Harvard College Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQs reflect the College's current coronavirus information and resources. We will continue to update and add to these FAQs as needed. 
 

For more information about University-wide resources and updates, please visit the Harvard University Coronavirus (COVID-19) website. 

View Harvard University FAQs

Academic Continuity

Advising

Will Exploring Fields of Study continue to hold events this spring?

All on campus events for the Exploring Fields of Study program (the program that encourages first-year students to learn more about possible concentrations) have been canceled, but students are encouraged to visit the Advising Programs Office website for more information OR academic department websites to learn more about concentrations.

Do first-year students still need to document an advising conversation in my.harvard before April 15?

First-year students are encouraged to explore concentrations by visiting concentration websites, but will not need to document the conversation by April 15. Those students who have already attended a Fields of Study session or have spoken with a concentration adviser are encouraged to submit a report as the information is used to match students with a sophomore adviser. More information can be found on the Advising Programs Office website.

Grading

Will I receive graduate credit toward my 4th year master’s degree for courses graded SEM/UEM?

While the graduate school does not ordinarily allow binary grading to be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements, they have issued a policy amendment for spring 2020 allowing students to complete graduate courses taken as SAT/UNSAT once approved by the program.  The College is currently working with the graduate school and 4th year master’s programs to establish further guidance.

Is it possible for me to choose to receive letter grades this semester?

No. As Dean Gay explained in her message, we are instituting Emergency Sat/ Emergency Unsat grading out of a commitment to equity. Instructors have come to feel that they cannot assign grades equitably, given the radically different circumstances students find themselves in. We cannot make the usual comparisons in the midst of a global pandemic, and the shift to an alternative grading scheme reflects the enormity of our current situation.

 

We remain committed to student choice, but we recognize that this is not a situation in which all students truly have the freedom to choose. Some students are able to continue doing their best work, at least for now, but other students cannot, because of circumstances beyond their control. Were we to permit students to opt-in or opt-out of P/F grading, students who find themselves in very challenging situations would have no choice but to shift to P/F--and they would suffer in comparison to their peers as a result. A mandatory SEM/ UEM system is the only way to treat all students equitably.

Will qualitative end-of-semester feedback appear on my transcript?

No. That feedback will be kept in the my.harvard system, where it will be visible to advisers and resident deans. You may request access to this feedback as well.

Does the move to Emergency SAT/Emergency Unsat include courses I was taking Pass/Fail this semester?

Yes, the move to universal Emergency SAT/Emergency Unsat includes Pass/Fail courses. If you were planning on taking a course P/F, you should check with your instructor to see whether you are on track to earn an SEM or what you might need to do now to earn one.

Will my thesis be graded Emergency Sat/ Emergency Unsat?

No. Since honors theses reflect work that was done entirely or almost entirely before COVID-19 hit, they will continue to be graded cum/magna/summa this semester.

What are the requirements for receiving an Emergency Sat?

Your instructors will explain what you must do to earn an Emergency Sat in their courses, and if you are unclear about these expectations you should ask them. In general, you will be required to do the following:

1) Complete all course assignments.

2) Participate in all required course meetings.

If your circumstances make it difficult for you to complete assignments or participate in course meetings, please let your instructor know so that they can adapt the assignments or find alternate ways for you to participate. We've encouraged them to be as flexible as they can be. If you still find that you cannot complete the course, please let your resident dean know so that we can explore alternatives.

What does the shift to Emergency Sat/ Emergency Unsat grading mean?

Education will continue. Your instructors will continue to teach, you’ll continue to learn, and your work will continue to be assessed. More specifically, your instructors will still give you feedback on your assignments (whether as grades or in some other form) and they will offer a qualitative assessment of your performance at the end of the semester, for the reference of your advisers and resident deans.

Your instructors should let you know what is required to earn an SEM in their courses. If they don’t do so, or if you have any questions, please write to them and ask. It’s crucial that you understand what you need to do.

What will this look like on my transcript?

Harvard will include a clear notation on all transcripts for spring 2020 to indicate that all Harvard College student courses were SEM/UEM due to extraordinary circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Will SEM courses count toward requirements?

Yes.  SEM courses will fulfill concentration, secondary field, and foreign language citation requirements, as well as the expository writing and language requirements; Gen Ed courses taken SEM will not be counted against the limit of only one P/F Gen Ed, and the College will waive requirements for how many letter-graded courses a student must enroll in this semester. The number of satisfactory letter-graded credits required to graduate and to receive honors will be reduced by 16. Similarly, the number of satisfactory letter-graded credits required by the end of sophomore year will be reduced by 16.

Will this affect my academic progress?

