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Frequently Asked Questions

We are here to answer any questions you have. Please be sure to review our frequently asked questions and answers below for additional details. We cover topics such as:

Why Choose Biola?

Is Biola reopening in Spring 2021?

Yes. On Tuesday, Dec. 8, the Board of Trustees met to discuss a plan put forth by Biola’s administration. The plan was developed in consultation with representatives from across the university and based on lessons learned from those outside of Biola’s community. In its meeting, the Board approved a motion to begin a safe return to campus in the spring 2021 semester. We will begin our semester as planned on January 25 with the majority of classes delivered remotely and then phase in return to campus as follows:

  • Phase One — In early January, intercollegiate athletes (based on NCAA guidelines) and students already approved to live on campus in the spring will move onto campus.
  • Phase Two — In the days leading up to Feb. 15, students who are enrolled in specifically designated courses in programs such as CMA, journalism, health sciences, etc. (based on the categories of students being educated for jobs comprising the “essential workforce” as delineated by the State of California) AND whose courses, based on the learning outcomes of those courses, cannot be effectively taught without access to specialized equipment or campus facilities (e.g., labs, studios, etc.) will be able to return to campus. Also, international students and students who have no other feasible residential option that allows them the appropriate educational benefits, will have the option to apply for a housing exception. If approved, they will be able to move onto campus in the days leading up to Feb. 15.
  • Phase Three — We planned to welcome back by March 1 all other students, however, due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, at this point government restrictions still prevent us from having indoor lecture classes. However, government orders allow us to offer in-person worship activity given the religious identity of Biola and recent judicial decisions supporting constitutional protections. If Phase 3 students wish to return to campus to participate in chapel services, and have no other housing available as required by the county (e.g., you live outside of the state or more than 25 miles from campus), students may live in single-occupancy housing on campus. If students choose this option, in-person chapel attendance is required as a condition for living on campus. We will continue with our strong support of remote learning for those who cannot or choose not to return to campus.

What will Spring 2021 look like?

Though the campus will feel different, Biola will be doing all we can to make students’ Biola experiences socially, academically, spiritually and emotionally fulfilling. In many ways it will feel familiar as students re-engage in life on campus and the vibrancy that comes with on-campus living and learning.

At the same time, Biola acknowledges that because of COVID the campus will feel different for those who are returning. Protecting our individual and collective well-being will require the commitment and cooperation of everyone who returns to campus in the spring. This compliance includes mask wearing, physical distancing throughout campus and meticulous disinfecting. In addition, students will be asked to be tested upon arrival to campus and intermittent testing will take place throughout the semester.

How is Biola advocating to reopen with in-person classes for the spring semester?

Given Biola’s long-planned precautions as well as the hardship students have faced over the last nine months, Biola’s intention is to begin repopulating the campus in the spring semester based on a phased-in approach. 

Biola knows that situations could change and there are no guarantees, but Biola is firmly committed to work at every level for the wellbeing of our community and advancement of our mission, not just in our campus preparation but also in addressing every legal, political and public relations impediment we might face. The Board of Trustees and the leadership of the university are committed to extending every reasonable resource toward our safe and legal campus reopening.

How are “essential workers” defined?

“Essential workforce” is defined by the county. You can review the definitions as described by the county on their website.

What number should students or families call if they have questions about Biola’s changes to the spring semester?

Students and families are encouraged to call the main Biola line at 562-903-6000 and they will be directed to the spring support team, who can help serve them. The support team will answer as many questions as they are able and will transfer students or families to other Biola teams if they are unable to answer a specific question.


Academics

Can students “opt out” of in-person classes and attend classes remotely?

Yes. We will support our students however they choose to continue their studies in the spring. We will continue with our strong support of remote learning for those who choose not to return to campus.

How will classes be delivered?

For students returning to campus, they may experience that some of their classes will be in-person and some delivered virtually. This will depend on state guidance and county orders on classroom occupancy levels as well as faculty teaching decisions and other relevant factors.

