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Student Update: Coronavirus - March 22, 2020

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Jeremy Haefner

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En Español: Actualización: Coronavirus - 22 de marzo de 2020

Dear DU Students,

I know that in addition to the health and well-being of your friends and family, and your upcoming coursework, financial concerns are on your minds. As we continue to wrestle with the many ways COVID-19 is affecting our lives, I want to share with you some decisions we’ve made at DU about spring quarter costs. I will also be sharing this information with your parents and guardians. Here is what you and your family can expect:

  • Reversal of room and board charges for those students who have moved out of DU housing;
  • Reversal of student activity fee and student health and counseling fee (to be prorated for Sturm College of Law students);
  • Reversal of these charges may create a credit balance in the student account for those who have already paid these charges;
  • Credit balances created by the reversals will be refunded to students;
  • Financial aid and scholarships, including the residence hall grant, will not change; a few students (athletes, Boettcher scholars) may have scholarship adjustments based on an award that is specific to room and board costs;
  • Tuition charges for the spring term will remain unchanged.

 The University has begun processing the refunds for housing and meal plans as well as the activity and health fees. Students and authorized users can log onto DUPay to check the status of refunded charges and will receive an email when a refund has been added to their account.

Our Commitment to High-Quality Spring Course Offerings

I want to assure you that although the need for physical distancing is affecting the way we will deliver coursework for the spring term, we will not compromise on our commitment to maintain low student-faculty ratios and to deliver rich engagement in experiential learning opportunities. Our Sturm College of Law faculty have begun teaching online without a break. I am encouraged and excited by the innovative ways in which our faculty are working quickly and effectively to replicate their world-class teaching through digital means. As they prepare for spring quarter, they are being aided by a number of remote and online teaching resources, as well as through one-on-one consultations and seminars. We are very dedicated to finding creative ways for you to stay connected and maximize your experience during this unique situation.

Online Orientation to be Held the First Week of Classes

During the first week of the 10-week quarter, each faculty member will host online orientation sessions to help you acclimate to the virtual learning experience. While each course offers different challenges and opportunities, our commitment to your success persists, and we will continue to provide robust levels of responsiveness and support. Academic advising and career counseling will be offered remotely and remain as important as ever.  

One Week Extension for Add/Drop Period

We have also extended the add/drop period to two weeks to give you more time to make changes to your course selection. For the spring quarter, the new deadline is April 12. If you withdraw (W) from a course within this window, you will receive a full refund. Thereafter, your tuition refund will be prorated, and you will receive a W notation on your transcript. For undergraduates on a flat rate that are taking 12-18 hours, if you drop a class and your course load stays within the same range, your tuition will remain the same. Advisors are available to support you in making these decisions:

Commencement Decisions Still to Come

For our graduating students, commencement is one of their primary concerns, as it is the culminating experience of their college years. Currently, the spring undergraduate ceremony is scheduled for June 13, and the graduate ceremony is scheduled for June 12. The Sturm College of Law has not yet decided whether its graduation ceremony can take place in mid-May. We do not know when things will return to normal and we will keep you informed as we learn more. We will obviously respect the guidance of health officials but as it stands now, we have not cancelled these special milestone events. We will make a final decision about the June ceremonies no later than May 1, and we will continue to be guided by what is best for our students, our families, and the broader community. I expect there will be a decision about the Sturm College of Law ceremony in the coming weeks.

HCC Continues to Provide Telehealth Services

Importantly, the Health & Counseling Center (HCC) will remain open for the spring quarter and will continue to offer telehealth services throughout the quarter. The health fee refund for spring quarter will not affect HCC’s operations.

Medical and Mental Health Resources

Medical and mental health support will also continue remotely providing you with suggestions and resources on how to stay well despite the challenges of physical isolation. Campus Life staff, along with student leaders, are considering new ways to build community—ensuring that physical isolation does not lead to social isolation. We are deeply committed to ensuring you receive what you need from the University of Denver to continue and complete your education.

Our Dedication to the Public Good

Finally, as a University dedicated to the public good, we urge you all to take your responsibility for the public good seriously. This means all of us need to be thinking seriously about our behavior, actions, and choices in the coming weeks. You should be physically distancing, whether you are on campus, living in the neighborhood, or home with your families. You should not be traveling. You should pay careful attention to the health care professionals and scientists and consider what you can do to help flatten the steep curve of coronavirus cases in our country. We all need to do our part right now.

I believe we will get through these challenging times and emerge stronger. This past week our faculty and students demonstrated remarkable resilience and flexibility as everyone pivoted quickly to online exams. I have never been more impressed by the courage and character of our DU students than during this very challenging and stressful time.

I wish you and your loved ones a healthy spring break and we look forward to welcoming you to DU’s virtual campus next week.


Jeremy Haefner