Please view the updates below on various topics related to online instruction, fall enrollment and the remote work initiative.
- Health and Safety
- Summer 2020
- Emergency Assistance and CARES Act
- Financial Aid
- Online Instruction
- Residence Life
- Campus Facilities & Resources
- International Student Services
- Jobs and Internships
Faculty and Staff
Health and Safety
Have you tested positive for COVID-19?
We want to support you, particularly while you are self-isolating. If you have tested positive, been in direct contact with someone who has coronavirus, or are a person under investigation (PUI) for having coronavirus, please inform the university by completing this form. You may also contact the Dean of Students Office at 512-448-8408 during business hours or contact the University Police Department at 512-448-8444 after hours. UPD will get you in touch with the personnel from the Dean of Students Office.
Can student interns still choose the Pass/No Pass option this summer?
At this time, there are no plans to extend the temporarily expanded "Pass/No Pass" policy into the summer semester. However, the deans, faculty and provost will continue to monitor progress in remote instruction courses and update academic policies as necessary.
Advising and Registration
Success coaches and primary advisors will advise remotely, using Zoom, phone, or email. Students should contact their success coach or primary advisor remotely to review courses and receive their PIN. Students should follow these important steps to be ready for summer and fall classes.
Academic Support Services
Supporting student success is our top priority, and even more so as we adapt to remote learning. Our Academic Support Services for students are in full swing with phone, email and online options for one-on-one guidance and help. See how students can connect with academic advising, financial aid counseling, career services, the Munday Library, and other personal support.
Emergency Assistance and CARES Act
St. Edward’s University wants to provide economic relief to students who are experiencing financial concerns due to COVID-19. We provide funding through a myriad of resources (Institution, Federal and State). Students can submit a request for emergency assistance here.
What is the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund and sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.
When will the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds be available?
St. Edward’s University has applied for funding from the federal CARES Act and received a portion of our funding from the U.S. Department of Education on May 7, 2020. We have already started to distribute Hilltopper Stabilization Grant funds to students based on their request for emergency assistance.
Who is eligible for the CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds?
Students who meet basic eligibility criteria for federal financial aid can be considered for these funds. Student Financial Services will use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data to determine your eligibility. If you are eligible to file a FAFSA but have not yet filed for 2019-20 and 2020-21 and need assistance, please file a FAFSA at studentaid.gov.
Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, these funds can be awarded to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students pursuing degree programs and enrolled at St. Edward's University.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education does not allow these funds to be used for international students, undocumented students, non-matriculated students or students enrolled in distance-only degree programs. If you are a student from one of these groups, there are other types of emergency aid from St. Edward's University available. Please see the questions below for details on applying for these emergency aid programs.
How do I apply for CARES/Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds?
St. Edward’s University wants to provide economic relief quickly to students who may have experienced additional expenses and/or a loss of income in spring semester due to COVID-19.
These funds are intended to help students pay for technology, health care, childcare, course materials, rent, food, moving or other expenses incurred this semester. These funds are also earmarked to help with unanticipated expenses or income loss that may have occurred spring semester or may occur in the summer or fall. In other words, if you experience financial stress due to COVID-19 now or in the fall, these funds can help with unanticipated expenses.
We encourage you to submit a request for emergency assistance.
How long will it take before I know the status of my application?
The university is committed to quickly reviewing your application. Every effort will be made to respond within a week regarding the status of your request. You will receive notification via your St. Edward’s e-mail address.
Is there a maximum amount?
Please apply for what you need to meet the expenses of your hardship. Because there are multiple sources of funds, we will analyze the best way in which to assist you. We cannot guarantee that we can meet your full request.
How will I receive emergency funds?
If you receive emergency funds through the CARES Act or the Hilltoppers Overcoming Obstacles Fund (HOOF), the funds will be applied to your student account. It will NOT be applied to any outstanding bill. It will be deposited directly into your personal account at your designated financial institution. The funds may take three to five business days provided you have completed the E-Refund Authorization in the Billing Center (Direct Deposit information) myHilltop portal.
What emergency relief funds are available for undocumented students?
St. Edward's University cares about all students. Unfortunately, under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, undocumented students are not eligible for the federal CARES funds. However, students who may have experienced additional expenses and/or a loss of income in spring semester due to COVID-19 are encouraged to submit a request for emergency assistance.
What emergency relief funds are available for international students?
St. Edward's University cares about all students. Unfortunately, under U.S. Department of Education rules, international students are not eligible for the federal CARES funds. Nevertheless, students who may have experienced additional expenses and/or a loss of income in spring semester due to COVID-19 are encouraged to submit a request for emergency assistance.
