Providing Flexibility for Spring 2021 Amid COVID-19 Uncertainty
November 23, 2020
Before we close out the fall semester, I want to clarify the plan for spring 2021. As announced in the reopening plan on June 24, 2020, classes will begin remotely on January 25, 2021, and students may return to campus on March 1. Because we expect to have students on campus in March, we have issued bills to all residential students that reflect tuition, a standard double room, and 19 meals per week. Many students received an email from the bursar on November 19 regarding spring 2021 bills.
We understand that many factors remain uncertain and that some students will want to complete their spring semester remotely. As such, forms to request the remote study option for the entire spring semester will be published early in January, and the University will adjust the student’s bill once the remote study form is processed.
Students who know they want to study all spring remotely do not need to do anything at this time.
- Existing charges: The University billed all students with the expectation that every student who wants to return to campus in March may do so. For now, the estimated spring 2021 room and meal charges will remain on students' accounts under "Room Charges."
- Course schedule: Students should select classes based on the existing schedule in WebAdvisor; the University will make adjustments if needed.
- Financial aid: The University will award the financial aid package based on the current account charges. For students who opt to continue remotely, the University will adjust the awards to reflect the removal of room and board fees.
- Housing selection: All residential students' current bills reflect a standard double room. Residence Life will not accept applications for ASL or Thorn Flats until the January update is published.
- Meal plans: As a baseline, the University billed all students for 19 meals per week. All meal plan options will be available when the update is posted in January.
- Reductions in campus density: We will continue to assess the environment, science, data, and faculty and students' readiness to return to campus. If in January it is clear that we need to reduce campus density as we did this fall, we would consider bringing back a smaller number of students for on-campus residence; all other students would complete the semester remotely. The considerations that qualify a student to return to campus might differ from this fall.
- Commuter students: The University does not require recognized commuter students to live on campus or select a meal plan.
I want to reiterate that these plans are tentative relative to the course of the pandemic, and we will continue to reassess these into early January when we have more data and a clearer picture of the projections for COVID-19. Please continue to check your Lincoln email for updates.
Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we adapt during this unique year. If we continue to work together, we will keep everyone in our community safe.
Brenda A. Allen