Spring 2020: Frequently Asked Questions

In response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), BW has extended remote instruction for the remainder of spring semester and for all summer courses.

Below you'll find answers to frequently asked questions. If you're looking for information that's not listed below, please submit your question.

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Campus Conversation

Messages for BW students and families



General

Are there any campus-associated cases of COVID-19? 

No, currently there are no known cases on BW’s campus.

Is Baldwin Wallace University open?

The university remains open and all offices and student services are operating.

Will I receive a refund or credit for my meal plan and room?

See details >

What changes have been made with campus cleaning? 

Our cleaning service, Aramark, continues to provide comprehensive campus cleaning with additional focus on high-touchpoint areas.

Are athletic and recreation facilities open?

  1. Lou Higgins Recreation Center offices remain open for employees and professors.
  2. The Lou Higgins fitness center, courts, track and pool are closed until May 8, 2020.
  3. George Finnie Stadium, Packard Athletic Center weight room, Packard Athletic Field, Fisher Field, and Softball Field are also closed. These athletic facilities are closed until May 8, 2020.
  4. Pop Collins Tennis Courts are open and available to the public.
  5. BW student-athletes currently receiving athletic rehabilitation services will continue as coordinated with the University Athletic Trainer.
  6. The Recreation Center is regularly creating virtual wellness programming for students, faculty and staff, including several fitness classes (conditioning, yoga and Zumba), intramural sports challenges and more.

Are BW libraries open?

Access to BW libraries March 23 - May 8:

  • Ritter Library is open via tap access to BW students, faculty and staff on Monday-Friday, noon - 5 p.m. Only the lobby and main floor of the library are open. The basement stacks and top-floor offices are closed. Library staff are available to assist and can be accessed remotely. Ebook, streaming media, and database access is still available at libguides.bw.edu/library. Ritter Library has ceased the lending of physical items from our collection. Any materials currently on loan are due on May 31, 2020 and should NOT be returned at this time.
  • Jones Music Library is open by appointment only to BW students, faculty and staff. For access, contact Paul Cary, Conservatory Librarian, at pcary@bw.edu.
  • Riemenschneider Bach Institute is open by appointment only to BW students, faculty and staff. For access, contact Paul Cary, Conservatory Librarian, at pcary@bw.edu.

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Academics

Will there be any in-person classes for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester?

No, BW has instituted a period of remote instruction from Monday, March 23 through Friday, May 8, 2020 via the Blackboard platform. Students will be contacted by their professors through Blackboard messaging to begin instruction.

Will any special technology be needed for online instruction?

You will not be required to purchase any additional technology. We are aware that students may not have access to their usual resources during this time, we will assist individual students as needed. Please contact the BW help desk for assistance. View student resources for remote instruction as well as how to connect to Blackboard remotely.

Free access to Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi for 60 days for new K-12 and college student households is available.

Will BW make accommodations for students in majors that require access to facilities?

Building access will be strictly controlled, but the situation is subject to change. Our goal is to connect students with the equipment and facilities they need as soon as possible. If you are in a studio, lab, or performance course and need access to materials please contact your professor for arrangements.

Will seniors be able to finish their degrees and graduate on time?

We are planning alternative ways for capstones, and final projects to be completed and enable seniors to graduate on time.

Can I contact faculty or staff?

All departmental staff are available, but in most cases they are working remotely and available by phone or email. The work of assisting students continues because classes are still in session. Do not hesitate to contact any department, staff member or faculty and be sure to leave a message: https://webapps.bw.edu/phone/

How can I access my textbooks online?

The BW Bookstore has partnered with our digital course materials platform, VitalSource, to launch VitalSource Helps, a program offering free access to eTextbooks for students who may have lost access to course materials with the rapid move to remote course delivery. If a student previously accessed textbooks via the library, shared a book with a classmate or left their books on campus, visit bookshelf.vitalsource.com to access free eTextbooks through May 25. Students can access free materials, and they must use their @bw.edu email address to log in or create an account. Visit campusstores.bw.edu for more resources from the BW Bookstore.

What academic support services are available?

The Learning Center, Reading Center, and Writing Center have shifted all academic support services online through the end of the semester. All students have been contacted with information on how to access these programs and services. View details on MyBW >

How are disability services being accommodated?

