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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- Is AU prepared to handle COVID-19?
- Where can I get information about the university’s response?
- Has the university canceled classes or events, including graduation?
- Are there confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the DC area or at AU?
- What should I do if I am concerned about being exposed?
- Where can I find updated information about confirmed COVID-19 cases that get reported at AU?
- What safety precautions is AU taking to clean and sanitize our community?
- What can I do to help prepare?
- Where should I report if I receive a confirmed positive test for COVID-19?
- Will I have access to resources at Bender Library during the semester?
- I have books from Bender Library that I need to return, what should I do?
- Are campus tours canceled?
- What is the status of summer classes?
- Will the Pass/Fail grading policy change in the light of the university’s move to online for the Spring 2020 classes?
- Are Fitness Center facilities available for use?
- What do I need to do to pause deductions for the fitness center?
Academics and Campus Life
- Is the university closing?
- How will I access my classes online?
- Are there 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?
- What will happen if I can’t complete my assignments? Can I withdraw from classes?
- If I need accommodations for online class, how can I arrange that?
- What support is available?
- 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?
- Have registration deadlines for fall and summer classes been extended?
- Do I need to leave my residence hall room?
- Who can remain on campus?
- Do I need to take everything out of my space?
- Do I need to inform AU when I check out?
- If I can’t hand in my mail key in person, where should I send it?
- 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/lounges be cleaned?
- For students staying on campus, how should we address health concerns?
- How is the university handling mail and packages?
- Where can I find more information on the residence hall check-out process?
- What happens with my meal plan if I am no longer on campus and am not using it?
- What happens with my meal plan if I am still in the area and want to use it?
- What are the components of the meal plan?
- 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 dining services are available on campus? What are the hours?
- 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 member of my staff 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?
- Will parking costs be prorated?
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?
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 pay via check, which I typically pick up 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?
- Is it okay to travel back home to another country and still return to AU this summer or next semester?
- I live off campus, should I leave the United States to go back to my home country?
- Will final exams be administered online?
- Do I need to maintain full time enrollment while pursuing online education outside the U.S.?
- How does retroactive withdrawal affect international students?
- Will international students be able to fulfill their for-credit internship requirements remotely?
- Will international students be able to return to the US with the current visas in their passports?
- The U.S. State Department suspended non-immigrant visa services in all countries. How will this affect me?
- Will ISSS authorize me for summer Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?
- Will international students be able to obtain reduced course load authorizations for the fall 2020 semester during the course enrollment preregistration period?
- 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’m an international student with more questions. Where can I find answers?
- 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 my VA education benefits be affected by this change?
- I was registered for an immersion class that was canceled or I elected to drop. Will this impact my certification with the VA?
- I was studying abroad and was required to return to AU or was not able to begin my study abroad program for spring 2020. Will this impact my VA education benefits?
- 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 receive VA education benefits and based on extenuating circumstances I am retroactively dropping/withdrawing from a course(s) this semester. Will this affect my VA education benefits I have received for spring 2020?
- I receive VA education benefits and attend semester-based courses. I would like to withdraw from courses after March 20 based on the new last day to withdraw of April 27. Will this affect my VA education benefits?
Travel and Study Abroad
- What is the university doing about study abroad programs?
- I am planning to travel to one of the affected countries. What should I do?
- Will AU Abroad allow students to return to their suspended study abroad programs later in the semester?
- If students want to fully withdraw from programs, what costs are refundable?
- For students who participated in programs that are now suspended, what costs are refundable?
- What happens if a student commits to a program that eventually gets canceled?
- 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 having trouble getting out a flight out of the country. Does AU have a resource to assist me?
- I am an AU Abroad student – are there any resources to assist with mental health?
- Is AU canceling all international travel? Will my expenses be refunded because AU canceled it?
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 about the university's expanded telework program?
- If I am feeling unwell, should I stay home from work?
- What should I do if I need to care for a sick child or my child’s school/day care provider is closed?
- 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?