What is Oberlin’s plan for resuming classes in the fall?
There are still many unknowns, as the situation continues to evolve. It is our strong desire to return classes to campus at the beginning of the semester. We are not yet certain when it would be prudent to start the semester. Our top priority is the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We are developing our strategies with input from the local health authorities, the State of Ohio, and national higher education groups who are studying approaches across the country. We expect to announce a decision about the fall semester in early to mid-June.
Are you currently working with state officials to reopen campus safely so that students may attend in-person classes in the fall?
We continue to coordinate with local and state public health authorities and consider approaches being applied on campuses across the country. Our priority is the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We also wish to allow students to benefit and grow from our on-campus experience. We are considering a number of strategies to achieve both goals, including expanded student health services and adjustments to housing and dining.
What will happen if residential colleges like Oberlin are not permitted by the state or federal government to open on schedule in the fall?
We are considering a wide range of contingencies, including starting the fall semester late and using winter term and or part of the summer to make up for the delay. We understand that students are missing the experiences and growth that come from being on campus.
What steps is the college taking to address financial strains from COVID-19?
Colleges and universities across the country are addressing the challenges that COVID-19 has presented. Oberlin is evaluating options to adjust its budget to address any challenges that arise. This includes tightening spending and considering other potential savings. We do not anticipate impacts on academic offerings or campus services.
Do you foresee any long-term impacts on class offerings, faculty, or campus services?
Oberlin entered the COVID-19 pandemic having just completed a year-long Administrative and Academic Program Review (AAPR) that provided clear guidance for the direction of the college. The plan’s recommendations focus on enhancing student learning outcomes and supporting academic and artistic excellence, while developing a roadmap to financial resiliency. While the current climate no doubt adds challenges and uncertainty to what lies ahead, the AAPR provided the college with a strategic advantage when examining these difficult challenges. Read more information about these challenges.
Are you considering options that include a semester that begins remotely?
We are focusing on a semester start that includes having students on campus. Our students have communicated clearly the value they assign to the campus experience. We are doing all we can to provide that experience for our students this fall.
If part or all of the fall semester takes place online / away from campus, will there be a discount in tuition?
While we are focusing on a semester start that includes having students on campus, variables can change. This year, we assessed the situation after getting students home safely and came up with a solution designed to be as fair as possible to as many people as possible. If we are faced with similar circumstances, we would work hard to create as equitable a solution as possible for all involved.
If the fall semester begins remotely, may I take a gap year or delay entry to the spring semester?
Students interested in taking a gap year should submit a gap year request by June 1 after they have submitted a deposit. Students are typically considered for a full gap year, and the Admissions Committee has already received and approved requests as they come in for the typical gap year experience. In consideration of the Class of 2025, we may limit the number of gap year approvals.
Once plans have been solidified for next year, more information will be available regarding additional gap requests. Oberlin will work to accommodate both college and conservatory students who might not be able to make it to campus due to COVID-19 restrictions by granting a semester or year-long deferral.
Will financial aid packages be reconsidered in the case of unemployment due to the pandemic?
We realize that the pandemic may have impacted the financial realities of many families and that their financial picture may look different than at the time of application. Oberlin‘s policy is to meet 100% of a student's demonstrated financial need. If a family‘s situation has changed significantly, the student's financial aid package may be reviewed and could be adjusted to reflect changes in circumstances. Please reach out to the financial aid office so that we may address your specific questions.
What will happen with varsity athletics in the fall semester? Have decisions been made by any of your fellow conference members?
The department of athletics is working to develop scenarios for a coordinated and safe return to campus. Decisions will be made in unison with institutional choices and North Coast Athletic Conference determinations while meeting NCAA compliance requirements for participation.
Will Oberlin continue to accept AP/IB credits given the current disruptions to these programs?
Oberlin will continue to accept Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate results as determined by each academic department. The only change from past practices will be that Higher Level IB Computer Science results will not be accepted if a final test is not taken.
Is the deadline for medical forms/physical exams still June 15, or has it been moved due to Covid-19?
We understand that students may not be able to get appointments for physicals in time to meet the June 15 deadline due to Covid-19, and we will be flexible.