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We understand many of you have questions, and we are working to identify solutions and respond to you as quickly as possible. Below are commonly asked questions that we hope provide clarity to some of your recent questions.

Please rest assured that we are taking your concerns incredibly seriously. We understand your frustrations and are rapidly working to make decisions that are in the best interest of our students, faculty and staff at a system-wide level. Thank you for your patience as we work together through this unprecedented and difficult time.

Academics

How will online classes affect my grade and GPA? 

The nation’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has forced students to meet the challenge of rapidly changing learning environments. The University of South Dakota is committed to maximizing student equity, success and retention during this difficult time. In response, USD is working on options for students to take courses this semester under S/U grading (S=Satisfactory, U=Unsatisfactory).

  • In S/U grading, students receive all applicable credit for satisfactory completion of the course but the grade does not figure in grade point average calculations.
  • Most students will have the option of keeping their traditional letter grade or selecting S/U.

In the coming days, USD will announce a formal policy regarding the S/U options. Please note that courses within some majors may be excluded from the S/U option due to licensure and accreditation requirements.

Questions should be directed to acadaffairs@usd.edu.

I'm a senior and the class I need to graduate may not be offered online. Do I need to be concerned?

USD has transitioned most classes online, and students should feel confident in maintaining their progress toward graduation. There may be unavoidable challenges for a very small number of programs, such as dental hygiene, that may face external challenges due to canceled clinical rotations. Students with questions or concerns should contact their program advisor.

Will USD offer graduation ceremonies at some point?

USD will offer graduation ceremonies in 2020. The university will communicate with its graduating seniors as soon as a date has been identified.

How does this affect dual credit students?

Most dual credit students shouldn't notice an interruption in services because courses are primarily online. The small percentage of students receiving instruction via in-district delivery have received communication about alternative learning experiences.

I'm concerned about having reliable internet access to finish out my coursework. What should I do?

Some internet providers may offer temporary assistance or special educational programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students interested in learning more should visit link.usd.edu/internetproviders. If you have other concerns, please contact helpdesk@usd.edu.

Will I still have access to university resources, like counseling, tutoring, writing center support, etc.?

Yes. USD continues to offer online support for tutoring and through the Writing Center. USD's telehealth counseling services remain available for students in need. Appointments can be made by calling 605-658-3580.

What about students who need clinical hours?

Most disciplines have developed alternative learning experiences for students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students should consult with their program advisor if they have specific questions.

What about students who need a studio or theatre space?

Fine arts students will have the opportunity to engage in alternative learning experiences to ensure course completion.

What about labs?

Students requiring labs will have the opportunity to engage in alternative experiences to ensure course completion.

What about students who do not have all of their materials they need for class?

If materials were left in a student's residence hall prior to spring break, students should contact Housing at housing@usd.edu for assistance. If students are unable to access materials for any other reason, they should consult the faculty member teaching the course and they will provide an alternative.

Can we get refunded for regalia?

Yes. Students who have already ordered graduation regalia through buildagrad.com/usd will be issued refunds (please allow a couple weeks for processing). We will reopen the regalia ordering website once the postponed date has been determined. Hats, souvenir tassels and diploma frames will be available for purchase at Charlie’s. Contact customerservice@usdcharliestore.com to purchase souvenir items and shop alumni and professional products at www.usdcharliestore.com.

Will there be face-to-face classes during the summer/fall?

USD will offer online courses for Summer 2020. While the situation remains fluid, USD anticipates a return to a normal fall schedule and is actively preparing for students to return.

If I meet graduation requirements, when will I get my diploma?

As usual, diplomas will be issued in July after final grades are recorded.

Will I still be able to apply for a Graduate Assistantship next year?

Yes. Applications for graduate assistantships are available and USD is proceeding under the assumption that campus will be operating normally in the fall.

Will my advisor still be available?

Yes. If a faculty advisor is not available for any reason, students have full access to professional advisors through the Academic & Career Planning Center.

Housing/Campus/Community

Can students return to campus to live in their residence halls?