No.  You should maintain your regular course load and expect to continue with your academic plan of study next semester. The credit values are not changing so if you enrolled in a four credit course then a grade of SEM will earn you four credits.  

How will this affect my GPA?

Grades of SEM and UEM will factor into GPA just as the standard SAT (satisfactory) and UNS (unsatisfactory) grades do. That is, SEM will not factor into GPA, but UEM will.

How will this affect Latin honors?

Latin honors are dependent on departmental recommendations and on cumulative GPA.  Grades of SEM this semester will not be included in Latin honors calculations.

What about my applications to graduate school?

Since SEM/ UEM grading was mandated by Harvard, it is unlikely to have an adverse effect on a student’s graduate school application. Many graduate schools have already indicated that they will be reviewing transcripts from this period with an understanding that different policies were in effect at different schools. 

What about fellowship applications?

Some external fellowships have already indicated that they expect to see binary grading this semester and that they won’t count such grading against the applicant; we expect that others will follow. In addition, Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (URAF) will reach out to fellowship organizations to explain Harvard’s decision and provide them with a framework for understanding it. If you have further questions, please contact URAF.

What about medical school applications?

Medical schools have not yet settled on a uniform policy for evaluating P/F or S/U grades in required premedical courses taken in the spring of 2020. However, some, Harvard Medical School among them, have already said that they are willing to accept such grades so long as binary grading was mandated by the institution, as it is in Harvard’s case. If any of the medical schools to which you are applying or will be applying to in the future are not willing to accept an SEM grade in a required pre-med course, the OCS Premedical Advisors will reach out to them on your behalf to explain and clarify the situation. In addition, your transcript will have a notation explaining that this was the policy of Harvard College in Spring 2020. If you have further questions, please contact OCS.

I am cross-registered at a Harvard professional school or at MIT. Will my courses there be converted to SEM/UEM as well?

Yes. All of your spring and yearlong courses, whether taken at FAS or elsewhere, will be graded SEM or UEM.

What about Summer Internships and Post-Graduate Employment?

It is still too early to tell how COVID-19 will affect summer internships and post-graduate employment.  Many employers have been reaching out to the Office of Career Services and to students to say, if necessary, they will offer internships and post-graduate employment virtually.  Other employers and organizations are less sure of what they will be able to offer. Students with summer or full-time offers should connect with their contacts at the organization to see what they are thinking.  Students still seeking opportunities should make an appointment with an OCS Adviser, through Crimson Careers, to devise a job search strategy.  OCS is in the process of communicating with employer partners about the new spring semester grading policy.  Students still seeking should know that OCS continues to receive internship and job postings from organizations with opportunities every day.

Classes

What if I am facing challenges/difficulties related to my course?

Write to your course instructor and then the Office of Undergraduate Education (oue@fas.harvard.edu).

Are instructors permitted to change the time their course is meeting?

Instructors have been encouraged to keep their regular course meetings times, but also offer flexible ways for students to access the course, such as recording lectures and class sessions, so that all students can continue their learning.  Sometimes a change in time is the best way to enable students around the globe to participate in the course. If a student has an actual conflict with the new course time, they should let the instructor know so that an alternate arrangement can be made for them to engage with the course.   Instructors are being asked to be flexible to accommodate students, and students should also try to be flexible under these extraordinary circumstances.

Will there be any flexibility with deadlines?

Right after Harvard made the announcement to de-densify the campus, the College postponed mid-term deadlines by a week. Now that the semester is resuming, deadlines are once again at the discretion of your instructor. Some instructors may decide that it's best to stick with the syllabus; others may decide that it's better to alter it. If you have questions about what the deadlines are, you should ask your instructor. If you're having trouble meeting the deadlines, you should let your instructor know, to see if there's any room for flexibility.

Is it true that the deadline to drop a course or change a course to pass/fail has been extended?

What if I have not heard from my instructor yet about course expectations or plans?

If you have not yet heard from your instructor, please send them an e-mail as soon as possible to check in. If you have trouble reaching your instructor, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Education at oue@fas.harvard.edu.

Where can I go to prepare for working remotely?

Please visit the Academic Resource Center website for advice, resources, and workshops about preparing for remote learning and engaging with your classes. Additionally, you can find a variety of resources to help you with the transition at learnremotely.harvard.edu

Will classes continue to meet?

Courses will continue to be taught remotely for the remainder of the semester. Faculty have received guidance about planning for remote teaching. Adaptations may require changes to the syllabus and assignments. If students meet course expectations as set by their instructors, they will receive credit for the semester. For questions about specific courses, students should contact the instructor of the course.

View information about learning remotely

Will the College be extending any deadlines?

