The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) reflect American University’s current policies and resources. This page is designed to provide the AU community with up-to-date answers to help you navigate the university’s response to the evolving COVID-19 situation.
Don’t find your question here? If you have a question which is not answered below, please suggest a new question and we’ll do our best to update this page with the appropriate information.
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- What preparations has AU taken to handle COVID-19?
- Has the university canceled classes or events?
- Where can I find updated information about confirmed COVID-19 cases?
- Where should I report if I receive a conﬁrmed positive test for COVID-19?
- What should I do if I am concerned about being exposed?
- What safety precautions is AU taking to clean and sanitize our community?
- What teaching and research support is available from Bender Library?
- I have books from Bender Library that I need to return, what should I do?
- Are campus tours canceled?
- Are Fitness Center facilities available for use?
- What do I need to do to pause deductions for the fitness center?
- Will I have access to buildings on campus?
- Where can I get more information on COVID-19?
- What are the key security issues I need to consider when using Zoom?
- What are AU’s plans for the Spring 2020 graduation? I’ve also heard about plans for December in-person celebrations for Spring 2020 graduates?
- Will I still earn my degree, certificate, and/or honors?
- When will Spring 2020 graduates receive their diplomas?
- Can I still order my regalia to have photos taken?
- What will take place during the May 9 online commencement celebration?
- Is the university closed?
- How will I access my classes online?
- What are the strategies for transitioning to online learning?
- What should I do if I don’t have the necessary computer equipment or internet access to participate in my classes?
- Where can I access books, reading materials, etc.?
- What if I don’t have or can’t afford internet service for virtual class participation?
- If I need accommodations for online class, how can I arrange that?
- What support is available?
- Have registration deadlines for fall and summer classes been extended?
Pass/Fail Grading Impact on Financial Aid
- Does changing my course(s) to a Pass/Fail option cause me to lose my undergraduate federal aid and/or AU Grant?
- Will changing my course(s) to a Pass/Fail option cause me to lose my undergraduate merit scholarship?
- Will changing my course(s) to a Pass/Fail option cause me to lose my graduate financial aid?
- Will changing my course(s) to a Pass/Fail option cause me to lose my graduate merit scholarship?
Summer and Fall Classes
- Why did AU offer a 10 percent discount for summer? Why wasn’t it higher?
- Why did AU not provide a discount for spring tuition when courses were moved online?
- Will financial aid be available to me for summer courses?
- Will the pass/fail option apply for summer courses? What is the timeline for withdrawing from summer courses?
- If I am part of AU’s existing online programs, will I receive the discount?
- Are Washington College of Law classes included in the discount?
- Are all classes being offered for summer online? If not, when can I expect more classes to be added, and how will I know which ones are added?
- What is the billing process for summer classes?
- Will academic supports like the Writing Center and/or Math/Stats Lab be available for students taking summer courses?
- What technical requirements are necessary to engage in online coursework?
- Will in-person classes resume in the fall?
- Do AU students need to leave their residence hall rooms?
- Who can remain on campus?
- Will I be reimbursed for room and board for the rest of the 2020 Spring semester?
- How will students who can’t go home be supported in the residence halls?
- For the small number of students approved to stay on campus beyond March 23, how often will common bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and lounges be cleaned?
- For students staying on campus, how should we address health concerns?
- How is the university handling mail and packages?
- What dining services are available on campus with the recent stay-at-home order?
- If my meal plan is pro-rated how will the amount be determined? Will I have to request a refund, if not using the meal plan?
- When will I see the refund on my student account?
- What if I am experiencing increased anxiety or stress related to concerns about family in one of the affected countries? Similarly, what if I notice a student, colleague, or other person who seems to be experiencing related difficulty?
- What is social distancing and what steps should I be taking now?
- I am on campus and may have come in contact with someone who has coronavirus and/or I feel as though I may have coronavirus, what should I do?
- I am off campus, may I use my school insurance?
- I want to know more about the positive cases among members of the AU community, what can you share? Why can’t you tell me where they are/were?
Transportation and Parking
- Will the university shuttle continue to operate?
- What parking restrictions are in effect on and off campus?
Finances and Student Services
Finances, Refunds, and Financial Aid
- Will my financial aid be affected by this change?
- Which fees are eligible for prorated refunds?
- How is the refund processed?
- When can I expect to see a refund?
- Who do I contact with questions about refunds?
- Which fees are not eligible for prorated refunds?
- What effective dates are being used to calculate the prorated refund?
- Are late fees being assessed to student accounts?
- When am I expected to pay my summer tuition bill?
- When am I going to receive the Federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund?
- When will the HEERF application be available?
- Who is eligible for the Federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund?
- What are HEERF requirements?
- How much can I receive in HEERF?
- Do I need to submit receipts to apply?
Student Jobs and Internships
- I have a federal work-study (FWS) job on campus. What will happen while I’m not on campus?
- I have a federal work-study job off campus. What will happen while I’m not on campus?
- I work on campus but I’m not a federal work study student. Can I continue to work?
- I was counting on the income from my part-time job. What should I do now?
- I am receiving academic credit for my internship, which has been affected by my employer’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. What should I do?
- If I live off campus and wish to remain in DC and work at my internship, can I do that?