Will there be CARES funds for next year, 2020-21?
St. Edward's first priority is to assist students who have experienced a financial hardship for the spring term or anticipate a hardship for enrollment in Summer 2020 as a result of a disruption in campus activities due to COVID-19.
We will continue to allocate emergency assistance on a case-by-case basis through the emergency assistance application.
We will decide later this summer about remaining CARES funds we can use to support students in 2020-21. We will update these FAQs as we make decisions on the use of these funds.
We encourage all students with financial concerns to contact their Student Financial Services Counselor. Our counseling staff is currently working remotely and would be glad to set up a chat, zoom, or call.
How can I contact my Student Financial Services Counselor?
Our counseling staff is currently working remotely. Your questions and concerns are important to us. Our staff is monitoring email daily and retrieving all voicemail messages. An advisor can set up a meeting, chat or call.
How do I turn in financial aid paperwork?
At this time, we cannot guarantee the receipt of documents sent through the mail and fax. Therefore, please upload documents directly using the Submit Financial Aid Paperwork task in myHilltop.
What if my family’s financial situation has changed as result of COVID-19 pandemic?
We understand the financial struggles this pandemic has brought on for many families and the situation is still very fluid. If you have any immediate questions or concerns please reach out to your Student Financial Services Counselor. Our appeals committee will review any documented changes in finances for families that have been affected by COVID-19. The Appeals Committee may postpone review until an appropriate amount of time has passed for certain circumstances. Please refer to the special circumstances section of our site for more information.
If you have additional questions about student loans and the coronavirus, please see the complete Financial Aid FAQs document here.
How do I get a refund deposited to my account?
You will need to make sure you have a bank account designated to receive refunds. In the Billing Center on myHilltop, go into the electronic refunds section, enter your bank information and specify that you are to receive refunds there.
Do I get a housing credit?
All students who lived on campus in Spring 2020 received a prorated housing credit equal to 40 days of their charge. Credits were put on student accounts and used to pay any outstanding balance. Any remaining credit is being issued to the specified refund account.
I lived on campus, but I am not seeing a credit. Why?
Students who are storing items on campus will not have the refund issued until they are officially checked out.
Do I get a car permit refund?
All students with an annual or spring car permit received a prorated credit equal to forty days of their charge. Credits were put on student accounts and used to pay any outstanding balance. Any remaining credit is being issued to the specified refund account.
Do I get a meal plan refund?
Meal plans normally expire in June, however, due to the current situation, all meal plans will be rolled forward to the Fall term and will not expire until June 2021. For exchange students and students graduating in spring and summer: Refunds of meal plans and Topper Tender will be issued to your student account in the last term that you are here. If the student is graduating in spring, the credit will be issued in May. If the student is graduating in summer, the credit will be issued in August. Credits will be used to pay any outstanding balance, and any remaining amount will be issued to the specified refund account.
Do I get a tuition refund?
St. Edward’s is committed to providing the same level of education through online learning as we would in the classroom, and believe our faculty are able to meet that commitment. As such, no tuition refunds are being issued at this time.
To help set expectations for online learning, the university’s Office of Information Technology has created a guide for students, Taking an Online Course: A Guide for Students at St. Edward's. It includes minimum technology requirements, information about specialized software, and information about free and low-cost internet access.
Schedule— The schedule will remain the same unless the faculty member has made other arrangements, which would be shared directly from the faculty to the students in the course.
Books— Books rented from the bookstore for the semester are due May 8. Students may keep rented books until then, in order to continue using them for their online classes. Students can expect to get a text message and an email regarding returns four weeks prior to that date, and regular reminders thereafter. Those messages will contain instructions on return options which include curbside drop off for local students or an emailed prepaid shipping label.
Disability Services— You may reach out to the Student Disability Services office with any questions. Please know that accommodations will still apply during remote instruction. It may be useful to revisit accommodation letters with your faculty to discuss how implementation will be managed, i.e. extended testing time, recording lecture, and flexibility with attendance.
Access to Internet— In response to the spread of coronavirus, at least 185 service providers have signed on to the FCC's Keep Americans Connected pledge, offering services at free or reduced rates. Additionally, many of these providers have agreed not to disconnect service or charge late fees for customers unable to pay their bills through June 30.
Check with providers in your area for current offers, but here are a few notable agreements:
- AT&T: open hot spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans for low-income families.
- Charter/Spectrum: free broadband and Wi-Fi service for households with college or K-12 students through June 30.