The College is working carefully to support a successful transition to online learning and provide increased time and flexibility for enrollment decisions.

  • The deadline to drop courses has been reopened to April 13 (please note that this extension does not apply to the deadline to add courses);
  • The deadline to change grading status from letter graded to Pass/ Fail or Pass/Fail to letter graded has been reopened to April 13;
  • Previous course withdrawals from this semester will be automatically converted to a course drop. 

The process for these changes will be announced in the coming days. Please be assured that these changes do not need to be made before leaving campus. 

Will this affect my academic progress?

Our priority in the Office of Undergraduate Education is to ensure academic continuity and to facilitate the completion of all in-process courses. We are working closely with instructors to provide remote learning opportunities, alternative assessments, and extensions of time. Students cross-registered at a professional school or at MIT will need to work with their faculty member to ensure completion of courses. Students are encouraged to reach out to their academic adviser or Resident Dean to talk about individual academic plans. Academic advisers at the Advising Programs Office (APO) are also available for Zoom advising meetings. Please sign up via the scheduling page (https://calendly.com/harvardadvising/harvard-advising?month=2020-03) or email advising@fas.harvard.edu to schedule an appointment. 

Can I connect to Zoom from China and other locations that restrict internet?

Zoom is accessible from China. You may visit https://status.zoom.us/incidents/xbmxyfpnv4jq for updates on this.  If you are having issues, contact Zoom support at https://status.zoom.us/incidents/xbmxyfpnv4jq

Zoom is not accessible from all International locations. For information on connecting to Zoom internationally and for a list of restricted countries, visit https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/203806119-Will-Zoom-work-internationally-

Students traveling to geographic areas where Zoom is not available or internet access is very limited should speak with their Resident Deans to make arrangements to minimize disruption to their academic work.

What if my Internet connection is weak or intermittent?

If your Internet connection is weak or intermittent, there is not much you can do but there may be some useful adaptations. 

  • Make sure that you shut down all unnecessary applications and close all unnecessary browser tabs. It is also a good idea to restart your computer before joining a class in Zoom. 
  • If possible, try to connect with ethernet rather than wifi. Ethernet connections are often faster and more reliable. 
  • If you are sharing your Internet with others, try to arrange to have them limit their use during your class meetings if possible. 
  • Zoom is also accessible on mobile devices, so if your Internet is not strong, you can connect on your phone.  

You can use Eduroam as another way to access the Internet while you are away from Harvard. For instructions and more details, please visit the IT Help portal. Please note that you have to install the Harvard Eduroam security profile on your device before you leave campus.

If you are not able to connect reliably, communicate with the course teaching staff to arrange an alternative way to complete the course work.  

Several internet providers are taking steps to provide access to internet services for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are unable to access any of these services, please contact your Resident Dean. 

Will this affect my academic progress?

Our priority in the Office of Undergraduate Education is to ensure academic continuity and to facilitate the completion of all in-process courses. We are working closely with instructors to provide remote learning opportunities, alternative assessments, and extensions of time. Students cross-registered at a professional school or at MIT will need to work with their faculty member to ensure completion of courses. Students are encouraged to reach out to their academic adviser or Resident Dean to talk about individual academic plans. Academic advisers at the Advising Programs Office (APO) are also available for Zoom advising meetings. Please sign up via the scheduling page (https://calendly.com/harvardadvising/harvard-advising?month=2020-03) or email advising@fas.harvard.edu to schedule an appointment. 

Will instructors videotape the lectures?

Faculty have been asked to be mindful of time zones and to record class meetings. They have also been asked to try to ensure that all students have as equitable access to class meetings and opportunities for interaction with teaching staff and peers as possible. 

If I have questions related to my courses, including access, who should I contact?

For questions about specific courses, including attendance, assignments, and assessment, students should contact the instructor of the course. 

What types of remote learning will courses use?

Faculty have received guidance about planning for remote teaching and are being supported in the different forms that may take. Many courses can move to an online modality through existing tools, like Canvas and Zoom, without significant disruption. Faculty will communicate expectations, formats, and necessary modalities to the students in their courses.

View information about learning remotely

How do I handle the time zone difference?

 

If you know you will be in a time zone that will make the regular class time difficult for you to attend, we advise you to let the faculty and teaching staff know as soon as possible. This will help them to make alterations to the teaching plan that will best accommodate the geographic spread of the students.  

If class meetings are scheduled at a time that you cannot attend, write directly to the faculty and teaching staff to ask about expectations for attendance and alternative options. 

 

Library and Book Returns


Also see: Harvard Library COVID-19 updates.

How long is the Coop rental period?

