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?

    Hospitality Services: Staff is accessible by phone and email only. www.upenn.edu/hospitalityservices

    Computer Connection: The Penn Computer Connection, formerly located on the 2nd floor of the Penn Bookstore, is now permanently closed.

    Although the retail store is closed, the University remains committed to providing resources and value-added services that align with the technology needs of the Penn community. Computer supplies, accessories and peripherals are available at the Penn Bookstore which has expanded its in-store inventory of these items. Penn Departments with questions about, bulk orders, and post-sale issue resolution should contact Jeff Rusling, director of technology, sales and marketing, 215-898-1816 or rusling@upenn.edu.

    Penn Hotels:

    Morris Arboretum: The Morris Arboretum recently reopened, just in time to celebrate the arrival of Summer.  Everyone, including members, will require timed tickets for your planned visit.   They are easy to reserve and can be obtained at morrisarb.org/tickets.

    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 open. For hours of operation consult the website.

    PennCard Center:

    • Incoming students living on campus will obtain their PennCards at their College House during move-in.
    • Graduate students who live off campus must apply for their ID cards online at campusexpress.upenn.edu and should consult their respective schools regarding card pick-up, as each school has a unique distribution process and/or location.
    • Replacement cards (lost, damaged, stolen, expired) do not require a new photo and may be renewed online for easy processing and pick-up. These cards are being issued by appointment only: .
    • First-time new cards for Faculty, staff, visitor, and similar affiliate cards may visit the PennCard office located on the 2nd floor of the Penn Bookstore. Please visit www.upenn.edu/penncard for hours of operation.

    Penn Children’s Center: The Penn Children’s Center is open, but enrollment is limited. Temporary operating hours are Monday - Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Center's Daily Drop-in Program is suspended until further notice. 

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

    University of Pennsylvania Class of 1923 Ice Rink:  The Penn Ice Rink is open, but service is limited to specific programs. Public skating is not in being offered. 

    Penn Mail Services: Open and operating as usual except for only making one stop daily at each location. Penn Customers should contact Penn Mail Services directly at 215-898-MAIL/6245 if their office will be closed or have modified hours. In addition, members of the Penn Community are advised to sonly end packages to the University during this time if their offices are open or arrangements are made to receive them. This will help reduce the possibility of a lost or misplaced package.

    Penn Parking Services: Beginning September 1, Penn will resume charging fees to park in all campus garages and lots. As previously announced, permit rates will be held at the FY20 rates through December. Details about the FY21 rates can be found here.

    Commuters who wish to obtain a parking permit may now apply online for assignments that will be effective as early as September 1.  Be aware that parking availability is limited, and it may not be possible to accommodate your preferred option.  Applicants will be notified when parking assignments are confirmed and invited to visit the Transportation and Parking Office to pick-up access credentials. Please note that due to the high demand for parking that we are experiencing, our response time is longer than normal and it may take up to 10 business days to process your application.

    To view campus locations of the Penn Parking facilities, please visit www.upenn.edu/parking .

    Commuters: Effective September 1, Penn Parking is introducing three new options for those commuters who may only need to park on an occasional basis:

    • discounted transient/visitor all-day rate of $15, payable on-site,
    • evening rate after 3:30PM and an all-day weekend rate of $12, payable on-site, and,
    • 5-hour/day parking ticket for $11, payable onsite via the parking garage attendant with a Penn, UPHS, or Penn Affiliate ID. This option also may be purchased in advance at the Transportation and Parking Office.

    Penn Transit Services: Penn Transit Services is resuming PennBus East and PennBus West on Monday, August 31.Penn Transit’s Grocery Shuttle Pilot Program will run on Saturday evenings, effective Saturday, August 29 while On-Demand Evenings Shuttles and Penn Accessible Transit continue to operate as normal.  Pennovation Works Shuttle will resume on Sept. 1

    In addition to the display of a valid institutional identification card, all Penn Transit riders will be required to display a valid “green” PennOpen Pass in a manner consistent with the current protocols for building-entry on Penn’s campus and as a means of reducing the risks of COVID-19.

    Individuals who are not part of the University’s PennOpen Pass Program must either display their respective institution’s valid Daily COVID Screening Pass or participate in driver-conducted screening and offer their verbal attestation. Individuals who cannot show a “green” pass or respond “Yes” to any of the attestation criteria will not be allowed to ride in the vehicle.

    Updates and information related to these service adjustments will be made via www.upenn.edu/PennTransit and on the PennRides on Request mobile app.

    SEPTA Travel Center @Penn: Closed until further notice.

    Purchasing and Travel Services:  Staff is available by email and phone only; closed for walk-in visits Purchasing and Travel Services continue to maintain all operations and are working closely with internal Penn partners, suppliers, and service providers as the University collectively manages the delivery of supplies and services during the response to outbreak of the novel coronavirus. For further information on frequently asked questions, please consult the Purchasing Services website.

    Travel Agency Support: Before making any travel arrangements, please consult the University’s most recent guidelines regarding Penn-related travel.World Travel – Agents available 24 hours per day, every day; book travel online through Concur or call World Travel directly at 888-641-9112.

    Other guidance is available at www.upenn.edu/penntravel.

    University Club: Closed until further notice.

    Residential Services: Residential Services is currently open and operating with essential personel only. Residents and families are asked to send questions and concerns to living@upenn.edu

    Limited Building Access via PennCard:  Access will be restricted to only authorized individuals which include Residential Services, College Houses, Public Safety, and Facilities Services staff, approved residents, and any University office tenants.

    Penn Dining/Bon Appétit: Penn Dining will open Aug. 23 but with limited hours and locations. Updated hours and location information is available here.

  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. 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. 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 StudentAid.gov/coronavirus.

    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.

  5. Is Penn reducing any of its billed charges for the fall semester?

    Housing and dining charges are both being reduced to account for the fact that on-campus students will leave campus at Thanksgiving. Tuition and fees will remain consistent for all undergraduate students.

    The costs for every student at Penn have always been heavily subsidized by the University; in a normal year, families and students paying full tuition pay only a portion of the actual costs. Most support services covered by the general fee remain intact whether provided on-site or via an online realm. In fact, Penn has made significant resource and technology investments to allow students to continue to utilize support services, access resources, learn, and receive full academic credit. Whether delivered online or in-person, the University continues to provide a meaningful and high-quality education to all our students.

 

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 https://srfs.upenn.edu/financial-aid/forms. 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 https://srfs.upenn.edu/financial-aid/forms.

     

  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 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. 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 https://upenn.mywconline.com, 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 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: July 09, 2020 - 11:09am