- Comcast: 60 days of free Wi-Fi for low-income families, as well as university students. All Xfinity hot spots are free to the public through June 30.
- Sprint: unlimited data to existing customers for 60 days.
- T-Mobile: unlimited data to existing customers through June 30. All handsets will be allowed to enable hot spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
- Verizon: additional mobile hot spot data and waived late fees. Verizon will not cut off service to customers who can't pay bills because of outbreak conditions
Canvas, Zoom and most other university-supported tools have mobile apps you can download to access course content, even when not connected to the internet. Additionally, all Zoom meetings can be accessed by dialing in via phone.
More information on recommended technology for online coursework is available at support.stedwards.edu.
Faculty and staff groups are working diligently to plan for the fall semester. We are actively addressing several scenarios for social distancing across campus including classes, residence halls, dining, student programs, and more. Please look for details surrounding move-in as they become available before the end of June. If you have individual questions please submit a question to the SEU Alerts page or email Residence Life.
Campus Facilities & Resources
Library– The Munday Library is closed. However, the library has a collection that is approximately 95% virtual and therefore is well-positioned to continue providing access. Library staff has developed additional instructional materials such as videos and FAQs on the best ways to use its resources — see this link for content: https://library.stedwards.edu/research-help.
Residence Life– If residential students need assistance during the University’s period of remote instruction, please use the following resources:
• During regular business hours (Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.), please contact your Residence Director or the Residence Life Main Office at 512-448-8419.
• In the evenings and weekends (Monday–Friday, 7 p.m.–8 a.m., weekends 24 hours a day), please continue to call the RA-on-call at 512-342-4100 (listen for your specific community’s extension #). Keep an eye on your email, as this protocol may change in the future.
• If you have an immediate on-campus emergency, please call UPD at 512-448-8444, available 24 hours a day.
Health & Counseling Center – During the university’s Remote Initiative Operation, the Health & Counseling Center will offer remote counseling services. New and existing clients should visit the HCC webpage for details on how to schedule appointments with our own counselors.
Health services will continue to operate out of the HCC office at this time. Please continue to call our main health services number at (512) 448-8686 first so that we can assess your needs over the phone. For details on external Telemedicine resources, please visit the HCC webpage.
Recreation and Athletic Center– All amenities in the RAC are closed. For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/33mnTIt
Computer Labs– All campus computer labs will be closed for the duration of the summer semester. Hours and availability for the fall semester will be provided in August.
OIT support– The Help Desk will provide virtual support through the end of the remote operations period. Cases should be submitted online at support.stedwards.edu or by email to email@example.com. Support staff will monitor and respond to messages to the Help Desk phone line (512-448-8443), but response to digital submissions likely will be faster.
Dining Services– All venues– Closed
International Student Services
ISS Reporting— The U.S. government requires that student visa holders update their address within 10 days of moving. Report your updated address and contact information each time you move by completing a brief online survey. Please complete the survey even if you are staying in short-term or temporary housing, such as with a friend or family member or in a hotel.
Staying in the U.S.— Yes, your F-1 status will still remain active. Remember to report your new address if you are moving to a new location. We are required to update this in your immigration record if you have an F-1 or J-1 student visa.
No I-20 travel signature— Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a new I-20 to be printed and mailed to you. We will need to know your full mailing address and phone number, including the country code.
Inability to return home— Faculty and staff groups are working diligently to plan for the fall semester. Please look for details on on-campus housing as they become available before the end of June. If you have specific questions, contact Residence Life.
Traveling—The Department of State website contains current, country-specific details regarding travel.
My Curricular Practical Training authorized internship has changed or was canceled — Contact ISS to let us know. We will update your authorization in your SEVIS record (I-20) to reflect this change. Contact the faculty member who is teaching your internship class to ask about requirements for receiving credit.
Optional Practical Training application— The process has changed.
- The OPT application was not designed to be completed from outside the U.S. USCIS has not published yet if it is permissible for students to apply from outside the U.S. Students may choose to apply from abroad but we cannot guarantee approval.
- For students who are still in the U.S. or students who choose to apply from abroad, please email@example.com for the instructions for filing OPT.
- Students may still choose to have OPT cards mailed to the ISS office. Our staff will come to campus weekly to collect the mail. If you choose to have cards mailed to your home, you must use a U.S. mailing address. USCIS cannot mail to an address outside the U.S.
- Once students are working on OPT, remote and online work from home is permissible!
OPT card— Our staff will come to campus weekly to collect the mail and we will notify you as soon as your OPT approval is received. ISS can arrange to ship the approval card to you.