The rental period begins the day you pay for the Textbook Rental and continues until the last day of Finals, as shown on your Order Confirmation. All rented textbooks must be returned to the bookstore, in good condition, by the Rental Return Due Date. Textbook Rentals returned via mail must be postmarked by the Rental Return Due Date. 

Can I return books I rented from the Coop by mail?

Yes! Just use the prepaid return shipping label available online. You can print it as often as you like, but you can only use it once. So if you're returning multiple books, please put them in one box and use one shipping label. You can also just drop off your books at the bookstore. Please see the link at the bottom of the page to print the return label. 

What should I do about books that are due back at the library?

In many cases, books are not due until September. If they are due sooner, we encourage you to renew them. If a book cannot be renewed, or you must return it for another reason, you can ship it back to us (c/o Access Services, Widener Library, 1 Harvard Yard, Cambridge, MA, 02138).  Check out information about borrowing, renewing, and returning your library materials

To check your due date and renew books, visit your HOLLIS account

How can I access library resources remotely?

The digital resources of the Harvard Library are available to enrolled students through HOLLIS, the libraries’ catalog and discovery system.  Librarians are available to provide research assistance through the Ask A Librarian Service.

For more information and resources, please visit the Harvard Library website.

Labs

I am working in a lab and paid hourly. Can I can still be paid while I am away?

Please consult with your PI, lab coordinator, and the Student Employment Office (https://seo.harvard.edu/) for information about what happens with your term-time or summer job. 

What if I am registered for a science lab and the class no longer meets in the lab?

We are working closely with faculty to determine how courses can be meaningfully completed remotely. Should there be components of the class that simply cannot be done this way, we are working on alternate arrangements. For questions about specific courses, students should contact the instructor of the course. 

How will you handle lab or in class requirements for classes?

We are working closely with faculty to ensure that courses can be completed remotely. If students meet course expectations as set by their instructors, they will receive credit for the semester. For questions about specific courses, students should contact the instructor of the course. 

Fellowships and Awards

I received an HCRP award for spring. What happens to my award?

If you received Harvard College Research Program (HCRP) funding for spring, you should continue your research remotely to the extent possible.  If your research involves lab experimentation, please work with your PI (faculty host) to determine what might be possible to do while you are off campus, either through independent readings or remote archival work.  You will be notified by URAF of reporting requirements and what you need to do to receive the second installment of your HCRP spring award. 

I intend to conduct research in one of Harvard’s affiliate enterprises. Do the same travel and occupancy restrictions apply?

Yes.  Please consult with program coordinators directly for more information about how they will move forward with the current travel and occupancy restrictions. 

I am a rising senior interested in applying to a prestigious postgraduate fellowship. How do I learn more about what to do?

URAF will be hosting our regularly-scheduled information sessions for juniors through the month of April, as virtual workshops.  These announcements will be made directly to students via e-mail and will be listed on the URAF website calendar (http://uraf.harvard.edu). Deadlines for these programs will remain the same. 

What should I do if I have questions about research or fellowships not included in this FAQ?

Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, which is open Monday through Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm, by e-mail (undergradresearch@fas.harvard.edufellowships@fas.harvard.edu), or by phone (617-495-5095). 

Resources

Is peer tutoring or writing center help available remotely?

Peer tutoring and other academic resources (including coaching and workshops) through the Academic Resource Center will be available remotely through Zoom and phone at 617-495-5734. Visit the Harvard College Writing Center site to sign up for an appointment with a Writing Center tutor.

 

Individual advising appointments can be arranged with advisers or offices such as the advisers in the Advising Programs OfficeOffice of Career Services, Office of International Education, and Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, and will be conducted remotely. For questions about resources for specific courses (including software, materials, or other access), students should contact the instructor of the course. 

How can I access the library or other academic tools from afar?

The digital resources of the Harvard Library are available to enrolled students through HOLLIS, the libraries’ catalog and discovery system.  Librarians are available to provide research assistance through the Ask A Librarian Service.

Will accommodations and access to the accessible education office be available remotely?

The Accessible Education Office is working with students with academic accommodations to ensure that students are able to access their course content and instruction.

Summer Academic Opportunities

Are study abroad programs being cancelled? What about the summer programs and next fall?

The Office of International Education has been in touch with all students studying abroad to offer country-specific guidance.

