Spring Semester Decision

Why is the College allowing all students on campus in the spring semester when a limited number was permitted in the fall?

Despite our recent rise of COVID cases, we believe that with the appropriate commitment of those returning to campus, the constant calibration of our enforcement efforts to the current environment, our safety measures, and our ability to significantly expand testing, we are prepared to safely increase the student population on campus. We have heard from students that they miss being with each other and being able to interact with faculty members, and we believe it’s important to work toward providing students an on-campus Lafayette experience. This will be challenging, but we are confident the Lafayette community is up to it.

How will the spring decision to allow all students to return impact students’ flexibility in course selection?

Physical distancing in classroom spaces and the reasonable health concerns of some faculty members will limit our capacity for in-person instruction. We will prioritize courses that are critical for students’ progress toward their degrees and that require an in-person component, and the ability of every first-year student to have an in-person course. Students who choose to study from home will not be able to select in-person courses when they register.

When will students know which of their classes will be taught in person?

A preliminary schedule will be available for registration on or about Oct. 27 and will include details about the anticipated course delivery (in person or remote). However, the schedule is subject to change in the weeks leading up to the start of the spring semester.

How do students indicate they want to study from home?

All students have been asked to complete a survey by Nov. 2 (emailed on Oct. 20) indicating whether they plan to study from home in the spring semester. Students who have misplaced the survey link should email Sarah Yencha.

Has the 2020-21 academic calendar been finalized?

Yes. The revised 2020-21 academic calendar is available on the registrar’s website, and spring semester classes will begin Feb. 8. In addition, the revised calendar eliminates spring break, replacing it with a two-day break and a one-day break over the course of the semester. This will reduce opportunities for students to travel back and forth from campus. The last day of classes will be May 19, and the final exam period will run May 22-29. Commencement plans will be announced in January.



Has the pass/fail policy been adjusted for fall 2020?

No. The normal policy (including deadlines) remains in effect.

How will students studying from home get their textbooks?

All students now order their textbooks online. At checkout, students can enter the address where they want their books shipped.

Can a student record class sessions?

Not without the permission of the instructor. If you have a specific learning need, contact your instructor and Accessibility Services as recordings may be a reasonable accommodation. Contact Marty Sullivan.

Can a student post recordings or other materials from my class?

No, students are prohibited from distributing course materials outside class. Appendix E (Section E.2.1) of the Faculty Handbook states that “Faculty members who create products of teaching and scholarship own their Intellectual Property except for patentable inventions, in which case the ownership rights rest with the College. Pedagogical, literary, artistic and creative works are owned by the faculty member, consistent with American Association of University Professors guidelines about copyrights and the prevailing view in academia. Lecture notes and other course notes such as problem sets and syllabi are the faculty member’s Intellectual Property.” Therefore course materials are proprietary and for class purposes only. This includes posted recordings of lectures, worksheets, discussion prompts, etc.

Distribution of course materials outside class purposes is a violation of academic integrity in the Student Code of Conduct and subject to provisions of cheating, which is defined in the code of conduct as “the attempted use, or sharing of prohibited materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.”

What if a student is uncomfortable with being recorded for class purposes?

Please contact your professor in order to develop a plan to address your concerns.

What if a student has limited or no access to the internet?

Please make your professor aware of your situation prior to the remote learning period so you can work something out. Students also should email help@lafayette.edu regarding technology needs/issues. Several companies are offering free WiFi for students.

How do students who have or need an academic accommodation engage in that process?

Any existing accommodation should remain in force. If new measures or adjustments are needed, contact the Office of Accessibility Services. Visit the Office of Advising website for information on a number of issues related to support provided by the Hub, class deans, virtual appointments, and other functions in Scott Hall. Class deans and other advising staff members will continue to be available for appointments via video or phone, and potentially in person in some situations. Use contact information on the staff page if you would like to set up a meeting.

What technology resources are available for students?

If a professor posts class session recordings and materials on the Moodle course site, are there limits on what a student can do with them?