Contact or meet with ISS— International Student Services (ISS) is working remotely. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns. If you would like to arrange to meet with ISS staff, let us know your availability. ISS advisors can set up a video conference meeting through Zoom or Google Hangouts.
Returning to campus in the fall —
To return for the fall semester, you will need:
- Valid passport
- Valid student visa
- I-20 or DS-2019 form with a valid travel signature
A valid travel signature is less than 1 year old at the time you enter the U.S. If you need a new travel signature, contact ISS. We can arrange to ship you an I-20 or DS-2019 with a new signature.
Traveling outside the U.S. and returning— The travel documents should remain the same. Students will be expected to have a valid passport, student visa, and I-20 or DS-2019 with a valid travel signature. Check a credible resource for travel restrictions and protocols.
Exchange students and forms for home universities— Please scan a copy of your form to email@example.com. Our staff should be able to sign the form and scan it back to you.
Transcript—Transcripts can still be ordered online. If you need to arrange for your transcripts to be mailed overseas, please complete your mailing order through MyHilltop by selecting the St. Edward’s University Registrar as the shipper.
Jobs and Internships
Student campus jobs— Students are encouraged to leave campus during remote instruction. As such, student employment is suspended during the online instruction period. Students will be paid for the regular hours. Supervisors will receive instructions on how to complete timesheets.
Rules for off-campus, credit-earning internships— During the remote instruction period, there will be no in-person instruction or experiences (including no in-person off-campus meetings, internships, or experiences). Students who are in internships that are paid by the university will continue to receive payment during the remote instruction period. Students who have internships that are paid by external employers should check with their employer, as compensation policies may vary.
Faculty and students are encouraged to coordinate with off-campus supervisors to communicate the remote instruction period. If off-campus experiences can continue remotely, faculty are encouraged to help facilitate this adjustment between students and off-campus supervisors.
You are able to walk or drive around campus but we ask that you follow the social distancing recommendations issued by Austin Public Health and the CDC to protect your health and the health of those around you.
We have received many questions asking what alumni and friends can do to help our students. If you’re in a position to do so, please consider a gift of any size to the student emergency aid fund, HOOF. Students are calculating the costs associated with this disruption, including unexpected travel, living expenses, or sudden unemployment. Several of them will rely on the Hilltoppers Overcoming Obstacles Fund to support them through these needs, and the university is committed to helping as many students as possible.
We also care deeply about your own health and wellbeing. If you are not able to give to HOOF right now, that's okay. We understand that this is a difficult and uncertain time for everyone, and the safety of you and your family comes first.
Online Instruction Resources— The Office of Information Technology has created a guide to help employees with remote work. Please use the resources listed and continue collaborating with your co-workers: Working Remotely: A Guide for St. Edward’s Employees
Additionally, OIT has provided recommendations for faculty on teaching remotely: Teaching Remotely: A Guide for Faculty in Special Circumstances. Jointly, Academic Affairs, the Center for Teaching Excellence, OIT and others have developed Online Instruction FAQs for faculty.
Support for remote work— Employees are encouraged to review OIT’s support articles available at support.stedwards.edu. The OIT Help Desk will be staffed to respond to support requests submitted online or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Timesheets— For instruction on how to complete their timesheet during this time of remote work, visit https://stedwards.box.com/s/746avt7ddnvx9hz0l5ttyvgvi30dehmv.
Mail Services— For instruction on mail services, visit https://stedwards.box.com/s/dbk40l1aam9t75w9erkax3gb29xtg9pr.
For guidance regarding purchasing, expenses and departmental deposits during remote work operations, visit https://stedwards.box.com/s/bal5szunw6ooglk0unxfypgnh61sjeey.
Essential Work Guidelines
Employees coming to campus should notify UPD (512.448.8444) when they are at the building they need to access. We also ask those coming on to campus to use this link to help us better schedule someone to be available for their arrival (and allow us to clean the area before and after they leave): https://forms.gle/et5xTn7X5AQtpjJt8.
Under no circumstances should a student, faculty or staff member come to campus if their response to any of the following questions is ‘yes’”
1. Do you have signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat;
2. Do you have a fever greater than 99.6°F;
3. In the previous 14 days have you had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and did not have the appropriate personal protective equipment designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (a facemask for the sick person); is under investigation for COVID-19; or is ill with a respiratory illness (flu-like illness); or
4. Have you traveled to an area the World Health Organization or CDC considers a “Hotspot.”
For additional details, visit the university's Access to Campus Policy.