Frequently Asked Questions
Saint Michael’s College is committed to the health and wellbeing of our community and is closely monitoring the ongoing developments related to COVID-19 (coronavirus). We will continue to update the community regularly to keep you informed of additional measures. These questions are being updated regularly and we will continue to post updates to answers as they become available.
Last updated July 6, 2020
When the Fall 2020 semester start?
- Classes will start on August 31.
- Move-in will require certain students to quarantine up to two weeks before arriving, or to quarantine on campus. Please check the Information for Students page which can be found from the Return to Campus page.
First day of classes: Monday, August 31
Last day of on-campus instruction: Tuesday, November 24
Students return home
Thanksgiving Holiday: November 25-29
Instruction resumes remotely: November 30-December 11
Final exams administered remotely: December 14-18
Spring semester start: TBD
Note: The traditional October break will be replaced by two mid-week no class respite days with fun and relaxing activities during the fall semester.
Detailed Move-In information can be found on the Information for Students page
If students would like to come to campus for the earlier move-in as part of the quarantine cohort, can they?
We will work with students who have specific situations that would necessitate moving in earlier (August 15) on a case-by-case basis, even though they do not meet the criteria defined in our quarantine cohort move-in protocols. In the event that requests for beds from those who qualify for quarantine housing remain low, we will work with students who fall outside of the quarantine cohort guidelines. The number of students we can house early on campus is limited, so we ask that only students with serious concerns make this request using the Planning to Quarantine on Campus form.
Are parents/family members allowed to move their student in and help them set up their room?
We recommend one family member, but no more than two, may accompany students to campus on 8/29 for new students and 8/30 for returning students. Family member(s) must meet the State’s guidelines for travel, wear a mask and socially distance if they come to help their student move in/set up their room. Family members will be asked to depart campus by the end of their respective dates.
Is the College closed due to COVID-19?
- The Saint Michael’s campus remains open. In order to facilitate social distancing and protect the community, some of our offices and services are operating differently. Below is a list of how different offices are prepared to serve the needs of students, faculty, staff and the greater community:
- Student Financial Services – The Student Financial Services team is working remotely, so while unavailable by phone or in person, we are always committed to serving you. Be assured that we are actively monitoring email. Please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Campus Store (Bookstore) – The store is currently closed for the summer. If you have specific questions you can contact the Campus Store at SMCBookstore@smcvt.edu.
- Farm – The farm is minimally operational under reduced staffing to continue preparations for the growing season and the Fall semester. Like all farms in VT, they have evolved their food safety protocol with enhanced sanitization, health, hygiene and precautionary measures. It can be found here.
Updated on 7/10/20
Will students be able to fulfill their required courses and maintain their progress to graduation?
- Yes. All courses, including labs and internships are being modified to adhere to guidelines and ensure that students can continue on their path toward graduation. Some will continue to be in-person, others virtual, and others a hybrid of the two.
Will tutoring services be available during this time?
- Tutoring Services are available to students. See below for options:
- Research Assistance – Reference Librarian – Email the reference librarians at email@example.com or call 802.654.2405 (you can leave a voicemail). You can also schedule a research appointment with a subject librarian for a remote consultation via phone, email, or video conferencing.
- Accessibility Services – If you are a student with a documented learning difference/hindrance and require accommodations, please contact Toni Messuri or Leslie Turner in the Office of Accessibility Services. Appointments can still be scheduled with Toni, available through Zoom.
- Academic Support – Some attached tutors and writing coaches are available remotely. Check for availability and sign up (as usual) through TutorTrac. We will follow up through email with instructions on how to connect remotely. If you have a current 1:1 tutoring match, this most likely will be able to continue. New 1:1 tutor matches are difficult to make at this time. Questions? Contact Ciaran Gilmore. If you find yourself falling behind or trying to find a routine that works, time management sessions with Heidi St. Peter are available through Zoom as well.
- Office of the Associate Dean – Tim Mackin and Kimoi Seale are available to discuss academic concerns and difficulty. Appointments can be made with them by emailing Jane Viens.