Can students change their class schedule?

Yes. Students can enroll or make changes to their classes through December 15, 2020.

What is happening with study abroad programs?

Due to the global impact of the COVID-19 crisis, we have made the difficult decision to suspend almost all study abroad programs for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. One of our primary program providers, BestSemester has announced that they will not run the majority of their programs for the duration of the 2020-21 academic year and the Biola London program is a fall-only program, therefore student options were already limited significantly. We plan to pursue robust Study Tour offerings for Summer 2021 in an effort to provide global learning opportunities for students as soon as possible, so long as health and safety can be ensured.

When will students know how their class will be offered and what class sessions will be in person or remote?

MyAccount reflects whether or not their class will be in-person or remote.

When do students need to enroll by to avoid any late fees related to enrollment for the spring semester?

The enrollment deadline for spring 2021 is December 15, 2020. We will waive the tuition late fee for students who sign up for housing after the posted Dec. 15 deadline in order to provide time for them to make arrangements.

Can Phase 2 students change their course delivery preference (i.e. remote or in-person)?

Yes. Prior to March 8, 2021, Phase 2 students can request to change their course delivery preference by emailing the professor of their course. In the email to their professor, the student should indicate whether they want to switch from in-person to remote or from remote to in-person. Professors will then fill out a form that will start the process of obtaining necessary approvals for this change. After March 8, course delivery preferences cannot be changed.


Academic Calendar/Events

When will the Spring semester start?

The official start of the Spring Semester will be on January 25 for the majority of students taking traditional and graduate classes, which is two weeks later than originally scheduled. This will provide a two-week window during the flu season, and it will afford faculty and staff the additional weeks to prepare for their Spring Semester classes. There are some exceptions of classes (e.g. some online programs, session A classes) that will begin on January 11. Students in those classes will receive follow up communication next week. Students from the approved on-campus programs this fall (e.g. clinical nursing) will also receive further information next week about their start date.

Will there be a Spring Break?

There will not be a spring break in 2021 in order to minimize the risk of the virus spreading due to extended travel. However, Biola knows it is vital and important for students to have time off for mental health and wellness during the semester so students will get five wellness days throughout the semester to replace spring break. More details about the specific dates for the wellness days will be released mid-November.

What are “wellness days” and how will they be distributed throughout the semester?

Five wellness days will be identified throughout the Spring semester to support mental health and wellness as well as to replace Spring Break. More details about the dates will be released mid-November. The wellness days will be non-instructional days, which will apply to students and faculty. Staff will continue to work through the wellness days as they do during spring break in a normal semester.

If LA County requires Biola to be fully remote in Spring 2021, will the start date revert to the original start date?

It would be too difficult to shift the start date back to January 11, so we don’t anticipate changing the Jan. 25 start date.

Will Missions Conference still occur?

Missions Conference will not be delivered in its traditional 3-day format. We know this will be disappointing to many students because of the rich connections students make with mission organizations and they get to hear Biola’s heart and soul for the Great Commission. Missions Conference dates will need to be used for instructional days this Spring. The Student Missionary Union is working to create conference content that will be delivered through Canvas for students to watch throughout the week and other creative opportunities for students to engage in.

When will Spring 2021 Commencement occur?

Spring Commencement is planned for May 7-8, subject to health requirements.

Will there be a break between session A and session B classes?

Session A classes that start on Jan. 11 will have a week break before the start of session B classes. Session A classes that start on Jan. 25 might not have a break before session B.


Student Jobs

Will Biola still offer campus employment for the Spring semester for students studying on-campus or learning remotely?

Yes, employment opportunities will still be available for students. Whether or not they will be in-person or remote is still to be determined.

Are out-of-state students electing to study remotely still able to qualify for Biola jobs?

