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Coronavirus: FAQ

We're here to help.

Please see below for answers to frequently asked questions regarding the College's response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This page is updated regularly, so be sure to check back as things come up.

 

If you don't find answers to all your questions below, please do not hesitate to email ResponseTeam@newberry.edu.

 

Quick Links:

Returning to Campus for Fall ● Commencement & Graduation ● Campus Facilities & Services ● Health Services 

Spring Reimbursements & Finances ● Admission FAQs ● Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

Students & Parents

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

What is the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund?

Authorized through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) is a federally funded grant program. Through this program, colleges and universities are provided with a limited pool of money that can be used — in part — to provide direct grants to eligible students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.

 

When will this HEERF money be made available to students at Newberry College?

Newberry College has already applied for its share of HEERF, and grants will be issued in accordance with federal and institutional policies once the funding has been received by the institution. The College anticipates that grants will start disbursing during the week of May 25, 2020. Interested and eligible students must apply for HEERF via the College’s official application process (see below).

 

How do eligible students apply for HEERF?

Eligible students who wish to apply for HEERF must complete and submit an Emergency Grant Affidavit directly to the Office of Financial Aid via email at finaid@newberry.edu. Click here to view the fillable application. The affidavit is also available in Wolf Den under the Financial Aid tab. Students who apply will receive outcome notifications exclusively via institutional email. The application deadline is Monday, June 15, 2020.

 

Which students are eligible for HEERF?

Students who were actively enrolled in academic coursework on or after March 13, 2020, and who meet basic eligibility criteria for Federal Student Aid (FSA) may qualify for HEERF consideration. Since eligibility for FSA is determined through an analysis of a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the College strongly encourages students who have not filed a 2019-2020 FAFSA to do so immediately.

 

Which students are not eligible for HEERF?

Based on current regulations announced by the United States Department of Education, the following types of students are not eligible for HEERF: (1) students enrolled exclusively in online degree programs, and (2) ineligible non-citizens.

 

What can HEERF be used for?

In accordance with federal regulations, direct grants issued to students via HEERF may be used for expenses related directly to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Students with outstanding account balances are encouraged — but not required — to consider using these funds to help settle their financial obligations to the College.

 

Is HEERF availability limited?

Yes. Newberry College has been federally allocated a finite amount of HEERF. Once the funding has been exhausted, program availability will cease. The College makes no promises — implied or otherwise — about the availability of HEERF funding for the 2020-2021 academic year.

 


Commencement & Graduation 

Q: When will commencement exercises be held for the class of May 2020?

A: Newberry will host a special commencement ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 19. Specific information regarding location, time, and ticket procedures will be announced in late July. Anyone who can’t make the September commencement is invited to participate in December commencement.

 

Q: When and how will I receive my diploma and regalia?

A: Diplomas and regalia have been mailed to students who were not able to pick them up. Please keep your regalia in good condition, as you will need it to participate in your upcoming commencement exercises.

 

Q: Are there any fees associated with graduation?

A: Students planning to graduate pay a graduation fee to cover the costs associated with graduation and commencement. Since you are graduating on Saturday and commencement exercises will be held in September, there will be no refunds of graduation fees. There will be no added cost associated with mailing diplomas and regalia.

 


Returning to Campus for Fall 2020

Q: What will fall semester look like?

A: We are truly looking forward to beginning the fall semester in August as scheduled. In preparation, we are taking measures to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff in this ‘new normal’ of the coronavirus era. This means learning, living, and dining in a clean, socially distant environment. Our small and secure Newberry College campus is conducive to this.

  • We will reconfigure residence hall rooms and common areas, and we will create a number of small living-learning communities in several of the College-owned houses that adjoin the campus
  • We will most likely stagger dining times in the cafeteria, eliminate self-serve meal lines, expand the dining area, and utilize outdoor dining space
  • While the majority of classes will be taught in-person, we will also hold some courses online, in a hybrid format to reduce the number of people in classrooms at one time
  • We will also work with our partners, Aramark and Sodexo, to ensure regular deep cleansing and sanitation of all our campus spaces

As a way to end on-campus classes by Thanksgiving, there will be no fall break. Holding final exams may occur before Thanksgiving or we may have final exams virtually immediately after the holiday. This revised academic calendar will allow us to reduce unnecessary travel for our students and the semester break will begin earlier.

 

Q: What about fall sports?

A: We expect to have more information from the NCAA and the SAC about resuming our fall sports soon. Currently, it is our intention to have all of our fall sports compete as scheduled. We will do whatever we can to offer our student-athletes the opportunity to safely play their sport this fall.

 


Campus Facilities & Services 

Q: What campus events have been canceled?

A: All structured student, athletic, and on-campus activities, including summer camps and private functions, have been canceled through Wednesday, July 1.

 

Q: Is the campus bookstore open to puchase or return textbooks?

A:  The bookstore is closed to in-person visits.

  • For purchases: Online transactions, free ground shipping, and access to free ebooks can be found on the bookstore website.
  • For rental book returns: The bookstore will utilize mail-in returns, providing free shipping lables for U.S. customers via email when it comes time to return your books. But don't worry about late fees. The return grace period has been extended to 15 days after the due date. 
  • You can view digital ebook options for many textbooks on the bookstore website.
  • To sell textbooks back to the bookstore: Please use the Sell Your Textbooks” link.
  • For more specific information and bookstore FAQs, click here.