- Saint Michael’s Technology Help – Contact Information: 802.654.2020 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Where are the resources for faculty for online learning?:
- Resources for this can be found at https://smcvt.teamdynamix.com/TDClient/1996/Portal/KB/?CategoryID=17445
If hear of someone on campus who has tested positive for COVID-19. Am I at risk to get it?
- Don’t panic. If someone has tested positive and let their supervisor know, they’ve already been asked to stay home and recover. Know that both the health experts on campus and the Vermont Department of Health have been in touch with the individual and are reaching out to any possible contacts they may have had when they were on campus. If you have not been contacted, consider yourself at low risk. Remember that if you are in contact with another individual who may have been in contact with someone with COVID, you are not considered a contact or someone at risk.
I just got a call and was told I am a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. What do I do?
- If you have been contacted by either your supervisor, human resources or the Department of Health, you may have had direct contact with an infected individual. You will be asked to stay home for 14 days since your last interaction with that individual. During that time, you may be asked to monitor your temperature and any other symptoms of COVID-19, such as cough/shortness of breath, GI upset or a loss of taste or smell, or body aches. If you do develop symptoms, call your doctor or healthcare provider immediately for further guidance.
How do I keep myself healthy and minimize my risk for getting COVID-19?
- Continue to practice all of the same recommended health and safety measures. These include working alone or from home if at all possible. If you absolutely need to come to work, do your work in private spaces or at least 6 feet from others. Visit or check in with your colleagues over ZOOM or by a phone call; not in person! Wear cloth masks when you do need to interact with others. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face. And, of course, stay home if you feel ill. The CDC’s coronavirus website provides additional information and the latest recommendations: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Should I wear a mask on campus?
- In order to comply with current state and federal guidelines related to COVID-19 and to keep both our community safe and be good citizens, Saint Michael’s College is instituting the following policy. We ask that ALL members of the Saint Michael’s College community wear a cloth mask to cover your mouth and nose when entering and doing work in campus buildings and around others. Since COVID-19 may be transmitted by someone who does not have symptoms, a mask helps you protect others. Students alone in their residence/room, or employees in their own offices, please use your judgement whether to wear a mask or not in those spaces. If you work in shared offices, where others may also be working or using equipment or facilities in the area (photocopiers, restrooms, etc.), you should wear a cloth mask.
- PLEASE do not use N95 masks that are greatly needed by our healthcare community and continue to practice social distancing.
- If you do not have access to a cloth mask, students can find masks available in a basket outside of Student Life in Alliot Hall until supplies run out, and employees may contact Public Safety (802.654.2374 or OfficeofPublicSafety@smcvt.edu). There are a limited number of masks available, so request one only if you otherwise cannot obtain one.
- CDC information on using and maintaining cloth face masks – https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/COVID-19-VDH-mask-guidance.pdf
What if I’m unable to work because of COVID-19?
- For regular, benefits eligible employees that are unable to work due to a COVID-19 related reason, you will be expected to use accrued, unused PTO, grandfathered vacation or grandfathered sick leave for the hours you are unable to work. If you do not have a sufficient PTO, vacation or sick balance to cover the time that you are out due to a COVID-19 related reason, we are expanding the typical use of Donated PTO time beyond FMLA eligible leaves and will grant up to 80 hours of Donated PTO time. PTO will continue to accrue when using Donated PTO time. If you would have been working an agreed upon reduced schedule, you will only be responsible to cover the days you would have been working with your own PTO. An employee who is sick or whose family members are sick may be entitled to leave under the FMLA under certain circumstances. This may include the flu where complications arise that create a “serious health condition” as defined by the FMLA. Please reach out to Kendra Smith with any questions.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
- The most commonly reported symptoms are fever, body aches, a cough and sometimes shortness of breath.
What should I do if I am staying on campus and I have these symptoms?
- Stay in your room and call the Bergeron Wellness Center for advice. The number is 802.654.2234. If BWC is closed, you can call the Vermont Department of Health at 802.863.7240. You will be able to speak with a Nurse Practitioner or another health care provider and decide what the next steps are for assessing and caring for your illness.
What happens if I do get tested for COVID-19?