Harvard Summer School is closely monitoring the situation with Harvard Global Support Services (GSS). Currently, University-related international travel is prohibited until at least April 30. Harvard is also strongly discouraging personal international travel. Going forward, any travel may be disrupted as government agencies and Harvard may extend or impose additional restrictions based on the rapidly evolving public health situation. We recognize the uncertainty of the situation and encourage you to be as flexible as possible with your summer programming. For further travel resources, please visit the Harvard GSS website and Harvard’s coronavirus website which is frequently updated – and contains the latest announcements, guidance and resources. The situation is fluid, and should the situation necessitate the cancellation of this summer's program, we will make an announcement by early April. In the event of cancellation, the Summer School will refund any payments you have made toward the program cost, including the deposit, but not including airfare, textbooks, visa application fees, etc. In planning for your travel, we encourage you to consider purchasing refundable airline tickets and/or travel insurance.

Will Harvard College provide summer funding?

No funding will be awarded for travel to any destination under Provostial restriction, and Harvard may rescind sponsorship of previously-approved planned travel if warranted prior to your departure. We recognize the uncertainty of the situation and we encourage you to be as flexible as possible with your spring and summer travel. As needed, the Harvard College office or center awarding funding will work with affected students to determine possible alternative plans.

I am planning to conduct human subjects research in the summer but need to get approval from the IRB. What should I do?

Please contact the Committee on the Use of Human Subjects (https://cuhs.harvard.edu/urtp-portal) regarding undergraduate research training seminars and submitting the IRB decision form. 

I applied for one of the Summer Undergraduate Research Village programs (PRISE, BLISS, PRIMO, SHARP, SURGH). What happens now?

The selection process for each of the Research Village programs continues unaffected.  Once campus occupancy decisions for summer are made, individuals who are selected will be informed of adjustments (such as program start date or length), if any, to be made to the programs.  

Are Herchel Smith and HCRP awards for summer independent research still on?

Yes.  Herchel Smith decisions will be announced shortly after spring break. The deadline to apply for HCRP summer funding is Wednesday, March 25.  Awards are subject to summer travel and campus occupancy conditions as they evolve.  Depending on the circumstances, awardees will be given the opportunity to extend their research beyond summer and retain the full value of their funding. 

What about Summer Internships and Post-Graduate Employment?

It is still too early to tell how COVID-19 will affect summer internships and post-graduate employment.  Many employers have been reaching out to the Office of Career Services and to students to say, if necessary, they will offer internships and post-graduate employment virtually.  Other employers and organizations are less sure of what they will be able to offer. Students with summer or full-time offers should connect with their contacts at the organization to see what they are thinking.  Students still seeking opportunities should make an appointment with an OCS Adviser, through Crimson Careers, to devise a job search strategy.  OCS is in the process of communicating with employer partners about the new spring semester grading policy.  Students still seeking should know that OCS continues to receive internship and job postings from organizations with opportunities every day.

General Questions

Who can I call to be connected with campus resources?

A dedicated hotline has been created to connect members of our community with campus resources. It can be reached by calling 833-648-0242

Will Commencement still take place?

Financial Aid and Billing

Also see: Student Health Insurance FAQs

Room and Board Charges

I am not receiving financial aid from Harvard. What does the prorating of room and board charges mean for me?

Students who departed campus will see their spring charges for room and board prorated to March 15th. This may generate a credit on your student account which can be requested through the Student Accounts Office Refund Request Form once you see the final adjustments for room and board on your student account. Your refund will be direct-deposited into the bank account you have set up with the Student Accounts Office, typically within 5 business days of the date you submit the Refund Request Form. If you do not request a refund for the credit, it will remain on your account and be applied to future charges. Please note: The room and board credits on your student account should appear by April 15. If you don't see the credits, email collegehousing@fas.harvard.edu.

I am receiving financial aid from Harvard. What does the prorating of room and board charges mean for me?

Students who departed campus will see their spring charges for room and board prorated to March 15th. Since financial aid awards are not being changed, this may generate a credit on your student account, which can be requested through the Refund Request Form once you see the final adjustments for room and board on your student account. Your refund will be direct-deposited into the bank account you have set up with the Student Accounts Office, typically within 5 business days of the date you submit the Refund Request Form. If you do not request a refund for the credit, it will remain on your account and be applied to future charges. Please note: The room and board credits on your student account should appear by April 15. If you don't see the credits, email collegehousing@fas.harvard.edu.

I did not leave campus. What does the prorating of room and board charges mean for me?

Students who did not depart campus will not have their charges prorated, as they remain on campus.

Travel Reimbursement

What does the emergency travel reimbursement mean for me?

  • All students receiving financial aid will be eligible for reimbursement of their travel costs. Students with a $0 parent contribution will be fully reimbursed and all other students on financial aid will be reimbursed up to $750 depending on their level of aid. Exceptions beyond $750 will be granted for aided students on a case-by-case basis. Students may use the COVID-19 Emergency Travel Reimbursement Form to request a reimbursement for all costs within reason for various modes of transportation associated with departing campus.
  • Students who are not receiving financial aid from Harvard are not eligible for reimbursement via the Financial Aid Office.

