AU’s spring 2021 plan for enhanced operations released. More information is available on the Spring Plan 2021 page.
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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- When can I take the furlough?
- What is the impact on my paycheck?
- How will the university/departments/managers keep key functions operating?
- What happens if I have to work during the furlough?
- Will there be another furlough?
- Will any classes have an in-person component?
- How will fall online instruction be different from spring?
- Will courses follow the modalities (e.g., live/synchronous, asynchronous, etc.) that were announced in July?
- Is there any change to the calendar for the fall semester?
- Are health and safety protocols still in place on campus?
- I already purchased my plane ticket to come back to campus. Will AU reimburse me?
- Will AU still offer COVID-19 testing?
- How does the fall decision affect international students?
- Where can I get more information on COVID-19?
- What is the plan for spring 2021?
- How will COVID-19 affect implementation, organization, and the filing of Title IX complaints?
Spring 2021 Semester
- When will there be a decision on spring classes? What modalities are being considered?
- Will there be online options in the spring for students who are currently outside D.C.?
- Will the spring course days/times remain the same as they are on the schedule?
- Will the tuition and fee discounts continue in the spring?
- Will there be any gatherings or events on campus?
- What is the status of the special in-person ceremonies for May 2020 graduates?
- What are the details of the fall 2020 Commencement Celebration?
Health and Safety
- Will everyone be required to wear a face covering while on campus?
- What is the policy on physical distancing while on campus?
- What is the university’s testing capacity? How frequently will students/community members be tested?
- What is AU’s self-screening and reporting protocol?
- How do I report a positive COVID-19 test or other information regarding my health status?
- How will policies on face coverings and physical distancing be enforced? Will there be consequences for students/staff/faculty who do not follow the protocol?
- How is the university ensuring that contract employees follow the same health and safety precautions and requirements?
- What will wellness services look like – physical as well as mental health?
- Will students be able to get COVID tests at the Student Health Center?
- Will the university provide COVID-19 testing for faculty and staff?
- Do students still need to apply for an insurance waiver if they won’t be in D.C.?
- Are there any travel advisories or quarantine requirements in D.C.?
- What is the policy on notifying the university of personal travel?
- Can off-campus students quarantine on campus?
- Will the university be providing PPE to all students, or will students be expected to provide their own?
- Will hand sanitizing stations be placed throughout campus?
- How will I access my classes online?
- Could I start out part-time?
- I recently graduated with my bachelor’s degree. Could I begin a master’s program this fall?
- Will there be trainings or workshops to prepare for online learning?
- Why can’t online sections have unlimited seats?
- What if I’m in another time zone? Will I be beholden to the assigned time of my course?
- How can I meet with my academic advisor in the fall 2020 semester?
- What if I have a question about my fall 2020 course?
- Will there be changes to the Academic Calendar in terms of add/drop or refund deadlines?
- What are the strategies for transitioning to full or partial online learning?
- What remote support services are available?
- Where can I access books, reading materials, etc.?
- What accommodations are available for online classes?
- When do I have to make a decision for a temporary leave by?
- Will there be pass/fail grading options for classes?
- Why do I have to wait until after the semester (or term) is over to select the pass/fail option?
- What are the pass/fail grading options during fall 2020 and spring 2021 for undergraduate students?
- What are the pass/fail grading options during fall 2020 and spring 2021 for graduate students?
- Can I convert a course a course to pass/fail that will double count for my combined bachelor’s/master’s degree?
- Can I convert a course to pass/fail if I am on probation?
- What is the university doing to provide technological support for students?
- What can I do if I can’t connect to Zoom, Canvas, Blackboard or other platforms during class time?
- What technical requirements are necessary to engage in online coursework?
- What are the key security issues I need to consider when using Zoom?
Campus Facilities and Services
- With no activities on campus, how will AU build community?
- How can I learn more about my career options, student jobs and internships?
- Where can I find more Athletics and Recreation information?
Housing and Residence Life
- Will any students live on campus?
- If I previously registered for on-campus housing but no longer want to live on campus, can I get a full refund?
- How will emergency housing requests be processed?
- Will those in emergency housing have access to campus services such as dining, the health center, etc.?
- When will housing and dining refunds be processed?
- If I am unable to live on campus, will AU assist students with off-campus housing?
- What will on-campus housing for spring 2021 look like?
- How is the university handling mail and packages?
- I have more questions about residence life and housing. Where can I get more information?
- I had already enrolled in a meal plan. Will I get a refund?
- What dining services will be available on campus for students living in emergency housing?
- What happens with my meal plan or Eaglebucks since there is no meal plan option?
- When will I see the refund on my student account for the meal plan?
Campus Facilities, Operations, and Services
- What services will be available on campus?
- Will I have access to buildings on campus?
- Where can I get more information about library operations?
- What if I’ve already placed an order for in-store pickup at the campus store?
- Will I still be able to order from the campus store website at shopAmericanU.com?
- Is the shuttle operating on a normal schedule?
- What parking restrictions are in effect on and off campus?
- Will the U∙PASS Program be available this fall?
- If my office is located in a building with limited access and/or temperature adjustments and I need to conduct my class from there, can I do so?
- Do I need permission to be on campus? Who do I get it from if I am a faculty member?
- Is my ID card is automatically activated for all buildings?
- Are any buildings available as study spaces for students? Do I need to make reservations?
- If I complete the faculty form for on-campus activity, do I have to wait for approval will before I can use my office?
- Is tuition discounted?
- What fees will be charged or waived?
- Will financial aid be affected?
- Will my undergraduate financial aid change because the university has canceled its residential component for the fall 2020 semester?
- Will the 10 percent tuition discount or changes in fees impact my financial aid package?
- Will my financial aid be impacted if I don’t return this fall for family or personal reasons but plan to return in the spring?
- What’s the best way to find out about the status of my financial aid?
- How can I find information about graduate financial aid?
- When will housing and dining refunds be processed?
- What is the status of my Federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) application?
- I am currently using VA education benefits. How will AU’s plan for the fall semester impact my VA education benefits eligibility?
Travel and Study Abroad
- What is AU’s current policy on student/faculty/staff travel?
- I am a faculty member or graduate student who needs to travel in order to conduct research, what should I do?
- Are there COVID-19 related reentry restrictions to the U.S.?
- What is the university doing about study abroad programs?
- What criteria does AU use to determine when it is safe to resume international travel associated with its programming?
- What does it mean when a program is suspended?
- What about my health and safety?
- Do I get my money back now that my program is suspended?
- What if I decide not to go?
- Can I defer my study abroad to fall 2021?
- I was planning to study abroad with an approved program provider or at a partner university. What do I need to do to withdraw my application or defer to another semester?
- I’m not able to study abroad in a future semester. Can I still take courses through an AU Centers program in spring 2021?
- If my study abroad program is being offered virtually, can I still participate and get credit at AU?
- Can I take a leave of absence to participate in a program independently from AU?
- I received an AU Abroad Grant for fall 2020 and now I am deferring to fall 2021. Can I defer the grant as well?
- Will incoming exchange programs run in spring 2021?
Faculty and Staff
- Will faculty and staff be required to come to campus at all?
- 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 support is available for conducting classes online?
- What should I do for students who cannot participate online?
- Should I continue to have office hours?
- Are faculty expected to come to campus to teach their online courses?
- What additional support is available to faculty and staff?
- Does AU have a research continuity plan?
- With a variety of schedules for faculty and staff, how will parking be handled?
- Can staff and faculty take their AU-owned IT equipment home to aid productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- How can faculty and staff find out more information about how AU is approaching the fall semester?