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COVID-19 Update: University offices are open but being staffed remotely. Classes will be conducted remotely through the remainder of the semester.

FAQ

WATCH: President Patrick Leahy shares and important update about the University’s COVID-19 response.

Frequently Asked Questions for Students and Families

Will students receive refunds for their room and meal plan charges?

The Board of Trustees has approved a policy to ensure that all students will receive prorated refunds or credits on unused room contracts, meal plans, and parking fees. All refunds and credits will be prorated for the period beginning March 23, 2020 through the end of the semester. Additional details will be shared shortly.

Will students receive a tuition refund? 

No, classes will continue for the remainder of the semester, although an executive order from Governor Murphy prohibits face-to-face instruction indefinitely. Provided that students participate and progress in their courses, they will be able to receive full academic credit.

Will students who receive financial aid lose their federal eligibility?

The Department of Education has indicated it will allow colleges and universities to maintain financial aid eligibility for students who qualify for Federal Work-Study and Pell Grants. As long as students continue their coursework and maintain at least half-time status, they will still be eligible for federal aid. For the latest COVID-19-related updates to federal financial aid: Visit the Federal Student Aid web page.

Will students receive a refund for spring break and summer study abroad trips?

The University has committed to making students whole on any non-refundable expenses related to University-affiliated international spring break trips. All faculty-led and study abroad summer programs are cancelled for the Summer 2020 sessions.

How will this affect student performances like the musical, choir, other performances, as these clubs’ budgets for next year rely on ticket sales from performances?

The University will work with revenue-dependent clubs to provide operating funds for the coming year.

How will students who rented books return them at the end of the semester?

Book rentals can be returned by mail at the end of the semester.

Is Monmouth University prepared to provide remote instruction and learning? What quality can we expect? 

Monmouth University is well equipped to deliver coursework remotely. Classes were cancelled from March 10-13 to allow the necessary time for all faculty to prepare for this transition. Ongoing support will be provided through the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Instructional Technology, and the broader resources of Information Management. The provost, academic deans, and faculty are committed to delivering all course content through online and remote learning environments with the same rigor and personal attention that are the hallmarks of a Monmouth education.

Even before the need for social distancing, faculty have been encouraged to integrate a variety of technologies into their courses and were offered the necessary training and support to do so. Many employ a variety of web-based tools to increase student collaboration, participation, and engagement. During the previously scheduled spring break, our faculty have increased technical training, and feel prepared and are excited to work with students to maximize educational outcomes during this unprecedented semester.  

How will online exams work?

Please consult with your professor regarding online exams.

What should a student do if professors do not answer emails and students need help with a course question?

Contact the dean’s office in your respective school by phone or email.  A complete directory of email and telephone contacts is available online.  Because academic and administrative offices are being staffed on a remote basis, we ask for your patience with getting an immediate response.

What is the plan for the Monmouth University students who are still studying abroad?

We have been in contact with all of our students studying abroad and are working with our partner universities to support their transitions to online and other modified coursework delivery so that students may maintain their successful academic progress. While most of our students have decided to return to the United States, some have elected to remain abroad to complete the semester. If they have chosen to stay in the host countries, they will finish the semester there. Those who have chosen to come back home will finish their work remotely. We are in constant communication with our international and returning students, checking in to ensure their safety, and to advise of changing conditions as they emerge.

What if my course involves lab work or studio time?

Because in-person instruction has been suspended by the governor on an indefinite basis to provide suitable alternatives. We appreciate your patience as we work with faculty to identify the best way to meet these needs. Please contact your professors for additional guidance.

Will students be able to continue their clinical work?

Students should contact the dean of their respective school to determine what accommodations are being made for programs where clinical work is required. In most cases, clinical work is dependent on partner institutions, and tied closely to accrediting standards set by professional licensing bodies.

How will internship, student teaching, and clinical hours work if people are urged to avoid returning to campus?

Please contact the dean’s office in your respective school in order to identify a plan to complete this work. Accommodations will be made to ensure that this work can be made up.


What happens to students with F1-Visas who are permitted to take only one course online per term?

The Department of Education promises broad approval to schools seeking relief from federal standards regarding online education for the remainder of this academic year.  Updated guidance is available online from the Department of Education.

Will the Guggenheim Memorial Library remain open? If so, what are the hours?