- Once tested, ALL patients are treated as if they are positive for the virus until we have a definite answer otherwise. It can take 1-4 days to get the result. During that time, we will ask that you return to a private room with your own private bathroom on campus. You may already have this, but if you do not we will find one for you. This is done to ensure that you get the best opportunity to heal while keeping others around you safe and healthy.
How will I let others know how I’m doing? How will I get food and other supplies?
- Your Nurse Practitioner on campus will set up a plan with you which will include recommendations on getting better and caring for your symptoms. You will have deliveries of medicine that may be helpful as well as food and drinks. Every day, several people will be checking in with you via phone or ZOOM – those may be providers from the Department of Health, Residential Life and the Bergeron Wellness Center. If you feel worse, we want to know about it so we can provide next steps with regard to your care.
How long do I need to stay in my private room?
- If your test is NEGATIVE (or normal), you no longer have to remain in the private room setting. But we do ask that you continue the universally recommended practice of social distancing.
- If your test is POSITIVE (meaning you have COVID-19), the Vermont Department of Health asks that you remain in your private setting for 14 days from the beginning of your illness. The Department of Health will also work with you to identify possible contacts and who else should be watching for symptoms.
Can I go to my home/permanent residence to recover?
- You will only be able to travel by personal vehicle and only if you feel well enough to do so. We will give you a mask when you travel so you don’t infect others. You will not be able to take public transportation of any kind. We also ask that you avoid going home if there are medically frail or compromised individuals in your home.
Can I have visitors?
- We ask that you do not allow any visitors unless it’s medical personnel with proper protective equipment. We all need to prevent the spread of this virus to the rest of the community.
What are essential numbers to know?
- Bergeron Wellness Center: 802.654.2234
- Vermont Department of Health: 802.863.7240
- Emergency: 911
General Health Questions
How can I protect myself and others?
- You can reduce the risk of spreading coronaviruse by taking the same steps as you would to prevent infection from the flu and the common cold:
- Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for a least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer, with 60-95% alcohol if water is not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and immediately dispose of the used tissue.
How will I be notified if there is a positive case on campus?
- The Vermont Department of Health does an excellent job tracing any and all possible contacts of an individual who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. They will only start this process once it is confirmed that the person has it. NOTE: we require persons who are awaiting test results to stay in a private room with a private bathroom while they are awaiting results of their testing. That does not confirm that they are necessarily positive.
Once the Department of Health notifies the college that there is a positive case on campus, we will send out a timely notification. This is not meant to make others worry, but to remain transparent and remind you to practice good social distancing and self-care. If there is a possibility that you have had contact with this individual, the Department of Health will notify you individually and swiftly. As always, you can direct questions around this practice to 2-1-1 or 802.863.7240 (numbers for Vermont Department of Health).
I’m feeling anxious. Who can I talk to?
- If a student is feeling anxious, they should check in with themselves to see what might be driving the anxiety. For some people, getting more and accurate information can be helpful. For others, their anxiety may be being driven by an information overload, in which case we recommend reducing access to media and social media to help calm the mind and body. Taking some deep breaths, getting outside for some fresh air, or talking to a friend may help.
- The Bergeron Wellness Center continue to remain fully committed to supporting the mental health of our community and will be here for you, regardless of what is happening with COVID-19. Bergeron counseling staff will be available during normal business hours, Monday – Friday, 8:30 – 4:30. However, all counseling services will be conducted via phone or Zoom, rather than in person – so call in rather than walk in appointments will be available.To make a time to speak with a counselor, call Heidi at 802-654-2234 or email Hbrodtman@smcvt.edu between the hours of 8:30 – 4:30 and she will schedule a time for you.Follow us on Instagram @bergeroncounseling for regular inspiration, online classes/groups, updates, and suggestions that support your mental health. And, of course, if you have an urgent mental health need, call Ulifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, your local crisis services, or 911.We look forward to supporting you as we all navigate this interesting and challenging time in our history. Please be in touch as needed.
- For more resources, download Finding Balance with tips for the counseling staff on dealing COVID-19.