Yes. Biola has contracted with a third party staffing solution, nextSource, in order to hire student employees who work outside California in the event is not legally feasible for Biola to employ the student

Are international students able to qualify for Biola jobs?

Yes, if they work within California. International students, in the U.S., on F-1 Visas, will need to work within California to fulfill their visa requirements. However, international students, outside the U.S., may be hired through nextSource as temporary employees.

Will students participating in Federal Work Study and electing to study remotely be able to work a Biola job outside of California?

If the student is working out of state they must be hired by nextSource because it is not legally feasible for Biola to do so, therefore, the student will not be eligible for Federal Work Study.

What option is available if I am unable to perform any part of my work from home or my usual remote workplace because I am advised to quarantine?

On September 9, 2020, California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for Non-Food Sector Employees became available to employees who leave their home to perform work. If there is any part of your job that you cannot perform from home or your usual remote workplace (i.e., you must come to campus or travel to some other location to do a part of your job) because any of your job duties do not allow for them to be performed remotely, you may qualify for CA COVID Supplemental Paid Sick Leave if one of the following applies to you:

  1. You are subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; or
  2. You are advised by a healthcare provide to self-quarantine or self-isolate due to COVID-19 related concerns; or
  3. Biola prohibits you from working due to health concerns related to the potential transmission of COVID-19.

Read this bulletin for details. If after reading this announcement and the bulletin you believe you qualify for this supplemental sick pay benefit, contact maura.peirson@biola.edu for further instructions.


Finances

Will tuition be reduced for Spring 2021? If so, how will it impact financial aid?

Tuition will not be reduced, however, a COVID-19 Tuition Relief Grant will be given to full-time students enrolled in the spring semester, based on their program, in accordance with the table below, in order to help with some of the financial challenges students and families are facing due to the pandemic. There are some exceptions for those students whose tuition is already covered or will be fully covered by institutional aid and/or other tuition-based scholarships. Part-time students will receive a prorated amount based on their program enrollment level. This will be in addition to the financial aid package students will receive for the spring. Students will not have to pay this back. It’s not a loan. It’s meant to be a way of standing with students in the hardships they have faced.

Program

(full-time status)

Grant Amount

(to be applied to spring semester tuition)

Traditional Undergraduate

$1,000

Master’s

$225

Doctoral

$150

Teacher Certification

$225

Online Bachelor’s

$225

Why is the COVID-19 Tuition Relief Grant 50 percent of the amount offered in Fall 2021?

COVID-19 has impacted organizations financially and Biola was not spared. The university was able to financially give students a tuition relief grant in the fall at a higher amount, by 50%, because there was more financial capacity. Biola’s financial situation has since changed. The university has experienced a reduction in force, budget cuts, loss of employee benefits and a hiring freeze. In light of that, Biola’s leadership wanted to give students some form of a tuition relief grant for the spring semester and is able to award 50% of the fall amounts.

When will the $200 late enrollment fee be charged?

The late enrollment fee will be assessed sometime on Dec. 16 for all students who are “Not Enrolled” on myaccount.biola.edu.

Will there be other institutional grants or aid for students who are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19?

Yes. Any student can apply for additional aid for traditional undergraduate students from the Hope in Crisis Fund, which was funded by Biola’s donors. Students can apply by completing the COVID-19 Financial Impact Questionnaire. Funds are limited, therefore students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Students are encouraged to connect with financial aid to discuss their options.

If a student decides to attend Biola part-time instead of full-time for the spring, will their academic scholarship be reduced?

If you attend part time in the spring, your scholarship would be prorated. For example: if a student’s original full-time academic scholarship is $10,000 for spring and the student takes 6 units, then the scholarship would be reduced to $5,000.

Will students who continue to do classes remotely receive an additional grant or tuition reduction?

No. The COVID tuition relief grant is provided to students in order to help with some of the financial challenges students and families are facing due to the pandemic. Taking classes in-person or remotely is not a reason for the grant.

