all fall courses will be delivered online, either synchronously or asynchronously, with no face-to-face meetings scheduled through the end of the final exam period.

How will classes be offered in the spring 2021 semester? (7/24)

USF is continually monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will make updates to the spring 2021 semester throughout the fall. Registration for spring 2021 begins November 2, 2020.

Healthy Campus Environment

How will the university keep students safe when we return to campus? (8/7)

The health and safety of our faculty, staff and students is our highest priority as we plan for resuming additional operations on campus. Our enhanced safety precautions include installing thousands of signs with reminders that face coverings are required, to maintain physical distancing and practice good hygiene. Adjustments have been made to our facilities, such as plexiglass shields and limits on room and elevator capacities. New outdoor spaces have been identified and will be furnished as places to work or study between classes.  

A certain segment of the USF community will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing before the start of the fall semester, including student-athletes and those in residential housing. Additionally, a random sampling of students, faculty and staff who are returning to campus for the fall semester will be selected for testing. Any student, faculty and staff whose COVID-19 test comes back positive will be notified of their test results and instructed to self-isolate away from campus until medically cleared. 

The success of our plan relies on USF’s culture of caring and a shared sense of responsibility to sustain the well-being of our community, even in our daily lives when we’re not on campus. Anyone who feels sick should stay home.

Will students be expected to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus? (7/29)

Prior to the first day of classes for the fall 2020 semester, all students, faculty and staff will receive and be required to complete a Return to Campus COVID-19 Assessment to evaluate their exposure to COVID-19, current state of COVID-19 symptoms, and whether they will be physically returning to any of the USF campuses for the fall semester.

A certain segment of the USF community will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing before the start of the fall semester, including student-athletes and those in residential housing. Additionally, a random sampling of students, faculty and staff who are returning to campus for the fall semester will be selected for testing. Any student, faculty and staff whose COVID-19 test comes back positive will be notified of their test results and instructed to self-isolate away from campus until medically cleared. 

To learn more, please review the July 29 update

Can I get a COVID-19 test on campus? (9/2)

COVID-19 testing is available on each of the USF campuses.

      • USF Tampa campus: Students can be tested on the Tampa campus through Student Health Services. Please contact SHS for questions and availability. Testing is also available through the Hillsborough County testing site located in the parking lot adjacent to the USF Health Therapy (MDT) building. You must register for an appointment online in advance by going to HCFLGov.net/COVIDTesting. To make an appointment by phone, call (888) 513-6321 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
      • USF St. Petersburg campus: A testing site will be open every Wednesday at USF St. Petersburg from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. outside of the Student Life Center by appointment only.
      • USF Sarasota-Manatee campus: Testing will be conducted outside of the SMD building by appointment only on Thursdays from 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. Faculty, staff and students who wish to be tested must register for an appointment online.

Where do I find information on the USF Daily Symptom Check, random testing and cluster screening protocol? (8/31)

Please review the Testing page in the Returning to Campus section for more information on the USF Daily Symptom Check, random testing and cluster screening. 

Will I be required to wear a face covering when returning to campus?  Will USF provide coverings? (9/3)

The University of South Florida requires students, faculty, staff and visitors to wear face coverings inside university facilities on campus including, but not limited to, classrooms, conference rooms, shared work spaces, academic and administrative buildings, lobbies and lounge areas, research facilities, residence halls, student unions, performance spaces, retail spaces, museums, libraries and dining facilities. Anyone using a dining facility should cover their face until they sit down to eat and then put the face covering back on immediately after.

Face coverings are required when moving through shared spaces (lobbies, elevators, stairwells, lounges, etc.), when using campus public transportation and while inside university vehicles or golf carts if more than one person is present.

Face coverings may be removed when inside of a private building space, such as a single use, completely enclosed office or residence hall room. Based on the latest research that suggests the coronavirus can travel through the air and transfer from person to person, face coverings should be worn in cubicles even if they are spaced at least six feet apart and have vertical barriers in place between workstations.

USF requires wearing face coverings in outdoor public spaces on campus when in the presence of others.

USF will provide cloth face masks to those who may need them. Cloth neck buffs (also known as neck gaiters) will no longer be distributed.

How will you enforce health and safety guidelines, like face coverings and physical distancing? (6/23)

There will be expectations of all members of our university communities, including all visitors and vendors, for all health and safety standards. Physical distancing, face coverings and surface disinfection protocols will be in effect and will be enforced for everyone on any of our campuses. We will also provide guidance to our faculty, staff and students on our expectations for how they comport themselves when out in public outside of campus.

The primary goal remains to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 on our campuses and in our communities; this is both an individual and a collective responsibility. As part of our final plan, which we expect to share later this month, we will clearly outline each risk mitigation strategy and associated enforcement measure, so everyone understands what is expected. For example, if a student decides NOT to wear a face covering in class, they will be asked to comply with university guidance. If they still chose to not comply, the student may be removed from the class and face further consequences.

Will residence halls be open in the fall? What modifications will be in place? (6/24)

Yes. Residence halls will be open in the fall on the Tampa and St. Petersburg campuses. You can read more about plans related to housing on their websites

Will residential students be allowed to return to campus after Thanksgiving? (6/23)

Yes. Residence halls and dining options will remain open after Thanksgiving break for students who need access until the end of the fall semester.