USD students are strongly urged to remain at their permanent residences unless absolutely necessary to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Students who are unable to return to a permanent residence and who have not visited a Level 3 location may request to return by contacting housing@usd.edu. Limited dining services are available for those remaining on campus.

Can students return to their residence halls to gather their belongings?

If students need to collect their belongings, they may make an appointment to return to campus by emailing housing@usd.edu. To reduce the risk of transmission, all keycards have been deactivated.

Can USD take care of students who may get sick while living in residence halls?

USD’s top priority is the health and safety of its students. USD has a limited amount of space for students who may need to be quarantined and will ensure they receive food and other necessities.

I’m in a sorority/fraternity. Can I return to my chapter house?

USD students are strongly urged to remain at their permanent residences unless absolutely necessary to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Students should speak to their chapter leadership for specific instructions.

I live in the residence halls. How can I get my mail?

Students can request first-class mail to be forwarded by emailing housing@usd.edu. If students have packages they would like sent to a new address, please reply to the email you received about the package and USD Housing will work with you and the carriers to try to get your package re-routed.

How many people may I bring with me to help me pack up my belongings?

When moving out, we ask that you bring 1-2 people to help you. We also ask that you provide hand sanitizer and gloves. If anyone is sick or is categorized as an at-risk person per CDC guidelines, please have them remain at home. We ask that you wash your hands often and follow social distancing protocols by leaving six feet of distance. 

Can a friend pack up my dorm for me?

Yes. If you need to assign a proxy, please contact Housing at housing@usd.edu.

I'm an international student and cannot return home. What should I do?

USD will allow any student currently living on campus who cannot return home to stay through the summer term. If you require an extended stay in the residence halls, please contact housing@usd.edu

What if we can’t come get our things until the end of the semester?

If you are unable to move out during this time or if you are from a location with community spread, please contact Housing at 605-677-5663 or housing@usd.edu.

Will on-campus housing be offered in the summer for students who work and live in Vermillion?

Students who are not currently living on campus will not be allowed to return to live in USD's residence halls. If students are currently living on campus and require an extension of stay, they should request this by contacting deanofstudents@usd.edu

Will there be food service on campus?

Dining services will be available for students who need to stay on campus. Services will be limited in the Muenster University Center. Adjusted hours include 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Are buildings on campus open?

On-campus events and visitor activities remain canceled through May 15. The following USD facilities will remain closed to the public through May 15: Muenster University Center, I.D. Weeks Library, Wegner Health Sciences Library, Wellness Center, DakotaDome, Sanford Coyote Sports Center, TRIO offices, Vucurevich Children’s Center, Native American Cultural Center, Center for Diversity and Community, Student Veteran Resource Center, Charlie’s Bookstore & Fan Shop, the University Art Galleries, the USD Testing Center in Vermillion and Sioux Falls, and the Community College for Sioux Falls. Students who remain on campus may access the Muenster University Center provided appropriate social distancing is accomplished.

Are restaurants open in town?

Effective March 30, all Vermillion restaurants, food courts, coffee houses, bars, cafés and other similar places offering food and beverages are closed. These businesses may continue to operate to provide take-out, delivery, curbside and drive-through service.

Is there counseling available?

USD’s telehealth counseling services remain available for students in need. Appointments can be made by calling 605-658-3580.

Is COVID-19 testing available if students are sick? Is it free?

COVID-19 tests are free as part of Student Health. If an influenza test is required, there is a charge that may be submitted to your insurance company. If you are sick, you are asked not to go into the clinic but to contact Student Health at 605-677-3700.

Financial

Will I receive a refund?

Students will receive prorated credits for their residence hall contracts, meal plans, unused flex and parking permits. All credits will be applied to outstanding balances first. If application of the credits produces an overall credit balance, the student will be issued a refund. For questions or concerns, please contact the Business Office at 605-658-3650 or businessoffice@usd.edu.

When will refunds be processed?

Refunds are expected to be issued by the end of April. The USD Business Office will contact eligible students with information to set up ACH (direct deposit) information. ACH is highly recommended.