No. On March 21, State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan issued an Administrative Order directing the immediate closure of all college and university libraries and computer labs until further notice.

Are online classes occurring in the same time frame as they would in person?

The mode of delivery remains at the discretion of the professor. Some courses will be conducted in a synchronous manner, which means that all class members will meet and interact at an appointed time. In other cases, course work may be offered asynchronously, which means the content will be posted, and students can access it at any time within a prescribed period. Check with the professor of each of your courses.

How can students manage expectations for their classes, including workload, and grade curves?

Professors will continue to assess student performance in the remote environment, with the same personal attention that distinguishes a Monmouth University education.  We are all committed to ensuring student success within a modified delivery paradigm.  It is critical that students remain actively engaged with their coursework during this transition.

What is the possibility of the semester being extended by a few weeks/pushing graduation back?

On March 24 we made the difficult decision to extend remote instruction and learning through the end of the semester. We will not be able to extend the semester.

Has Commencement been cancelled? The University is committed to hosting traditional, in-person, graduation ceremonies for both undergraduate and graduate students in order to properly celebrate our students’ achievements. The May dates will be postponed to a time later this summer when public health officials deem it safe to hold such celebrations. Details will be forthcoming. 

Should students remove all of their property from their residence halls?

In adherence to the strict social distancing guidelines provided by the State of New Jersey, the Office of Residential Life will be conducting move out over 14 days starting Thursday, March 26, 2020.

Resident students will be required to schedule an appointment to move their belongings out of their room assignment. Specific residence halls will be assigned specific days and time frames. You will only be given access to your residence hall during your appointment time. Detailed instructions will be provided by your Area Coordinator via email no later than this March 24 2020.

As we are committed to the safety of all of our students, we ask that you only have one person assist you, and you adhere to your appointment time. If you arrive without a confirmed appointment, you will not be given access to your residence hall. If you arrive early for your appointment, you will not be given access and you will have to wait in your vehicle until the time of your appointment. We must remain vigilant and adhere to the appointment schedule.

Will Monmouth grant exceptions to students who need to remain on campus, who face difficulty returning home due to international travel restrictions, or who have personal issues?

Yes. We understand that, for a variety of reasons, some students cannot return home at this time. We have worked with a limited number of students to ensure they can remain on campus with our support under exigent circumstances.

Can students who live in off-campus housing return to their houses?

This is a personal decision but is highly discouraged, since it defeats the purpose of social distancing during this unsettling time.

Has a decision been made on the Room Selection Process?

The room selection process for the 2020-21 academic year will be conducted online via the My MU portal. General information will be shared via email after March 19, 2020. Detailed information will be published on or about March 24, 2020 on the Office of Residential Life’s web page. It is imperative that students monitor their Monmouth email account daily.

Will the dining facilities remain open? If so, what are their hours?

In response to Gov. Murphy’s March 21 executive order, we have had to significantly curtail our dining operation. On-campus food service, limited to grab-and-go, will be available only to those students who have a meal plan and who have been granted permission to reside in University housing during this remote instruction and learning period. We will not be able to accommodate commuter students who have meal plans at this time. If you have questions about these changes, please contact Mary Anne Nagy, vice president for student life and leadership engagement, via email at mnagy@monmouth.edu. Please include a call-back number in your email.

How does this impact Senior Week?

Consistent with Commencement, we will try to provide a senior week schedule of activities and events to offer students a culminating experience at Monmouth.

What is the status of grad assistants? Will they be paid for the remainder of the semester? What about other student workers?

We have worked to preserve all on-campus student employment opportunities, wherever possible, for the remainder of the semester. Students will continue to be paid for work performed, though they have been asked to work remotely, just as full-time staff have been asked to do so. In addition, we will honor graduate assistantships and Federal Work Study awards. Please be in touch with your campus supervisor for more details. 

What is the best source for campus updates moving forward?

We will continue to provide updates via email and will post those communications to our COVID-19 web page. It is important that you also check your Monmouth email account on a daily basis, to stay current on this rapidly evolving situation.  

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms can be similar to the common cold, an upper respiratory illness, or even seasonal influenza. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing 
  • Other symptoms that MAY occur:  runny nose, sore throat or generally feeling unwell. Some people have reported loss of smell and taste, mild gastrointestinal symptoms. 