Residential Life and Dining Services are working on their plans for welcoming students back to campus safely. We will be communicating those plans shortly and updating this FAQ.
Will students be able to leave campus?
- Yes. While we ask that students avoid places where there are crowds and do not venture far from campus, students will be able to go shopping for necessities, explore downtown Burlington, go on the bike path, and hike the Green Mountains. Students must follow all health and safety guidelines required by the State and those posted in areas they visit, such as wearing facial coverings and maintaining physical distance from others. Vermont has been fortunate to have few cases and as a result, we have some additional freedoms. Should that change and cases in the area increase, the College may require students to stay on campus and only leave campus for necessities.
Will students be able to have visitors?
- As stated in the Community Commitment, visitors and guests are not going to be permitted during the fall semester.
Are students who commute to campus subject to the same testing and health protocols?
- Yes. All students will be subject to the testing and health protocols.
If I don’t return to campus, will I receive a refund for my room and board?
The crisis has caused unanticipated financial strain on families as well as on colleges and universities across the country. In our decision-making, our priority is to be transparent in our policies and to place the financial impact of these circumstances on the College, rather than on students and their families.
- If you did not graduate this May, you have been issued a credit on your student account. The credit was applied first to any outstanding charges, and the remainder will carry over to your next term of attendance. Fall 2020 billing is expected to be released no later than July 20.
- If you have graduated, your credit was applied first to any outstanding charges, and the remainder issued as a refund check during the week of July 6.
- The amount of your refund/credit reflects a proration of charges from the end of Spring Break, through the end of the spring semester, with four days subtracted for the Easter holiday.
- The amount will be based on the rate you paid for your residence hall and meal plan.
- The policies above apply to students who left campus this spring semester due to the coronavirus pandemic. Students who were permitted to remain on campus will not receive a refund or credit.
- There are no additional refunds for smaller fees, like printing or parking, planned at this time. For students experiencing financial hardship, or loss of employment in their families, we encourage you to contact Student Financial Services at FinAid@smcvt.edu.
Can I donate my refund/credit back to the College?
- Understanding the financial impact this crisis has had on colleges and universities, some families have offered to donate their refund back to Saint Michael’s. We are grateful for their generosity. If you have questions or are interested in such an option, please contact Vice President for Institutional Advancement Krystyna Davenport Brown at email@example.com or by phone at (802) 654-2558.
- Unfortunately, we don’t have the ability to bill insurance companies directly. We can provide families with evidence of the payment and what it was for so that they can seek reimbursement from their insurance company. However, our understanding is that most insurance companies will not reimburse for asymptomatic testing, which is what we will be doing in nearly all cases. The $150 fee for surveillance testing covers only the lab fee for a number of tests over the span of the semester. It does not cover the administering of the tests, which is a cost born by the College. Should a student require the College to administer additional tests over the course of the semester, the College will cover those lab fees as well. We know that this is a particularly difficult time financially for many families and we wish we did not have to charge any fee.
Updated July 29, 2020
Are room and board charges being modified in any way due to the changes in the start and end of the semester?
- Because students’ arrival date is dictated by our quarantine policy, we are charging standard rates for all students, including those who are arriving early to quarantine on campus. Our room and board fees are intended to cover the published academic calendar, regardless of move-in date. If the College were to close the campus unexpectedly, before Thanksgiving, we would provide pro-rated room and board credits as we did in the spring.
What is the CARES Act?
- The federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act is intended to help students by providing emergency grants for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. The funds are for students – to help with eligible expenses related to the cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.
How much funding was allocated to Saint Michael’s College?
- Allocation of the federal CARES Act funding to higher education institutions was based on total enrollment and the ratio of Federal Pell Grant recipients to total enrollment. Saint Michael’s College has signed and returned the Certification and Agreement form to receive our federal allocation of $593,400.
Am I eligible?
- We anticipate there are approximately 1100 Saint Michael’s College students eligible to receive these funds according to government guidelines. Your eligibility will be determined solely based on the results of your 2019-2020 FAFSA and the criteria below. If you have filed a FAFSA, no additional application is required. If you have not filed a FAFSA, but wish to be considered for CARES funds, you must file a 2019-2020 FAFSA as soon as possible. We will continue to offer funds until fully expended.
