Sent Nov. 2, 2020 to students, faculty and staff

Dear students, faculty and staff, 

I write to you today with an important update regarding our plan for opening this spring. The global pandemic continues to wreak havoc across our country and around the globe, and little has improved since this summer and fall—indeed, in some areas the impact has worsened. Together with senior staff, deans, faculty and staff councils, the crisis management team and trustees, we have continually evaluated and re-evaluated our position as an arts university in the heart of a major city and how we will continue our work. 

Though it is not the conclusion any of us hoped to draw, it remains clear that there is no way to host a sustained in-person semester that maintains the quality of the educational experience without compromising our values and our number one priority: the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. 

With this in mind and together with all members of President’s Council (senior staff and every dean), the Board of Trustees and with overwhelming support among faculty members, University of the Arts will remain remote for the spring 2021 semester, with all courses beginning as scheduled on Monday, January 25. 

This decision has not been made lightly and is not what any of us aspire to or hope for. Above all, we as a community believe we must always return to our core values. As I stated in March, our mission of advancing human creativity can only be pursued when our community of students, faculty and staff are healthy, safe and thriving. To jeopardize the physical wellbeing of our UArts and broader community is a risk University of the Arts will not take. For spring 2021, we will continue to move forward as a creative community bound not by a physical campus but by a shared value. We know a number of questions may arise from this decision, and with this in mind, we have identified a few important updates. 

  • School- & Program-specific Updates & Events: Each school will be communicating with their students on what to expect from their programs this spring. Please watch your email for more information. 
  • Spring Semester Dates: All courses will begin as scheduled on Monday, January 25. The academic calendar for the spring semester remains unchanged. 
  • Commencement: No decision has been made yet regarding Commencement. Our intention is to host an in-person Commencement celebration. Final determinations will be made closer to that time and based on the advisement and regulations of local, state and national authorities.
  • Residence Halls: Residence halls and all dining facilities will remain closed for the duration of the semester. 
  • Campus Buildings: All campus buildings will remain closed, and in most instances, students, faculty and staff will not be permitted to enter. 

Looking ahead, please know planning continues. We remain committed and are already hard at work to devise a plan for UArts to resume some limited in-person engagement this spring. Updates will be made frequently, and we encourage all students, faculty and staff to check their emails regularly as well as bookmark uarts.edu/covid19. Families are encouraged to register for the Generations newsletter to receive public updates.

Best wishes,
David

 

 

Remote Learning Resources


Remote Learning Resources for Students 


Remote Resources for Faculty/Staff 

 

UArts Contact Information

For academic questions: Office of the Provost: provost@uarts.edu
For financial aid questions: Student Financial Services: finaid@uarts.edu 
For health-related questions: Student Health Services: healthservices@uarts.edu 
For housing-related questions: Office of Residence Life & Conduct: reslife@uarts.edu
For international student questions: Office of Student Affairs: studentaffairs@uarts.edu
For any other student life questions: Office of Student Affairs: studentaffairs@uarts.edu 
 

For information about COVID-19

Visit the CDC’s COVID-19 online hub. 

Visit the CDC’s FAQ. 

The CDC has also issued a series of anti-stigma guidelines.

UArts’ Response to Coronavirus FAQs

General FAQ

FAQ: Residential Students

FAQ: Counseling

FAQ: Academic Support Services

FAQ: Health Services

FAQ: Prospective and Admitted Students and Families

 

Remote Learning Resources

Remote Learning Resources for Students

Remote Resources for Faculty/Staff 


Questions?
For academic questions: Office of the Provost: provost@uarts.edu
For financial aid questions: Student Financial Services: finaid@uarts.edu 
For health-related questions: Student Health Services: healthservices@uarts.edu 
For housing-related questions: Office of Residence Life & Conduct: reslife@uarts.edu
For international student questions: Office of Student Affairs: studentaffairs@uarts.edu
For any other student life questions: Office of Student Affairs: studentaffairs@uarts.edu 

HEERF CARES Act Emergency Student Grant FAQ

What is the HEERF CARES Act Emergency Student Grant?
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) is part of the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It provides emergency grants from the U.S. Department of Education to eligible students to help cover education-related expenses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act directs recipients to use the funds they receive for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations resulting from the coronavirus. These include expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare and  childcare.

Who is eligible to receive CARES Act emergency student grants?
The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges and universities to confirm that students receiving CARES Act emergency grants meet basic eligibility for federal Title IV financial aid. These eligibility criteria include having a demonstrated financial need certified by 

  • the family-income information provided on the student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); 
  • being a U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident or other eligible noncitizen; and 
  • being enrolled in a degree or certificate program and making satisfactory academic progress. 