When will students need to drop classes and withdraw from Biola if they don’t intend to enroll for the spring 2021 semester to receive a tuition refund?

The last day to drop classes for a full tuition refund for the spring semester is two weeks after the term start date for full semester classes. See the academic calendar for this schedule. March 21 is the last day to drop full-term classes with a partial refund. Session A classes need to be dropped by the end of Week 1 in order to receive a full refund. View the tuition refund schedule online for the most accurate information regarding your classes and program.

Will the Biola COVID-19 Tuition Relief Grant affect my eligibility for Pell, Cal Grant, or other types of aid?

  • Pell Grant eligibility will not be impacted by this grant. In very limited instances, Cal Grant eligibility may be reduced because of the grant.
  • There may be adjustments to some students' federal loan eligibility and/or Federal Work Study eligibility after the grant is added. These adjustments will be made in accordance with federal rules.
  • If your total institutional aid for the spring exceeds your institutional charges, institutional aid may be reduced. If you are receiving military benefits, this may impact your eligibility for some of those benefits. The Office of Financial Aid plans to have all adjustments completed by November 13.
  • Because other types of aid such as federal aid must be reviewed during this process, there may be a period of time when the aid reflected on your student account is not accurate. If your aid does not appear to be accurate, please check your account again after you receive notification that your aid has been adjusted.

Is there additional aid available for students who will move to campus?

If you are eligible to move on campus and will need additional financial assistance due to Covid, please visit our Covid Resources page. If you typically use loans from a private lender to assist with covering your costs, we encourage you to contact your lender to apply for additional funds for the spring. If you use the PLUS Loan to assist with your costs and would like to increase your spring PLUS amount, please complete a Parent PLUS Loan Change Form and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid.

Will students who are accepted late be charged a late enrollment fee?

No. Students who have an acceptance date after Nov. 1 will not receive a late enrollment fee.

When will the $200 late enrollment fee be charged?

Biola has waived the $200 late fee, which would have been assessed after the Dec. 15 deadline. Students who registered for classes after Dec. 15 will not receive a late fee.


Student Life

What will “community” look like for the select students who are living on campus?

Students living on campus will be invited to participate in all online, and remote programming being planned for the entire student population. In addition, we hope to provide a few socially distanced in-person connection points for on campus students to meet and interact with Student Development staff and each other. Beginning in mid-February, we will offer in-person chapel services. Initially, these chapel services will be available to all students who reside in on-campus housing, and further information on this can be found in the FAQs. We hope circumstances will change soon so that any student who wants to worship in person can come to campus to do so, and we will certainly keep you updated on our progress in making that happen. We encourage you to watch this story from students who experienced living on campus this fall. We hope this video will give you a sense of what living on campus in Spring 2021 may be like.

Where will masks be required on campus?

Students, faculty and staff are required to wear cloth face coverings on campus at all times, unless they are in their office, eating or in their room alone.

What health precautions will be in place for campus community life?

Biola community members will be required to keep a distance of at least 6 feet from one another at all times. They will be required to wear masks at all times, except when they are alone in their office or dorm room or they are eating. In addition, students and employees will be required to symptom check prior to leaving their door room or arriving to work on campus.

Are students limited in their travel during the semester?

There will be no restrictions on students traveling to different regions or cities. However, students will be strongly encouraged to limit their travel in order to minimize potential exposure to COVID-19. In addition, a new quarantine requirement is in place for anyone who has engaged in non-essential travel outside of the county of Los Angeles. Reference the January 3 update for more information.

Will chapels be required during the spring semester?

