Student FAQ

This information page will be updated frequently. Please revisit often.

 

Students - Housing and Belongings

  1. What is the deadline to move out of University housing?

    While we originally announced Sunday, March 15th, we have now extended that deadline to Tuesday, March 17th at 8 p.m.

  2. Why are you moving students out of their rooms and off campus so quickly?

    The COVID-19 virus is readily spread through close human contact, which is a fact of life in a university environment, whether in classrooms, dining halls or at University events.  Eliminating large gatherings and creating social distancing are important steps to help prevent the spread of the virus. To achieve this, we want as few people on campus as possible.  The risk of keeping people on campus in close quarters is far greater than sending them home.

  3. I went out of town for Spring Break and I want to get belongings out of my room. What should I do?

    Students living in University housing who are currently out of town should not return to campus. Penn Residential Services, working with the Division of Public Safety, the College Houses, Greek and other University housing, will secure your belongings until it becomes safe for you to return to campus to retrieve them.

    We recognize that there may be items of particular importance to you (e.g. laptops, course materials and personal effects). If you have a genuine emergency that requires access to your room, please email living@upenn.edu with the following in the subject line: Retrieval followed by the name of the College House  (for example, Retrieval Lauder College House) in which you are living and include an explanation of the item you require and the extenuating circumstances.

    Please note that the University’s security policies do not allow parents, family or friends to enter the College Houses without the student.

  4. I didn’t leave for Spring Break and am currently in University housing. What must I do?

    If you remained on campus during Spring Break, you are required to Move-Out of your College House, Samson Place or Greek housing by 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 17th.  Residential Services staff will be available to assist with check out, provide carts and answer questions about other moving related needs. Parents, friends, guests and others may assist you during Move-Out but you will need to be available to sign them into your College House. After 8 p.m. on Tuesday, you will no longer be able to access your room and your residential building. Additional information about the Move-Out process will be available at your College House Information Center.

  5. It is impossible for me to return home at this time. What can I do?

    We understand that some of you are unable to travel home for personal reasons or because you live in an area that is under travel restrictions.  With that in mind, we are requiring anyone who feels they need to remain in University housing for the rest of the semester to fill out a short application. You can access the application at www.upenn.edu/rhsportalYou must complete the form by noon on March 14th. We will respond to your request within 24 hours.

    If you are approved to remain on campus, Residential Services will provide you with additional information relative to the operation of the College Houses during this period. Security will remain in place and dining facilities will remain open, but on a more limited basis.

  6. Will Penn help me store my belongings?

    College House and Greek chapter house residents not returning from break will leave their belongings in their rooms until Penn decides it is safe/appropriate to return to move out. Rooms will be secure. There will be no storage fee. Students who are on campus now, but leaving for the rest of the semester, may not be able to take all items with them. They, too, may safely leave belongings in their room.

  7. I live off campus. Do I have to leave? I have a lease and rent to pay.

    The University is not ordering students who live in private residences to leave. We strongly encourage students who live off-campus to return home if they can. For those of you who decide to stay, we urge you to engage in the social distancing that is now being practiced all over the world to stem the outbreak of this virus. It is essential to sustaining the health and safety of every member of our community.

  8. Will Penn increase police patrol off campus to protect our empty apartments?

    Yes, the Division of Public Safety will increase off campus patrols in expectation that some residences will not be occupied for the remainder of the semester. Register for a Special Check of your house by going to: https://www.publicsafety.upenn.edu/contact/propertycheck/.

  9. If I leave campus, how will you know where I am?

    Please update your information in Penn in Touch. Share your mobile number, home address, and family contacts (with phone numbers). If you have a temporary address, please update that as well with the dates you will be at that address.

 

For Seniors

  1. Will there be Commencement?

    To protect the health of our graduates, their families, alumni, and faculty and staff of the University—our highest priority in the face of this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic—we are cancelling this year’s on-campus Commencement events and moving them to a virtual ceremony that will be broadcast online. We also will celebrate and honor you in person with Commencement ceremonies on Penn's campus when it is safe and feasible to do so.

  2. Will I be able to graduate?

    Absolutely yes. Classes and examinations will move to a virtual platform effective March 23rd.  If you expect to graduate this year, provided you complete and pass your coursework as you would under normal circumstances, it will have no impact on your graduation date.  Details on class instruction will be provided to students directly by the respective Schools.

 

For Graduate Students

  1. I am a graduate student. How will I complete my labs?

    Guidance on completion of labs and other non-classroom academic activities for graduate and professional students will be provided by each school. PhD students who are on dissertation status or have completed their coursework are being advised separately in consultation with their graduate deans and the Vice Provost for Education, as we recognize individual research is different from classroom education.

 

Campus Operations

  1. What Penn Services are available?

    Computer Connection: The Computer Connection is operating for departmental and UPHS services only between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm. The retail store is closed until further notice. To request services, please contact ccxmail@pobox,upenn.edu.

    Hilton Inn at Penn: Is open and accepting reservations from the general public. Food and beverage services are suspended.

