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Academic Calendar

Instruction will begin on Monday, Aug. 24, and conclude on Dec. 16, as previously scheduled. Instruction will be a hybrid of in-person and online courses. The eight instructional days after Thanksgiving break and final exams will be conducted entirely online, and residence hall occupancy will conclude at the start of Thanksgiving break. 

Holidays and breaks prior to Thanksgiving will be observed, but nonessential travel away from campus is discouraged. Those who travel away from Blacksburg at any time before Thanksgiving break may be subject to quarantine upon return, depending on the location of travel and potential exposure to the coronavirus.

As the summer and fall seasons progress, we will have increased clarity on the health precautions that will be necessary for the spring 2021 semester.

Tuition and Financial Support

Current tuition rates charges reflect the cost to deliver online and in-person instruction. The most significant cost is the salaries of faculty and staff, who have been working through the spring and into the fall to deliver the highest-quality educational experience possible and with the academic rigor expected at Virginia Tech. The campus disruption and the move to deliver classes online throughout the pandemic has increased the university’s costs. While the cost of instruction will continue to increase, the university’s Board of Visitors recently approved both a tuition freeze and an increase in student financial aid to help students and their families during this unprecedented time.

Student Emergency Fund

Through generous donations provided by many caring Hokies, the Dean of Students Office has been entrusted to manage a fund for students who find themselves in immediate financial need, due to no fault of their own. This means, any student currently enrolled at Virginia Tech can apply for a one-time grant to help during this trying time.  

The process for applying is simple. Complete the contact form and a representative from the Dean of Students Office will be in contact with you.

CARES Act Funding and Commercial Loan Relief

Virginia Tech is receiving $9.7 million in CARES Act funding. The university will distribute the funds to both undergraduate and graduate students through a process of formula-driven distributions and expanded individual emergency support. In an effort to get relief into the hands of students and families as soon as possible, Virginia Tech will distribute the majority of the student aid support based on a formula. The formula will consider factors that include Pell grant eligibility and prior borrowing from direct subsidized or alternative loan programs. Both undergraduate and graduate students with needs, and faculty and staff who learn of students with COVID-19 related emergency financial needs, should contact the Dean of Students Office at (540) 231-3787 or dean.students@vt.edu.

The Commonwealth of Virginia has announced an initiative, in partnership with several other states, to offer payment relief options for Virginians with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) loans, Perkins loans, or privately held student loans.

Private student loan servicers providing relief include:

  • Aspire Resources Inc.
  • College Ave Student Loan Servicing LLC
  • Earnest Operations LLC
  • Edfinancial Services LLC
  • Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp.
  • Lendkey Technologies Inc.
  • Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri (MOHELA)
  • Navient
  • Nelnet Inc.
  • Scratch
  • SoFi Lending Corp.
  • Tuition Options LLC
  • United Guaranty Services Inc.
  • Upstart Network Inc.
  • Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (UHEAA)
  • Vermont Student Assistance Corp. (VSAC)

Borrowers with private student loans can check their monthly billing statements for contact information.

Borrowers can visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 or 1-800-730-8913 (TDD) to determine the types of federal loans they have and who their servicers are.

Student Jobs

Student employees are an important part of Virginia Tech’s workforce, and students will continue to be hired into roles such as those in dining services and other areas as the need for student workers arises during the fall 2020 semester. We do anticipate that there will be fewer overall students jobs given the operational changes at the university in response to COVID-19.

Remote Opportunities for Students

We understand that some members of our community will not be comfortable engaging in the residential campus environment this fall due to underlying medical conditions or a concern over transmission to friends or family members. To the extent possible, academic department leaders and advisors will consult with students to design plans to maximize learning opportunities. Students desiring to enroll only in fully online courses may not have access to the same courses originally included in their plans of study, in the event that these courses are in-person or a blend of in-person and online. Although we are planning to offer some classes fully online, not all courses will have a remote option.

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning offers tips for students working in an online environment. The Student Success Center (SSC) will also be available to support your academic progress by offering its services, including tutoring, through an online format. A complete list of academic excellence programs can be found on their website. To request tutoring, please email tutoring@vt.edu. All other requests should be sent to studentsuccess@vt.edu.

We know that our international students have many more complex situations and questions, and we’ve provided more in-depth information for both undergraduate and graduate international students on the Cranwell International Center website.

Regarding internet access away from campus, see the Home Internet Tips page. To optimize what you can do with a lower-speed internet connection, check out steps 1-4. If you have no internet access at home, steps 2 and 5 offer tips on contacting internet providers and finding community WiFi resources, respectively. Many internet service providers are offering low cost or free options for students who need to complete courses online, so be sure you let them know you are a Virginia Tech student.

