William & Mary sign

Latest about COVID-19 and the Path Forward for fall.

Info for... William & Mary
William & Mary W&M menu close William & Mary

Frequently Asked Questions

View questions about:

New and updated questions will appear at the top of each section.

University Finance & Budgets
Single column table of FAQs for formatting purposes.
What will state budget restrictions mean for the PBK renovation and the music building?

In revising its current year budget, the Commonwealth provided incremental funds in support of these projects. Once these funds are released by the Governor they will move forward.

Added: 5/14/2020

Does William & Mary qualify for federal stimulus money?

William & Mary was informed in early April that it would be allocated roughly $3.95 million in federal stimulus funding authorized by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act. Half of that — $1.97 million — is awarded as direct emergency aid for students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as course materials, technology, housing, food, health care and child care. Prioritizing students with the greatest financial need, William & Mary began outreach to affected students on May 7. Visit the financial aid office website for more information on CARES Act funding distribution. The other half of the federal allocation is to be used by the institution to cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction.

Updated: 5/8/2020

How do the university’s finances work?

Amy Sebring, Vice President of Finance & Technology, explains William & Mary’s finances (video). More information can be found at Finance's COVID-19 page.

Updated: 4/28/2020

How can I best support the immediate needs of William & Mary students, faculty and staff?

Private support provides critical resources to meet William & Mary’s evolving needs, and we are enormously grateful to those in our community who are giving during a time of so much uncertainty. The university has gathered a list of funds that can be put to immediate use for emergency needs.

Back to top

Single column table of FAQs for formatting purposes.
Are you planning to hold in-person classes in the fall?

William & Mary is preparing for an in-person semester in fall 2020, consistent with Virginia’s public health guidelines for higher education. In light of this evolving public health context, the university announced July 31 that while undergraduate courses would begin on August 19 as planned that students would return to campus on a phased schedule ending after Labor Day Weekend. In-person undergraduate instruction will begin after Labor Day, so as to ensure consistent experiences for all students (on and off campus) during a more extended return to campus. Graduate courses will begin as planned by the respective schools.

For Academic Year 20-21, W&M will offer three semesters – fall, spring and summer – to provide maximum flexibility for students. The fall 2020 semester will include a condensed schedule that begins a week early and ends before Thanksgiving. There will be no in-person instruction until after Labor Day. We will have no fall break. William & Mary is taking a phased approach to decision-making, and will continue to update the community as more information and details become available.

Read more about The Path Forward: Fall 2020.

Updated: 7/31/2020

How do I return textbooks that I rented from the W&M Bookstore?

There are three ways to return your books:

  1. Ship them back - To ship books, initiate your rental return at bookstore.wm.edu. To print shipping labels, you will need your order number which can be found in the confirmation email from your online order or in any of your rental reminder emails. Up to six (6) shipping labels may be printed for the same order.
  2. Drop them off - The W&M Bookstore reopened to the public on June 1 with modified hours.
  3. Delayed return - If you are unable to ship your books to the store, or will not be returning to campus until the fall you may return your books without penalty up to August 28, 2020.

Updated: 5/29/2020

I am a graduate student or undergraduate student who needs to access a W&M facility for my research work. Can I do that?

When some limited W&M building access is required, the following guidelines apply:

  • Research requires the use of W&M facilities &/or equipment and cannot be deferred to a later time without significant loss.
  • The supervising faculty member/PI is responsible for approving limited access for the required tasks that cannot be delayed.
  • An example of an approved tasks may include animal care, culture maintenance, etc.
  • Approved students should have pre-existing card access to these locations for these tasks.
  • The certification of students for access must be initiated by a faculty or staff member who will take responsibility for assuring that the tasks being undertaken are within these guidelines.These supervisors will provide the names and 930 numbers to their respective department/program chairs who will, in turn, forward the department-certified list to Facilities Management to be entered in the building Access system.
  • Undergraduate students engaged in critical, time-sensitive research requiring limited building access, as determined by their supervising faculty member, will follow the same access protocol.
Will graduate assistantships continue?

During the current COVID-19 response, graduate students serving as Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs), Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) or Graduate Assistants (GAs) are advised accordingly.

Stipends will continue under the following modified work conditions:

  • GTAs are expected to work directly with their supervising faculty and/or department chair to support courses delivered through alternative remote models
  • GRAs are advised to work directly with their Principal Investigator (PI) to continue their research in a remote manner as much as possible
  • GAs will communicate directly with their supervisor to determine the location and nature of their work
Can my classmates have my email address for in-class collaborations?

Yes. A recent change to W&M’s FERPA Policy includes university email addresses and phone numbers as "directory information." Although your contact information still cannot be released to an external requestor without your consent, this does allow your professors to share your email address and phone number with classmates for educational purposes. Students with confidentiality orders on file will be contacted directly by the university registrar for consent. Contact the University Registrar's Office with any questions.

