Spring 2020: College Student Updates
Coronavirus is changing our lives on a daily basis. Here’s how college students can be successful amidst the changes.
☛ Be prepared for online classes.
Every Oregon college has moved to online learning until at least April 28.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Check your email or college website every day. The situation is changing rapidly, and your college will communicate those changes as they happen. It is your responsibility to read the updates and stay current with new policies or procedures.
- Treat your classes like you always have. Make time to participate and do the assignments.
- Practice good time management. Even if your class doesn’t meet for live lecture or discussion sessions, set a schedule for when you will work on each class and stick to the schedule. Share your schedule with your family, so they know when you are and aren’t available.
- Think about how and when you learn best. As much as possible, set your schedule to match your needs. If you do your best work in the morning, make a habit of waking up early to get an hour or two of studying in first thing. If nighttime is more your thing, set your schedule to include dedicated study time after dinner.
- Determine the place that you study best. Do what you can to find a place where you can practice good study habits. This may be more difficult with a lot of people at home. Be as patient as possible and control the things you can, like turning off any technology you don’t need for the work you are doing.
- Check in with your professors. If you have questions or concerns, communicate your needs. However, remember this is new for everyone! Have patience and continue to be kind to yourself and others as you learn a new system.
- For parents of college students: Communicate with your student about schedule, study habits, and other needs. Having your student(s) at home might feel like a big change for you and your family.
☛ Stay healthy.
It’s important to maintain your mental, emotional and physical health, and you can do that while following the stay-at-home orders issued by Governor Brown.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Virtually connect with your friends and classmates. Socializing with friends and building online study groups can help you maintain connections and remind you that you are not alone.
- Get some exercise each day to keep your mind and body active. Take a walk, ride your bike or go for a run as long as you can stay 6 feet away from others. Participate in online dance, yoga or weight lifting classes.
☛ Review how you’re paying for college.
College students still need to reapply for financial aid each year. With coronavirus impacting some families’ financial situations, your need for financial aid may have changed.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Submit your FAFSA or ORSAA. All students who plan to attend college next year must submit their FAFSA or ORSAA to be eligible for need-based financial aid. If you haven’t already completed you financial aid application for next year, do it now.
- Talk with your family about the impact that coronavirus is having on your financial situation.
- Some colleges may have emergency grants available to help pay for technology like laptops, course material, food, housing, health care and childcare.
- Apply for additional scholarships to help pay for college next year.
- If your family’s financial situation has changed, contact your college’s financial aid office to learn how to provide them with new information. Use this free tool to help you write the letter, then download and email it to the financial aid office to start the conversation.
- Stay up-to-date with changes to financial aid.
- Federal loans: Interest rates have been automatically lowered to 0% between now and September 2020, which means that no interest will accrue on your loans during this time. In addition, you have the option of not making payments on your loans until September. You need to contact your loan servicer to request a forbearance.
- Oregon Promise: OSAC will provide some flexibility to Oregon Promise students who do not enroll in a minimum of 6 credits during spring term 2020. This is automatic; you do not need to contact OSAC.
☛ Stay on track for your next steps.
Coronavirus is changing our daily lives, but it doesn’t have to derail your plans for the future.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Talk with your academic and career advisors. Plan a phone or virtual meeting to discuss your options.
- If you are planning to transfer:
- Explore colleges online and reach out to admissions staff. They are still working remotely and available to assist you with your questions and applications.
- If you are planning to attend graduate school:
- Explore colleges online and reach out to admissions staff or graduate faculty. Both are still working remotely and available to assist you with your questions and applications.
- Be aware of changes for any needed entrance exams. The GRE, GMAT, and LSAT now offer an at-home testing option, while the MCAT is cancelling and rescheduling dates.