 

Q: What facilities and services are available on campus?

A: Wessels Library, dining services, and all recreational facilities are currently closed. The following campus services have posted virtual office hours:

  • Office of Disability Services
    • Monday, Wednesday, Friday, from noon to 2 p.m. via Zoom
    • Meeting ID: 845-4718-4962, Password: 4dBamd
    • To schedule an appointment outside these hours, click here
  • Center for Career Development
    • Each day from noon to 2 p.m. via Zoom
    • Meeting ID: 541-480-7217

 

Q: What do I do with my post office key?

A: You keep your key until you graduate or transfer. Graduating seniors and transfer students must have turned in their post office keys by Wednesday, May 20, to avoid a $50 fine.

 


Health Services 

Q: What do I do if I develop symptoms of COVID-19? 

A: If you exhibit symptoms — which include fever (100.4⁰ F or greater), dry cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing — health professionals request that you complete an online screening at either PrismaHealth.org or MUSC.care (use the code COVID19). The sites will direct you to your next steps, and you may be directed to your local emergency room. If so, call the location to let them know that you have been screened and directed to them. If on or near campus, please do not go to the campus health services office for this condition.

 

As always, if you experience a life-threatening emergency, call 911 and go to the emergency room.

 

Q: Is campus counseling available?

A: For students who have been receiving counseling services at Newberry College, phone sessions are currently available to continue counseling. You may email Martha.Dorrell@newberry.edu or call 803.321.5373. If you are in need of counseling services while home and have not received counseling on campus previously, please contact a mental health care provider within your community. If you need assistance in locating a provider, you may contact Lisa.Gibson@newberry.edu or 803.321.5271.

 


Reimbursements for Unused Spring Room & Board

Q: How do I view and obtain my reimbursement?

A: Log in to your Wolf Den account to begin the process.

 

Q: What if I owe an outstanding balance to the College? Will I be reimbursed?

A: If a student owes a balance to the College, the reimbursement will first go to pay off the balance. This reimbursement will appear as a credit on the student's account. If the student's reimbursement amount is greater than the balance owed, the student will have the opportunity to choose how the difference is distributed (see next question).

 

Q: How will I receive my reimbursement?

A: Students who are in good standing may request to have this amount:

  • credited toward a future semester
  • sent as a reimbursement check
  • made a tax-deductible gift to the College

We encourage returning students to carry forward any credit, as it would reduce the amount of future loans needed and lower the overall costs of a future semester. The credit may also be applied toward summer terms.

 

Q: When will reimbursements be processed?

A: Checks were distributed the week of May 11.

 

Q: If I remained on campus through the full spring semester, will I be reimbursed?

A: No. Reimbursements are for unused room and board. Students who remained on campus beyond March 24 are not eligible for reimbursement.

 

Q: How was my reimbursement calculated?

A: The residence hall rental and meal plan is based on 128 days in the spring semester. Some students moved out around March 16, which means they had room and board for 75 days and lost 53 days. Other students moved out around March 24, and they had room and board for 83 days and lost 45 days. All reimbursement calculations on the prorated number of days a student utilized on-campus dining and housing. Students who remained on campus beyond March 24 are not eligible for reimbursement.

 

The College’s institutional aid package, provided to all students, reduces the cost of tuition, fees, room and board, and approximately 30% of this aid reduces the cost of room and board. Therefore, 30% of any aid — institutional, state scholarships, athletic aid, endowment scholarships, private grants, etc. — has been applied against the student’s room and board charge (22% for students on the Oakland Mill reduced meal plan). The reimbursement has been reduced by this prorated share of aid since this is not a payment made by the student. The only other reduction in the calculated reimbursement is a $100 charge per student for the unavoidable COVID-19-related expenses incurred in the deep cleansing and sanitization actions to prevent the possible spread of illness.

 

EXAMPLE: A student lives in Brokaw Hall and has a full meal plan. The cost of the room and board for the spring semester is $5,500. When all of the aid received by the student (excluding any student loans) is added up, the student has received $8,000 of total aid for the semester. Of this aid, 70% is applied against the student’s tuition and fees. The remaining 30% is applied against room and board. The student has no amount owed to the College and the student moved out on March 16.

Total room & board charges:   $5,500.00
Applied 30% of total aid:   — $2,400.00
Total student contribution:   $3,100.00

Used funds (75 days):       — $1,816.60
Sanitation costs:           — $100.00
Reimbursement (53 days):      $1,183.40

 

Q: Do these remittances have anything to do with the CARES Act?

A: These remittances are reimbursements for unused room and board expenses, not a form of stimulus or recovery funds.

 

Q: How will my remittance appear on my account?

A: The remittances are listed in each student's account as: "Spring 2020 COVID 19 Remittance."

 

Q: What if I have a financial hold on my account?

A: As we continue to navigate these uncharted waters, our thoughts are especially with those who are in need of a little financial relief to continue their college journey. In that spirit, we have lifted all financial holds on student accounts at this time, thereby allowing all returning students to register for fall 2020 classes at their designated time. This is a one-time allowance, reflective of the difficult times faced by many families. Students registering under this exception know their account balance and payment in full, or a signed payment plan, must be finalized prior to Monday, June 1, to avoid class schedule cancellation.

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