The creation of a dynamic and rigorous class requires a high level of trust among students and between the class and the instructor. Class session recordings and other course materials are proprietary and to be used for class purposes only. They are not to be shared or distributed outside those parameters. Students must request permission from their professors prior to creating any recordings. Also, no recordings should be shared or posted online even when the instructor grants permission to record.

How will students take exams?

Faculty have a variety of options for testing and assessment, including through Moodle.

How do students resolve course-related concerns (e.g., scheduling conflicts, communication difficulties with a professor) in this period of remote teaching?

If contacting the professor does not resolve the issue, reach out to the department head or program chair. If you have emailed the head or chair and waited more than 24 hours without a response, contact Markus Dubischar, associate dean of the curriculum.

Are tutors still available through the Academic Resource Hub?

Yes. Support programs have transitioned to remote sessions and will continue. The possibility of beginning in-person tutoring services continues to be evaluated. Visit the Academic Resource Hub website for more information on specific course support. Please use TutorTrac to book appointments or join the Supplemental Instruction or Mentored Study Group Sessions.


Financial Aid & Billing

When will student bills be released?

Bills are expected to be released in December.

Will tuition be the same for students studying from home and students who live on or near campus?

No. Students studying from home will see a 10 percent reduction in their tuition.

Does a student jeopardize their financial aid by taking a leave of absence?

No, not as long as the student is not enrolling in another institution. As part of our regular process, students must reapply each year for need-based aid. A student’s file will be reviewed by a member of the financial aid team who will consider all information included in the application, as well as our costs for the year.

Whom should students contact for assistance if their financial situation has changed?

Such students should complete the Financial Aid Appeal Form and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid, which will evaluate new information and follow up with the students and their families.

How will the reduction in tuition for those studying from home impact a student’s financial aid?

Lafayette will continue to meet 100 percent of the calculated demonstrated need of our students. However, a reduction in the cost of attendance leads to a reduction in demonstrated need relative to the new cost; the reduction in cost necessitates a reduction in  the institutional aid awarded based on need (e.g. Lafayette College Grant). Merit scholarships indexed to the cost of tuition also will be adjusted. Most students receiving need-based financial aid should not see an increase in their out-of-pocket expenses.

Why is the tuition reduction for study at home set at 10 percent?

Students who study from home will not have access to in-person instruction or on-campus, out-of-classroom educational experiences. We believe a 10 percent reduction is fair and reasonable in light of this.

What happens if a student was awarded a Federal Work Study grant but cannot work due to choosing to study from home?

There may be certain employment positions that will allow for remote work. In these cases, a student can work a certain number of paid hours. For students who cannot work remotely but still qualify for Federal Work Study, we need to wait for guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on how to proceed. As soon as this guidance is available, we will contact the affected students.

What if a student does not have access to healthcare providers at home?

SHIP provides coverage for hospitalizations, specialty care, mental health, and prescription medications throughout the U.S. and abroad. For more information on benefits and coverage, visit the University Health Plans website. Students who waived SHIP should check with their private insurance for questions about their provider network, coverage rules, and potential out-of-pocket costs.


Student Living

For all students

As an international student currently living in their home country. What are the options?

Current SEVP guidance allows for all international students to fully engage in Lafayette’s remote offerings from their home country.  Upper-level continuing students will remain in Active SEVIS status.  First-year students who continue their studies outside the U.S. will have their records deferred in SEVIS.  SEVP guidance remains in effect that new and initial first-year students will not be able to enter the U.S. to enroll in a full course of study that is 100% online.

Upper-level continuing international students with a valid F-1 visa may return to the U.S. to pursue study that is fully online, fully in-person or a combination thereof, but must comply with SEVIS reporting requirements and the College’s arrival deadlines. New and initial-status students (first-years and those returning from a leave of absence) with a valid F-1 visa and who are able to enroll in a program of study with at least one in-person component will be able to enter the U.S. for study on campus and must comply with both SEVIS reporting requirements and the College’s arrival deadlines.