What’s the process for requesting the emergency travel reimbursement?

Scenario 1: The Financial Aid Office advanced money from my student account to my bank account and then I bought a ticket.

Students should submit a request for reimbursement. Approved amounts will be deposited into the student account as additional Harvard Scholarship.

Scenario 2: I utilized the Harvard travel assistance in my house or in the Yard and it was charged to my student account.

Students should submit a request for reimbursement. Approved amounts will be deposited into the student account as additional Harvard Scholarship.

Scenario 3: I paid for my own travel with cash, credit or debit.

Students should submit a request for reimbursement. Approved amounts will be deposited into the student account as additional Harvard Scholarship.

Scenario 4: I paid in some other way.

Please submit a request for reimbursement and your request will be considered based on circumstances, financial need, and University resources.

Shipping and Storage Reimbursement

How can I get reimbursed for my shipping or storage costs?

For students receiving financial aid from Harvard:

  • The College provided directly up to $200 to assist you with shipping or storing your items. If you exceeded $200, the excess cost will be applied to your term bill.
  • If you used a non-College option for shipping or storage, please submit a request for reimbursement.

Term-Time Work

What does the term-time work reduction mean for me?

All students who had a term-time work expectation as part of their financial aid packages for this semester will have one half of that expectation removed from their financial aid packages. For example, a spring term-time work expectation of $1,750 will be reduced to $875 and the corresponding amount replaced with additional financial aid. Students will see this as an increase of Harvard scholarship aid on their student account.

What happens to my Federal Work-Study award?

Students who have been utilizing the Federal Work-Study Program will receive the term-time work adjustment. They can also continue working, remotely or in person, until they reach their award ceiling. Should their current position end or not allow for remote work, they may apply for other positions through the Student Employment Office Jobs Database. Note that the adjustment to your term-time work expectation will impact the amount of Federal Work-Study you have available to earn.

What if my outside awards have already eliminated my term-time work expectation?

For students who have outside awards that have already relieved them of their term-time work expectation, no adjustment will be made to their financial aid award.

What if I already took a loan to cover some or all of my term-time work expectation?

The loan will be reduced and the corresponding amount replaced with additional Harvard Scholarship.

Other Financial Aid FAQs

Will I have a credit on my student account? How do I access this credit?

For students receiving financial aid, the changes to the room and board charges, the term-time work reduction, and travel reimbursements may generate a credit on your student account. When you see the final adjustments reflected on your student account, you may request a refund using the Refund Request FormYour refund will be direct-deposited into the bank account you have set up with the Student Accounts Office, typically within 5 business days of the date you submit the Refund Request Form. If you do not request a refund for the credit, it will remain on your account and be applied to future charges. Please note: The room and board credits on your student account should appear by April 15. If you don't see the credits, email collegehousing@fas.harvard.edu.

I have other costs, what should I do?

Email the Financial Aid Office at faoinfo@fas.harvard.edu.

What’s the best way to contact the Griffin Financial Aid Office?

Like many offices across campus, the Griffin Financial Aid Office on campus is closed and all employees are working remotely. At the moment, we are unable to take incoming phone calls on our main line, but we are responding quickly to email and an officer can call you back if that’s easier for you. Just email the office and we’ll be in touch as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience as staff members are also managing the challenges of working from home.

Will Harvard waive the copay for students to go to HUHS?

There is no copay for any visit at Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) for COVID-19 concerns.

Visit https://www.harvard.edu/coronavirus for more information about COVID-19 at Harvard. The site is regularly updated and serves as a centralized location for information, guidance, and resources on coronavirus for the Harvard community.

If you experience symptoms of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, or if you have had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who recently traveled to a CDC Level 3 location, please contact HUHS at 617-495-5711 (24/7) for advice on next steps.

Diagnostic testing for COVID-19 can be conducted only through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the CDC only for those with symptoms or who meet the criteria for being high risk as a result of exposure. At this time, HUHS is not providing testing independent of these agencies.

Are you shutting down any HUHS services?

HUHS is temporarily shifting its operating model effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

View Operating Hours by Department

Can I use my Harvard Student Health Insurance Plan insurance at home or another location?

The Student Health Insurance Plan provides coverage for hospitalizations, specialty care, mental health, and prescription medications throughout the United States and abroad. For more information on the Student Health Insurance Plan benefits and coverage, you can view the Harvard University Student Health Program (HUSHP) website or contact HUSHP Member Services at 617-495-2008.