  • Chapels and pastoral care will continue during the spring semester as they have for 112 years, just in a new format. Weekly chapels have always been a central part of Biola University’s education and community life. We will offer various online chapels through Canvas, and they will be available for limited periods of time.
  • In sensitivity to “Zoom fatigue,” each student will be provided 6 extra credits. In other words, full-time students will need to attend 14 chapels, which averages to one per week. The conference credit requirement will be waived for this semester, and Missions Conference programming will be integrated into chapel offerings.
  • Pastoral care has always been available to Biola students as they identify the particular ways God is inviting them to cooperate with him in their growth, maturity, and intimacy with him. Appointments for pastoral care will continue to be available online and staff will be ready to serve students remotely.
  • Beginning in mid-February, we will offer in-person chapel services. Initially, these chapel services will be available to all students who reside in on-campus housing. We hope circumstances will change soon so that any student who wants to worship in person can come to campus to do so, and we will certainly keep you updated on our progress in making that happen.
  • Students who meet the qualifications and choose to return to campus in Phase 3 will be required to attend chapel in-person once per week.

Will in-person chapels be offered in the Spring?

Beginning in mid-February, we will offer in-person chapel services. Initially, these chapel services will be available to all students who reside in on-campus housing. We hope circumstances will change soon so that any student who wants to worship in person can come to campus to do so, and we will certainly keep you updated on our progress in making that happen. Students who meet the qualifications and choose to return to campus in Phase 3 will be required to attend chapel in-person once per week.

Will students be required to have a parking permit in Spring 2021?

Students who plan to live and learn on campus will need to obtain a parking permit. Undergraduate students who qualify for the Phase 3 move-in date will pay a $120 prorated rate for their parking permit. View the parking permit fee schedule for graduate students at biola.edu/campus-safety/vehicle.

What will meals and on-campus food options be for Spring 2021?

Heritage Cafe will be open with regular hours throughout the Spring semester. The Cafe will also be open during the Spring Semester for grab and go meals during the following hours: Breakfast — Monday-Friday, 7:30-9:30 a.m. and Sundays 7:30-8:30 a.m., Lunch — Monday-Friday, 11:30-2:00 p.m., Saturdays 11-1 p.m. and Sundays 12-2 p.m. Dinner — Monday-Thursday, 4:30-7:30 p.m. and Friday-Sunday, 5-6:30 p.m. Meal plans and housing rates will be prorated based on a student’s move-in date.

Will in-person student events be allowed or hosted on campus such as Mock Rock?

Social activities would be limited per current county restrictions and protocols. In-person events like Mock Rock and Nation Ball will not be happening during the spring semester given the protocols. However, a team is working to brainstorm creative alternatives to our annual events. Of course, students will be able to connect as long as they are physically distant and wear face coverings. Our desire is to have the most robust community as we can within the health protocols. While distancing and wearing face masks can be real barriers to connection, we know it’s still possible to have meaningful connections even with these protocols in place.


Health

Will the flu vaccine be required?

Yes. In August, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health released mandates specific to colleges and universities to help mitigate the burden of illness on campuses, in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic. One of those requirements is mandatory flu vaccines for all students with any level of on-campus participation (ie. athletic participation, residential students, attending in-person classes). This mandatory vaccine is just for the 20-21 academic year in order to comply with the county mandates and to help reduce the burden of the flu season in the midst of COVID-19. In this season, we are working together to maintain health on our campus, to prevent from overwhelming health systems with illness during the pandemic (i.e., flu looks very much like COVID-19), and to protect the health of our greater community. Sometimes people feel unsure about the safety of vaccines, particularly in what the media is sharing about the development of a vaccine for COVID-19. Please refer to this handout from the CDC. The flu vaccine has been utilized for many years, has an excellent safety profile, and has been given safely on campus for decades.

Why is Biola requiring the flu vaccine?

As required by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, this year the flu vaccine is mandatory for all students with reason to be on campus to conduct a permitted activity (see page 5, section B of L.A. County protocols). Flu vaccines will help to reduce the burden of the flu on our community in the midst of COVID-19. Students will be required to submit vaccine records by December 15, 2020.

Will students need to get a COVID-19 vaccine once available?

