January Term (“J-Term”) 2021 and Spring Term 2021

Carefully Onward

General FAQs

Has Hollins University distributed Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF II”) funds during spring semester?
[Updated July 9, 2021] As of June 24, 2021, all HEERF II student funds were expended. Twenty-seven students with exceptional financial need were awarded $1,000 each. Additionally, a graduate student who had applied for assistance was awarded the remaining $1,157. Additionally, Hollins University received $835,546 in HEERF funds for the purpose of providing institutional support to the university. The Department of Education report describes how the funds were used.

Hollins University was allocated $399,857 from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (“HEERF II”). This second round of emergency grant funding is meant to support undergraduate and graduate students with expenses related to the disruptions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible expenses include those that are a component of a student’s cost of attendance, such as tuition, fees, food, housing, course materials, technology, transportation, health care (including mental health care), and child care. Unlike the CARES Act appropriation, the government has mandated that students who demonstrate exceptional financial need must be prioritized for HEERF II. Undergraduate and graduate students had an opportunity to apply for HEERF II funds using an online form. While completing the form, students could elect to receive HEERF II funds as a direct payment or grant permission for the funds to be credited to their student account. The application process was communicated to all students, faculty, and staff via email. Potentially, up to 782 students could have applied, based on spring enrollment figures. A three-person committee convened twice to determine how to equitably distribute funds based on student need and individual circumstance. As of May 7, 2021, Hollins University awarded $365,000 in HEERF II funds to 201 students. Awards ranged from $500 to $4,500, and recipients were notified via e-mail of their award. This leaves $34,857 in HEERF II funds remaining. Inquiries about available HEERF II funds should be directed to the financial aid office at sfa@hollins.edu.

Has Hollins University distributed Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”) CARES Act funds during fall semester?
Yes, as of August 31, 2020, Hollins University had $65,557 in HEERF funds left to award as emergency aid to students. During the month of September, Hollins University awarded $51,150 of the remaining funds to 53 students who were unable to begin their work study position due to constraints caused by the pandemic as well as students experiencing unexpected financial hardships brought on by the pandemic. To date, Hollins University has awarded $385,450 to 306 students who were notified via e-mail of their award. This leaves $14,407 in HEERF funds remaining as of October 2, 2020. Inquiries about available HEERF funds should be directed to the financial aid office at sfa@hollins.edu. 01/29/21 Update: As of November 16, 2020, Hollins University awarded out its remaining $14,407 in HEERF funds to 13 undergraduate students. The university anticipates additional HEERF funds to become available in the near term and will communicate information at that time.

On May 14, 2020, Hollins University received $399,857 in HEERF funds to be distributed to students who are experiencing an economic hardship as a result of the pandemic. The university signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education to use these funds as emergency financial grants to students who qualify for assistance. As announced on our COVID-19 webpage on April 23, 2020, undergraduate and graduate students had an opportunity to apply for the first round of funds using an online form. Potentially, up to 705 students could have applied based on our estimates of Title IV eligible students. A three-person committee convened several times to determine how to equitably distribute funds based on student need and circumstance. In early May, Hollins awarded out $201,800 to 111 undergraduate and graduate students who applied and qualified for assistance. In early June, a second round of funds totaling $132,500 was awarded to 165 students who either applied late or displayed a high level of need according to their FAFSA.

Additionally, Hollins University received $439,093 in HEERF funds for the purpose of providing institutional support to the university. The Department of Education report describes how the funds were used.

  • Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting under the CARES Act, quarter ending 9/30/20 (PDF)

Update April 21, 2021

[Updated April 21]  Last fall, Hollins instituted a Culture of Care on campus. Is it continuing this spring?
Our Culture of Care, which was so essential to our success last fall, has remained effect for the spring term. As we did last semester, we continue to require the wearing of masks at all times (exceptions outdoors are noted below), physical distancing in our interactions, and limited sizes for in-person gatherings. Self-monitoring of symptoms on an ongoing basis remains a part of daily life at Hollins. We are also continuing our testing regimen each week, as it is very helpful to us in containing and mitigating the spread on campus.

While we regret to have to continue these approaches, we know that they are essential, and they are a small price to pay to be together. However, in response to our collective adherence to the Culture of Care and associated low number of positive cases on campus this spring, we have evaluated what opportunities may exist to “dial back” a few of the Culture of Care protocols for students without risking the health and well-being of the community and at the same time remaining in compliance with public health guidance.

