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Phased Return Common Questions

These questions supplement What You Need to Know: Academic Affairs and the Phased Return to Campus Announcement, where you can find more information.

Questions will be added and updated throughout the summer. If you can't find the answer to your question, please email or ask it at a Return to Campus Conversation.

Are there new deadlines to sign up for direct deposit of my refund? New

If your first class for the semester begins on or before Aug. 19, you should sign up for direct deposit or confirm your direct deposit information is correct by Aug. 10 to receive the refund as soon as possible.

If your first class for the semester begins on August 26, you should sign up for direct deposit or confirm your direct deposit information is correct by Aug. 17 to receive the refund as soon as possible.

You may sign up for direct deposit and/or update your direct deposit information by visiting the TMS Refund Portal. More information about refunds can be found on our refund FAQ page.

Will I receive a smaller reduction in housing and dining charges if I have an early move-in slot? New

No. Students receiving a residence hall and/or dining plan reduction will receive the same reduction regardless of when they move in.

Can freshmen withdraw and defer to a future term or take classes at another institution? Updated

We understand this semester may not be what you expected, and we recognize your right to make this decision. If you are a first-time freshman, you have the option to defer admission, which means you will not attend another institution; in this case, your scholarship offer will remain intact so long as you enroll by fall 2021. You may also choose to begin your education at another institution. For more information about this path, please contact your regional recruiter.

Can I cancel my apartment lease? New

We know many students will be returning to Morgantown because of leases they have already signed, and it is possible to return to those apartments based on our local and state guidance for COVID-19.

Those living in University Apartments (Vandalia, University Park, University Place and College Park) will not be able to automatically terminate their lease early. To discuss available options, please contact your property manager.

If you’re living in an off-campus apartment, contact your landlord to see if it is possible to change your lease agreement.

Can I keep my original move-in date and time? Updated

We understand that some of you may not have the flexibility to change your move-in date and time. Check your MIX account for July 29 email from ResLife that has instructions for confirming your original move-in time, or review the process to confirm or reschedule your move-in time.

Students who wish to keep their original move-in time must log into between July 31 at noon and Aug. 3 at noon to indicate their intent.

Can I still use in-person resources (Libraries, etc.) even if I don’t have classes on campus?

Yes, but anyone who plans to use any campus facility, resource or service needs to be tested for COVID-19 and receive a negative result prior to physically being on campus.

Can incoming international students have online-only class schedules? New

New international students must have at least one in-person course. If you are an international student and need guidance, contact the Office of Global Affairs at 304-293-6112.

Can upperclassmen withdraw or take a semester off? Updated

We understand this semester may not be what you expected, but we recognize your right to make this decision. We hope that you will let us help you on your next steps and will reach out to your adviser and the Mountaineer Hub, as it may affect your financial aid status. They can work with you to develop an easier plan to return to campus when you determine it is the right time to do so.

Current students who have scheduled courses for the fall term and are considering not returning should follow the Registrar’s withdraw policy to ensure course withdraw, housing cancellation (if necessary) and cancellation of financial aid.

If you are a first-time freshman, you have the option to defer admission.

Related questions:

Do I have to pay the online fee? New

Students originally in online degree programs will continue to have online-only classes and will be expected to pay the online learning fee.

However, students in degree programs that would normally be learning on campus this fall will not pay an online learning fee for any hybrid or online-only classes they have this fall.

For students moving in prior to Aug. 15, will dining be available? Updated

Yes, limited dining options will be available beginning Aug. 7. Café Evansdale will open Aug. 7. Hatfields and Summit Café will open Aug. 9. Which Wich in the Mountainlair is expected to open on Aug. 10. All other campus eateries will be open by Aug. 19.

How do I cancel my COVID-19 test if I won't be on campus?

If you need to cancel:

  • Log back into
  • Select COVID-19 Testing.
  • Select Continue.
  • Select Schedule an Appointment at the top of your confirmation page.
  • Follow the prompts to cancel.

How do I know if my class has been moved online?