How is COVID-19 spread?

This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading easily and sustainably in communities nationally and locally.   Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

How can I prevent infection with COVID-19?

At this time, there is no vaccine to prevent infection with COVID-19.  The best way to protect yourself from infection is to avoid being exposed. The following preventive measures you can take limit the spread of viruses in general, including: 

  • Avoid sharing personal items such as glasses, cups, eating utensils, lipstick and toothbrushes.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Using an alcohol-based sanitizer is advisable if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay six feet away from other persons.
  • Self-quarantine:  Quarantine means you have NO symptoms but you are remaining at home to avoid being exposed.  Stay home unless you need to acquire food and medicine. This includes avoiding going to work, public areas, or the use of public transportation
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and promptly throwing it away, then wash your hands..
  • Disinfect and clean frequently touched objects and surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, toilets, cell phones, key board.
  • Keep your immune system boosted by getting plenty of rest, eating a nutritious balanced diet and staying hydrated.

What should I do if I develop flu-like symptoms?

Self-isolate.  Isolation means you DO HAVE symptoms and now you need to remain at home to avoid spreading the virus to others.

  • If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, stay home.  Treat your symptoms with over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) for fever and body aches, decongestants and OTC cough preparations.
  • Take your temperature twice a day.
  • Try to isolate yourself from other household members, practice good hand hygiene and clean and disinfect surfaces in the home.
  • Notify your healthcare provider of your symptoms.
  • Health-related questions?  Email:  health@monmouth.edu.  A nurse practitioner is available to answer your questions.
  • You will need to stay home and self-isolate for 72 hours AFTER your fever has completely resolved without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms (cough and congestion) have greatly improved.

Should I be tested for COVID-19?

At the present time, testing is being conducted ONLY for the following conditions:

  • You have symptoms (Fever of >100.4, cough) AND:
    • You have had close contact with a known individual with COVID-19
    • You have a risk factor for serious disease:
      • Age > 60 and/or other serious underlying medical conditions.
    • You are a healthcare worker or provide services to vulnerable populations.

If you meet the above criteria, look for public or private testing areas near your current location. Most require you pre-register.  Be prepared for long wait times.  If tested, results are usually available in 3-4 days. 

If you do not have symptoms and are just concerned you may be a carrier of the virus, DO NOT attend one of the public testing facilities.  You will not get tested and you will be turned away. 

What about going to the hospital?

Some persons with mild symptoms may worsen in the second week.  If you develop worsening symptoms, dial 9-1-1 and alert dispatch that you are currently self-isolating with flu-like symptoms and you now have difficulty breathing.

Only go to a hospital if it is a true medical emergency.  Most hospital systems are not allowing visitors so you will need to advocate for yourself.  Bring identification and health insurance information. 

Do NOT go to a hospital if you have no symptoms and just want to be tested.  In New Jersey, all elective surgeries and procedures have been suspended.

What is a close contact vs casual contact?  Why is this important?

Close contacts are individuals who were within 6 feet of a confirmed COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time (approximately 10 minutes or more) or had direct contact with the infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case. 

  • Close contacts who have symptoms:  Must self-isolate at home until fever free for 3 full days (72 hours) without the use of fever-reducing medication AND other symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath have improved AND at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
  • Close contacts with no symptoms:  Self-isolate for 14 days AFTER the COVID-19 case is no longer required to self-isolate. If the asymptomatic contact no longer has contact with the confirmed case, then self-isolate for 14 days AFTER last contact with the confirmed case.

Casual contacts are defined as being in the same indoor environment (e.g., classroom, office, gathering) with a symptomatic confirmed COVID-19 case.

  • Casual contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case are “Low Risk” and do not have to take special precautions.  Monitor for symptoms for 14 days and self-isolate if these develop. 

Contact of contacts:  Think of this as the third person out from a confirmed case.  Such persons do not have any restrictions. However, everyone should be mindful of symptoms and continue to self-quarantine in NJ until it is lifted by public health or government agencies.

Where can I find additional information about the COVID-19?

For additional information about Coronavirus, including signs and symptoms, transmission and risk of exposure, and what to do if you are exhibiting symptoms, please refer to the latest updates from the CDC website. *The CDC website also provides the most updated information on COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations.

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