Spring plans could be impacted should SEVP withdraw or alter the fall guidance. Under normal conditions, students are limited to three online credits per session toward a full course of study in each academic term, and seniors taking an approved reduced course load must take at least one in-person course during their final semester. Students will be notified of updated SEVP spring guidance if and when it becomes available.

Can a student commute from home?

Students whose permanent residence is within 60 miles of Easton may request commuter housing status in order to live at home for the spring semester. By definition, a commuter is living at their permanent residence with their parents/guardians. Commuters differ from “study at home” students because they are given access to campus and participate in the COVID monitoring and testing program. Commuters do not receive the 10% tuition reduction but are exempt from the meal plan requirement.

For students living on College Hill

Will a student keep their original housing assignment for the spring semester?

Upper-level students will retain their original (fall semester) room assignment. This includes students in McCartney Residences and privately owned fraternity houses. Spring housing assignments are posted in MyHousing.

Will students have roommates?

We will assign rooms at their standard occupancy, so students in doubles should expect to have a roommate. Students will not be assigned to one-room triple or quad bedrooms unless requested.

Can a student request a different housing assignment?

Upper-level students will have the option to submit a waitlist request for a new assignment through Jan. 10. Because housing was fully assigned prior to the fall semester, room changes may not be possible. Students will retain their original assignment unless a new one is available.

Can a student rent a private apartment and not live in College housing for the spring semester?

No. Those not originally approved to rent privately for the 2020-21 academic year will be assigned to their original College housing when they return for the spring semester.

When is spring semester move-in for first-year students?

First-year student move-in is Wednesday, Feb. 3 and Thursday, Feb. 4. Starting the week of Jan. 4, students may sign up for a specific check-in appointment through MyHousing.  

When is spring semester move-in for upper-level students?

Upper-level student move-in is Monday, Feb. 1 through Thursday, Feb 4. Starting the week of Jan. 4, students may sign up for a specific check-in appointment through MyHousing

Can students travel to and from campus during the semester?

No. Students will predominantly remain on campus. Details will be shared later.

What are some of the safety measures related specifically to housing?

Measures include wearing masks in all areas except your own bedroom and the bathroom, practicing social distancing, no cross-visitation between halls, and restrictions on guests; more information will be available before the start of the semester. There is more information in the COVID-19 addendum to the Student Handbook.

What will life be like on campus?

Students will be required to wear masks in most spaces on campus and follow all COVID-19 safety protocols. Students will receive a guide to campus life with information about recreation, counseling, and dining. Prior to arriving on campus, students will receive an updated COVID-19 addendum to the Student Handbook that will include adherence to physical distancing protocols; limits on social gatherings and travel off-campus; and participation in all testing, tracing, and symptom-checking activities. We will maneuver in spaces differently, but there will be ways to meet people. We will monitor disease activity and adjust as necessary. Students who come to campus must consider those in their residence hall as a group, not unlike a family, that spends most of its time with each other.

Will there be social events on campus?

In-person events will be offered as appropriate and when safe to do so following CDC, state, and College guidelines. Expect to see some outdoor events, smaller-sized events, and grab-and-go activities. The College also is exploring ways to offer traditional activities in a reimagined way. Student organization meetings and activities should be done virtually when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Student organizations wishing to host in-person meetings and activities must complete a mitigation plan and obtain approval from the Department of Student Involvement.

Will students on campus be required to carry a meal plan?

Yes, students living on campus will have a meal plan. The minimum required plan is based on class year and housing unit type. Students living in off-campus housing are not required to carry a meal plan.

Will all dining facilities be open?

No, but students will have both grab-and-go and all-you-care-to-eat options. Depending on local/state restrictions it may become necessary to transition to mostly grab-and-go meals.

Will the fitness center be open?

Yes, with reduced hours as long as permitted by state guidelines. Students will be required to register for a time slot using IMLeagues, and registration will be limited to those students with permission to be on campus. Masks must be worn at all times in the facility, limited services are available, and physical distancing will be achieved by a new arrangement of equipment and one-way traffic flow throughout the building. It is unlikely that the pool will be open for recreational swimming. 

What about students experiencing increased anxiety or stress related to concerns about family in impacted areas or COVID-19 on campus?