- I typically receive my paycheck from the HR office or AU office I am employed in. What do I do now?
- I realize that there is much uncertainty about whether summer internships and jobs will happen on schedule. How should I proceed?
Travel and Immigration
- Is it ok for me to go back to my home country and come back next semester?
- Will international students be able to return to the US with the current visas in their passports?
- The US State Department suspended non-immigrant visa services in all countries. How will this affect me?
- Can I stay in the United States with an expired F-1/J-1 visa?
- I am outside the United States and cannot return to AU for my fall 2020 classes on time. What should I do?
Courses and Course Load
- I am an international student and there is a significant time difference between my location and AU. Will my classes only be available during the regularly scheduled time or will there be other options?
- I am a student in a country that doesn’t support Google and Blackboard. Is there another way for me to access online resources through AU?
- Will international students with full time enrollment in face-to-face classes be allowed to take more than one online class, since immigration regulations normally limit the amount of online instruction?
- How does retroactive withdrawal affect international students?
- Do I need to maintain full time enrollment while pursuing online education outside the US?
- How many online classes can I take this summer?
- Do I have to be full-time this summer?
- Will international students be able to obtain reduced course load authorizations for the fall 2020 semester during the course enrollment preregistration period?
- How can I maintain my immigration status in fall 2020 if I do not have full course of study left in my last semester?
Jobs, Internships, CPT, and OPT
- Can international students do remote/telework inside or outside the US to fulfil their internship requirements for credit internships?
- I am an international student with authorized off-campus employment for an internship or practical training. Is there any guidance from Department of Homeland Security for situations like this?
- Will ISSS authorize me for summer Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?
- Do I need CPT authorization if I do an internship outside the US?
- Will international students who are graduating be able to apply for post-completion optional practical training (OPT) from outside of the US?
- How will ISSS assist international students who are graduating and are currently in the US with optional practical training (OPT) applications?
- I applied for Post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) based on my Spring graduation. What happens if I cannot finish my degree requirements on time?
- Can I apply for OPT from outside the US while the university is offering online education only?
- Will my VA education benefits be affected by this change?
- I’m a VA work study student. Can I still earn work study hours while classes are held online?
- I’m a veteran and have more questions about finances. Where can I find answers?
- I changed one or more of my courses to Pass/Fail during the spring 2020 semester and received a failing (FZ) grade. Will this impact my VA education benefits?
- I currently have a VBA benefit debt with the VA and I am not able to pay due to financial hardships from COVID-19. What options do I have?
Travel and Study Abroad
- What is the university doing about study abroad programs?
- Will AU Abroad allow students to return to their suspended study abroad programs later in the semester?
- Is AU canceling summer study abroad programs?
- What happens if a student commits to a program that eventually gets canceled?
- I am planning to travel to one of the affected countries. What should I do?
- I just returned from abroad, what precautions should I take?
- How are travelers being screened when they enter the United States?
- Within the last 14 days, I was abroad AND I am exhibiting fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and/or shortness of breath. What should I do?
- I am an AU Abroad student – are there any resources to assist with mental health?
- For students who participated in programs that are now suspended, what costs are refundable?
- Is AU canceling all international travel? Will my expenses be refunded because AU canceled it?
- I am an AU Abroad student having trouble getting a flight out of the country. Does AU have a resource to assist me?
- I was studying abroad in spring 2020 and my program was suspended. How will I get reimbursed for my return flight home?
- If students want to fully withdraw from programs, what costs are refundable?
Faculty and Staff
- If my department has someone who cannot return to the US as a result of travel restrictions, whom should I consult for ongoing assistance?
- Does the suspension of university-sponsored international travel apply to academic activity (e.g., travel to conferences or workshops) paid for by external grants or funding organizations?
- Does the suspension of university-sponsored international travel apply to all research trips?
- Where do faculty/staff go for more information on telework, benefits, leave, and other issues regarding expanded telework during COVID-19?
- What should I do for students who cannot participate online?
- Are faculty expected to come to campus to teach their online courses?
- What support is available for conducting classes online?
- What additional support is available to faculty and staff?
- Should I continue to have office hours?
- Does AU have a research continuity plan?
- What is AU doing to keep the service workers (custodial, dining, etc.) and medical personnel safe from COVID-19?
- Will there be any employment changes other than the limitations on hiring?
- Will in-person classes resume in the fall? When might the university know if classes are going to stay on-campus or be moved online?
- I am still planning to come to DC to complete my degree. Can I begin my first semester courses online if no on-campus courses are being offered in the fall?
- Can I begin the first semester of my program online even if AU is offering courses on-campus in the fall?
- In the event courses are online in the fall, will the quality of the courses suffer?
- If AU's fall classes go online, can I defer my admission to the spring semester/to whenever classes are back in-person?
- Could I start out part-time?
- Could I start a course or two this summer rather than wait until the fall?
- I have just received my bachelor’s degree from AU, could I still consider a bachelor’s/master’s program?
- I have just graduated with my bachelor’s degree in May. Could I begin a master’s program this fall?
- What will tuition be if courses are online in fall? Will you be offering discounts? How does this impact financial aid packages?
- Will new student orientation be in-person or online?
- If classes go online for the fall semester, how does this impact financial aid packages?