Based on trends on campus and in the Roanoke region, the following changes were put into place on Monday, April 19, in order to broaden students’ ability to interact and/or better enjoy the spring season on campus:

  1. Students are allowed to visit each other within their own residence building. For example, students living on Tinker 2C could visit a friend who lives on Tinker 3B. No more than three (3) students are permitted in a double at a time and no more than two (2) students are permitted in a single. Masks must be worn at all times and students must adhere to six-foot physical distancing as much as possible. In the Apartment Village, no more than two (2) additional students are allowed in each apartment at a time. No outside guests are permitted.
  2. Students who are outdoors sitting or lying down and are alone/by themselves may remove their mask. Students outside with others OR who are approached by someone else must wear their mask. A mask is still required when exercising/walking the Loop.
  3. If our campus numbers continue to be low and adherence to the remaining Culture of Care protocols remains strong, beginning Monday, April 26, we plan to permit students from different residential buildings to visit with each other in their respective residential rooms. No more than three (3) students would be permitted in a double at a time and no more than two (2) students in a single. Masks must be worn at all times and students must adhere to six-foot physical distancing as much as possible. In the Apartment Village, no more than two (2) additional students would be permitted in each apartment at a time. No outside guests would be permitted.

Please note that these changes are applicable to students only. Faculty and staff are asked to continue observing the Culture of Care protocols that were established for the 2020-21 academic year.

The CDC released additional guidance on ways to even more effectively reduce transmission risk, including wearing a cloth or nylon layer over a surgical mask (“double-masking”), and wearing masks more snugly against the face. We are asking that all members of the campus community follow the updated CDC mask recommendations. This, along with maintaining at least six feet of physical distance and regular handwashing, are important ways to slow the spread of the virus.

While we are sympathetic to how difficult it can be to maintain vigilance after such a long time, we must caution you that a number of heightened risks are growing even as national numbers are currently trending in the downward direction. The South African strain of the COVID-19 virus has been identified in an individual in Virginia and will inevitably find its way to the Roanoke Valley, along with the other identified strains from the U.K. and Brazil, if it hasn’t already. We must endeavor to mitigate the spread of all forms of the virus through our daily actions and precautions.

It is critically important that individuals in this community strictly adhere to our Culture of Care protocols. Please understand that, should a more virulent strain arrive increasing the transmission of the virus in the region and potentially on our campus, Hollins may have to more sharply curtail activities and gatherings or revert to online-only courses for a period of time. We can all play a vital role in ensuring that we enjoy and finish the spring term together on campus by being diligent in our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus on our campus and in our broad community.

Have any adjustments been made to the spring term academic calendar in response to the pandemic?
Spring term classes (in person, virtual, or a hybrid mix) began on Wednesday, February 10, instead of the previously announced date of Wednesday, February 3. Residence halls will close for the academic year at noon on Tuesday, May 18. To minimize travel to and from the campus and to lessen the risk of contagion, residential students should plan to remain on campus once they arrive until they complete their final exams in May.

Will there be a Spring Recess this year?
Because spring term is starting one week later than originally planned, Spring Recess is canceled this year. As with the cancellation of Fall Break, this decision is being made to further encourage residential students to remain on campus for the duration of spring term once they arrive back at Hollins in early February.

What about commencement exercises?
[Updated April 1] Hollins University’s commencement exercises for 2021 have officially been set for Wednesday, May 19, at 10 a.m. on the Hollins campus. This year’s commencement will honor members of the class of 2021 receiving bachelor’s degrees, as well as graduate students earning advanced degrees in both 2020 and 2021. More info

Will Hollins Athletics compete in sports this spring?
Hollins Athletics is opting out of intermediate transmission risk sports, as defined by the NCAA, during Spring 2021. Hollins will not compete in women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, women’s indoor track and field, or women’s lacrosse.

Hollins is still making plans to participate this spring in sports deemed “low risk” by the NCAA. These include cross country, outdoor track and field, tennis, riding, and swimming.

The higher transmission risk at the intermediate level, combined with the unpredictability of the virus and the likelihood a vaccination for our student population will not arrive until late spring at the earliest, leads us to believe suspending these sports is the only responsible path for us if our priority is to complete the academic term together on campus in the spring.

What are the Culture of Care guidelines at Wyndham Robertson Library?
Visit the library’s Culture of Care webpage to learn more about how the staff is working diligently to ensure the health and well-being of all patrons.

What if a student or a faculty or staff member is confirmed to have the coronavirus?
Hollins will work closely with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to make recommendations to isolate the patient, trace contacts, and investigate any potential exposures.