The University will send a message to the campus community on or around Aug. 5 once the revised fall schedule is finalized. You will also see changes to your own schedules within STAR at that time. We appreciate your patience as we finalize these plans and are working as fast as possible to finalize this class schedule.

How do you know the quality of online classes will be better than spring?

This won’t be like the spring, when our faculty had two weeks to transition face-to-face courses to remote instruction. Since early summer, Provost Maryanne Reed tasked faculty with developing courses that could more seamlessly pivot to online instruction in response to the evolving public health situation. Generally speaking, a fully online class is much different from what many students experienced in the spring; true online courses are built for online learning, engagement, etc. In addition, our faculty learned a lot from their experience in the spring to help them adapt their classes for this fall, and many instructors have engaged in professional development and training opportunities through the WVU Teaching and Learning Commons. We expect to see more live and interactive virtual classes as a result.

Related questions:

How does this affect Athletics? New

We do not believe the revised, phased return plan will have an impact on Athletics. The Department of Athletics operations for the fall will continue as planned.

How does this affect students involved in research? New

The University will continue to allow in-person undergrad research, as long as the labs are not overly dense, as decided by individual instructors. There will also be the opportunity for virtual research, as determined by individual instructors. A final decision on research opportunities will be announced on or about Aug. 5 along with the class schedule.

How many students will be affected? New

We will not have a specific number of students, faculty and staff affected until a finalized class schedule is decided. The current registered students are approximately 25,000 which is consistent with last year's registrations at this time. The freshman class is approximately 5,000 students. Combined with 5,000 graduate and professional students, we estimate the total number of students physically on-campus for classes to be at least between 10,000-12,000.

Please note, student registration continues so numbers may increase. Also, physical on-campus enrollment data will likely shift as the courses offerings are announced (anticipated to be finalized on or about Aug. 5) and students make course changes up to the first week of classes.

I am an upperclassman whose courses must remain in-person, but I do not want to be on campus. What should I do?

Please work directly with your department chair and/or program director to discuss your options.

I don’t want online classes. What can I do?

If you would like to modify your schedule, please contact your adviser to discuss your options. Classes can be changed up to the end of the first week of courses.

Related questions:

I had an online-only schedule. Will it change to where I might need to be on campus? New

Students who are currently online will almost certainly not be moved to on-campus classes. However, all students should refer to the final revised course schedule when it is released on or about Aug. 5.

I'm a freshman. Do I have to be on campus? Updated

We are encouraging freshman students to be on campus for in-person instruction as we know that assists with the transition to college life. However, if you have concerns, please contact your adviser or your major department chair who can help you understand your options. There may be opportunities for freshmen to have an online-only class scheduled this fall, but please know that it may take some time and work alongside an adviser to make this change. We have to be sure that courses that you take are optimally delivered in an online format and are also degree pursuant.

I'm an upperclassman. Can I still live in the residence hall?

Students living in residence halls and University Apartments, regardless of their class status, may move in and live in the space they have contracted/leased. As of July 27, spaces were still available in residence halls and University Apartments if you wish to sign a contract/lease. Students off-campus can also return to Morgantown and their off-campus living situation, as necessary.

I’m a junior. Are ALL of my classes now online? New

We don’t have an answer for you right now, and we appreciate your patience as we work to finalize a new class schedule. Our hope is to have those decisions made on or around Aug. 5, so you will know if all of your classes are online at that time.

I’m a student and already paid for a parking permit but now I won't be on-campus. Do I get a refund?

Please contact the Transportation and Parking Office at 304-293-5502 to receive a refund for this permit.

If a student is taking all online courses, are they required to have health insurance?

Fully online students are eligible for enrollment in the Aetna plan and will be automatically enrolled if they are registered for the minimum number of credit hours (6 or more credit hours for domestic students, and 1 or more credit hours for international students). If students are eligible for enrollment in the Aetna plan, and would like to opt out, they must complete the online student health insurance waiver.