Biola has not yet made a decision about requiring our students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and there is no such requirement for employees or for students returning to campus for the Spring 2021 semester. The vaccine is still in its early stages of distribution and Biola's leadership is monitoring the situation. We expect that the administration will have more information from health officials as the semester progresses. That information will be gathered and there will be fuller discussions at that time.

In regards to COVID-19 testing and tracing, how will people be notified of someone who is infected?

Close contacts of students who are positive for COVID-19 will be notified of potential exposure as well as further medical and quarantine instructions, by the Student Health Center. Notification processes are confidential and the name of the COVID-19 case will not be disclosed. Enrolled students can access the Student Health Center for evaluation, testing, and treatment over the course of the semester.

Will students learning and living on campus be expected to have their temperature checked?

Students will be expected to do symptom checks prior to leaving their room or arriving on campus. It will also be important to have collective cooperation with the following preventative measures to keep our campus safe:

  • Stay home when you are sick, do not go to class or work and call the Student Health Center or see your primary care doctor for further evaluation of your symptoms
  • Routinely wash your hands
  • Keep physical distancing of at least 6 feet between yourself and others
  • Wear a cloth face covering while out and about on campus
  • Routinely sanitize high touch surface areas in your living quarters

Please be mindful of these practices when you are off campus as well.

Will I need to get health insurance if I’m fully remote and not living on campus?

  • Fully remote domestic students will not need to provide proof of health insurance. It will still only be required if they come to campus for seven units or more. (They will, however, still be eligible for the student health insurance plan if they are enrolled in seven or more units with at least three of those which would normally have been on-campus credits.)
  • Fully remote international students will still need to provide proof of health insurance if they are living in the United States.

Will I need to get health insurance for spring semester?

Health Insurance is required for all domestic students enrolled in seven or more on-campus units and for all international students living in the United States.

What mental health services at the Biola Counseling Center will be available this spring?

The Biola Counseling Center (BCC) will continue to offer mental health support to the Biola community through a variety of telehealth services. Individual psychotherapy, group counseling, couples, and premarital counseling are available to students currently living in California. Students who live outside of California can be referred to a local therapist in their area by the BCC. Online workshops and virtual drop-in consultations are available to all students regardless of location. The Therapy Essentials workshop is a 2-hour class designed to help students gain a fresh perspective on issues or struggles they’re facing and build their capacity to manage stress and make positive changes. Virtual Drop-In Consultations are brief, problem-solving conversations in which a therapist will listen, provide support, offer resources, and help brainstorm solutions. There is no charge to attend the workshop or drop-in. Students can find additional information and how to utilize the above services on the BCC website.

Will Biola change their 14-day quarantine guidelines to match the recent CDC update?

The CDC recently released an update to reduce the number of days in quarantine. The update states twice that your local health dept. has jurisdiction and final say regarding quarantine and what is appropriate to the situation in your specific area. Due to the surge and conditions in Los Angeles, LACDPH is not endorsing the shortened quarantine recommendations at this time. The CDC doc also states that they continue to support a 14-day quarantine. Therefore, Biola will continue to require quarantines to be 14 days. Biola will check in regularly and monitor for any updates regarding quarantine. Contact Biola’s Health Center with any additional questions.

Will students living and learning on campus be required to get tested for COVID-19?

Initial campus entry and routine surveillance testing will be required for all students and faculty involved in in-person classes, access to campus or living on campus. Upon return to campus, residential students will be required to take a COVID-19 saliva based PCR test prior to check-in, and quarantine in their room until the results return (approximately 36 hours) or their 10-day quarantine is completed if arriving from outside LA County. See January 3 update for more information on LA County’s quarantine requirements. Meals and student support will be available during this time. Commuters and faculty will need to report for testing two days before the week of Feb. 15. Students and faculty living on or accessing campus will be required to take a COVID test twice a month. COVID-19 surveillance testing will be free of charge when students and faculty make their scheduled time as assigned by the Health Center.