Back to top

Housing & Dining
Single column table of FAQs for formatting purposes.
When will W&M Dining information be available for the fall semester?

W&M Dining is working closely with the university’s dining partner to follow restaurant guidelines administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health in the fall.

The deadline for residential undergraduate students to select a meal plan was July 8. Those who did not make a selection by that date were automatically enrolled in the Gold 19 plan. Students electing a fully-remote curriculum who are released from their campus housing contracts can remove their meal plan by visiting https://mealplan.wm.edu and selecting "Drop a Meal Plan." Student accounts could take up to 3 business days to be updated. Meal plans may be cancelled up until August 27.

Updated: 7/20/2020

Back to top

Travel & Events
Single column table of FAQs for formatting purposes.
Will there be a Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020?

Our goal is to host a grand celebration in May 2021 for the Class of 2020, with all the joy and the cherished traditions that make W&M Commencements special. We are considering the optimal timing, keeping in mind that the Classes of 2020 and 2021 will each have their own ceremonies and celebrations. The university will announce exact dates in a few weeks so families can plan accordingly. Detailed information about the schedule of Commencement events will be shared early in the spring semester.

Updated: 7/20/2020

Will W&M still offer summer study abroad programs?

In light of COVID-19 developments around the world, including the U.S. Department of State Global Level 4 Health Advisory (Do Not Travel) as well as increasing travel restrictions in many countries, W&M has made the decision to cancel all summer study abroad programs. Students and faculty directly affected by these cancellations have been notified, and we are working to help support students as they adjust their academic plans.

Back to top

Parents & Families
Single column table of FAQs for formatting purposes.
How can our family stay connected to the W&M community during this time?

While all university-sponsored in-person events are suspended, the W&M Alumni Association is offering a wide variety of virtual engagement opportunities for our community to stay connected. William & Mary is also supporting the health and wellness of our community through a virtual wellness center, which includes articles, videos and information on virtual fitness classes.

Updated: 6/29/2020

How can I get more involved with William & Mary as a family member?

As valued members of the W&M community, parents and family members often form their own unique relationship with the university. Families can get involved with the university through Parent & Family Programs and the Parent & Family Council. Some other opportunities for parents to help the university include promoting W&M in your local community or school, providing professional opportunities for our students through Cohen Career Center, representing W&M at a college fair or making a gift to the Parents Fund. For more information about getting involved with the Parent & Family Council or making a gift to support W&M, please email [[PFCLeadership]].

Added: 4/24/2020

What are Parent & Family Programs?

Parent & Family Programs (PFP) ensures parents and families have all of the resources necessary for their William & Mary experience to be as enriching and rewarding as possible. We recognize that having a student in college can be both an exciting and challenging experience. Our goal is to help ease that process while providing resources, student stories, opportunities for involvement and a parent support network. To learn more, contact Parent & Family Programs at 757-221-2508 or [[families]].

Added: 4/24/2020

What is the Parent & Family Council?

The Parent & Family Council (PFC) is a community of parent donors and volunteer leaders who are dedicated to increasing parent engagement and philanthropy, promoting William & Mary and strengthening the Tribe family. As parent ambassadors, PFC members welcome new Tribe families and help them navigate life with a college student. Members also meet faculty and administrators, provide parent perspectives to William & Mary’s senior leadership and learn about university initiatives and priorities. Through the Cohen Career Center, parents can offer externships and internships for students. There are also opportunities for parents to speak occasionally about their industries or careers to groups of students on campus.

Added: 4/24/2020

Back to top

Prospective & Admitted Students
Single column table of FAQs for formatting purposes.
Can I visit W&M for a campus tour?

University offices are closed to the public for walk-in access. W&M Admission offers a virtual tour and information session.

Updated: 6/29/2020

When do I need to let the university know if I will be taking a gap year or semester?

In order to be eligible for a gap experience, the student must have submitted an enrollment deposit by May 1 and notified the Admission Office of the intent to defer enrollment by June 1. Requests made after June 1 may still be approved; however, it will depend on the composition of the class and the overall volume of requests. More information may be found on the undergraduate admission website.

Updated: 6/12/2020

Will W&M require SAT/ACT scores for students applying for admission next year?

William & Mary will introduce a test-optional admission policy for the 2020-2021 application cycle, which means freshman applicants to the university will not be required to submit either SAT or ACT exam results. Additionally, it is our intention that next year will be the first year in a three-year pilot program designed to enable a more comprehensive analysis beyond a one-year exception.

Added: 5/14/2020

I've been admitted to W&M's freshman class for the fall. May I take a gap year or semester?

Students who are offered admission to the William & Mary freshman class may request a deferral of their enrollment for one semester or one year by notifying Senior Associate Dean of Admission [[detrot,David Trott]] of their intentions in writing. All requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. More information may be found on the undergraduate admission website.

Added: 4/30/2020

Can I take classes at other universities during my gap year or semester?

