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Campus Update: SUNY ESF offers online only option when possible 7/31/2020

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Dear ESF Undergraduate Students,

We are excited to begin Fall 2020 semester classes on August 24. The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and the community are of utmost concern to us. As such, we are pleased to share that students on the ESF Syracuse campus who would like to study completely online - and can build a schedule with courses that are offered online for the Fall 2020 - are welcome to do so.

First-year students who choose to - and can - study online may waive the requirement to live in Centennial Hall for the Fall 2020 semester only. At this time, the requirement to live in Centennial Hall will apply for the Spring 2021 semester for first-year students.

Upperclass students who have a signed contract with Centennial Hall and opt to study completely online may opt out of their Centennial Hall contract for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Process to Choose Online Only for Fall 2020

1) View Your Current Schedule

Returning Students

Returning students can view and change your schedule in MySlice between August 3 and August 14. After reviewing your current schedule in MySlice, if you would like to adjust your schedule, we strongly urge you to discuss this decision with your advisor, curriculum coordinator, or Department Chair first.

New Transfer Students

New transfer students can view your schedule in MySlice after August 10 and may make changes to your schedule after August 17. After reviewing your current schedule in MySlice, if you would like to adjust your schedule, we strongly urge you to discuss this decision with your academic advisor first.

Incoming First-Year Students

Because new first-year students are typically enrolled in Chemistry and Biology labs, and because labs will be conducted onsite, first-year students should assume that your schedule - as planned for you - will require you to be on-campus. Incoming first-year students can view your schedule in MySlice after August 10 and may make changes to your schedule after August 17. Should you wish to consider completing the Fall 2020 semester completely online, please contact your academic advisor or Department Chair (see below) to change your schedule.

2) Communicate Your Decision

To officially declare a change to your status for the Fall 2020 term from a residential student to an online-only student you must respond to an Action Item on the new ESF Student Portal. You can access that portal at https://banner.esf.edu/StudentSelfService. (A document is attached explaining other details about ESF Student Portal access.) The Action Item will be called "Fall 2020 COVID Student Status." The Action Item will be available by July 31, 2020, with a deadline for responding by Aug. 12, 2020, at 4:00 p.m.

Students who are selecting a Fall 2020 semester online instruction option who wish to opt out of an existing housing contract with Centennial Hall should email their intention to centennialhall@greystar.com by August 12, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. A confirmation email will be returned for your records.

Points to Consider

Before making the decision to study completely online for the Fall 2020 semester, please consider the following points:

  • Not all academic programs at ESF can be completed online. Experiential learning is a hallmark of the ESF academic experience, and many courses require face-to-face instruction for full understanding.
  • Not all courses offered during the Fall 2020 semester will be offered online. Faculty have determined the best approach to deliver their courses, choosing from a variety of modalities, including completely online, completely onsite, or flex (a combination of online and onsite). To identify the modality for your Fall 2020 semester courses, visit MySlice or the ESF Registrar website, under "Academic Year."
  • Changing your Fall 2020 course semester may impact your financial aid awards. Financial aid recipients who choose to take only online classes for Fall 2020 will be notified as costs of attendance and aid award types/amounts are modified. Staff in the Office of Financial Aid may be reached at finaid@esf.edu or 315-470-6706.
  • Changing your Fall 2020 course schedule may impact your ability to graduate on time. Not all courses at ESF are offered every semester or even every year. If you choose not to take a required course this semester, because it is not offered online, it might not be offered in the spring. Your schedule may be further complicated if the course you opt out of this semester is a pre-requisite for another required course.
  • First-year students who choose to study completely online for the Fall 2020 semester will most likely be pulled from lab courses and added to required General Education courses. While it may not add time to your degree, please understand the labs are required and will have to be added to your schedule in a subsequent semester. Choosing this approach will separate the lab from the associated lecture, which may make it more difficult to successfully complete the lab.

Points to Consider Regarding Housing

If you are a first-year student requesting to waive your Fall 2020 semester requirement to live in Centennial Hall, you are affirming your intention to remain at your permanent/home residence for the Fall semester. The Centennial Hall residency requirement will not be waived for first-year students to live off-campus in Syracuse.

Centennial Hall residents who live in designated "hot spot" states that require a 14-day quarantine period under New York State executive order should be aware that quarantine will not be possible to be completed in Centennial Hall. The College has made arrangements with Onondaga Community College to house you for the mandated quarantine period. During this time, you will be housed in a single room and provided meals at no extra cost. The 14-day quarantine period directed by the Governor's Executive Order is not dependent on test results, and so the full 14 days will need to be completed at Onondaga Community College. Residents living in designated quarantine states will be contacted separately to discuss quarantine procedures. If you have questions, please contact the Division of Student Affairs via email (studenthelp@esf.edu) or phone (315-470-6660).

All students with existing housing contracts who do not "opt out" by the stated deadline will be considered Centennial Hall residents and responsible for the full semester rental charge. After the opt-out deadline, housing refunds will only be issued if Centennial Hall is closed due to Executive Order or other official directive.

Returning (non-first-year) students who desire Centennial Hall housing for the Spring 2021 semester will have the opportunity to reapply for housing. Housing will be made available as space allows.

ESF will adjust the cost of attendance for students who choose to study completely online for the Fall 2020 semester as follows:

  • Per State law and SUNY policy, tuition charges still depend on your permanent residency status. Full-time tuition for New York State residents is $3,535 per semester. Tuition charges for non-NY residents will be $8,490 per semester.
  • Fees will be adjusted for students who choose to - and can - study completely online for the Fall 2020 semester as detailed here.

In Summary

Choosing to be an online student is a big decision. Residential students have greater access to the full suite of campus resources, can better take advantage of ESF's relationship with Syracuse University, will be better positioned to enroll in the courses in the appropriate sequence to graduate on time (saving time and money), and will enjoy the many lush green spaces of ESF's campus as you look for places to relax.

As pleased as we are that we can offer you this option, we know that it is a pivotal decision. If you have questions, please contact your advisor or Department Chair. We are eager to help you make the best decision for your academic career.

Sincerely,

Dr. David Newman
Interim Provost
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Department Chairs