Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Student FAQ

*BullBot is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Please use Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari. USF strives to make online resources accessible to all individuals including by making resources compatible with assistive technologies such as screen readers. If you are having difficulty viewing this resource or the format interferes with your ability to access information with the use of assistive technology, please contact our ADA Coordinator.


Summer B and Fall 2021

Where can I find updated information on Summer Session B and the Fall 2021 semester? (3/4/21)

President Currall sent a letter to the USF community on March 3 with anticipated plans for Summer B and the Fall 2021 semester. You can find that letter here.

**This is a very fluid, dynamic situation, so please understand that the university’s circumstances could change at any time. We deeply appreciate your patience and adaptability as we work to respond to this evolving situation.

Does this mean I am required to enroll in in-person courses for Summer B and Fall 2021? (3/4/21)

University leadership continues to make decisions guided by the scientific advice of public health and infectious disease experts at USF, along with government agencies. Based on that guidance, the University expects to resume full in-person activities on our campuses in Fall 2021, with a return to on-campus classes for incoming freshmen in Summer B. As we have done for many years, we will deliver an array of quality modalities including online and hybrid classes for students who find them more convenient and to ensure access and progress to timely graduation.

Is the university going to require proof of vaccination before students, faculty, and staff are allowed in classrooms and other on-campus locations? (3/4/21)

No decision has been made at this time. Discussions are occurring at the state level and within the University regarding whether or not proof of vaccination will be required for students, faculty, and staff to attend class or to be on campus. Vaccines would have to be widely available before such a requirement could be considered. The decision and guidance around it will be shared with the entire university community as soon as possible.

Will the university help me get vaccinated? (3/4/21)

USF continues to work in close partnership with our colleagues at the Florida Department of Health to administer vaccines to as many people in our university community as possible. We are limited by the Governor’s orders and by the supply of vaccines we are given. We encourage members of our community, once they are eligible, to seek out vaccinations in their local communities. 

Are you planning for full room capacity or COVID capacity or something in-between? (3/4/21)

We are planning on full room capacity in Fall 2021 with the option to return to COVID capacity should local conditions require that physical distancing be maintained.

Will people still be issued Daily Campus Passes? (3/4/21)

Yes, the Daily Symptom Checker system will remain in operation, and all persons on campus will be expected to display the CampusPass when asked. 

Will the same systems be in place to monitor infection and exposure, and should we be prepared to shift to remote instruction at any point during the semester? (3/4/21)

Yes, because it is possible that infections may still be occurring in the community, we will continue our system of working with instructors whenever they or we learn of a positive case. We will continue to carefully assess potential exposures and work with instructors to determine whether a class needs to shift to remote instruction. We expect instructors to continue to be flexible with their students.

Vaccinations

When will the vaccine be available for students? (4/12/21)

USF remains in close contact with representatives from the state of Florida and our surrounding counties regarding COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans. Please review the April 12, 2021 update.

Where can I find more information about other vaccination locations within my community? (1/7/21)

Which vaccine is currently being administered by USF Health? (1/8/21)

USF Health has been provided a limited supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. You can learn more about this vaccine through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the university has been provided an initial limited supply of the Pfizer vaccine, it is possible USF will receive other vaccines moving forward.

I have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Do I need to practice mitigation measures such as wearing a mask and social distancing? (2/4/21)

Yes. We do not have sufficient information about whether the current vaccines can prevent you from spreading the COVID-19 virus to others around you even if you remain without symptoms and don’t get sick yourself. Experts are continuing to investigate how much protection the vaccines provide under real-life settings as well how many individuals need to be vaccinated for us to be able to roll back any mitigation measures. Until then the CDC recommends that:

  • You wear a mask over your nose and mouth in the presence of others
  • Avoid close contact by staying a minimum of 6 feet away from others
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces
  • Wash your hands frequently

What if I still have questions about vaccine distribution on USF campuses? (1/7/21)

For additional questions, please email vaccine-info@usf.edu.

Course Schedules and Delivery

Will USF offer additional in-person classes in summer and fall 2021? (2/11/21)

Summer 2021

In support of USF’s commitment to student access for success, the university is preparing to significantly increase the number of on-campus classes and activities in summer 2021, especially during Session B (currently scheduled to begin June 28).

Continuing the shared responsibility demonstrated in mitigating transmission of the COVID-19 virus throughout 2020, USF will carefully monitor public health conditions as we plan for a safe and supportive summer term. As part of this shared responsibility, we are grateful to all members of our campus communities — in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee — for their continued compliance with preventive health measures.

At all times, we will be guided by the scientific advice of our public health and infectious disease experts at USF along with government agencies. Recognizing that public health conditions can change quickly, our faculty and staff will be prepared to rapidly adapt, as needed, during summer 2021.

If, as we expect, summer classroom seat availability will continue to be limited due to physical distancing requirements, and recognizing the difficulties and disappointments faced by recent high school graduates, on-campus class 
priority will be set for current freshmen who entered USF in summer/fall 2020 and spring 2021, and incoming freshmen starting summer/fall 2021.

Fall 2021

The university is planning for a full return to on-campus classroom delivery and activities beginning fall 2021. Continuing the shared responsibility demonstrated in mitigating transmission of the COVID-19 virus throughout 2020, USF will carefully monitor public health conditions as we plan for a safe and supportive fall semester. As part of this shared responsibility, we are grateful to all members of our campus communities — in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee — for their continued compliance with preventive health measures.

