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Fall 2020 FAQ

The following Frequently Asked Questions were published in advance of the start of the 2020 fall semester. They are listed here for archival purposes only and are no longer reflective of current policies.

General FAQ

Why is the College moving to online learning for the fall semester?

We have spent countless hours this summer making plans and putting precautions into place on campus to ensure that our community members were safe for the return to school this fall. Unfortunately, recent developments have prompted Randolph to make the decision to move classes online for the fall semester. Central to the decision was the lack of quick, large-scale asymptomatic testing and contact tracing, as well as the impact the pandemic-related changes would have on student life.

We do not see the situation in our country improving before our semester opens in a month’s time. Because of this, we are not confident the College would be able to remain in-person the entire semester without serious COVID-19-caused disruptions.

By committing to online instruction for the fall now, we are not only able to give our faculty more time to prepare their courses, but we are able to hopefully alleviate some of the uncertainty that has existed for students and families this summer. We just do not believe the limited in-person experiences we would have been able to provide this semester, not to mention the extremely regimented residence hall policies, would meet the expectations of our students and families.

Will my updated bill for the fall semester include the removal of room and board charges?

Yes, the College will be removing fall room and board charges for all residential students. We anticipate that revised bills for the fall semester will be available on the student portal by close of business on Monday, August 3. Student account balances for fall 2020 will be due August 12.

What other student fees will be adjusted for the fall semester?

The following is a summary of changes, as applicable, to other student fees:

  • Orientation fee: reducing to $150 from $200 since orientation will not be held on campus. An online orientation will occur with modules available starting August 17.
  • Technology fee: will now be $200 per semester for online students, matching the College’s current rate for residential students. This change is necessary due to the increased costs associated with online instruction.
  • Student activities fee: will remain at $105 for the fall semester as the College will continue to provide students with online programming and involvement opportunities.
  • Accident insurance fee: will remain at $61 for the fall semester as this policy provides mandatory coverage no matter whether the student is on or off campus 24/7/365.
  • Health and counseling fee: will remain unchanged at $50 for the fall semester and now applicable to all full-time undergraduate students as the Health and Counseling Center will continue to provide telehealth/telecounseling services.

How will my need-based financial aid be affected because I am attending remotely?

The move to online learning for the fall semester requires the College to revise its 2020-21 cost of attendance, primarily driven by the removal of room and board for the fall partially offset by the addition of a living allowance. The cost of attendance is the standard to calculate or recalculate aid for students. The formula for assessing eligibility for need-based grants, loans, and work study is cost of attendance minus the expected family contribution (EFC) from the 2020-21 FAFSA. The revised cost of attendance assumes a return to campus for the spring 2021 semester.

Will my merit scholarship be affected by changes to the cost of attendance?

No, merit scholarships will not be changed as a result of the revised cost of attendance.

When will I see my revised financial aid award for 2020-21?

The change in cost of attendance necessitates many changes, both in our student information system and with financial aid packages on a student-by-student basis. We are working as quickly as possible to finalize all financial aid revisions by Monday, August 3.

Will the online award letter be updated to reflect these changes?

Yes, the updated award letter will be accessible online by close of business on Monday, August 3.

Can I reduce my loan if I have a Parent PLUS, PLITT or private loan?

Yes, upon reviewing your revised bill, you can contact Financial Aid to make adjustments to your loan(s). When calculating, be sure to include the Room/Board charge of $5,500 for the Spring 2021 semester.

Will there be a reduction in tuition?

No. Although our method of delivery for coursework is changing this semester, the student-centered, high quality education offered by Randolph will remain the same. With our small class sizes, the College is uniquely positioned to provide an individualized approach to learning with the same dedication to excellence. This change in format should not affect any student’s progress toward their degree. Because the College’s cost structure has not changed, we are not able to reduce tuition. Tuition covers the cost of credit-bearing courses, whether they are taken face-to-face or online. For example, tuition for these courses covers expenses that will not change, including faculty salaries, technology resources, and academic support services. At some colleges and universities, because of the additional time and resources that are required, online courses actually cost more than face-to-face options.

Will I be able to continue my student employment remotely?

This may be possible but will be dependent on the position.

Will classes be in person for the spring semester?

We are hopeful we will be able to resume on-campus instruction for the spring semester. We will reevaluate conditions later this fall and make a final decision then.

What if I have other questions?

This is a challenging time, and we are all working and adjusting. Should you have any questions, concerns, or needs, please reach out to the appropriate department.

Admissions
admissions@randolphcollege.edu
434-947-8100

Financial Aid
Financialaid@randolphcollege.edu
434-947-8128

Business Office
Wendy Deitrick
wdeitrick@randolphcollege.edu
434-947-8618

Human Resources
Connie Everhart
ceverhart@randolphcollege.edu
434-947-8114

Health and Counseling Center
434-947-8130

Institutional Technology Help Desk
434-947-8103
helpdesk@randolphcollege.edu

Office of Student Affairs
434-947-8895
deanofstudents@randolphcollege.edu

Office of the Provost
provost@randolphcollege.edu
434-947-8820

Academics FAQ

How will classes be held?

Our faculty members will decide the best means of operation for classes in the fall. Some classes will meet synchronously, while others will meet asynchronously. There may also be classes that meet both ways. Synchronous instruction will be held at scheduled times and will also be recorded. In some classes, lab kits and art supplies, etc. may be sent out to students for use.

Will the College allow students to switch to pass/fail as it did in the spring?

Modifications to academic policies such as pass/fail and withdrawals will be determined at a later date, in consultation with faculty, and communicated with students.

What will the fall academic calendar look like?

As announced, we begin classes on Aug. 24 and finish on Nov. 20, with final exams following Thanksgiving break.

What academic support and disability services will be available to me at home?

Though the services will be in a virtual format, the College intends to offer the full suite of disability and academic support services and resources we normally provide.

Will I be able to get help from a tutor or from the Writing Center?

Yes, tutoring, the Writing Center, and other academic services normally offered by the College will be available to help students in fall 2020.

Will my professors have office hours?

Yes. Professors will have scheduled virtual office hours and will be available to help students as needed.

How will online classes compare to those normally held on campus?

The lessons learned this spring are already helping us improve our technology and online offerings. Our faculty members are extremely dedicated to our students—and to teaching—and are committed to ensuring that our students receive the best possible experience. The hallmark of an education at Randolph is the close, personal attention given to every student. That will continue this fall, and it is also what will make our students’ experiences richer and more rewarding than those offered by larger online providers. Because of our small size, we are uniquely positioned to offer an excellent online experience that is more comparable to the in-person setting. With an average class size of 11, Randolph’s students are more able to receive individualized and personalized attention in an online setting. Our small size allows us to be more flexible and adaptable and provide more seminar-style discussions and creative instruction.

Will lab courses, studio art courses, and performing art courses still be offered in fall 2020?

Yes, these courses will be offered virtually, although some modifications will be necessary.

Will honors research and other student research projects be allowed in fall 2020?

If these projects can be done virtually, they may continue.

Will there be study abroad opportunities during 2020-21?

There will be no study abroad programs for this academic year. A decision on Study Seminars scheduled for next May has not been made at this time.

What about internships for the fall?

Our Career Development Center staff will work closely with students to find safe internship opportunities where possible during the fall semester.

 I am an international student living outside of the United States. Can I still take my classes?

Yes, based on the current regulations, you may take classes online.

Student Life FAQ

I’m a first-year or transfer student. How will I meet friends and learn about the College?

We realize that going online creates a different situation for our new students, and one of our priorities over the coming weeks is to help these students engage and connect with classmates and faculty and staff. Our Davenport Leaders will provide numerous opportunities to meet others virtually, to learn about the various academic and student support services available at Randolph, and to provide information about the resources needed to successfully transition to college. In addition, new students will have the full support of all of our staff and faculty members, who will be available to answer questions and provide guidance. We encourage new students to join the 2024 Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/3123005804376635/ if you have not. This is a great place to meet new students and ask questions.

What will online orientation for new students include?

Orientation will include the same great programming as it would on campus, albeit online. Davenport Leaders and other staff members have been working hard to create workshops and sessions that will allow new students to meet others and learn about the transition to college life. If you have specific questions or needs, our staff are always willing to answer questions.

What if I am in the SUPER or STAR programs?

The SUPER and STAR programs will be operating remotely for this year. Participants in these programs will be receiving information soon.

How will I get to know my professors and advisor?

Randolph’s professors and academic advisors are typically very responsive to student questions and concerns. We encourage our students to reach out via email and to take advantage of office hours and other opportunities provided by faculty.

How will I stay in touch with my friends and classmates?

Though we know it is not the same as being in-person, Randolph will offer numerous opportunities for virtual engagement during the fall. The Randolph Programming Board (RPB) has already planned virtual activities for the fall, including events during orientation. Programs will continue to be added throughout the semester. Please follow/join the Student Life Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/randolphcollegestudentlife/) for the most up-to-date information about upcoming events. Student leadership groups, including Student Government, RPB, and the Student Judiciary will continue to operate and meet virtually. We encourage students to reach out to find ways to be involved.

Can I visit campus?

There will be no students living on campus during the fall. At this time, certain admission visits and other business-related visits to campus will be allowed. Please contact the appropriate department for an appointment.

Can I get special permission to live on campus?

We will not be providing housing during the fall for any students.

Will my room assignment still be the same in the spring if we resume classes in person?

Yes, room assignments will remain the same.  Please note that all residential policies continue to be upheld during COVID-19 conditions and virtual learning.  If you are a residential student at the start of the fall 2020 semester, you will also be a residential student during the spring 2021 semester (unless you apply and are approved for commuter student status).  Virtual learning certainly grants enrolled students flexibility about where they choose to physically study.  However, each residential student will be required to pay room and board when the College returns to in person instruction.  Leases and rental agreements that have been initiated and agreed upon with a third party company during virtual instruction are not valid defenses for the absorption of room and board charges.

Will there be athletics in the fall?

The Old Dominion Athletic Conference has postponed fall sports. Therefore, Randolph will not have athletics in the fall. Decisions about the spring semester will be made at a later date.

Is health insurance through the College’s carrier still available to students?

All Randolph College students are required to have medical insurance. If a student does not currently have medical insurance or cannot obtain it, the College provides access to a policy through an insurer. International students currently not in the United States are not required to have this insurance.

Will the College still offer counseling and health services to students? What is the process if I feel I need this support?

Yes, telehealth counseling and health services will be available to students during the fall, beginning the first week of classes (Aug. 24). If you are interested in telehealth counseling services, please complete administrative paperwork at https://randolphcollege.titaniumhwc.com.

If you would like more information about current staff available or services we provide, please visit our website at https://www.randolphcollege.edu/counseling.

If you require healthcare services this fall, please contact the Health Center Monday through Friday from 9am-4pm at 434-947-8130 to make a telehealth appointment with a health care provider. Telehealth visits do not require insurance information, and there will be no co-pay or charges for these visits.

When do new students need to submit their required medical record form?

The deadline for submitting medical records for new students has been extended to December 1, 2020.  If you have already submitted your completed medical record, you do not need to do anything further.

Technology FAQ

What software is available to Randolph College students who are learning remotely?

All new students should have already received an email with account information and a link to get Microsoft Office 365. Office 365 may be downloaded and installed on up to 5 personal PC or MAC devices. Returning students should already have this information. If a student did not receive the email, or needs assistance logging in, please email the Randolph College Chief Technology Officer (victor@randolphcollege.edu) for assistance. Students also have the ability to remotely access lab computers by going to  https://studentlab.randolphcollege.edu/ and logging in with their Randolph College username and password. By logging into a lab computer, students will have access to all college software that is loaded on those computers.

Can I take my classes from a computer with a wireless connection?