For a complete list of federal student aid requirements, visit the Department of Education’s Student Financial Aid Eligibility Criteria page.

Is there an application process?
No. Eligible students will receive an email notifying them that they might meet the emergency grant criteria based on their FAFSA and academic information. Once students respond and confirm their status, their grants will be sent to them by check.

How much money is UArts receiving for student emergency grants, and how many students qualify?
UArts’ total allocation from the program is $912,833. Approximately 825 undergraduate students are potentially eligible to receive grants.

How did UArts determine the amount students will receive?
The University used a number of factors in calculating individual grant amounts. These factors centered on financial need based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculation that active students reported in their FAFSA filings.  

When will qualifying students be notified of their selection status and the amount of their grants?
Qualifying students who filed a FAFSA for the 2019–2020 academic year will be notified of their status  beginning July 13. 

How can students view their CARES Act grant status and amount?
Each qualifying student’s information can be found in their Student Self Service Account.

How will students receive their grants?
Eligible students will receive an email from the Office of Student Financial Services asking for confirmation of their billing address. Once that confirmation is received, checks will be mailed to confirmed billing addresses.

Are international or undocumented students eligible to receive funds from the CARES Act Federal Emergency Grant?
Unfortunately, the CARES Act is restricted to U.S. citizens or nationals, permanent residents or other noncitizens who are eligible for federal student financial aid. But UArts students who do not qualify might be eligible to receive assistance from the UArts Cares program and can also contact Student Financial Services to see what other assistance might be available.

Will receiving a grant through the HEERF CARES Act Student Emergency Grant affect a student’s regular financial aid?
No. Recipients of a HEERF Cares Act Student Emergency Grant will see no impact on the calculation of their full financial aid. Students may receive this grant in addition to other aid awarded.

Are CARES Act Emergency Student Grants taxable?
No. The grants are not included in gross taxable income. 

Can CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief funds be used to pay a student’s outstanding balance?
No, the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund grants are intended to go to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus pandemic, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare and childcare expenses. The disbursement of the emergency student grant must remain unencumbered by the college; debts, charges, fees or other amounts owed to the college may not be deducted from the emergency financial aid grant.

Can students appeal decisions regarding their eligibility or the amount of their grant?
Student eligibility for a CARES Act grant is determined by rules set by the federal Department of Education. Grant amounts are calculated based on the allocation received by the University and the individual criteria described above. There is no process for appeal. However, students can contact the Office of Student Financial Services to find out if they are eligible for other assistance.

If a student receives a CARES Act Emergency Grant and subsequently withdraws from the fall semester, will they have to return the grant?
No. The CARES Act Emergency Grant funding is meant to provide one-time relief to mitigate the disruption caused by COVID-19. Under no circumstance will recipients of this grant have to return any portion of the funds.

I am a student who received an emergency financial aid grant under section 3504, 18004 or 18008 of the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. Do I need to include that amount as a part of my gross income?
No. Emergency financial aid grants under the CARES Act for unexpected expenses, unmet financial need or expenses related to the disruption of campus operations on account of the COVID-19 pandemic—such as unexpected expenses for food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare or childcare—are qualified disaster relief payments under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. This grant is not includible in your gross income.

Learn more about HEERF. 

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) CARES Act

University of the Arts has applied for and has received funding through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) as part of the CARES Act from the U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $1,825,665, with $912,833 to be directly disbursed to eligible students who experienced financial hardships due to the impact of the disruption of classes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The University determined student eligibility based on the data reported in the results of the student aid report, produced by students who completed the 2019–2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Grant award amounts are determined based on the students EFC (Expected Family Contribution), with higher need students receiving the greatest award. 

Students who were determined eligible were sent a financial impact survey verifying that they experienced a financial impact. Once the survey is completed, the University will process the predetermined grant award or the lesser amount that the student identified as a financial impact and will send grant payment to the student at the address provided in the survey.

The estimated number of students determined eligible to receive funding under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 846 with the following grant awards processed.

July 21, 2020 – 257 students received a total grant award of $289,320  

July 28, 2020 – 166 students received a total grant award of $181,600  

Aug. 8, 2020 – 134 students received a total grant award of $101,550

Aug. 18, 2020 – 16 students received a total grant award of $16,175

Sept. 1, 2020 – 11 students received a total grant award of $11,650

Oct. 10, 2020 – 43 students received a total grant award of $31,300

Nov. 5, 2020 – 6 students received a total grant award of $5,720

CARES Act (HEERF) Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting