Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

Student Life FAQs: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated on 4/22/2020

The Ohio State University is doing everything possible to keep our Buckeye community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are answers to the questions we are receiving from our community. This situation is evolving rapidly. We will provide updates as more information is available.

Refunds

How are refunds being calculated? 
The amount of the housing and dining refund was calculated based on days remaining in the semester, your meal plan usage and status of both payments and credits in your account. 

How will I receive my refund? 
The university will start issuing refunds on April 3. 

The refund amount will be reflected on your statement of account. Refunds will be issued via direct deposit or check. Students are encouraged to set up direct deposit in My Buckeye Link. If direct deposit is set up by April 2, an electronic funds distribution will be made. All other refunds will be mailed to the student's permanent address on file.  

To update your mailing address please visit My Buckeye Link. Absent a valid mailing address, the refund will stay in the student’s account until direct deposit is set up, or it will be applied to later charges.  

How soon will I receive my refund? 
If you are signed up for direct deposit, your refund will be credited to your bank account within one to three business days after it has appeared on your statement of account (April 3). 

What about the refund of the space reservation fee (SRF)? 
Refunds of the SRF will also be processed for eligible students. These students graduated from high school before 2019 and are not returning to the residence halls in the fall. 

Will my Buck ID cash/Dining Dollars be refunded? 
BuckID funds and Dining Dollars will be rolled over as detailed on the University Dining Plans page. Graduating Seniors (only) should contact dining@osu.edu to process their refunds. 

I currently have an off-campus meal plan. Will I also receive a refund? 
Yes, you will be refunded based on remaining usage. 

I checked out of my residence hall and I did not receive a refund. What should I do? 
Please contact housing at housing@osu.edu

How will this refund affect my tuition option payment plan (TOPP)? 
The refund will reduce the amount due for any amount outstanding. Any excess credits will be refunded. 

Housing

Will summer housing be available?
We are currently working on an application process for students currently living in university housing who are unable to return to their home over the summer. Information will be shared directly with our current residents within the next couple of weeks.  Other summer housing availability will depend on the university’s status based on local, state and national guidance.

I forgot to turn my room key in. What do I do?
If you did not turn in your room key before leaving campus, you can send the key via registered mail or other shipping companies like FedEx or UPS. Please include a note with your name, student ID#, building and room number. Because normal envelopes tear in transit, keys should be wrapped in 1-2 sheets of paper before being placed in the envelope. Send to:

Student Life - Risk & Emergency Management
1800 Cannon Drive
Lincoln Tower Suite 640
Columbus, OH 43210

Buildings and Operations

What Student Life buildings are closed?
The university has closed the following facilities until further notice:

  • All recreational sports indoor facilities 
  • The Ohio Union 
  • The Younkin Success Center 
  • University bookstores (Gateway, Ohio Union and Tuttle)

What dining locations are open?
In response to significantly reduced traffic on campus and the Governor’s order to limit food service to pick-up or delivery, Student Life’s Dining Services team will be providing limited offerings. You can visit the University Dining Services website for updates on dining locations and hours.

Are recreational sports facilities open? 
In compliance with the recent order from Governor DeWine and Public Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, Student Life’s Recreational Sports facilities are closed. Rec Sports will be offering virtual group fitness classes as well as other online and virtual resources.

What are the Student Health Center hours of operation? 
SHS hours of operation are Monday – Friday between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. If you are experiencing Coronavirus symptoms (new cough, fever and have traveled internationally, New York, Washington (state), California or have been on a cruise within the last 14 days or have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus infection) call the main SLSHS phone line, 614-292-4321.

If I go to the Student Health Center for care, will I be charged? 
As with other health care providers, the Student Health Center contracts with a variety of plans.

Will health benefits be extended for students graduating in May?
Students who currently have the SP/SU semester Ohio State Student Health Insurance Benefits Plan are covered until the policy year ends on August 17, 2020. This includes graduating students as well. Students who have other medical insurance should ask their current insurance company how long they are covered. 

Student Support

I'm struggling with mental health. Where can I go to get help?
Student Life's Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS) will be providing their offerings, including sessions and Drop-In Workshops, virtually. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit the CCS website.

If you are in distress, please know we are here to help. Students may contact CCS at any time by calling 614-292-5766. If calling after hours, press 2 to be connected to a counselor.