If an online-only student has an on-campus job, how will that work? Updated

Students will still be able to work an on-campus job even if they are taking all online classes. The student must follow the University guidelines for COVID-19 testing and work directly with their supervisor to finalize arrangements before reporting to work.

If I already paid my rent/signed my lease, can I come back to Morgantown?

Yes, you are able to return to Morgantown to your apartment. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources recommends those traveling to West Virginia from out-of-state to do the following:

  • Self-monitor your health 14 days following travel. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider.
  • Stay home as much as possible and avoid contact with others.
  • Avoid going into public places for 14 days following out-of-state travel.
  • If you do need to go out into public, wear a cloth face covering when going into public places like stores, restaurants, and work/school.
  • If you have to be around others practice social distancing (keep 6 feet away from individuals).
  • If your job permits and to protect others, it is recommended that you telework for 14 days following out-of-state travel.

If I’m completely online and don’t plan to be on campus ever, do I need to take the COVID-19 test? And if not, how can I be sure I won’t be charged the $250 fee?

No, you will not be required to take a COVID-19 test if you won’t be on-campus this fall. You will not receive a $250 fee if you are not required to take a test and do not take one. However, we are recommending that all WVU students who will be in Morgantown should take advantage of the free COVID-19 testing to help minimize community spread within Monongalia County. If you are charged a $250 fee inappropriately, please contact Shared Services at 304-293-6006.

If my class schedule is all online but I plan to work on/hang out on campus, do I need to get tested?

Yes, anyone who plans to be on campus this fall in any capacity is required to be tested for COVID-19 and receive a negative result prior to physically being on campus.

Should I reschedule my COVID-19 testing time? New

You should do so only if you are planning to schedule a later move-in date/time and/or if you are planning to leave Monongalia County after your scheduled COVID-19 test and prior to the start of the fall semester. It is recommended that you do not leave Monongalia County following your COVID-19 test in an attempt to minimize community spread.

Related questions:

Students are going to come back anyway. What are you going to do to assure that they just don’t spread COVID-19 throughout Morgantown? New

As we have discussed all summer, our ability to navigate this pandemic will be dependent on individuals across our community taking steps to wear masks, social distance, and respect one another. We will continue to work with our students and our community partners to work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

What does “phased" return to campus mean?

A “phased” approach means that not all students on the Morgantown campus will be returning to in-person instruction at the same time this fall. On Aug. 26, when classes begin this fall, we’ll have many students that have an online-only or hybrid schedule. As the University deems appropriate, based on the local situation with COVID-19, we may invite additional students back to campus this fall at a later date when it is safer to do so. That date will depend on the COVID-19 trends within Monongalia County and West Virginia, and students will have ample notice prior to returning.

What does this mean for me as a faculty member? New

It could mean additional adaptation to your fall teaching plans. We appreciate your continued flexibility, and we know this is not ideal. We ask that you continue to have patience with us until Aug. 5 when we finalize a class schedule. At that point, we will have more information to share on next steps.

What if I prefer to receive my refund as a paper check? New

Please be sure to verify the mailing/local email address on your account for accuracy (listed in STAR via your WVU Portal) by Aug. 10 if your first class begins on or before Aug. 19, and by Aug. 17 if your first class begins Aug. 26.

You will receive a paper refund check at least 3 to 4 days later than if you had registered for direct deposit, depending on mailing time. More information about refunds can be found on our refund FAQ page.

What is "upper-division" undergraduate course? Will ALL 300- and 400- level classes be switched to online? New

The courses that will move online will be those that either had less than 20% of its students enrolled at the freshman rank and/or had less than 20 total freshmen enrolled. The list of those courses was shared with the college and school deans to work with the academic units to select those courses that could most readily be transitioned online without negatively impacting the quality of education delivered. The ultimate decision to move a course online was left to the academic units in consultation with their dean's office and the Provost's Office.

What is a "hybrid" course? New

Hybrid courses have a mix of online and in-person content, activities, assignments and interaction. That specific mix is different in each course but what is true of all hybrid courses is that students can expect to experience the full range of normal learning activities in both modalities at the direction of the instructor.