The Harvard Student Health Insurance Plan provides coverage for mental health inpatient and outpatient services outside of Harvard University Health Services (HUHS). Students can find a participating in-network provider by searching the Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA (BCBSMA) Find-A-Doctor website (the network is PPO or EPO) or by calling the BCBSMA Behavioral Health Coordination Line at 877-566-2583. The representatives answering these calls are trained to help you find the right provider based on your concerns and the location where you wish to receive care.

Students who waived the Harvard Student Health Insurance Plan should check with their private insurance for questions about their provider network, coverage rules, and potential out-of-pocket costs.

Can I access Counseling and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) if I am not on campus?

CAMHS is currently available to support students by phone only.

Business Hours currently are Monday-Friday 8am to 6pm. Use the patient portal to schedule an Initial Consultation or call 617-495-2042 to book follow-up, same-day or urgent care appointments. Students will be called directly for their appointment by a CAMHS clinician while we all continue to work telephonically. After Hours Urgent Care consultation by phone is available every night from 6pm to 8am and Saturday/Sunday 8am to 6pm at 617-495-5711.

If you have a mental health emergency while at home, you should identify and access local mental health providers and/or the local emergency facilities. Students can contact their current Counseling and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) provider via secure message to discuss planning for the transition from campus to home as well as the possible extension or refills of CAMHS prescriptions. Be sure to leave campus with an adequate supply of medication for your prescriptions.

With a signed release of information, CAMHS can communicate with any local providers regarding your care. Contact CAMHS at 617-495-2042 Monday through Friday from 8:00am – 5:00pm.

Visit the CAMHS website

Recreation, Athletics, and On-Campus Resources

How can I access library resources remotely?

The digital resources of the Harvard Library are available to enrolled students through HOLLIS, the libraries’ catalog and discovery system.  Librarians are available to provide research assistance through the Ask A Librarian Service.

For more information and resources, please visit the Harvard Library website.

If I’ve been approved to stay on campus, will libraries continue to be open?

As part of Harvard's continuing efforts to de-densify our community, all FAS library locations have been closed. If you access Harvard Library locations, please read the Library’s announcement for more information. Harvard Library is committed to ensuring that online services and resources continue to be made available. As part of this effort, librarians continue to provide chat, reference and consultations through online venues.

 

Are the spring and remaining winter athletic seasons and events canceled?

The Ivy League Presidents have announced their unanimous decision to cancel all spring athletics practice and competition through the remainder of the academic year. Harvard will not participate in any postseason team competition. Students who have qualified individually for NCAA Championships will be prohibited from attending NCAA events.

Can student athletes still use Harvard locker rooms, Palmer-Dixon, or other facilities?

Athletic facilities will be offline for the spring semester. Field space is open to the public but we continue to evaluate the safety of our facilities at this time. 

What happens to student athletes' eligibility? Will I be able to retain my season of eligibility for Harvard or elsewhere?

If you have competed for Harvard this spring season, we will need to assess eligibility ramifications with the Ivy League and the NCAA. Please be in touch with Christian Bray or Ali Hemminger to discuss next steps. If you have not competed as a spring sport athlete, you haven’t used a season of competition for NCAA purposes but you should still be in touch with Christian or Ali to discuss your particular eligibility situation. 

Are student athletes still able to receive treatment from athletics training staff?

You should discuss treatment options with your athletic trainer and a possible referral to a local health care provider. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide treatment for student-athletes in-person, although online communication is acceptable.  

If I have to leave campus, can I maintain my on-campus job?

Students whose work can be done remotely (this includes tutoring, academic, and administrative support work) may work remotely at the discretion of their supervisor.

If I’ve been approved to stay on campus, can I maintain my on-campus job?

Students who have been approved to remain on campus may continue to work at the discretion of their supervisor.

Is the Van Service available for students with a health condition or injury?

Students who experience difficulty using the Harvard Shuttle due to a health condition or injury should contact Van Services directly to schedule close-proximity transportation. Call 617-495-0400 to schedule a pick-up time with as much advance notice as possible. Van Services will have extended hours from 7:00 AM - 2:15 AM on Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15, and will stay operational for those remaining on campus going forward. There is no need to contact the Accessible Education Office before requesting a ride at this time.

Dining Services

Are dining halls open?

Massachusetts Governor Baker announced that beginning on March 17 and effective until April 6all food and drink must be taken to go and may not be consumed on-premise in support of the social distancing protocols set forth by the Department of Public Health. This includes our dining halls. All students remaining on campus will be asked to utilize the dining halls for takeout only during this time. We are sorry for this additional challenge, but also know that social distancing is the best way to prevent the spread of virus.