What is the status of vaccine distribution at Hollins and other institutions of higher learning?
Each week, Hollins is in close conversation with the Virginia Department of Health and Carilion Clinic regarding vaccines. We want vaccines as soon as possible and have expressed our interest in partnering with our local health officials to procure vaccines for our community and to support the vaccination process. However, at this moment, higher education faculty and staff remain in phase 1C, group 6. Traditional-age college students are not currently in one of the early phases. These determinations are made by the CDC, VDH, and public health officials. As an institution, we are subject to those decisions.

  1. As part of Phase 1C, we anticipate that Hollins faculty and staff may be able to get vaccinations as early as late March, but it is far more likely to be April or May, according to the latest updates from VDH. Should VDH make changes to enable us to receive vaccines sooner, be assured we will do so.
  2. Based on current information from the VDH and Carilion Clinic, we have no reason to expect vaccines will be made available to student populations this spring. This is true for higher education institutions across the state and based on current vaccine availability and planning.
  3. Our Culture of Care will be in place throughout the entirety of the spring semester. All Hollins students, faculty, and staff are subject to abiding by our Culture of Care guidelines, even if they do receive a vaccine. Students, faculty, and staff will also be expected to continue participating in our weekly randomized testing protocol.

Are outside visitors permitted on campus?
Members of the general public are currently not allowed to enter the central part of campus (i.e., Front Quad, Back Quad, Beale Garden); go into any campus building; or visit with students inside of the residence halls. Visitors may continue to walk the campus loop or access Roanoke County’s recycling center located at the rear of campus.

How has study abroad been impacted?
Study abroad programs for the 2020-21 academic year (Hollins Abroad-London and those provided through partners) have been canceled. In their place, many opportunities for virtual global engagement are being offered. We anticipate resuming robust study abroad offerings for the 2021-22 academic year, but the global impact of the COVID-19 virus is still uncertain and this may change.

Director of International Programs Ramona Kirsch will communicate with all students who have applied to participate in programs abroad as more information is available.

Are there any procedural changes for purchasing parking permits or obtaining Hollins ID cards this spring?
Only one person may enter Campus Security at a time to ensure physical distancing requirements are met, and a facial covering will be required.  Contact Director of Campus Security David Carlson (dcarlson@hollins.edu) with any questions.

If you purchased a student parking permit in the fall of 2020, you will not need to purchase another for the spring term. The 2020-21 student permit is Blue and will have “Student 20-21” imprinted on the left side of the permit.

If you are a new student, you will need to submit a photo of yourself to be applied to your Hollins ID card.  At Hollins, all students are required to have a Hollins University ID Card. The Hollins ID Card provides access to your residential building, buildings with 24-hour access, dining services, library services, print services, etc.

Online parking and ID card forms and instructions are available at https://security.press.hollins.edu/.  The Student ID Card and Student Parking Permit tabs are located on the left side of the page.

What is happening with summer graduate programs for 2021?
Based on the recommendation of the graduate program directors, it has been decided that summer graduate programs will be offered online again this year. Graduate students have been notified. Hollins is looking forward to another vibrant and successful summer session.

Will Hollinsummer take place this year?
At this time, we hope to offer Hollinsummer 2021, our pre-college program for rising ninth through 12th grade girls, on campus and in person. If, due to the state of the pandemic, we are unable to conduct the program in person, registrants will receive a full refund, including their deposit. For related questions, contact hollinsummer@hollins.edu.

What if students, faculty, or staff have questions about the coronavirus?
The campus community should contact Hollins University Health and Counseling Services at hcs@hollins.edu. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and VDH websites are also updated regularly with the latest information.

Is there COVID testing during spring term?
A testing program is in place for the spring as this protocol was an important part of our success during the fall term. As we did last fall, Hollins partnered with CoVerify Health at the outset of spring term to conduct initial testing of all residential students and on-campus employees; weekly randomized testing of the on-campus community is currently underway.

When will Spring Term 2021 begin and end?
Classes for spring term started on February 10, 2021. To minimize travel to and from the campus and to lessen the risk of contagion, residential students should plan to remain on campus once they arrive until they complete their final exams in May. Spring Recess, originally scheduled for March 22-26, has been canceled, and classes will take place during that period. Residence halls will close for the academic year at noon on May 18, 2021.

Hollins University’s commencement exercises for 2021 have officially been set for Wednesday, May 19, at 1 p.m. Provided public health limits on gathering size permit it, the event will be held in downtown Roanoke at the Berglund Center in order to allow graduates to invite up to six guests. This year’s commencement will honor members of the class of 2021 receiving bachelor’s degrees, as well as graduate students earning advanced degrees in both 2020 and 2021.

Should circumstances require that Hollins close down the campus due to public health concerns at any point during spring term, all students will be asked to leave the campus within 48 hours. Information regarding tuition, room, and board cost considerations are addressed below.

