Frequently Asked Questions – Updated July 31, 2020

The questions and answers below refer almost exclusively to Hollins’ plans and concerns around the spring term leading up to commencement, with a handful of details regarding the summer. Information and answers to questions about the fall reopening plans are on this webpage.


What is the plan for Commencement?
[Updated June 23] Hollins’ 178th Commencement Exercises have been rescheduled for Sunday, May 30, 2021, during the Memorial Day weekend. Baccalaureate will take place the day before, along with other festivities to honor the class of 2020. Please see Commencement at Hollins for additional information.

Will study abroad opportunities be impacted for summer and fall 2020?
[Updated June 23] The summer internship program in London has been canceled as well as fall 2020 study abroad programs. At this time, we are anticipating that the study abroad programs (Hollins Abroad London and those provided through partners) will run as planned in spring 2021. However, the global impact of COVID-19 virus is still so 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.

Does Hollins University have any Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”) monies from the CARES Act remaining?
[Added July 31 ]Yes, Hollins University has $65,557 in HEERF funds available.  At this time, the university anticipates awarding funds during fall semester for the following reasons:

  • Students with work study positions who are unable to earn their fall semester allotments due to constraints caused by the pandemic
  • Students experiencing unexpected financial hardships brought on by the pandemic

Has Hollins University been awarded Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”) monies from the CARES Act?
[Added June 4]  On May 14th, 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 23rd, 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. A determination was made that the minimum award would be $500. 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. To date, Hollins University has awarded $334,300 to 276 students who were notified via e-mail of their award.

Am I able to return to campus to collect my belongings?
[Updated May 13] Based on the latest information from Virginia’s Governor Northam, Hollins has developed a plan consisting of three options for our students to choose from, with options beginning on May 23. The three options are (1) self move-out, (2) designated individual move-out, and (3) packing and storage. The details for all three options, as well as a link for selecting the preferred option and setting an appointed time, are available in this PDF. Please let Hollins know which process you will be following by 12 p.m. on May 21.

As a reminder, all residence halls and rooms remain locked, and campus security is monitoring the campus 24/7.

Is Hollinsummer (Hollins’ summer educational camps) available this summer?
[Updated May 13] Given the uncertainty and changing nature of the situation with COVID-19, and out of interest in focusing the institution’s attention on preparing for opening the campus to in-person learning in the fall, we have canceled our Hollinsummer program for 2020. We fully expect this program will return as strong as ever for Summer 2021. Those who have supplied us with deposits or other monies in anticipation of attending this summer will be offered a full refund. If you have questions around this, please contact hollinsummer@hollins.edu.

Is the SAT or ACT still required to be considered for admission to Hollins?
[Added May 13] In response to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Hollins University is suspending the standardized testing requirement for students applying for admission in the fall of 2021. The one-year test optional policy means that prospective students do not have to submit SAT or ACT scores in order to be considered for enrollment in the class of 2025. Please visit our news section for the complete announcement and additional details.

What is happening with final exams and the end of the academic term?
[Added May 1] Hollins is following the same academic calendar, and the last day of classes is Wednesday, May 12. The final exam period begins May 14 and ends Tuesday, May 18. Since we are conducting all classes remotely, the student-run independent exam system will not be available for Spring term. Final exams may follow the online schedule, or students may receive take-home exams, papers, final projects or other end-of-term assignments, as determined by their instructors. Semester grades will be available to students on the Hollins Information System by May 22. While commencement exercises have been postponed to a future date, graduating students will officially earn their degrees as of May 24, and diplomas will be physically mailed during the summer.

What is happening with summer graduate programs?
[Added April 29] On Monday, March 30, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued a stay-at-home order to protect the health of Virginians and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. The order, which is in effect until June 10, required all institutions of higher education to cease in-person instruction and cancel gatherings of more than ten individuals. As June 10 falls after the beginning of our summer session, we made the difficult decision to move all summer graduate programs online.

