Student FAQ

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


Student Housing- Retrieving Your Belongings

A new FAQ has been added here.


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,

    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 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 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,


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. The quickest way to contact the financial aid office is to email Please include as much information as possible about your specific situation.

  2. How did Penn handle refunds of housing and/or dining fees for Spring 2020?

    Penn provided a pro-rated credit for spring semester housing and/or dining fees. For more information about how the credits were processed, visit Student Registration and Financial Services’ COVID-19 Updates page.

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

    The University’s transition to online education in response to the COVID-19 outbreak will not alter your ability to receive VA benefit payments, including the Monthly Housing Allowance. Please see the VA's COVID-19 Information Affecting Education Benefits website for more information.

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

    The federal government has put several measures in place to provide relief to federal student loan borrowers. For the most updated information, please visit

    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.


Summer 2020

  1. Can I continue to participate in the federal work-study program during the summer semester?

    Penn is offering a limited summer work-study program this year. Given the University’s decision to continue remote learning for the remainder of the summer, supervisors will have the option to offer remote work-study positions to eligible students.


    The Summer 2020 Federal Work-Study application for students who are enrolled or not enrolled in summer classes is on the SRFS website at The deadline to submit the application is June 30, 2020.

  2. How can I apply for financial aid for summer classes?

    Students may submit a summer course financial aid application to Student Registration & Financial Services. The application is available on the SRFS website at


  3. I am a Highly Aided student who was hoping to take advantage of SRFS’s summer internship funding. What is the final deadline for applying for these funds?

    Eligible Highly Aided students should complete the application process as described on the Highly Aided Summer Funding page before July 13. SRFS will not be funding experiences that require international travel for Summer 2020.


Fall 2020

  1. When will I hear about my financial aid package for the 2020-2021 academic year?

    Student Registration & Financial Services is currently processing 2020-2021 undergraduate financial aid applications and expects to notify students of their financial aid packages soon after the University announces its final plans for the fall semester, no later than the end of June. For the latest packaging updates, visit the SRFS COVID-19 Updates page.


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



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

    Please go to for more frequently asked questions related to online learning and academics.

  2. Will Penn be having summer courses online or in-person?

    Penn’s current remote learning plan will extend to all credit-bearing courses scheduled to begin on May 26, including both Summer Session I and Summer Session II, as well as the 11-week Summer Session. This decision, while not taken lightly, arises from the indefinite stay-at-home order in Philadelphia and the need to resume campus activities only when it is considered safe do so.

  3. Is Penn going to online classes for the Fall 2020 Semester?

    Penn, like other universities around the world, has shifted to remote instruction for its spring and summer sessions. Penn is a leader in new forms of teaching and learning, including online instruction, and we are confident that our students and faculty are having an outstanding experience completing this semester. We do not know how the current pandemic will play out in the months ahead, and so we cannot predict at this time how the fall semester will look. We are planning for every possibility and closely following the guidance of health authorities and international, federal, state, and local governments.

    We are committed to working with any admitted student who would like to enroll at Penn and faces circumstances related to the pandemic that complicate that decision, including financial, visa, family, and health issues. We are also committed to keeping all members of the Penn community informed, including the Class of 2024 and their families, and will communicate further about the fall semester as the situation evolves.

  4. Can I still get help with writing assignments from the Writing Center?

    Yes, the Writing Center is now fully online at, with extended hours on a special online platform. Students can get one-on-one online appointments to work directly with a tutor on any phase and genre of writing, including reading and revising drafts together, brainstorming, researching, writing, and proofreading.


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

  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 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: June 16, 2020 - 03:09pm