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Latest about COVID-19 and W&M's Path Forward.

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Frequently Asked Questions

William & Mary is taking a phased approach to decision-making, and will continue to update the community. For the latest information, review the Health & Safety, Students & Families, Faculty & Staff and Alumni & Friends pages.

Your Top Questions:
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I'm a student on campus. I don't feel well and suspect COVID-19. What do I do?

During normal business hours, please contact the Student Health Center online or by phone at (757) 221-4386 for guidance. After-hours, please review our resources for healthcare options.

What are COVID-19 testing requirements before returning to campus?

As in the fall, William & Mary is developing a testing protocol in partnership with the VCU Health System that requires students to test for COVID-19 before arriving on campus, and provides employees optional testing services partially or wholly subsidized by the university. The university is finalizing the spring testing plan.

How did W&M choose the spring break days, and why are they distributed throughout the semester?

W&M recognized that, while the compressed fall schedule allowed the campus to de-densify before the local weather turned truly cold, working straight through without a significant break, during a pandemic, was challenging for the entire community of students, faculty and staff. Finding a way to adopt periods of rest and recuperation was important for spring planning.

Several groups, including student affairs, curriculum squads, academic deans, staff and others, participated in the selection and review of the spring break dates. The groups agreed that, to help protect the health of students, faculty and staff, it was important to avoid four-day weekends that would encourage off-campus travel. They recommended choosing one of each weekday, Monday through Friday, so that students and faculty members don't miss more of one class than another. They also added an additional, sixth day of break, and avoided breaks during midterm grading and academic advising.

It is important to note that the law school and business school graduate students will have an alternate spring break schedule.

How is William & Mary enhancing social life for students?

The university is committed to building community in small groups in residence halls and student organizations, in wellness activities and in career development. From pumpkin carvings to weekly live music performances at the Sadler Terrace and yoga by Lake Matoaka, students in the fall had a plethora of opportunities to connect with one another online and in person. Four hundred of the university’s 475 recognized student organizations were active in the fall semester and 11 new student organizations were established.

For the spring semester, the university-wide student life planning team, which includes undergraduate and graduate students, is advancing the following goal: to explore and execute additional ways to create gathering areas with events so that small groups can safely meet and build community. They are developing new and creative ways for students to gather both online and in person.

Programming and support services are provided by Student Transition Engagement Programs (formerly First Year Experience), AMP, Center for Student Diversity, Cohen Career Center, Wellness Ambassadors, Campus Recreation, Office of Community Engagement, Office of Student Leadership Development, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Unions and Engagement, Student Veteran Engagement and more.

How does W&M deal with COVID-19 cases among students?

William & Mary has set aside Richmond Hall as a residence hall for student quarantine and isolation. Active cases are monitored through the Student Health Center under guidance of its medical director. Visit Case Management & Housing for more information.

If a student, staff or faculty member tests positive for COVID-19, what do they need to do to return to work or the classroom?

Students, faculty and staff who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days. COVID-19-positive community members, after 10 days of isolation, must be asymptomatic and cleared by a physician before they return to work or class. Following CDC guidance, W&M does not require a negative COVID-19 test to return.

What is William & Mary planning for Commencement?

Our goal is to host two grand celebrations in May 2021 for the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021, with all the joy and the cherished traditions that make W&M Commencements special. Public health conditions permitting, the Class of 2020 will celebrate May 14-16, 2021, with the main ceremony on Saturday, May 15. The Class of 2021 will be the following weekend, May 21-23, with the main ceremony on Saturday, May 22. More details are available on the Commencement website.

I am not returning to campus housing this spring. What is the policy on housing contracts?

Students scheduled to move in on January 30 will receive a $100 rebate and those arriving February 6-7 will receive $200.

Students who lived on campus in the fall but have a fully remote schedule for the spring semester may request a release from their housing contracts. The deadline to request a release is February 5. Requests can be submitted via the housing portal and will be reviewed within seven business days.

Has W&M reduced tuition for 2020-2021, because this year is so different?

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. This is the second year in a row that W&M has had a 0% tuition increase for entering in-state undergraduates.

W&M takes very seriously the financial challenges many are experiencing under pandemic. For academic year 2020-2021, we have increased student financial aid by $3 million and have distributed federal CARES Act funding to eligible students. We have also instituted flexible policies for students for whom it is best to defer enrollment.

At the same time, W&M has invested in transformation of the campus, including testing, masks and protective equipment, remote learning and more – in order to provide flexibility for families, and to meet student learning needs - as we operate under pandemic conditions.