Disability Services is working with faculty to maintain equitable access to courses for students with documented disabilities. View details on MyBW >

How is specialized instruction being accommodated?

Students with specialized instruction such as laboratory, art or musical instruction will be contacted by their professors for alternative instruction through the remainder of the spring semester.

When is the last day to drop or add classes for spring 2020?

Thursday, April 9 is the last day to drop full-semester spring 2020 sections. The last day to add spring 2020 minimester-B sections has been extended to Wednesday, March 25.

When is the last day to declare pass/fail for a course?

Pass/fail course declaration has been extended to April 17 to declare credit-to-audit and pass/fail options. Students, including freshmen, can declare pass/fail through April 17. Complete the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory form found on the Registration & Records MyBW page. Send your completed form to your advisor for approval and then to Registration & Records.

Are there any other changes to the academic calendar?

April 10 remains a BW holiday in observance of Good Friday. Monday, April 13 is now a full instruction day. April 30, previously Ovation Day of Excellence is now a day of instruction. Ovation Day of Excellence is canceled.

Have there been any changes for summer 2020 sessions?

The first summer session will now be taught remotely. Decisions about the 12-week summer session and the second summer session will be made at a later date.

When can I register for fall 2020 classes?

Registration for fall 2020 classes will begin as scheduled on Monday, March 23. Students should refer to their Student Planning tool > Plan & Schedule module, for their priority registration date and time. All students have been released to register for fall classes by their advisors.

Is the IT HelpDesk available to assist during the remote instruction period?

Yes, the IT HelpDesk will be available for students and faculty. View the remote learning guide and visit help.bw.edu for additional support resources.

Are study abroad programs canceled?

All students studying abroad are required to return home. All 2020 May-term faculty-led programs are canceled. View more details on spring 2020 Study Abroad program cancellations and May-term 2020 faculty-led Study Abroad program cancellations.

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Campus Offices and Resources

Is financial assistance available to students?

The BW Financial Aid Office is closed to campus visitors, but financial aid counselors remain available to assist students and families. Please contact us if you have general financial aid questions or have been impacted by recent job loss, loss of income, medical expenses, etc., including hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, as you may qualify for additional financial aid through our Special Circumstance Review process (see form #10 on our Financial Aid webpage). Call the office at (440) 826-2108 or email finaid@bw.edu.

To assist undergraduate students who have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, we are providing the following:

  • Impacted students may apply for a one-time emergency grant (with an average award of $200). In many instances, a small amount of financial assistance enables a student to overcome a hurdle that may otherwise prevent them from completing courses and remaining on track toward graduation. Student emergency grant applications are being accepted now.

  • Impacted students may request a Financial Aid Review for the 2020-21 academic year. A family's financial situation may have changed due to COVID-19 (e.g., an immediate family member is hospitalized or the student or a parent has lost wages) which may make students eligible for additional financial aid.

Are health services available?

Health Services is open. All students needing assistance should call before coming to the Health Center so that the staff can give them appropriate direction.

What are the health clinic hours?

Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: CLOSED

Does the BW Health Center have Coronavirus testing kits?

No, the BW Health Center does not have Coronavirus testing kits.

Are counseling services available?

Counseling Services is now offering industry-approved telehealth counseling appointments.

Additionally, BW has partnered with ProtoCall, one of the nation’s leading providers of telephonic behavioral health services. Students can access these resources 24/7 by calling 440-260-4399. A full list of services is available at: BW Counseling Services.

TAO (online self-help therapy resource) continues to be available to BW students 24/7. Sign up through the MyBW Counseling Services page.

Is the BW Career Services office open?

BW Career Services is currently offering phone and video career advising appointment options. You can schedule via your Handshake account - click on Career Center/Appointments.

In addition, we will offer a series of virtual workshops and video tutorials over the next several weeks on our key career technology tools, including Handshake, Job Search Strategies During the Coronavirus, Big Interview, Wisr Networking & Mentoring Platform. Stay tuned for an invitation to participate soon.

Current students and alumni looking for work during these challenging times should reference the Greater Cleveland Partnership for a list of local companies who are hiring.