I'm dealing with financial issues, where can I get help?
The Student Advocacy Center staff members are continuing to serve students during normal business hours and are accepting online appointments. 

The Student Emergency Fund is available to students who may otherwise be at risk of dropping out of college due to an unexpected financial emergency. If you, or a student you know, are experiencing an unplanned expense, the Student Emergency Fund may be an option. Their office is accepting applications and may be able to award up to $1,000 to eligible students. Learn more and apply.

The Together As Buckeyes emergency grants program, funded primarily by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, is available to all students — undergraduate, graduate and professional — through the Student Financial Aid office. To apply for a grant, students need to complete a one-page Emergency Request form and provide any supporting documentation. The Office of Student Financial Aid will process applications after determining eligibility based on each student’s circumstances and guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.

Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services has amended its Prevention, Retention and Contingency Program to provide targeted relief for families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Franklin County COVID-19 Response PRC Program provides eligible families with $500 in one-time cash assistance to help address emergent needs and expenses brought about by the public health emergency. Families can apply online today.

Will the Student Wellness Center be open? 
With the closure of the RPAC, the Student Wellness Center will be providing virtual support but not taking in-person appointments to practice safe social distancing. For more information, please reach out to wellness@osu.edu or visit the Student Wellness Center website.

Where can I get help with transitioning to virtual modes of instruction?
The Office of Distance Education and eLearning has compiled tools and tips for students as they transition to virtual modes of instruction for the rest of spring semester. The Keep Learning site provides students with details and instructions on the educational tools that will be used in their courses and shares tips and resources about how to be successful while learning remotely. For more information, visit the Keep Learning website.

What career services are available during this time?
While the Younkin Success Center is closed, you can schedule a phone or Carmen Zoom appointment with Student Life Career Counseling and Support Services (CCSS) by calling (614) 688-3898 or email questions to sl-ccss@osu.edu.

Digital career resources such as Handshake, Buckeye OnPACE, and others are available 24/7 to all currently-enrolled students. Please email careerquestions@osu.edu with any questions regarding these online resources. Your college’s career services office may also have additional career preparation resources and information.

Where can I get assistance with legal issues? 
Eligible Columbus campus students who need legal assistance should schedule an appointment with Student Legal Services. Legal issues covered include off-campus housing, debt and credit, employment, criminal misdemeanors and traffic offenses and more. For questions about eligibility or coverage, please email studentlegal@osu.edu. Regional campus students can review SLS’s Regional Campus Referrals.

For a updated list of student support services, please visit the We Are Here For You webpage.

General

Will commencement be taking place?
On April 3, President Drake announced that the university will hold a historic virtual commencement on May 3 with Apple CEO Tim Cook delivering the commencement address. The livestreamed event will begin at noon on Sunday, May 3. Please watch the commencement website for updates.

Are events and activities canceled during this time frame?
Non-essential events have been cancelled. No new, non-essential events will be scheduled on campus until at least July 6.

I want to hold a meeting or virtual event with my student organization. What tool should I use?
Ohio State recommends using Carmen Zoom. It is licensed for all staff, faculty and students. You can visit the Zoom website for more information.

How do I report a bias-related incident related to the virus?
If you believe you have experienced bias, in violation of the University's Equal Employment and Educational Opportunity policy or have been the target of activity that constitutes a violation of the Code of Student Conduct, please visit the BART website.

President Michael Drake and Dr. Melissa Shivers, Vice President for Student Life, have both made statements regarding bias and the COVID-19 pandemic. Unequivocally, we stand against bias and will do whatever we can to support our APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American) community (students, faculty and staff) and anyone else who is coping with acts of exclusion.

Can I get a refund for my parking pass?
Annual permits can be returned to CampusParc for a refund. You are not required to visit to the Customer Care Center to cancel annual permits during this time. To return an annual permit remotely, please contact Customer Care at osuinfo@campusparc.com and include the current mailing address where you would like a refund check mailed. Because of the high volume of refund requests they are expecting, please anticipate a delay in receiving your refund.

What is the status of university-sponsored travel?
Travel is suspended indefinitely with all existing travel cancelled through June 30, 2020.

What is the status of summer term classes?
Ohio State has suspended face-to-face classes and transitioned to virtual modes of instruction for the summer 2020 term. Further resources are available at the Ohio State Keep Learning website.

For the most up-to-date information, please visit the university's coronvirus website.