In support of this, HUDS will create three meal options per meal period per day. Complete meals (pre-bagged/assembled) may be picked up from the entry area of the dining hall during the designated meal period. At dinner, students may pick up an additional Snack Pack for Brain Break. Ingredients for all items will be available in print at the pick-up. If accommodations are required for special dietary needs, individuals should contact emily_bridges@harvard.edu, HUDS’ dietician, who will work with the dining hall to adapt menu options to meet individual needs, as appropriate. (For example, substituting gluten-free bread for sandwich choices.)

Adams, Eliot, Kirkland, Lowell and Quincy will be open for all meals for undergraduates (please only dine from the location to which you were assigned). These locations may be utilized by any individual who has been approved to remain on campus from the College.

Hours of Operations (continuing until normal operations resume):

  • Breakfast – 7:30-10am
  • Brunch or Lunch – 11:30am-2:15pm
  • Dinner – 5:00-8:00pm

Adjustments to this plan will be made as the situation evolves and necessitates it.

If individuals require support due to quarantine or illness, HUDS also has protocols in place to for those people at the appropriate time.

Visit the HUDS website

What are the dining hall hours of operation?

Adams, Eliot, Kirkland, Lowell and Quincy will be open for all meals for undergraduates (please only dine from the location to which you were assigned). These locations may be utilized by any individual who has been approved to remain on campus from the College.

Hours of Operations (continuing until normal operations resume): 

  • Breakfast – 7:30-10am 
  • Brunch or Lunch – 11:30am-2:15pm
  • Dinner – 5:00-8:00pm 

Beginning on Sunday, March 29, HUDS will return to traditional dinner hours of 5-7:15pm. We will no longer remain open until 8pm due to low patron counts during the later hours.

As a reminder, please practice good social distancing while you wait to pick up your meals!

Adjustments to this plan will be made as the situation evolves and necessitates it. 

If individuals require support due to quarantine or illness, HUDS also has protocols in place to for those people at the appropriate time. 

VISIT THE HUDS WEBSITE

What will the menu be?

  • HUDS has a new menu, changing daily, complemented by homemade soups, chilis, stews, and mac and cheese, which can be reheated in your microwave. 
  • Please remember to refrigerate all perishable items if you are not eating them immediately. If you have questions about what foods need to be refrigerated, ask a manager. 
  • You can select what and how much of the various menu to help you meet your daily dietary needs. We have plenty of fruits, vegetables and snacks available. 
  • If accommodations are required for special dietary needs, individuals should contact emily_bridges@harvard.edu, HUDS’ dietician, who will work with the dining hall to adapt menu options to meet individual needs, as appropriate. (For example, substituting gluten free bread for sandwich choices.)  

Governor Baker announced that beginning on March 17 and effective until April 6, all food and drink must be taken to go and may not be consumed on-premise in support of the social distancing protocols set forth by the Department of Public Health. This will include our dining halls. All students remaining on campus will be asked to utilize the dining halls for takeout only during this time. We are sorry for this additional challenge, but we believe that social distancing is the best way to prevent the spread of virus, and that this measure will help us in achieving that goal. 

Adjustments to this plan will be made as the situation evolves and necessitates it. 

In support of this, HUDS will create three meal options per meal period per day. Complete meals (pre-bagged/assembled) may be picked up from the entry area of the dining hall during the designated meal period. At dinner, students may pick up an additional Snack Pack for Brain Break. Ingredients for all items will be available in print at the pick-up.

Will HUDS provide service for individuals staying on campus?

HUDS will continue to provide service for individuals who necessarily remain on campus during spring break and beyond into Virtual Learning.

Moving into the period of virtual instruction, we will determine the appropriate number of locations to keep open in support of the health, safety and social distancing needs of the individuals remaining on campus. Updates to which locations are open will continue to be posted on the HUDS website

Student Move-Out

What happens if I left already and cannot come back to get my things?

Please contact your building manager. We will work with you to identify next steps. We know that this is a stressful time for students and parents alike, and housing and residential staff are available to support you through this transition with compassion.

Will my Visa be affected if I go home?

Since the academic term will continue via online means, the Harvard International Office (HIO) considers you to be enrolled. Please direct any additional questions to HIO at 617-495-2789. You can visit the office in person at the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center, Room 864. HIO is open during the following hours:

  • Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri: 9:00am. - 3:00pm
  • Tues 11:00 a.m. - 5:00pm

How do I forward my mail?

Visit the student mail forwarding page and fill out the form at the bottom. This will only take a minute and will help ensure continuity of mail delivery for the remainder of the term. Please also update your address on any online delivery websites such as Amazon, etc.