Weekly communication will continue to students, faculty and staff with information about advising appointments as well as any relevant jobs and internships posted by employers.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at career@bw.edu.

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Housing

Are residence halls and campus apartments closed for the rest of the spring 2020 semester?

Yes, residence halls and campus apartments will remain closed for the duration of spring semester. An exception was made for students approved to remain on campus due to extreme circumstances.

Will I receive a refund or credit for my room?

BW will provide meal plan and room credits or refunds for all students impacted by the coronavirus remote instruction period. Credits will be equivalent to eight weeks of residence hall and meal plan expense for the time students were unable to utilize residence halls or meal plans.

Graduating students will be issued refunds. All other students will receive a credit applied to their Fall 2020 student accounts. All credits and refunds will be calculated less any outstanding account balances. Credits and refunds will be issued no later than May 11, 2020 and will appear on student account statements as Meal Plan and Residence Hall Credit.

See all FAQ related to refunds and credits >

Is the Office of Residence Life open?

The Office of Residence Life is open Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. However, the office located in Heritage Hall is closed at this time. For assistance or if you have questions, contact the Office of Residence Life at reslife@bw.edu or (440) 826-2114.

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Dining

Will I receive a refund or credit for my meal plan?

BW will provide meal plan and room credits or refunds for all students impacted by the coronavirus remote instruction period. Credits will be equivalent to eight weeks of residence hall and meal plan expense for the time students were unable to utilize residence halls or meal plans.

Graduating students will be issued refunds. All other students will receive a credit applied to their Fall 2020 student accounts. All credits and refunds will be calculated less any outstanding account balances. Credits and refunds will be issued no later than May 11, 2020 and will appear on student account statements as Meal Plan and Residence Hall Credit.

See all FAQ related to refunds and credits >

Are dining services available?

Yes, dining services are available for students still on campus.

  • Dining Facilities Currently Open
    • Union Dining Hall is open, offering "grab and go" take-out options only, no in-house dining. Hot food and cooked-to-order options are unavailable until further notice. The Union Dining Hall is open for pick up of refrigerated lunches and dinners, Monday-Sunday, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Dining Facilities Currently Closed 
    • Buzzy's
    • Colony Room
    • Hive Café
    • Lang Hall
    • Smoothie Bar
    • Starbucks

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Credits and Refunds for Housing, Dining and Parking

The following details provide important information regarding the announcement shared with BW students and families on April 2, 2020, including information about BW's campus housing and meal plan credits resulting from the disruption of the spring semester.

Credits and Refunds

To sustain our commitment to our students’ success, we are providing the following:

  • BW will provide meal plan and room credits or refunds for all students impacted by the coronavirus remote instruction period. Credits will be equivalent to eight weeks (50%) of residence hall and meal plan expense for the time students were unable to utilize residence halls or meal plans, less any outstanding balance.
  • Balances remaining on flex dollar accounts at the end of this spring semester will roll over to the next academic year.
  • Parking permit fees will be credited to student accounts for the eight weeks (50%) students were not on campus.

How will my credit be applied?

All students will receive a credit applied to their student accounts. All credits will be calculated less any outstanding account balances. Credits will be issued no later than May 11, 2020, and will appear on student account statements as Meal Plan and Residence Hall Credit. Students who are graduating will receive a refund.

What are my account balance options?

You have two options as follows (less any outstanding account balances):

  1. Apply my credit to fall 2020 (tuition and/or room and board). If you prefer to have a credit, there is no other action you need to take.
  2. Request a refund. Individuals may request a refund rather than a credit. Please complete the refund application form. The form can then be mailed to Baldwin Wallace University, Attention: Cashiers, 275 Eastland Rd., Berea, Ohio 44017 or emailed to Cashier@bw.edu. If you do not request a refund, we will apply your credit balance to fall 2020 charges.

What if I am returning to BW, but not living on campus or buying a meal plan, will my credit be applied to my tuition and other expenses?

Yes, the amount credited to your account minus any outstanding account balances will be credited to your fall 2020 tuition or other expenses.

Will the account credit apply to my summer school tuition?

Yes, the amount credited to your account minus any outstanding account balances will be credited first to any summer session charges then to your fall 2020 tuition or other expenses.