    Hospitality Services: Staff is accessible by phone and email only.

    Morris Arboretum: Closed until further notice

    Off-Campus Services: Staff is available by email and phone only; closed for walk-in visits.

    Office of Software Licensing: Staff is available by email and phone, only; closed for walk-in visits.

    Penn Bookstore: The Penn Bookstore is closed until further notice. For updates on course materials consult the website.

    PennCard Center: Services are available between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm at 1920 Commons, 3800 Locust Walk for essential staff and who need to have their PennCards renewed and in emergency situations for those who are allowed on campus. Check the PennCard website as these hours are subject to change. All others should email penncard@upenn.edu. to make arrangements to get their new cards. The PennCard Service Center located in the Penn Bookstore is closed until further notice.

    Penn Children’s Center: The Penn Children’s Center is closed through March 27.

    Penn Home Ownership Services: Staff is available by phone and email; closed for walk-in visits.

    Penn Transit Services: Operating evening shuttle services and Penn Accessible Transit only.

    Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel: Is open and accepting reservations from the general public. Food and beverage services are suspended.

    University of Pennsylvania Class of 1923 Ice Rink: Services suspended until further notice.

  2. I’m still on or near campus, where can I eat?

    Whether you are living in University housing or off campus, Penn Dining remains open to serve students. Hours and locations are subject to change, so please check the website regularly. Dining swipes and Dining Dollars can be used.

     

    Starting March 23, 2020:

    1920 Commons:

    • Monday-Friday breakfast ($10, 7-9:30 am); lunch ($11, 11 am to 1 pm) and dinner ($12, 5 to 7 pm.)
    • Weekends – brunch ($11, 10 am to 1 pm) and dinner ($12, 5 pm to 7 pm).

    Gourmet Grocer: daily, 9 am. to 5 pm.

     

    In accordance with public health instructions, all meals are to-go and we are limiting the number of diners who can be in our café at one time. We are also adhering to all recommended guidelines for cleaning and limiting the spread of the virus and ask that you do your part by washing your hands before entering the café.

    If you have questions or concerns about your dining plan, please email dining@upenn.edu. If you are a dining plan holder who can currently not access campus to use your dining plan, a process for credits and refund will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

 

Health and Wellness

  1. I know I need to go home, but I’m afraid I won’t have access to health care where I live. Will my Penn insurance work away from campus?

    Penn Student Health Insurance (PSIP) covers students anywhere they go, around the world.

  2. I see a counselor at Counseling and Psychological Services. Can I continue my therapy in person or remotely?

    Yes. CAPS will be open and also utilize virtual tools to maintain a continuum of care for students. Please contact CAPS by phone (215-898-7021).

  3. I see a clinician at Student Health Service. Can I continue my treatment in person or remotely?

    Yes. Student Health Service will be open and also utilize virtual tools to maintain a continuum of care for students. Please contact SHS by phone (215-746-3535).

  4. I have a disability and/or have accommodations for my classes and tests. How will that work with virtual learning?

    Please contact the Weingarten Center for Learning Resources for additional information.  (215-573-9235, https://www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc/).

 

Finance/ Financial Aid/Work Study

  1. How can I speak to someone about my financial aid?

    Student Registration and Financial Services is continuing to support students remotely throughout the remainder of the semester. The quickest way to contact the financial aid office is to email sfsmail@pobox.upenn.edu. Please include as much information as possible about your specific situation.

  2. Will my financial aid be impacted by a transition to online instruction?

    Moving to online learning will not change your existing financial aid package for the spring 2020 semester.

  3. Will I get a refund on my housing or dining fees?

    With respect to a refund of University College House housing and dining fees paid this semester, the University expects to issue a pro rata refund or offer a credit for future housing or dining meal plan.  A process will be announced later this semester.  We appreciate your patience as we develop the process and guidelines.

  4. I rely on a work-study job or other student employment for income throughout the semester. Can I still work and be paid while classes are held remotely?

    The federal government gives universities the option to continue paying students their work-study wages during disruptions caused by COVID-19, and Penn has extended that guidance to cover all student workers (undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with non-work-study jobs) outside of the work-study program as well. Detailed guidance for students and supervisors can be found at Student Registration and Financial Services.

    Work-study students and student workers will be permitted to submit their regularly scheduled hours for payment each week. If scheduled hours vary from week to week, students and supervisors should work together to determine an average number of hours to submit each week for approval.

    The University strongly encourages supervisors to identify opportunities for students to continue conducting work for their office remotely, if feasible and appropriate. If the student cannot perform any of their regular duties and there are no alternative duties the student can complete remotely, the University’s guidance is that they should continue to be paid for their regularly scheduled hours for the remainder of the semester.

    Supervisors will review the hours submitted on timesheets before approval, andpay will continue to be processed via the indicated payment method. If you are not currently registered to receive wages via direct deposit in Workday, we strongly recommend you do so now. All paper checks will be mailed to the address on file going forward.

  5. I receive VA benefits to support my educational costs. Will the University’s transition to online education impact my receipt of those benefits?