Course Offerings

We will take a phased approach, placing emphasis on in-person instruction that enhances experiential learning. In-person modes of instruction will be prioritized for courses, labs, studios, and performances that cannot be offered remotely at comparable quality.

Decisions on modes of instruction on a per-course basis will be published by July 13 so that students and faculty can plan accordingly.

Due to the limited capacity of most instructional spaces that have been modified to accommodate physical distancing, many lectures and discussion sections will be delivered online, preferably synchronously to enable real-time interactions between students and instructors. Depending on the availability of suitably-sized instructional spaces, lectures and discussion sections may also be presented in-person and synchronously transmitted to other spaces, as long as physical distancing and other public health requirements are met in all locations.

Smaller lectures, sections, and laboratories will be offered in person, providing that the spaces allow for proper distancing. Depending on capacity and the availability of instructors, we may need to schedule classes in the evenings.

Our goal is for the typical student to experience at least one-third of instruction in an in-person format, with the remainder online in synchronous or asynchronous (recorded) modes. Should guidelines relax over the summer and into the fall, in-person teaching and learning will be expanded.

As students begin the fall semester, they will know their course delivery mode and the expectations from the beginning of the term. Thus, we don’t anticipate any extension of the credit/non-credit options offered during the spring.

Professional students
Professional students at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine will return to clinics and in-person instruction in a phased approach over the summer months.

Third- and fourth-year students at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine returned to clinical rotations on Monday, July 6. The second-year class will continue the next block of study virtually with plans to start in-person learning on Monday, Aug. 31. The new first-year class is scheduled to begin orientation Monday, July 27. Orientation will be a blend of virtual and in-person experiences. Their first block of study will begin primarily in-person on Monday, Aug. 3.

DVM students at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine began a phased return to clinics this summer, starting on June 22. The fall semester for DVM students in years 1-3 will begin on Monday, Aug. 10, and all courses will be completed by Thanksgiving (Nov. 25).  Orientation for the DVM Class of 2024 will be held virtually, with workshops scheduled throughout July and August. The traditional White Coat Ceremony has been postponed, and will be scheduled for a later date.

Labs
All work during the summer will be completed virtually and submitted remotely. Physical instructional spaces such as classrooms, studios, and laboratories will not be open to undergraduate students, but only to authorized instructional personnel. Students should connect with faculty members as soon as possible. The academic community fully understands that some classes, such as labs, are dependent on hands-on activity.

Study abroad
Virginia Tech has canceled all fall 2020 study abroad programs. A full set of FAQs about the programs is available on the Global Education Office website.

Hygiene best practices

When returning to campus, all members of the university should follow these public health measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, flu, and other viruses.

Face coverings:

Under the governor’s Executive Order 63, all campus community members are required to wear a face covering when in close proximity to others in both indoor and outdoor spaces. This includes classrooms, workspaces, residence halls, dining halls, Blacksburg Transit, and other campus spaces. Face coverings can be reusable or homemade cloth masks, dust masks, or surgical masks. Click here to learn more about face coverings, including when to wear one, caring for your mask, and more.

Physical distancing:

In conjunction with wearing a face covering and practicing good personal hygiene, physical distancing is an important component in helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus. When in doubt, strive to stay 6 feet away from others in both indoor and outdoor settings. Virginia Tech will also play a role in helping to foster physical distancing in such ways as rearranging classroom furniture, altering traffic flow in and out of buildings, installing distancing floor decals, and much more.

The governor’s continued restrictions on gathering sizes reflect the seriousness with which we need to adhere to public health guidelines and protect those around us, particularly the most vulnerable. Should the Dean of Students Office or the Blacksburg Police Department need to respond to concerns about noise violations or disruptive parties, a referral will be made to the Student Conduct office for their follow-up. We are asking students to take personal responsibility in helping to keep the public safe. In the spring semester, students responded accordingly, and we expect that they will do the same in the fall semester.

Personal hygiene - what you can do to stop the spread of viruses like coronavirus and the flu:

  • Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Wash your hands often and for 20 seconds at a time.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

Cleaning and disinfecting:

Virginia Tech is committed to maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness across all university facilities. Click here to learn about enhanced on-campus cleaning and disinfecting procedures, the installation of new hand-sanitizer stations, and other useful information. Follow these helpful CDC guidelines for tips on cleaning and disinfecting personal living and office spaces.

Don’t forget about the flu:

Flu season will begin ramping up in early fall. Find the latest resources around flu prevention at Virginia Tech.

Residence Life

In order to provide an on-campus living experience that promotes public health safety, Housing and Residence Life (HRL) will limit the number of students living on campus to no more than two people per room and require all on-campus students to sign a Health and Wellbeing Commitment.

In mid-June, HRL hosted a Q&A on on-campus housing. Watch it here.

The Dean of Students Office and Virginia Tech Off-Campus Housing hosted a Q&A about off-campus housing in mid-June. Watch it here.