Students may not enroll as a degree-seeking candidate at any other institution or complete more than 15 hours of college credit during their gap year, or six hours if deferring for a semester. Admission remains contingent upon continuing to meet high standards of academic performance and personal conduct throughout the gap year. More information may be found on the undergraduate admission website.

Added: 4/30/2020

Back to top

General Topics
Single column table of FAQs for formatting purposes.
Is COVID-19 testing available through the university?

William & Mary has developed a protocol in partnership with the VCU Health System that requires students to be tested for COVID-19 before arriving on campus and provides employees optional testing services partially subsidized by the university. Prevalence testing, using an initial sampling of 5% of the student body, will occur at least every two weeks. At-will testing will be offered to students and employees as they leave at the end of the semester.

Added: 7/31/2020

Do the state's guidelines regarding face coverings apply on campus?

Yes. All individuals on campus are required to wear a cloth face covering in areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained and in all shared areas of buildings.

Updated: 7/14/2020

What is W&M doing to plan for Fall 2020?

The university is developing Path Forward: Fall 2020 guidelines and resources to facilitate a safe and healthy return to campus for all members of the community.

Added: 6/29/2020

How is W&M currently operating?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, campus leadership has been engaged in two main efforts – emergency management and adaptation – adjusting academic, administrative and staff operations to safeguard the health of the community. The university has developed Path Forward: Fall 2020 guidelines and resources to facilitate a safe and healthy return to campus for all members of the community.

Added: 6/29/2020

Is campus closed to off-campus visitors?

University offices are closed to the public for walk-in access. W&M Admission offers a virtual tour and information session.

Updated: 6/29/2020

How are you supporting the health and wellness of students, faculty and staff during this time?

Necessary PPE is available to employees through Facilities Management.

For Fall 2020, all students and employees will be issued a wellness kit consisting of washable masks, hand sanitizer, wipes and an educational pamphlet. Additional masks or face shields will be available for employees as appropriate to their roles and work environment.

The departments of Health & Wellness have developed a virtual wellness center, which includes articles, videos and information on virtual fitness classes.

See additional measures in the June 26 updates from the COVID-19 Response Team.

Updated 6/29/2020

What hours is the post office open?

While classes are being held remotely, all student mail will be held at the William & Mary Post Office. If you have mail or packages delivered to campus that you would like forwarded to you please email us forwarding instructions at [[wmpostoffice]] from your W&M email.

To access the Post Office, please use the sliding glass doors by the loading dock. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you have questions, call 757-221-4491.

The Post Office is suspending its return policy while classes are being held remotely. Please disregard the notification email that states your mail will be returned after 30 days. USPS mail left at the Post Office will be forwarded to the address you have on file beginning May 20, 2020.

The Post Office has talked with UPS, FedEx Ground Home and Express, and they have agreed to bring departmental deliveries to the Post Office, which will attempt to contact addressees. People expecting packages on campus should contact the Post Office to make arrangements.

Updated: 6/29/2020

Is the W&M Bookstore open?

Barnes & Noble reopened the William & Mary Bookstore June 1 with a limited number of guests in the store at any one time. Patrons are required to wear masks and adhere to physical distancing guidelines. Guests should use the Duke of Gloucester St. entrance.

Added: 6/10/2020

Has W&M decided tuition and fees for 2020-21?

The W&M Board of Visitors unanimously voted May 12, 2020 to roll back a previously adopted tuition increase for incoming in-state undergraduates and keep tuition and mandatory fees flat for all students, including in-state and out-of-state undergraduates, graduate and professional students.

Updated: 5/12/2020

How can I ensure my Zoom use is secure?

Be sure your Zoom software client is up to date. Zoom is continually releasing updates that bolster security. Meeting hosts also have a variety of security setting options that include measures like adding a meeting password, requiring W&M authentication and enabling a waiting room. Find information about other Zoom security recommendations in the Security section of W&M IT’s Zoom website. If you have specific questions you may contact the Technology Support Center at [[support]].

Added: 4/7/2020

What services is W&M Libraries offering? Has the return policy changed for materials?

Please visit W&M Libraries’ FAQ page for information.

As a student, is there anything I can do to support my fellow students?

William & Mary is assisting members of our community during this difficult time, working with individuals on a case-by-case basis through the Dean of Students Office. If you choose, you may donate your rebate to the university for emergency relief funds for students.

I am an international student or scholar and have questions related to my immigration status. Where can I find answers to my questions?

The Office of International Students, Scholars, and Programs have created a FAQ page for international students and scholars.

I am a student employee. Can I continue to work?

Students are not required to work; however, we realize that some students want and need to work. Those students should communicate with their supervisors to find out if there may be opportunities to telework. Federal work-study students will continue to be compensated.

I have the W&M student insurance. Who can I contact to learn more about the coverage?

Please contact Trista R. W. Sikes, the Student Insurance Coordinator: [[trsike]] or [[student.insurance]] or 757-221-2978.

Back to top