- CARES relief funds are not financial aid and acceptance of other federal, state, or institutional funds is not required in order to receive CARES relief funds. To be eligible to receive the funds, you must have incurred expenses directly related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. You must also meet all federal student financial aid criteria, as determined through the FAFSA, including the following:
- Be enrolled in a degree or certificate program in the Spring 2020 term, at the time of the campus closing.
- Have Selective Service registration verified.
- Have Social Security Number verified.
- Be making satisfactory academic progress, according to SMC’s policy.
- Not owe an overpayment on federal student aid.
- Not be in default on a federal student loan.
- Be A U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident, or other eligible noncitizen.
- Have returned fraudulently obtained federal student aid if convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to charges.
- Not have fraudulently received federal student loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits.
- Have repaid federal student loan amounts in excess of annual or aggregate limits if obtained inadvertently.
- Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale.
How much will eligible students receive?
- We are now putting the processes in place to distribute the funds according to federal guidelines and mandates.
- Colleges and universities have been encouraged by the federal government to prioritize students with the greatest need. To adhere to that guidance, Saint Michael’s College will distribute the funds to eligible students as outlined below:
- Amounts will be based on a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC), as reported on the FAFSA.
- Students with an EFC under $10,000: $450-$850
- Students with an EFC of $10,000 to 25,000: $300-$450
- Students with an EFC greater than $25,000: $0-$300
What steps do I need to take to receive my allocated funds?
- Confirm your permanent address right away. The funds will be sent to the permanent address we have on file for you.
- Please check the address we have on file in KnightVision. Just go to WebAdvisor for Students, then click on “Academic Profile”, then “My Profile”.
- If your permanent address has changed, please submit the online Request for Change of Address form.
- If you are living on campus when the funds disburse, they will be sent to you on campus. There is no need to change your address.
- If you filed a 2019-2020 FAFSA, you do not need to submit a new application. You will be considered automatically for the CARES funds.
When will I receive my CARES Act funds?
- No CARES Act funds have yet been distributed to students. Disbursements will begin during the week of July 27.
- Upon receiving a disbursement, you will be required to attest that you have incurred expenses related to education disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
My family’s financial situation has changed, and I’m concerned about paying my tuition. Can the CARES Act help?
- The CARES Act funds are a federal government grant, intended to help with the immediate impact of disruption of campus operations (e.g.: extra trip to campus, upgrading wifi at home to take online classes, etc.). This money is separate from your Saint Michael’s College financial aid. Regardless of your eligibility for the CARES Act, if you are struggling with your upcoming tuition, or an outstanding bill, please reach out to our Student Financial Services team at FinAid@smcvt.edu.
If I do not qualify for financial aid, can I still qualify for CARES Act funds?
- If you incurred unexpected expenses due to disruption of campus operations, you may be eligible for CARES Act funds. You will still need to complete a 2019-2020 FAFSA. By doing so you are indicating that you believe you are eligible for a disbursement due to immediate impact of disruption of campus operations (e.g.: extra trip to campus, upgraded wifi at home to take online classes, etc.).
Who can I contact if I have additional questions?
- Please send CARES Act questions to our designated inbox: SMCares@smcvt.edu.
- The CARES Act funds are a federal government grant and are separate from your Saint Michael’s College financial aid. Regardless of your eligibility for the CARES Act, if you are struggling with your upcoming tuition, or an outstanding bill, please reach out to our Student Financial Services team at FinAid@smcvt.edu.
What is the status of varsity athletics for the fall?
- We are working on plans for a safe return to athletic activity, particularly for our fall sports, but we need to wait for final guidance from the State of Vermont, NCAA Division II, and the Northeast-10 Conference. We will provide updates when we have more information and direction.
Will Fitness facilities be available on campus during this time?
- All the athletic facilities, indoor and outdoor, are closed for all fitness and recreational activity until further notice.
Visas and Immigration
Can I get my I-20 electronically?