Move-In

Housing and Residence Life is establishing a carefully organized move-in process spread out from Aug. 14 to Aug. 23, in order to follow public health safety guidelines. Students are limited to two additional people during the move-in process and all will be required to wear a mask for the duration of the move-in process. Students will be assigned time slots based on room assignment and will have two hours to complete the move-in process.

Once a student has moved into the residence halls, they may leave their belongings in their room for the duration of their contract. After Thanksgiving break, all instruction and final exams will be fully online. When students leave for the Thanksgiving break, they don’t need to remove their belongings. However, once they leave, students will not be able to access their room until they return for the spring semester. Students are advised to take all necessary belongings with them when they leave for Thanksgiving.

Housing Contract Updates

Not all students who have contracted for the fall will be able to remain in on-campus housing. Housing and Residence Life has contacted all students with completed contracts, as well as incoming first-year students who have not yet contracted, to notify them of their housing status for fall 2020. Decisions on housing status were made primarily based on first-year student status and the date students signed their original housing contract.

Students not approved to re-contract have been provided direction on how to be added to a waiting list. If a student does not wish to live on-campus, they should submit the Fall Contract Cancellation form in StarRez.

Housing Assignments

Housing assignments will begin in late June/early July and go through the end of July. Your assignment timeslot is determined by the date you submitted your original housing contract, as long as you re-contract by June 16. If you have already created a roommate group and you are both approved for on-campus housing, it will transfer over to your new contract as long as both of you re-contract by June 16.

Health and Well-being Commitments and Precautions

All students wanting to live on-campus must review and sign a Health and Well-being Commitment as part of the re-contracting process. The main tenets of the commitment include an eight-day pre-move-in quarantine, practicing physical distancing and personal hygiene, avoiding public spaces, and self-isolating if identified as infected with COVID-19 or at-risk of infection. In addition to the Health and Well-being Commitment, Housing and Residence Life will provide access to soap, hand-sanitation stations in high traffic areas of each hall, and personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary, as well as isolation spaces for students infected COVID-19 or at-risk of infection.

Those prospective residents who provide a medical doctor’s attestation of susceptibility to serious disease can contact Services for Students with Disabilities to request an accommodation for a single-occupancy residence.

Living-Learning Programs

Students who applied for a Living-Learning Program as part of their original contract will not have to re-apply. Students who have not applied for an LLP and have been approved to re-contract will be able to apply as part of the re-contracting process. Students will receive an acceptance or denial to an LLP by June 19.

Dining

We are excited to welcome students back into our facilities in the fall in a safe and healthy manner. We are implementing a number of safety measures to keep both students and staff safe. While we know this will create a different dining experience for our customers, we are committed to public health safety for the Virginia Tech community.

We are implementing the following measures to increase public health safety while continuing to serve students:

  • Installation of Plexiglas dividers to separate customers and staff.
  • Mandatory face coverings and gloves for all staff, with handwashing every 30 minutes.
  • Maintaining 100 percent cashless operations, with installation of touchless payment and additional Grubhub self-ordering and payment kiosks.
  • Reduction of seating in all dining facilities to align with the most current guidelines.
  • Removal of all self-service areas and adding attendants for salad bars, condiment stations, and beverage dispensing machines.
  • Guidance for physical distancing in all lines and spaces.
  • Limited vendor access to building interiors.
  • Installation of hand-sanitizer dispensers throughout all dining facilities at register stands and entry points.
  • Regular cleaning of high-touch areas, including tables and chairs after each seating.
  • Temporary suspension of debit/credit card transactions at the start of the semester.
For those that do not have a dining plan, food trucks will be available on campus for students to use credit/debit or cash to purchase food. The coffee vendor in Newman Library will be open, as well as Subway and Seattle’s Best in Johnston Student Center.

We will continue to update our hours and services

Read more from a June 30 story: Changes coming to campus dining in fall 2020

Dining plans

Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate both on-campus and off-campus students while maintaining physical distancing and public safety guidelines for students and our staff. Therefore, we will not be offering the sale of new dining plans to off-campus students for the fall semester under the current regulations. Fall 2020 dining plans for off-campus students will be canceled automatically, and students do not need to take any further action at this time.

If an off-campus student is interested in the purchase of an off-campus dining plan, they can add themselves to the Dining Plan Waitlist in the Dining Plans section of StarRez. Dining will contact students on the waitlist if they are able to offer an off-campus dining plan option in the future.