Learning online using a wireless connection is not recommended. Whether at home or on campus, your experience online has a greater chance of success if you are using a wired connection. If you are at home with your laptop, use an ethernet cable to plug directly into your router if possible, rather than using Wi-Fi. If you are unable to connect with an ethernet cable, make sure to be as close to the wireless access point as possible. If you need an ethernet cable, you may acquire one from stores that carry electronic equipment. There are also Powerline Network Extenders available that use your home electrical wiring to pass a wired connection from a location near your home router to virtually any other remote location in your home. Click HERE for an example of one such device. They are available at numerous vendors.

Are there things I can do at home to optimize my online classes?

Yes. In addition to using a wired connection, limit or prohibit (if possible) other users’ online activity while you are in class. This is especially important regarding online video streaming or gaming. If you are having problems with connectivity, go to http://speedtest.net and check to see what throughput you are getting with your ISP. You can report your speed test numbers to the Help Desk for analysis.

Also, when using Google Meet or any other video conferencing software, mute your microphone except when speaking.

What are my options if I don’t have reliable internet access?

Students who completed the online survey regarding fall classes and communicated a lack of reliable internet connection are being communicated with individually to try and resolve their issues. If you face this issue and have not yet received an email, you may also proactively reach out to the Randolph College Chief Technology Officer (victor@randolphcollege.edu) at your convenience.

Can students in the Lynchburg area use the computers and Wi-Fi on campus?

Yes, if certain criteria are met. Due to COVID-19, we are limiting access to the campus at this time. However, isolated spaces can be made available on campus for students who live close enough to commute and who have no other available option for high-speed internet access for classes. If you have a need for an on-campus learning space, please email the Randolph College Chief Technology Officer (victor@randolphcollege.edu) at your earliest convenience for an assessment and additional instructions.

If I lose connectivity during class, what should I do?

This may happen. Remain calm, and try to troubleshoot and reconnect on your own first. You may call the Help Desk if you need technical support (434-947-8103).  Someone will be available to the phone from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. weekdays, although during high volume call times immediate support may not be available. If your call is not answered, it likely means all technicians are currently working with others. There may be times when immediate support is not be available when most needed. This is when alternate methods of acquiring class materials will be of paramount importance. Be sure to communicate with your instructors regarding class time missed due to technical difficulties.

What if there are times when my normally good connection seems unusually slow? Is there anything I can do to improve that?

Possibly. If you have tried the previous suggestions, and your internet still seems slower than normal, the problem could lie with your home equipment, or with your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Resetting your home devices is the first step. You should have a modem and a router that connect your computer to the internet. They may be 2 separate boxes, or you may have a single unit that provides both services. Your computer may be plugged into the router with an ethernet cable, or it may connect wirelessly. If you have two boxes, unplug both, wait 10 seconds, then plug the modem back in. Let it boot and complete its self-test (At the conclusion of the self-test, lights in the modem and router will generally be green or blue. Orange or red may indicate a problem, and you may need to contact your ISP for assistance.), then plug your router back in, and likewise cycle.  If you use a Powerline or Wi-Fi Extender, you may also need to unplug and replug those after your modem and router come back up. Finally, reboot your computer. You can check your internet speed on your computer by going to this website:  https://randolphcollege.speedtestcustom.com/result/9c92e910-4690-11ea-9616-51a8929115ac . If you still have a slow connection, you may need to contact your ISP or a computer technician for assistance.

Can I record my classes?

Only class instructors have the ability to record their classes.

What about captioning?

Live captioning can be turned on to view what is being said along with the video stream. However, if your instructor is recording classes and making them available for later viewing, there is no way to save captioning with the video at this time. If captioning is a need for recorded videos, please contact our Coordinator of Access Services Diane Roy at droy@randolphcollege.edu prior to the first day of classes.

Are there any security concerns using a webcam?

There can be. Anything connected to the internet can be hacked. When not in use, best practice is to turn off your computer, unplug your camera, or cover the camera lens (remember the microphone will still be active).

If I have technical difficulties, who should I contact?

The Help Desk is still available to assist; however, immediate assistance may not be available. Contact the Help Desk via phone, 434-947-8103, and leave a message if no one is available to take your call, or communicate via email to: helpdesk@randolphcollege.edu. You can also find help on our website at http://helpdesk.go.randolphcollege.edu/

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