At all times, we will be guided by the scientific advice of our public health and infectious disease experts at USF along with government agencies. Recognizing that public health conditions can change quickly, our faculty and staff will be prepared to rapidly adapt, as needed, during fall 2021. As we have done for many years, we will continue to deliver an array of quality online classes for students who find them more convenient and to ensure choice of student access and progress to timely graduation.

If there is a significant spike in COVID-19 cases at some point during the spring semester, will face-to-face courses shift online? (12/7/20)

As in fall, USF’s plan for spring 2021 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.

If I get sick and can’t attend class, what should I do? (7/24/20)

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.

Healthy Campus Environment

How will the university keep students safe when we return to campus? (12/7/20)

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.  

As in the fall, all faculty, staff and students will be required to complete our Return to Campus COVID-19 Assessment prior to the start of the semester on Jan. 11, 2021. Additionally, individuals returning to campus will also be placed in a pool for weekly random COVID-19 testing, which the university will continue to utilize as an important part of our disease-mitigation strategy. Those selected at random will receive specific instructions to receive a test. If you are selected, you must participate, unless you can provide a COVID-19 test result from within the past 14 days.

You are also now required to self-report if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive. You should self-report through the Daily Symptom Checker app and notify your instructors and/or your supervisor.

All members of the USF community are encouraged to get tested if you develop any symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

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.

Are students required to complete the Returning to Campus Training module before the start of the semester? (1/4/21)

Yes. Before coming to campus, students, faculty, and staff are required to complete an online training module, if you have not completed it previously. The purpose of the training is to make sure everyone is fully informed of the university’s guidelines, policies and the consequences of not following them. It is further intended to encourage responsible actions and choices and to provide tips so members of the university community can engage in collective action to promote health and safety. 

Will students be expected to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus? (12/7/20)

As in the fall, all faculty, staff and students will be required to complete our Return to Campus COVID-19 Assessment prior to the start of the semester on Jan. 11, 2021. Additionally, individuals returning to campus will also be placed in a pool for weekly random COVID-19 testing, which the university will continue to utilize as an important part of our disease-mitigation strategy. Those selected at random will receive specific instructions to receive a test. If you are selected, you must participate, unless you can provide a COVID-19 test result from within the past 14 days.

To learn more, please review the December 7 update and the Testing page in the Returning to Campus section.

Can I get a COVID-19 test on campus? (1/13/21)

Please view  the Testing page in the Returning to Campus section for details.

Where do I find information on the USF Daily Symptom Check, random testing and cluster screening protocol? (12/7/20)

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? (9/3/20)

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? (12/7/20)

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.

Read more about maintaining a Healthy Community Environment.

Will residence halls be open in the spring? What modifications will be in place? (12/7/20)

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

If there is an unexpected uptick in COVID-19 cases in the spring, does the university have a contingency plan? (12/7/20)

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? (8/11/20)

Campus Life, Facilities and Fees

Can I still study on campus with the restrictions and reduced capacity of facilities? (9/3/20)

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? (12/7/20)

USF has every intention of resuming more on-campus operations as the semester progresses. 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, why haven’t fees been lowered to make up for those changes? (12/7/20)

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 on physically 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.

Why do online courses require fees? (8/7/20)

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 spring 2021? (12/7/20)

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? (4/3/20)

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? (3/17/20)

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? (5/18/20)

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

What COVID-19 relief funding has the university received in 2021 to assist students? (3/15/21)

As of March 2021, USF has received $17.4 million in emergency student funding from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA).  

President Biden recently signed the American Rescue Plan, which may provide additional emergency funding for students. The university will be monitoring the plan’s progress and will provide information in the event funding is made available.

How and when will the CRRSAA funding be distributed to USF students? (3/15/21)

The funds will be distributed in the form of emergency financial aid grants to students. The funds will be provided directly to the student as a cash grant unless the student provides written authorization allowing the funds to be deposited to their university account.
USF’s Office of Financial Aid will begin the grant distribution process starting Monday, March 15, 2021, and will continue through summer and fall of 2021. 

What can a CRRSAA grant be used for? (3/15/21)

These funds, ranging from $1,000 - $2,500, can be used for emergency expenses for any component of a student’s cost of attendance that arise due to COVID-19.  Students can opt in to have their award applied to their university account. 

Who is eligible to receive the CRRSAA grants? (3/15/21)

Recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with exceptional financial need as confirmed by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They must be enrolled at least half-time as a degree seeking student at USF in spring 2021, and have exhausted all other financial aid options.  Students who already received CARES Act funding in fall 2020 and/or spring 2021 may be eligible for this additional grant in spring 2021.  Continuing students enrolled in summer 2021 and/or fall 2021, who meet the criteria above, will also be considered for an award for those semesters. 

How can a student apply for an emergency financial aid grant?  (3/15/21)

There is no application process other than having a 2020-21 FAFSA on file. USF will contact eligible students via their USF email address. Students will need to certify that they have emergency costs due to the pandemic before an award will be made. To be considered for a grant in fall 2021, a 2021-22 FAFSA will be required. 

If a student is not eligible for a CRRSAA grant, are there other financial resources available? (3/15/21)

Students should visit the Office of Financial Aid to explore the types of aid available, including scholarships, grants, loans and work study. Contact information for each campus can also be found there.

If a student is not offered a CRRSAA grant yet believes they are eligible, who can they contact? (3/15/21)

Students should contact the Office of Financial Aid. This webpage offers contact information for each campus. 


WHAT IF I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

For additional questions about USF and coronavirus, contact usf.edu/covidquestions.