If you rolled over a dining plan to fall 2020, you will be able to use your remaining Flex Dollars, Commuter Cash, Flex additions, and Dining Dollars at available dining facilities. You will not be able to add any additional money to your account, however. Any remaining balances must be used during the fall 2020 semester. If you have a FLEX roll-over balance that you do not plan to use, you may request a refund of that balance prior to Aug. 1. This refund will just be for the FLEX balance and does not include administrative fees. Please contact hokiepassport@vt.edu with your Virginia Tech email account to request a rebate on your rollover account from spring 2020. Rebates should be processed 1-2 weeks from the time of request. Balances can be located at www.hokiepassport.vt.edu.

Athletics and Rec Sports

Virginia Tech Athletics continues to work with the NCAA and the ACC to develop potential scenarios related to fall practices and competitions. Decisions have not been made relative to whether fall events will take place as scheduled or what fan access to Tech Athletics venues may look like.

Following public health standards, Virginia Tech has reopened the Beamer-Lawson Practice Facility and the Steve Johnson practice fields for voluntary football strength and conditioning workouts. In preparation for the possibility of home football games, the season ticket seat selection process began June 1 for Hokie Club members and season-ticket holders. Updates will be posted to hokiesports.com.

McComas Hall

McComas Hall’s recreation space reopened to summer on-campus student residents and employees with an active rec membership on June 22 to pilot procedural modifications and safety measures.

Operational hours will be Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Modifications include navigational flow, spacing of equipment and participants, self-scanners, enhanced sanitization strategies, and more.

At this time, no new memberships will be sold and students not living on campus in the summer months will not be eligible. Rec Sports is working toward a safe reopening to all participant groups for the fall and appreciates your patience as they plan, practice, and train diligently with their staff.

Events And Programs

Campus arts presenters have temporarily paused live events. Gatherings of more than 50 people are not permitted in Virginia during Phase 2 of the commonwealth’s re-opening.

Our planning assumes gathering limits will be in effect through the fall semester. For up-to-date information on both live and virtual events, go to:

Commencement

As the summer and fall seasons progress, we will have increasing clarity on the health precautions that will be necessary for larger gatherings, including the celebration for May 2020 graduates that is planned for the Sept. 26 home football game weekend and the fall semester commencement in December. We will communicate in greater detail as soon as we can.

 

Graduate School

Graduate students often have dual roles – as students and as graduate assistants, graduate teaching assistants, and graduate research assistants – and they contribute to the teaching and learning, research and discovery, and service and engagement missions of the university across its colleges and campuses. The university recognizes and supports your belief that progress toward your degree is important and the Graduate School will work with you toward that end.

As we prepare for the fall 2020 semester, know that your rights and choices will be respected regarding courses and assistantships. For new students, we are modifying our orientation program to provide information and tips for success in a virtual format. Visit the Graduate School’s FAQ webpages and the Guidelines for Graduate Education during COVID-19. Also visit the guidelines articulated in the Expectations for Graduate Study document available on the Graduate School website.

Remote Assistantships

Graduate students who hold assistantship appointments (GTAs, GRAs, and GAs) should discuss with their supervisor available options for carrying out their duties, including working remotely. Supervisors are asked to be understanding and as accommodating as reasonable.  Graduate program directors are available to assist in specific situations, following the guidance from the Graduate School. The Graduate School Ombudsperson’s Office also is available for consultation as desired. Graduate assistants with an underlying medical condition and/or a disability that places them at a higher risk should contact ADA and Accessibility Services.

Mental Health And Well-Being

Whether we’re on campus or still at home, our mental health remains an important part of staying healthy. Hokie Wellness continues to maintain virtual offerings that all students, faculty, and staff can access.

Your mental health and well-being is our top priority, and we have a variety of resources available to you:

Parking and Transportation

Find the latest information about parking and transportation, including parking on the Blacksburg campus, alternative transportation, and more. The Blacksburg Transit (BT) website also highlights the latest schedule updates. Currently, parking permits are not required to park on the Blacksburg campus.

At this time (and subject to change), student parking permits for the 2020-21 school year will go on sale on Aug. 10, and may be purchased online at https://parking.vt.edu/permits.html. Permits for 2019-20 will expire on Aug. 31. The latest permit updates will be shared at http://parking.vt.edu. Questions may also be directed to parking@vt.edu.

All Campus Connect trips have been canceled for the foreseeable future. Please email NCRShuttle@vt.edu with any questions.

E-scooter service on the Virginia Tech campus has been suspended.

illustration of a student standing next to a car

Facilities And Enhanced Cleaning

Virginia Tech is committed to maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness across all campus facilities. Learn about enhanced cleaning procedures, installation of new hand-sanitizer stations, and much more.

Virginia Tech is committed to maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness across all of its campus facilities. In conjunction with physical distancing and personal hygiene strategies, to minimize spread and health risks for the most vulnerable populations, the university will employ a consistent, thorough, and deliberate cleaning process.

Click here to learn more about enhanced cleaning procedures, the installation of new hand-sanitizer stations, and more. Please also refer to these university guidelines.