    VA benefit payments, including the Monthly Housing Allowance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, will remain unchanged for the remainder of the spring semester.

  6. I am planning to take summer classes and would like to apply for financial aid. How can I do that?

    The University has not yet made decisions about Summer Sessions at Penn. When more information is available, SRFS will communicate an updated process for applying for financial aid.

  7. I am a Highly Aided student who was hoping to take advantage of SRFS’s summer internship funding. Can I still apply for those funds?

    Yes, eligible Highly Aided students should complete the application process as described on the Highly Aided Summer Funding page. SRFS will not be funding experiences that require international travel for Summer 2020.

  8. I am making payments on student loans. Are there are forms of relief available to me?

    The federal government announced that, starting on March 13, interest will be waived on loans held by the U.S. Department of Education for at least 60 days. You may also be able to request an administrative forbearance, which will allow you to temporarily pause payments without becoming delinquent. To learn more, contact your loan servicer, which you can identify online at https://studentaid.gov/h/manage-loans.

    If you have private alternative loans, you should contact the company that services your loan with any questions about what forms of relief might be available to you.

    For more information about federal borrower relief, visit StudentAid.gov/coronavirus.

  9. I am not eligible for additional grant funding but have expenses related to COVID-19. Can I still take out a federal loan for the 2019-2020 academic year?

    Yes, students can submit 2019-2020 loan requests until Thursday, April 30. Requests should be submitted via the Penn Loan System.

 

Accessing Student Services Remotely

  1. I don’t have a summer internship or full-time job yet. How can I work with Career Services when I’m not on campus?

    Career Services will provide extensive resources to Penn students even if they are not on campus, especially through the Handshake platform and BlueJeans. More information is available online at Career Services.

    Examples include:

    • Individual career and graduate/professional school advising
    • Mock interviews, cover letter and resume review
    • Virtual interviews and networking with employers
    • Summer funding application review

 

Student Travel Information

  1. I’ve been traveling for Spring Break and I’m worried about my health. What should I do?

    Whether you are on campus or not, please call Student Health Service (215-746-3535) with questions about COVID-19 or health-related travel questions. SHS increased staff capacity in anticipation of added call volume. Wherever you are, students are strongly discouraged from using the Emergency Department except for emergency situations (e.g. difficulty breathing, chest pain).

  2. I am studying or researching abroad. Do I need to come back now and go home? Can I wait?

    The guidance to students abroad is being updated regularly. The COVID-19 situation is changing daily and its impact on travel guidelines, U.S. and foreign government regulations and airline schedules is uncertain. Please keep your school/department informed of your status, especially if you plan to depart your current location earlier than expected. Wherever you are, please take appropriate precautionary measures and follow local directives. Personal travel to other cities/countries is strongly discouraged at this time.

  3. I was supposed to travel this semester for Penn credit or a Penn activity. Is it cancelled?

    Penn has barred all University travel, domestic and international for the rest of the semester.

  4. What about personal travel? If I can’t be at Penn, I may want to see friends or family elsewhere.

    Penn strongly discourages students, faculty, and staff from personal travel during this public health emergency. The rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 means that any travel could potentially lead to self-isolation or quarantine. Talk with your family and consult CDC guidance before making any personal decisions. For more information, please see Penn’s latest update on coronavirus.

  5. If I am detained, quarantined, or held for further screening during my travels, should I contact Penn?

    If you are held by authorities in any country, including the U.S., please alert Penn Police, 215-573-3333.

  6. I still have questions about travel and COVID-19.

    Most questions related to Penn’s response to COVID-19 can be answered by visiting Penn’s comprehensive website.  If you cannot find the answer to your question here, please contact Coronavirus@upenn.edu.

 

Academic

  1. I have questions related to Online Learning and Academics. Where should I go?

    Please go to https://coronavirus.upenn.edu/content/march-19-student-faqs-taking-online-classes for more frequently asked questions related to online learning and academics.

  2. I may want to take a class at Penn this summer. Will that be possible?

    As of March 19, 2020, no decisions have been made regarding Summer Sessions at Penn. We recognize that student and faculty plans may depend on whether, and in what format, summer courses will be offered. However, we are focused on delivering the remainder of the Spring term for students and will turn our attention to the Summer when the pressing matters for the Spring term are settled. The plan for summer sessions will be posted once available.

 

Mail & Packages

  1. I have a specific question about a package. What should I do?

    Residents with questions regarding specific mail or package items should email housingmail@upenn.edu.

  2. How do I forward my mail and packages?

    SPS mail and packages can be forwarded for domestic residents. Residents must update their forwarding address via Penn InTouch  and reach out to housingmail@lists.upenn.edu to request forwarding.

    For FedEx, UPS, & DHL packages, the University’s mail and package provider will hold all nonperishable mail/packages that cannot be picked up until it is deemed safe for residents to return to campus to retrieve these items or alternative delivery procedures are implemented.

    Perishable deliveries will be accepted and held for as long as possible, but some may need to be disposed of for sanitary reasons such as food spoilage

Last updated: April 05, 2020 - 06:09pm