What will happen with graduate Teaching Assistant paychecks with the later start to the semester? New

Graduate assistants have a contract and will be paid according to the terms of the contract. Units may not adjust contract dates due to the delayed beginning of the fall term.

What will this do to upperclassmen who rely on in-person classrooms and performances for their grades (e.g., theatre and marching band)? New

Please check with your adviser for clarification on how those programs will be adjusted. The Provost’s Office is working with academic units to identify additional courses that can be moved online or to hybrid delivery and those that should be exempt from transition. During this decision-making process, particular attention will be paid to preserve, as much as possible, the on-campus experience for freshmen, graduate and professional students, and to identify hands-on learning experiences (e.g., labs, clinical and capstones) that may continue to be offered face-to-face, giving priority to those courses that serve graduating seniors.

When do classes start? Updated

Classes on the Morgantown campus will begin Wednesday, Aug. 26, a week later than originally scheduled, with some exceptions:

  • Some professional programs may have alternative start dates. Please check with your program for confirmation.
  • Health Sciences graduate and professional students will receive guidance from their specific deans and/or program directors. This includes the Charleston and Eastern campuses.
  • Courses that are part of the Graduate Online degree program will start Wednesday, Aug. 19.
  • Courses that are part of the Undergraduate Online degree program will start Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Classes at WVU Tech and WVU Potomac State College will begin Wednesday, Aug. 19 as originally scheduled.

When will students and faculty find out about the updated class schedule?

The Office of the Provost expects to have a finalized course schedule on or around Aug. 5. The schedule will be accessible through the STAR system.

Who will have in-person instruction? New

The University is working on a finalized schedule, which will be announced on or around Aug. 5. We expect that the majority of first-time freshman students will receive some form of in-person instruction. The Provost’s Office is working with academic units to identify additional courses that can be moved online or to hybrid delivery and those that should be exempt from transition. During this decision-making process, particular attention will be paid to preserve, as much as possible, the on-campus experience for freshmen, graduate and professional students, and to identify hands-on learning experiences (e.g., labs, clinical and capstones) that may continue to be offered face-to-face, giving priority to those courses that serve graduating seniors. Generally, we ask that you wait until Aug. 5 to see what the course schedule delivery will be.

Why aren't you giving a refund for University Apartments? New

Residence hall housing contracts coincide with the academic calendar which has been reduced. University Apartment leases are for 11.5 months and remain unchanged by the academic calendar.

Why aren’t you taking additional precautions in the residence halls?

We will be able to monitor our first-time students better to ensure that they are wearing masks/face coverings, practicing physical distancing when outside their rooms, and receiving academic and other support that first time college students need. The University plans to use cluster, outbreak and surveillance testing for those in residence halls at certain times throughout the fall, as well. While there are single rooms in the residence halls, WVU does not have enough spaces available to provide a single room to every student. Providing a single room to every student would require 1,700 first-time freshman students to start school without the support of on-campus programming, resident assistants and others on the residence life team who are immediately available 24/7.

Why bring any students back to campus? Why freshmen?

Our health experts tell us that we will all need to adapt our world while the threat of COVID-19 exists, especially prior to a vaccine or therapeutic is delivered. We know that it is possible to continue the education of our students at WVU with certain measures like masks/face covering, physical distancing, handwashing and more. With the hope that we will have all students return when it’s safe, we will slowly and safely bring select groups of students back to our campus with the hope that more can return later this fall. This will allow the University to make decisions with more accurate information and will assist our healthcare experts to not be unnecessarily overwhelmed at any point.

Why did WVU make this decision to change course? New

Following guidance from University, local and state health experts, WVU has determined it’s necessary to further de-densify our Morgantown campus to start the fall semester to keep our campus and community safe. The goal is to preserve the on-campus experience for freshmen, graduate and professional students as much as possible. The majority of upper-division courses will be delivered through online or hybrid instruction. Some hands-on courses, such as labs, clinicals and studio classes, may still be offered face-to-face, as determined by the academic programs. The Fall semester will now start on Aug. 26. Some professional programs may have different start dates.