If there is an unexpected uptick in COVID-19 cases in the fall, does the university have a contingency plan? (6/23)

Yes. The university's phased approach to reopening limits the number of individuals on campus and includes precautions to reduce community transmission of coronavirus and mitigate the possible exposure of returning students, faculty and staff. Our decisions to progress to the next phase, or scale back operations if COVID-19 conditions change, will be made by analyzing factors such as public health and epidemiological data; governmental orders and recommendations; and the availability of personal protective equipment.  

Please read President Currall's June 12 announcement for further information.

What are the guidelines to returning to campus after being exposed to COVID-19 and/or testing positive/negative? (8/11)

Campus Life, Facilities and Fees

Can I still study on campus with the restrictions and reduced capacity of facilities? (9/3)

USF has introduced study/gathering spaces outside of many of our academic buildings to ensure students can continue to study on our campuses. Physical distancing is encouraged in these areas and a mask should be worn when around others. Please review the following maps to see the locations available.

Will you refund fees, such as parking, if USF has to scale back operations due to COVID-19? (6/23)

USF has every intention of resuming more on-campus operations in the fall. Our hope is that, with the support of the mitigation measures we will implement, we’ll be able to continue in-person activities throughout the fall. However, we have to prepare for a range of possible scenarios and develop contingency plans if we have to scale back operations due to COVID-19. Our contingency plans give us the flexibility to allow our students to continue taking courses and accessing services online to keep them on a path to timely graduation without providing refunds.

If student activities and campus life will be heavily restricted during the fall semester, why haven’t fees been lowered to make up for those changes? (6/23)

Engagement and involvement in activities are important aspects of the college experience. While some large on-campus student events will be restricted to protect the health of our community, we still intend to offer a blend of in-person and virtual activities and events throughout the fall semester. Students will also still have the opportunity to get involved in student organizations.

Although the necessary public health protocols may at first seem to minimize social interaction, the focus is onphysically distancing rather than on social distancing. USF departments will continue to hold events and students will have opportunities to engage in social activities both face to face and virtually. For example, we expect recreational facilities on all campuses to be open with appropriate adjustments to provide physical distancing. There are costs associated with student and professional staffing and programming, whether in person or online, and the fees are designed to cover those expenses.

Will mail service continue? (3/26)

Tampa Campus

  • Please pick up any mail and or packages from the mail centers before leaving campus. Ensure all of your carriers have an updated address on file for you.
  • Update your forwarding address in the Housing Portal and contact any pending deliveries with your updated delivery address. This includes updating your default address in Amazon.
  • To access the mail forwarding form in the Housing Portal, choose My Account, My Profile, and choose Mail Forwarding Information.
  • As of April 6, mail and package services will be available only to residents who have been approved to remain on-campus. All other packages will be returned to sender.

St. Petersburg Campus

  • Mail and package systems will be suspended as of Monday, March 30. Any mail or packages that are currently in-transit or on-site will be collected and held for check out.
  • Any mail or packages shipped or received after Monday, March 30, will be returned to sender.
  • Please update your mailing address with all appropriate parties (i.e. Amazon, USPS, etc.) immediately.
  • If you have shipped sensitive materials such as medication to campus and have not yet received them, please reach out to Stephen Harris at sjharris1@usf.edu as soon as possible.
  • Please read the March 26 update to St. Petersburg campus residential students for more information..

Why do online courses require fees? (8/7)

Designing and delivering quality online learning requires investment in faculty development and support, instructional designers, media producers, assessment staff, and administrative personnel. In addition, student authentication and accessibility, academic quality assurance, help desk support, proctoring, learning management system and software are all resource intensive.

Tuition and fees for online courses have been calculated by a thorough Cost of Online Education report conducted by the State University System of Florida to determine accurate and fair costs.

Will tuition and fees be adjusted for fall 2020? (8/7)

Tuition and fees are regulated by Florida Statute, Florida Board of Governor’s Regulations and USF Regulations. Tuition and fees are assessed per USF Regulation 4.0102.

Technology Resources

How do I access my @usf.edu email account or Microsoft Teams? (4/3)

Visit Information Technology’s Remote Resources site for up-to-date information on accessing Office 365 email and other IT services.

How can students work in groups outside of the classroom? (3/17)

All students have access to Microsoft Teams and Office 365, providing an additional resource for collaboration with faculty and student peers. Find more details on how to use Microsoft Teams.

I don't have access to a computer for participating in remote learning. What do I do? (5/18)

The university has a limited number of laptops available for students. Please email the LibraryServicesDesk@usf.edu and provide your name, U#, and physical mailing address. If a laptop is available, Library staff will mail it to you for your use for the full semester.

Financial Aid

Am I eligible for CARES Act funds? (5/15)

As stipulated by the US Dept. of Education, only current degree-seeking students enrolled at least half time in spring 2020 who are eligible to apply for federal Title IV financial aid are eligible to apply for CARES Act funds. Students enrolled in fully online graduate programs, international, and undocumented students are not eligible. Funding is limited and, therefore, prioritized for students who have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), exhausted all their funding options, and been impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways: student and/or spouse loss or reduction of employment (i.e., layoff/furlough or job loss), parental loss or reduction of employment (i.e., layoff/furlough or job loss), or other unexpected circumstances.

Learn more about applying for CARES Act funds.

I applied for the USF United Support Fund prior to the CARES Act funding for students. What should I do? (4/27)

If you applied for an award from the USF United Support Fund and did not receive an award before those funds were depleted, or you received less than the $1,000 maximum, you can apply for a CARES grant. If you received an automatic CARES Act grant payment, you do not need to apply again.


WHAT IF I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

For additional questions about USF and coronavirus, contact COVIDquestions@usf.edu.