I was utilizing campus housing for a portion of the eight-week refund period, will I get all eight weeks credit/refund?

In most cases, partial use of campus facilities during the remote instruction period will be credited the full eight weeks.

Does the credit for housing and meal plans apply to students who remained on campus during the remote instruction period?

No. Students who remained on campus through the end of the spring semester will not be credited housing or meal plan charges.

Can students with current balances and on financial hold resolve outstanding balances and register for next semester?

Yes, the credit will be first applied to current account balances. If the credit reduces the outstanding balance below $5,000, the student account will be cleared to register for the fall 2020 semester.

Will the credit be applied to past due balances and monthly payment plan?

Students with outstanding balances will have this credit applied to the balance due. Students who are using the monthly payment plan will have this amount applied to their May payment. In that case, the May payment will either be canceled or reduced accordingly.

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Events

Are all university events canceled?

Yes, as of March 12, all mass gatherings of 100 or more people have been banned in the State of Ohio until further notice. All university-sponsored events are canceled through May 31, 2020, including:

  1. Spring commencement: Spring commencement ceremony is postponed. The event was originally scheduled for May 9. We will hold a full commencement ceremony for all interested graduating seniors at a later date. All graduating seniors will receive their diplomas in the mail.
  2. Admission events: BW has postponed on-campus tours, interviews and visit events and has moved its spring semester courses online for the rest of the semester. Through virtual counselor appointments, BW admission counselors are available to answer questions through a one-on-one video call. Prospective students are encouraged to take a virtual campus tour at virtual.bw.edu until on-campus tours and events resume pending approval by the CDC. Contact the Admission Office at (440) 826-2091 or visit@bw.edu.
  3. Varsity athletic events: BW is following NCAA and Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) direction and has canceled all current championship competitions and 2020 spring sports seasons, effective March 16 through the remainder of the academic year. This includes all athletically related activities as defined by the NCAA.

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Student Workers

What should I do if I have federal work-study?

The Government Office of Student Federal Aid is providing an allowance for institutions like BW to continue to pay existing Federal Work-Study students through the remote instruction period ending May 8, 2020. Students will be paid based on an average hours estimate from previous weeks established by their supervisor until they return to campus.

What should I do if I have non-federal work study?

Student eligibility to work is at the discretion of the supervisor. Eligible students who can commute to campus for work may do so through the remainder of the spring semester and will continue to be paid accordingly. If students are unable to work because they do not have local access to campus or any other reason, they are excused from their work and will not be paid. Student workers can find guidance and apply for unemployment.

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Faculty and Staff

Has all university-sponsored commercial carrier travel been suspended?

Yes, all travel has been suspended through May 8, 2020. Faculty or staff who are returning from professional or personal travel abroad or cruise ship travel are expected to follow after-travel CDC guidelines.

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Local Community

Is the Speech Clinic open?

The Speech Clinic has suspended face-to-face services until further notice. Patients can contact the Clinic at BWSpeechClinic@bw.edu or call (440) 826-2149 to set up alternative methods of treatment.

Are Community Arts School (CAS) classes canceled?

All CAS classes and ensembles are canceled. Families can choose to donate the remaining tuition to CAS, receive a credit on their account or receive a refund. CAS is assembling a suite of virtual classes/engagement sessions taught by our faculty for our students to take for free through our online participant portal.

In addition, public-facing classes and resources will be made available on the CAS website to introduce CAS to new families. Private lessons can be taught virtually at the discretion and comfort of the faculty member and student. CAS is reviewing options for hosting professional development programs online. Middle school camps and high school camps are expected to run as scheduled.

The CAS team is excited to offer a new initiative, Art at Home. Resources are available for all ages, from preschool to adult. In addition, the CAS faculty will be releasing interactive videos to engage students in dance, music, theatre and visual art on the website and through their Facebook page. Finally, once the Conservatory of Music begins streaming performances, those will be shared as well.

Have Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) classes been canceled?

Yes, all classes have been canceled for the spring semester. This includes classes through the BW main campus and ILR East. Any ILR trips for spring are also canceled. Future activities and events will be under review and changed or canceled as necessary.

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Additional Questions

If you have a question that's not answered above, please submit yours below.