USD's COVID-19 Response: FAQs for Students

Answers to frequently asked questions from students related to the university's response to COVID-19.

  1. When will students be hearing back about their on-campus housing appeals?

    Update March 18: Due to new orders issued by the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, on-campus housing is no longer available to any students. If you were previously approved to stay on campus, you will be contacted individually by a member of Student Affairs to provide options for you to relocate.
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  2. What does the process look like if a student wants to be tested for COVID-19?

    Unfortunately, testing is not widely available and USD’s Student Health Center is not a testing site. Please know we are following the CDC, other governmental guidance, and medical best practices to support the health of the whole community. Although USD is not a COVID-19 testing site, we have formalized relationships with other medical facilities that can complete the testing.  Our practice is to work with off campus medical providers, if COVID-19 testing is needed and we are working with students on a case by case basis to address best practice prevention strategies in their living environments. If you have a specific concern that needs to be addressed, please call your medical provider and students can call the SHC.

    At this time, testing is prioritized for select patients with:

    • respiratory symptoms and at higher risk for poor outcomes or 
    • respiratory symptoms and had close contact with a suspect or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient or
    • Respiratory symptoms and a history of travel from an affected geographic area within 14 days of their symptom onset. 
    • Locally, Scripps Clinic has a hotline where they phone screen patients for symptoms and risk-factors and will then set up an appointment for those that meet criteria. They can be contacted at 888-261-8431. 

    Kaiser Permanente has telehealth visits available to its members.
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  3. What happens when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 associated with USD?

    The university works closely with County Health officials to take the necessary steps to protect our community. When a positive COVID-19 case is confirmed from an individual associated with the campus, County Health officials will provide information to those who were in contact with the individual while also respecting the privacy of the patient under HIPPA regulations.  
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  4. Why is USD not closing down? Is it possible for it to?

    The university will need to continue operations even if on a modified schedule in order to support our faculty and students' remote learning experience. The campus will remain open but on a modified schedule, including the library, dining hall, health center and others.

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  5. Could I get a refund for tuition if we move to online courses and the quality of education changes?

    The university’s goal is to ensure that instruction and academic student support continues throughout the semester. If students and families make the decision it is necessary to withdraw from the university, USD has extended the 60% Tuition Refund period from March 11, 2020 to March 20, 2020. If a student withdraws from the university after March 20, 2020, a tuition refund will not be issued.
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  6. How are students with accommodations being impacted?

    Every student is unique, and many accommodations will remain to support students.
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  7. How are workers being impacted?

    We are asking department heads and supervisors to develop remote work plans for their respective areas by Wednesday afternoon for review by their vice presidents. We will begin our remote work plan this week and reevaluate decisions the week of April 6 based on the nature of the health emergency at that time.

    For non-exempt/hourly staff whose job functions cannot be performed remotely, and for whom there are no alternate assignments or work available, USD will provide emergency-related paid excused absences to ensure pay continuity. Employees should work directly with their supervisors to determine their eligibility and if other work assignments are available. If you meet the above-mentioned criteria, please see these additional details.

    Employees age 60 or older or employees with chronic diseases at higher risk may choose to work from home, following supervisor approval.

    Employees and supervisors who have questions can contact the Employee Relations team in Human Resources at (619) 260-4594. We have resources and guidelines available for employees and supervisors on working remotely. Resources for employees who have been approved by their supervisor to work remotely should set up their access for VPN and call forwarding.
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  8. Why wait until March 22 to relocate students off campus?

    Due to new orders by the County Health and Human Services Agency, USD is asking all students living on campus to accelerate their moving plans and relocate as soon as possible. Given that this health emergency is dynamic and rapidly changing, we need students to cooperate so that we can better prepare for the inevitable growth of this virus in our region in the coming days and weeks. We realize there are some cases where travel plans have been scheduled for later in the week, but we must stress the importance of accelerating relocation plans at this time.
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  9. What about federal work study or student employees?

    Given the unprecedented nature of the current COVID-19 health situation, student employees are not to report to work effective immediately. Please take this time to focus on relocating and transitioning to remote learning. Through March 29, all student employees will be compensated based on average hours worked throughout the month of February. We will continue to review student employee compensation and share more details in the near future. Administrators are still discussing options for those on federally funded work study.
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  10. What are the plans for commencement?

    Due to the ongoing stay-at-home orders and restrictions on gatherings issued by the State of California Governor’s Office, the University of San Diego has potponed our May commencement ceremonies until October 16-18, 2020. Should there be similar restrictions on gatherings at that time, we will decide how and when to later hold commencement.
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  11. Are students getting housing refunded? What about meal plans?

    The university intends to prorate room and board charges, parking permits and the Student Life Pavilion Fee using March 13, 2020 as a point-in-time for the calculation; under these assumptions for students on the undergraduate academic calendar, the Spring 2020 Semester is 40% complete based on the total number of class days. USD will pro-rate charges at a 60% credit, rounding to the nearest whole dollar. Students on alternative calendars will receive individualized information about the proration of their charges. One exception will be Dining Dollars; Dining Dollars will be credited based on the actual balance remaining as of the last day used, or March 22, 2020.
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  12. Do we get parking passes refunded if students stop coming to campus?

    Yes, parking pass holders will receive a prorated refund.
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  13. What about students who don’t have their own computer?

    The university has some inventory to be able to loan computers first to full-time faculty, followed by adjunct faculty and students, so that they’re able to begin remote learning. To request equipment, please contact the HelpDesk at or call 1-619-260-7900. Please note that ZoomPro can be accessed on a smart phone or tablet and without a laptop computer.
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  14. How will labs transition to Zoom?

    Faculty are working to determine how labs will transition into virtual learning.
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  15. What about international students who may not be able to leave the country?

    Due to new orders by the County Health and Human Services Agency, USD is asking all students living on campus to accelerate their moving plans and relocate as soon as possible.  Those students who requested to remain on campus will also have to relocate, with guidance from USD. Student Affairs will be reaching out to each of these students to work with them individually.
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  16. Will the health center still be operational for those students who have to stay on campus?

    All facilities dedicated to the health and wellness of students and campus employees will continue to operate.
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  17. What if I’m taking a 1 credit course that cannot take place through remote learning?
    Faculty will be working with students for the courses where 1 credit is involved. No student will miss graduation requirement due to this circumstance.
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  18. How do I know if I qualify for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief., and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funds received by USD?
    Eligibility and disbursement amounts for the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund is based on your 2019/2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
    Detailed information is included in USD’s CARES Act Funding Certification and Agreement provided to the US Secretary of Education. In accordance with Section 18004(e) of the CARES Act, the University is providing the required information here.
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  19. Have CARES Act awards already been authorized?
    Emails were sent to all recipients of CARES Act funding. You can verify if you received an award by logging in to the MySanDiego portal and clicking on My Student Account under the Torero Hub menu option. After landing on the My Student Account page, click on My Online Student Account and then view your most recent Bill Statement or the ‘Recent Activity – Transactions posted after the last statement.’
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  20. If I received a CARES Act award, will my 2019/2020 Offer of Financial Aid be adjusted?
    No, your 2019/2020 Offer of Financial Aid will not be adjusted because you received these funds.
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