These students should call a counselor at 610-330-5005 or visit this site for information.

Will first-year students have on-campus orientation?

A Class of 2024 welcome program with both virtual and small in-person events is being planned. It will focus on building community and helping the class get acquainted with each other and the campus. In addition, for deferred students and others who missed out on the full fall orientation program, a modified orientation program will be offered. This will cover academic expectations, the importance of operating in Lafayette’s pluralistic and inclusive community, and resources that can assist in making a successful transition to college life. Orientation leaders will continue to serve as a direct resource for all first-year students and will provide support throughout the spring semester.

How will I be able to meet people in my class?

There will be a variety of opportunities for the Class of 2024 to make connections through residence life programs, student organizations, and campus activities. Special activities and events will be created just for the Class of 2024 by the First-Year Experience Committee.

For students living at home

Can a student who was supposed to live in McCartney North/South learn from home instead?

Yes. Students should contact the property manager for McCartney North and South to discuss ending their lease. Once this is approved, the College will be notified to change the student status to learn from home.

Can a student come to campus if they are registered as learning from home?

This may be possible, and applications for commuter students will be processed in the housing registration portal. Students approved to be commuters would have to follow the same testing, symptom tracking, and contract tracing protocols as those living on campus. Commuter students would not receive the 10 percent reduction in tuition.


Course Enrollment

Can a student petition to take a “light load” with prorated tuition?

A light load enables students to enroll less than full time (fewer than three courses) in a semester. Any student seeking a light load must petition the Academic Progress Committee. This option is designed for seniors in their last semester who don’t need a full course load to graduate, but others with extraordinary circumstances may petition as well. Approval is not guaranteed.

Students must engage with their academic adviser to review the impact on progress in their major and overall plan for completion and determine which course(s) should be retained for the spring semester. This academic plan should be attached to the petition for consideration by the Academic Progress Committee. Students approved for a light load may not enroll simultaneously at another institution with the intention of seeking transfer credit. First-year students are not eligible for a light load as such a petition would be detrimental to an incoming student’s academic progress.

Students who are interested in requesting a light load, regardless of whether approved for a light load in a past semester, must re-apply for spring to be reconsidered.

A light load can have implications for financial aid, NCAA eligibility, and international student status.

Students approved for a light load prior to the start of the semester will be billed a prorated tuition based on the number of classes. Since taking three to five classes is considered a full load, tuition is prorated in thirds for those taking a light load. The tuition for one class is $9,085 (1/3 of $27,256), and tuition for two classes is $18,170 (2/3 of $27,256). Lafayette does not have a traditional part-time degree-seeking population, and the above rates reflect a special compromise to the full-time status that the student agreed to when admitted to Lafayette.

Can a student enroll in the Part-Time Studies program?

The Part-Time Studies program is not the same as a “light load.” It is a separate program in which non-traditional students, community members, and staff members take one or two classes. There is not a pathway for a full-time student to be reclassified as part-time. The light load (below three courses) option is designed mostly for seniors in their last semester who don’t need a full-time course load to graduate.

Can a student take a leave of absence? What is that process like?

This option is available to matriculated students. (Currently deferred students should see the FAQ on deferrals. Students would contact their class dean to request a leave of absence as soon as possible, but no later than the last business day prior to the start of classes in order to avoid incurring charges. The Office of Advising will process a leave of absence once the class dean receives an email directly from the student confirming that they are electing to take a leave for the semester. To return to full-time study, a student would submit a Request for Reinstatement to their class dean by the deadline stated on the form, depending on the desired semester of return. Consecutive leaves of absence could result in those with a student loan to enter repayment.

Can a student take a course at another college or university while on leave of absence from Lafayette?

As per the transfer credit policy, this option is normally reserved for classes taken over the summer, for incoming transfer students, and for certain courses taken during the student’s high school career. In a leave of absence during a fall or spring semester, one or two courses may be considered for transfer back to Lafayette. Transfer course approval is not guaranteed and is contingent on factors such as course format and transfer equivalence. See the registrar’s transfer credit page and transfer credit petition form for more information. Students are strongly encouraged to secure course transfer approval prior to enrolling as a visiting student at another institution.