Will Hollins University refund tuition or room and board if students are required to complete the term out of residence?
If Hollins is required to move to fully online classes with students no longer in residence, residential students will be reimbursed for a prorated amount of the board costs in accordance with our published policy for the remaining portion of the term until the spring term concludes. In accordance with our published policy, neither tuition nor room costs will be refunded. 

Will housing be available for any student after the spring term ends on May 18?
No. All residence halls will close on May 18, and all non-graduating students will need to vacate student housing by that date. Housing and meals will not be available for undergraduate students after May 18. If you believe you will not be able to return home/leave campus by May 18,  please register to take all of your spring term courses remotely.

Information about commencement and plans for housing graduating seniors between the end of exams and graduation is forthcoming.

If students took courses remotely in the fall, were they allowed to return to campus for spring term? Conversely, if students lived on campus in the fall, could they switch to remote learning during spring term?
The answer to both questions is YES. Hollins once again offered all students the option of returning to the campus and taking classes in residence, or remaining off-campus at home and taking courses remotely. Likewise, Hollins faculty were given the option of teaching their classes in person, hybrid, or online. All who chose to return to campus were expected to abide by our Culture of Care.

 If a student is asymptomatic but tests positive for COVID-19, how will that situation be handled?
At present, in accordance with public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), students who test positive for COVID-19 but show no symptoms of illness will be asked to isolate for 10 days provided they exhibit no symptoms or additional effects from the virus during that period.

What apps are available to help Hollins community members navigate daily self-screening and assist in contact tracing efforts?
CampusClear will send a reminder notification to subscribers every morning asking them to self-check for problematic symptoms. Those who choose not to download the app should follow the Daily Health Screening Checklist to perform their self-screening prior to leaving their residence.

CovidWise is a contact tracing application that uses Bluetooth wireless signals to track and store how often a user comes into close contact with others using the app. In the event of a positive test, other users at risk of exposure will be notified.

Both apps are available in the Apple and Google app stores by searching for the names. Community members should use their Hollins email address to register.

What happens if Hollins has to close the campus and move to solely remote learning mid-term?
Should circumstances require that Hollins close down the campus over health concerns at any point during the academic year, all students will be asked to leave the campus within 48 hours of the announcement. Information regarding tuition, room, and board cost considerations are addressed in the next question below.

WHY?
Simply put, Hollins cannot provide the services and support necessary to allow students to remain on campus during this time in a way that meets university expectations concerning the well-being of individual students and employees. Not only would Housing and Residence Life staff be required to continue working, likely for extended hours, but also dining, custodial, and security services during a potential period of increasing viral spread. We are committed to supporting the health and well-being of all community members during the pandemic, and this is an important step in that process.

Will Hollins University modify the cost of tuition or room and board for the 2020-21 academic year due to changes made to the academic calendar as a result of COVID-19?
Hollins University is committed to offering a high-quality living and learning experience for all students, even amidst changes required of us as a result of COVID-19. In support of this commitment, modifications to the academic calendar are focused on preserving instructional time for students.

Given this and the need for extended time to safely move students in and out of residence safely, the total number of days in residence remains comparable, and the cost of room and board will remain unchanged for the 2020-21 academic year.

If a student registers to take their courses remotely, will they receive a tuition discount?
No. Hollins University is committed to offering a high-quality learning experience for all students, even amidst changes required of us as a result of COVID-19. 

WHY?
Going online in no way reduces the workload or pedagogical expectations of our faculty. If anything, the highly individualized nature of a Hollins education and the connections made between students and faculty require a greater investment of time and energy in a virtual environment than an in-person setting. Thus, tuition costs will not change due to a change in the method of delivery.

If Hollins cancels on-campus instruction and moves fully to virtual instruction at any point during the academic year due to COVID-19, will a student be able to stay on campus until the end of the term?
No. Residence halls will close at the same time if and when the institution moves all courses to virtual instruction. Housing and meals will not be available on campus after that time. Hollins cannot provide the services and support necessary to allow students to remain on campus during this time in a way that meets university expectations around the well-being of individual students and employees. Not only would Housing and Residence Life staff be required to continue working, likely for extended hours, but also dining, custodial, and security services during a potential period of increasing viral spread.

What if community members are consistently not adhering to the Culture of Care even after educational conversations or discipline?
It is imperative for all community members to follow the protocols outlined in our Culture of Care Agreement for us to physically be together as a community. Therefore, if community members consistently choose not to adhere to our Culture of Care Agreement, we may need to transition to fully online classes and send residential students home out of concern for the well-being of all.