Why is it safe for teachers to come back but not all students?

We have taken significant precautions to keep our faculty and students as safe as possible within the classroom, including plexiglass barriers, physical distancing, masks/face coverings requirements. In addition, we’ve provided faculty with guidelines to assure that all students are following the necessary protocols. We understand that this situation is not ideal, but we know the importance of in-person instruction, and we are doing everything we can to continue that instruction.

Why not just go fully online if the online experience has improved? New

The online experience should improve for many, but there are still many classes, programs and majors that benefit from in-person instruction. In addition, we believe that the first semester of a college freshman is critical to the retention of a student, so we are asking that most incoming freshmen would be on-campus to start their WVU career on the right foot.

Will housing and meal charges be reduced due to revised fall start date?

The University issued a 6.42% pro-rata reduction in room costs for a students living in a residence hall and a 6.36% pro-rata reduction in Go 10, Go 13 and Go Anytime dining plan costs to compensate students for the reduced days they will be living in the residence halls and dining on campus due to this change. These adjustments were rounded to the nearest dollar. There are no changes to Prime plans or Dining Dollars.

Will on-campus classes still be available as hybrid, if I get sick and can’t attend class? New

WVU has a revised attendance policy and new emergency leave policy to ensure that students who become ill will be given the opportunity to continue their learning or create the best possible solution, depending on length of absence. Faculty and instructors have been provided a set of expectations and best practices to apply, which includes having a contingency plan in place for campus-wide or student-specific remote teaching.

Will operating hours change with fewer students coming back for fall?

The University will still be operating on the same hours. We do not anticipate any changes as a result of more classes being online.

Will RAs continue to move in at the same time?

Yes, Resident Assistants must move in between Aug. 1 and Aug. 7. If you have additional questions regarding RA expectations, please contact Tyler Gailey at

Will revised plan for fall cause any further budget reductions or personnel actions?

No decisions have been made regarding any potential budget reductions or other personnel actions. However, WVU is still facing many budgetary uncertainties, and we continue to monitor our budget situation. We may have to make some difficult decisions if we are unable to return to and remain on campus this fall. That’s why it’s important for students, faculty and staff to take personal responsibility and follow the safety measures (e.g., wearing a mask/face covering, practicing physical distancing, exercising good hygiene, etc.) WVU has put in place. If any personnel actions become necessary, time would be needed to enact these programs. We will continue to be transparent and engage our entire campus community throughout the process.

Will the date of payout of financial aid change based on the Aug. 26 start date? Updated

If your first class for the semester begins on or before August 19, your financial aid may disburse on August 9 as previously scheduled.

If your first class for the semester begins on August 26, your financial aid may now disburse on August 16.

Please make sure you have no unsatisfied requirements that may cause a delay. More information about refunds can be found on our refund FAQ page.

Related questions:

Will there be a change to the deadline for payment plans? New

No, payment plan deadlines remain the same.

Will there be a reduction in tuition for online class schedules?

No, there will not be a reduction in tuition, as students will continue to receive quality instruction and will be earning college credit toward commencement.

However, students who are moved from in-person courses to receiving delivery of all courses in an online format will only be charged $220 in student fees, which is $440 less than the standard fee amount. The University is doing so in recognition that these students are studying remotely while other students will be studying on campus.

Will you move the deadline for the COVID-19 test and education module? New

The deadline will be moved to Aug. 22 for completion of both the COVID-19 test and education module.

With the later start date, will students be losing a week of instruction?

No. WVU is required by Higher Learning Commission to provide 15 weeks of instruction to students to maintain its regional accreditation status. For Fall 2020, WVU will begin instruction for most programs on the Morgantown campus one week later than originally planned; however, the week after Thanksgiving will now be an instructional week for those programs starting Aug. 26, allowing for a total of 15 weeks.

Classes on the Beckley and Keyser campuses will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 19, and follow their posted schedules.

Please visit the Provost’s website for updated Academic Calendars.