- The US government has authorized institutions to send I-20s in electronic format. We have begun issuing I-20s for Fall 2020 and will work with each student individually to make sure they are able to receive them.
Will my visa status be affected by taking online courses?
- No. The Department of Homeland Security has issued guidance so that students with F1 and M1 visas may remain in the United States and take online courses during the Coronavirus crisis without violating their visa status. All students must attend their online courses to remain in status. This includes international students who have returned home.
What if the embassies aren’t offering visa appointments?
- Some embassies are opening and we continue to monitor the situation. New students who are unable to get a student visa before the fall semester will not be able to attend courses on campus because they cannot enter the US. We will work with students to discuss options to either take fall semester courses online or defer to a future semester.
What if I can’t travel in time for the fall semester?
- If an international student cannot travel to campus (because of travel restrictions or visa delays), we will work with each individual to find a satisfactory solution. Options may include deferring arrival for a semester or taking online courses. Admitted international students may defer to Spring 2021 by contacting us. You will not need to reapply, and your international scholarship award will remain the same.
What if the campus closes mid-semester this fall and classes are all moved online?
- If the campus closes and classes are moved entirely online, we would work with students individually to discuss options. Current US regulations state that students on an F-1 visa may remain in the country.
For more information:
Incoming international students should contact Lisa Lagerquist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current and returning international students should contact Melissa Holzman at email@example.com.
How do I connect with my Admission Counselor?
- We may not be able to connect in person, but we CAN connect virtually! You can get to know your biggest on-campus advocate, your admission counselor, when you sign up for a one-on-one video or chat conversation. You can also choose to attend one of our Workshop Wednesdays for advice from members of the Admission team on specific topics like how to pay for college or how to write a great essay.
The SATs and ACTs are not available in my area. What should I do?
- Saint Michael’s College has a test optional policy. If you don’t have access to a testing site, you will not be at a disadvantage in our admission process, and you still qualify for merit scholarships. If you take the test at a later date and would like to add those scores, you will be able to do so.
Can I come to Saint Michael’s for a campus tour?
- Right now, our traditional campus tours are not available, but check back soon! In the meantime, our tour guides still wanted to share Saint Michael’s with you, so they came together (physically distanced, of course) to create a new virtual tour for you.
- Even though our traditional summer events aren’t happening, there is a full lineup of activities created just for prospective students, just for this summer.
How can I receive the Campus Visit Grant if I can’t visit in person?
- If you take advantage of one of our summer online opportunities, you will receive a 20% discount at the campus store. If you participate in two events, we will waive your application fee. Once you have taken advantage of three of our online events, you will be awarded the campus visit grant, even if you are unable to visit in person.
Are there Open House events scheduled?
- Yes! We are hosting live online events on July 16th, July 30th, and August 6th. Each day has a different theme, so we hope you’ll “attend” more than one!
I’m coming to campus as a vendor, speaker, or other guest on campus. What policies are in place for visitors?
- Visitors to campus (speakers, guests, contracted employees, vendors, etc.) must adhere to the same health/safety policies as employees, including those regarding facial coverings, physical distancing, and quarantining upon arrival. Please consult the Vermont ACCD website before making your travel plans.
Is Mass being held in the Chapel?
Mass is now being celebrated on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. in the College Chapel. All Daily Masses are still suspended at this time.
The obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains lifted in the Diocese of Burlington until further notice, especially if you are part of a vulnerable population and/or have an underlying health condition.
Please approach the celebration of Mass with charity and love for our clergy and faith community by following the protocols:
- Stay home if you are sick or not feeling well.
- Wear a mask in Mass.
- Sanitize your hands upon entry. Due to shortages of sanitizer, please bring your own if possible.
- Sit in designated pews and respect social distance between others of 6 feet or more unless you are one family unit.
- Refrain from congregating in tight areas or entering cordoned off areas.
- Follow the protocols to receive Holy Communion as directed at Mass. Holy Communion will only be given in the hand.
Let us continue to pray for those who are suffering extreme hardship, for those who are ill and for those who died as a result of this illness.
Rev. Brian Cummings, S.S.E.