The faculty and program directors are developing creative ways to deliver, as closely as possible, what they would ordinarily provide in person. Video conference-enabled classes will support the experiential learning and interactive engagement that make our programs so relevant to professional work.

Is the campus completely closed?
[Updated April 14] At this point, the Hollins campus is not closed, and we do not have plans to close the campus. Staff and faculty will continue to have access to their offices and labs. Please note that most administrative staff are now working remotely. Services and amenities on campus are limited, and Hollins is practicing recommended social distancing and mitigation efforts. Hollins will not be hosting in-person admission events or campus visits until at least June 10 pending further guidance from Governor Northam and institutional evaluation of regional conditions.

Are outside visitors allowed on campus?
[Updated April 14] Members of the general public are now not allowed to enter any campus building, or visit with students inside of the residence halls. They may continue to walk the campus loop or access Roanoke County’s recycling center located at the rear of campus.

Several major celebrations are scheduled to take place on campus this spring, including Honors Convocation, Commencement, and Reunion. Will COVID-19 affect these events?
[Updated June 23] We are rescheduling Commencement for Sunday, May 30, 2021, during the Memorial Day weekend. Baccalaureate will take place the day before, along with other festivities to honor the class of 2020. Students who would have received awards at Honors Convocation will be notified by letter and then recognized during Commencement or at Opening Convocation in the fall. Please see Commencement at Hollins for additional information.

Plans for Reunion 2020 have also been updated.

Will students have greater flexibility in electing that a course be Pass/Fail?
[Updated April 13] The faculty approved a policy that extends the pass/fail deadline for undergraduate students through the last day of classes, May 12.  Any class, including those satisfying major, minor or general education requirements, may be taken on a pass/fail basis.  Students are encouraged to discuss this option with their advisor and information was sent to students by e-mail on April 6.  Please see the student online resources page for additional information.

Will advising and registration for fall classes be impacted?
[Updated April 13] Advising week, originally scheduled for the week of April 20, will begin April 13 and extend until registration week, which will begin the week of May 4. The extended advising period will allow students and their advisors additional time to arrange virtual advising meetings.  The fall 2020 schedule of classes will be available Monday, April 13 on the Registrar’s site and students received an e-mail from the Registrar’s office with more information on April 10.

What plans has Hollins made for the fall 2020 term?
At present, Hollins expects to begin its fall semester as scheduled and with its students and faculty on campus. Along with most colleges and universities around the country, we are closely monitoring the national and regional situation with the coronavirus, heeding the directives from the CDC, Va. Department of Health, and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, and we will continue to do so in the months ahead. Should our plans for the fall change in any way, we will work to inform our current and extended campus community of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff, and future students and families, as soon as possible.

How is the administration at Hollins responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?
A coronavirus task force has been meeting for weeks and will continue doing so to assess and adapt as needed to a swiftly-evolving crisis. The group is closely monitoring reports from experts on the spread of this disease and refining our emergency contingency plans, should they be needed, in accordance with the best guidance available. We will update our extended community through email and on this web page regularly as needed.

Will there be a credit or refund for room and board?
In accordance with the university’s board plan refund policy, eligible undergraduate residential students will receive a pro-rated refund of $866. This refund will be placed on student accounts by Friday, April 17.

If an underclass student has an outstanding balance, including an outstanding enrollment deposit, the board refund will be applied to the outstanding balance first. If there is a remaining credit balance after April 17, underclass students will have the option to request a refund of the credit balance, or carry the balance forward to the fall 2020 term.

Even though the university has a clear policy of no refund of room costs, we recognize that these are extraordinary times. Therefore, eligible returning students will also see a room credit of $1,000 placed on their account for the fall 2020 semester.

Seniors who have successfully graduated will receive the board plan refund of $866 along with the room credit of $1,000, both of which will be placed on their student account by Friday, May 29. These credits will be applied to any outstanding balance first. Graduates will have the option to request all or part of the refund of the credit balance or direct it to the Hollins Fund.