As an accepted student who has deferred admission until fall 2021, may I take courses elsewhere if I continue to defer? Is there a limit to the number of credits I may transfer in?

It may be possible to earn a limited amount of academic credit from other institutions while holding deferred enrollment status at Lafayette. The awarding of credit occurs after matriculation (i.e., after beginning courses at Lafayette) and via a formal petition to the registrar. Courses are evaluated on a course-by-course basis and in general must be comparable to those offered by Lafayette; approval is not guaranteed. For first-year students seeking more than one semester’s worth of credit (12-16 credit hours), it may be necessary to reapply to Lafayette as a transfer student. Doing so may impact your financial aid and athletic eligibility. Learn more.

Would there be guidance as to which courses would meet Lafayette criteria?

As per the transfer policy each potential transfer course is individually evaluated by the relevant department head. This normally includes providing a course’s syllabus, textbooks, and outcomes. It is the responsibility of the individual student to secure approval from both the academic adviser and the relevant department head for each course they would like to transfer. Students are strongly encouraged to secure course transfer approval prior to enrolling as a visiting student at another institution.

What will the College do to make the online learning experiences excellent?

  • Flexible academic modalities: Students should be prepared for a mix of in-person and remote learning opportunities. Most in-person courses will not have a remote option, and some courses with laboratory or studio components may combine remote instruction with in-person experiential activities. Some faculty may employ a blend of these learning models in which they teach using both online and in-person instruction. Different accommodations will be made for students who are living on campus but in quarantine for a period of time. Faculty members will have access to workshops, discussions, and training offered by CITLS, Learning and Research Technologies, the College Writing Program, and others.
  • Student support: Resources such as the Academic Resource Hub’s programs for tutoring, supplemental instruction, and academic accommodations will continue to offer levels of in-person as well as remote access to their assistance.
  • Co-curricular and extracurricular engagement: Student-faculty research and community-based teaching and learning programs that transitioned to an online environment are encouraged to continue virtually. All in-person meetings and gatherings will need to follow health and safety protocols: Students must wear masks, maintain physical distance, and follow capacity guidelines for the spaces they are occupying.

How can I make adjustments to my schedule?

An online add-drop process will be available through Banner before the start of the semester. Specific dates/details will be announced on the registrar’s website in the coming weeks.

Will there be a January interim session?

There will not be a typical interim session. More information on that time period and possible offerings will be available in mid-November.


Student Testing, Monitoring, Tracing & Reporting

What happens if a student tests positive?

Asymptomatic individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days while monitoring for symptoms. Symptomatic individuals who test positive must isolate for 10 days and have no fever for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, and symptoms should be resolving. If you are a student, someone from the health center will check in with you every day, and meals will be delivered to you. Quarantine protocols mean that students identified as a close contact with someone who has tested positive will be asked to quarantine in specifically designated housing. Larger numbers of cases, or larger number of contacts even from a smaller number of cases, may require the quarantine of entire facilities or (worst case) the campus. We have approximately 100 isolation and quarantine rooms in reserve, which can increase depending on how many students return to College Hill.

Will all members of the campus community be provided masks, and if so, how will they be obtained?

Yes, two masks will be provided to faculty and staff who must be on campus. Faculty and staff will receive their masks through their departments; students will receive theirs when they arrive at the pre-move-in testing location. Additional/replacement masks can be purchased at the College Store. Individuals also are welcome to supplement College-provided masks with their own.

What is the process for reporting someone who does not appear to be following the regulations outlined by the College?

The concept of collective responsibility requires that members of the community engage in conversation with each other and hold each other accountable for adhering to the behaviors that will help keep us all safe. We hope that our ongoing educational program will help reinforce the importance of these behaviors. However, if any member of the community has concerns, those can be addressed best by filling out this form.

Will all students living on and near campus be tested for COVID-19 as a condition of enrollment for spring 2021? How will that testing be conducted?

Yes. Learn more about the College’s testing strategy.