If a student received approval to remain on the campus during the remote instruction period or received additional institutional aid from the university in order to cover her cost of education, she will not be eligible to receive a board refund or room credit. These students will receive a separate communication regarding their status.

My financial aid package includes the opportunity to earn funds through work-study. Will I still receive those funds?
Students will get paid for hours worked prior to spring break. For more details, please refer to the e-mail sent from Human Resources on March 16.

Because most students are not on campus, the majority of students will not be able to work for the remainder of the semester. If the inability to work for the remainder of the semester will result in a financial hardship, please contact your supervisor or the Office of Scholarships and Financial Assistance at sfa@hollins.edu to request a Work Study Appeal Form. Appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Will Dining Services be available to students who remain on campus?
Yes. However, in order to comply with Governor Northam’s executive order on dining establishments and restrictions on sit-down service, we must alter our meal service. All meals will be ready for students for pick-up at scheduled times, and details were communicated to the students remaining on campus.

When will the housing lottery take place?
The first round of the housing lottery will take place the week of April 27. More details will be forthcoming from Housing and Residence Life.

Please note that the enrollment deposit deadline is now April 15, 2020, at 4:30 p.m. EST ($400 for residential students and $200 for commuter students). In order to be eligible for the first round of housing lottery, residential students must pay their enrollment deposit and clear any holds on their accounts by Wednesday, April 15, at 4:30 p.m. EST. If you have not paid your enrollment deposit, please keep in mind, as noted above, that any board refund will be applied to an outstanding enrollment deposit.

Is Health and Counseling or the Chaplain’s office available to students remotely?
Hollins University Health and Counseling Center will continue providing services for students telephonically for the remainder of the academic semester.  Hours of operation are Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Health Services will have a registered nurse or nurse practitioner available for over-the-phone triage. Counseling and psychiatric services will also be available telephonically. Please call or email our office to schedule a telephone appointment. You can contact the center via phone (540-362-6444) or email (hcs@hollins.edu). Additional information is available on the Health and Counseling Center website: health services.press.hollins.edu.

You may also use the Student Assistance Program (SAP), which provides 24/7 services. These services are free and confidential. Follow this link for more information regarding access to this resource.

Can I leave my car on campus during this time?
All students wishing to leave their vehicles on campus during this time must park in the Lower West parking lot (sometimes referred to as “Siberia”).

Can students remaining on campus, commuter students, or those who live nearby access their classrooms, labs, studios, etc.?
Our students who will continue to live in the residence halls during this time frame will not be able to use labs, studios, practice rooms, or other academic or creative facilities. However, in order to support a well-rounded quality of life for them, they will be able to access Moody Student Center, the Dana Science Building computer lab, and of course, take walks on the loop around campus. Concurrently, Hollins will encourage everyone on campus to practice recommended social distancing and mitigation efforts.

If a package is mailed to a student’s campus address, will Hollins forward it to their home address?
Printing, Mailing and Shipping Services has updated the package alerts to include the procedure and contact info for the mail room to have packages forwarded. Once a package arrives, the student will receive an email with the instructions. If there are any additional questions, please reach out to print-mail@hollins.edu or 540-362-6509 between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

What if a student, faculty, or staff member is identified for testing?
In accordance with VDH recommendations, in the event that a student, faculty, or staff member qualifies for COVID-19 testing, they will be excused from class attendance and work duties and asked to isolate themselves until the test results are available. If a student who has remained in campus housing qualifies for testing, they will be isolated into a single-person living arrangement. The student, faculty, or staff member’s household contacts (including roommates) will be asked to self-observe for any signs of illness.

What if a student, faculty, or staff member is confirmed to have the coronavirus?
If the first case of COVID-19 is identified at Hollins, the VDH will work closely with the university to make recommendations to isolate the patient, trace contacts, and investigate any potential exposures.

What if students, faculty, or staff have questions about the coronavirus?
For queries about COVID-19, the campus community should contact Hollins University Health and Counseling Services at hcs@hollins.edu or x6444. The CDC and VDH websites are also updated regularly with the latest information.