Housing

Will more students be allowed to live on campus in spring 2021?

In addition to students already approved to move into campus housing (Phase 1), students enrolled in eligible courses (Phase 2) and international students who have no feasible residential options will be approved for a phased move onto campus in Spring 2021. Additional details were sent to students eligible for housing on Dec. 15. In addition, students who are not approved to return to campus in Phase 1 or 2 and have housing needs because their current residential environment is not conducive for remote learning, or they have an on campus job that requires them to be on campus for the Spring 2021 semester may complete a form to apply to live on campus. Applications will be reviewed by the Housing & Residence Life team and applicants will be contacted with further guidance after completing the form. At this time, the university will not be able to guarantee any specific housing placement.

When will students know about housing options for the spring semester?

More information will be shared with students enrolled in designated courses the week of Dec 14. This information will include a timeline for applying for housing and signing up for a spring assignment.

If students are allowed to return to residential living, when will their housing fees be added to their bill?

Housing charges will apply to student accounts within a few business days of students choosing their spring assignment. More details on the selection process will be shared the week of Dec. 14.

Will students who live on campus have the freedom to go off campus, if and when you do, what is the expectation?

Students who are living on campus will be allowed to leave and return to campus as needed. Whether on campus or off, we expect students to adhere to CDC recommendations regarding mask usage, hand washing and physical distancing.

Will students who are allowed to live on campus still be expected to opt-in to a meal plan?

Yes, students living on campus will be required to have the minimum meal plan of 10 meals a week.

For students who will live on campus, will they live with roommates or in certain buildings?

Students allowed to live on campus will live in single rooms, without roommates. All buildings will be occupied; students living in apartments with multiple bedrooms will share their apartment with one other person and students in suites will have a suitemate.

Will students without other housing options who are not approved for Phase 1 or 2 be able to apply for housing?

Students who are not approved to return to campus in Phase 1 or 2 and have housing needs because their current residential environment is not conducive for remote learning, or they have an on campus job that requires them to be on campus for the Spring 2021 semester, may complete this form to apply to live on campus. Applications will be reviewed by the Housing & Residence Life team and applicants will be contacted with further guidance after completing the form.


Gap Year/Withdrawing

If I took a gap semester in Fall 2020, do I need to reapply or re-enroll for Spring 2021?

Students who took a gap semester or withdrew in the fall will need to submit a readmit app. Students can complete and submit the simple, one-page online application for readmit students. Submit the online app by October 23rd if you want to register with continuing students. Registration opens on Nov. 2.

Can I take a gap semester? Will I need to reapply or re-enroll for Fall 2021?

If any student wants to take a gap year as a result of being remote in the spring, we will honor their academic scholarship and preserve their semester-based financial aid package for their return to Biola in accordance with normal state, federal and institutional financial aid policies, including but not limited to the calculation of need-based aid.

However, each academic program has distinct requirements and protocols, so students will need to consult with their admissions counselor (incoming students) or academic advisor (continuing students) to receive the most accurate information about holding a student’s spot in a given program. Continuing students who take a gap semester must officially withdraw from the university and complete the readmission process. Incoming students should inform their admissions counselor if they plan to enroll in a later semester.


Student Support

What services will be available this spring?

Most all student services will be available virtually for students by phone or video conference. However, there are some on-campus services that will remain closed if we remain in the purple tier of the state system. For example, the Fitness Center will be closed as indoor workouts and conditioning is prohibited. There are other services that may open (if county restrictions are lifted) but with reduced capacity. This includes the Library and bookstore. The eateries will be grab-and-go until we’re allowed to repopulate at the county capacity limits. We will of course keep the campus community updated as to what facilities and services are available and at what capacity as we get into the semester. Biola is committed to providing opportunities for connection and involvement, health and well-being, cultural humility, spiritual development and preparation for life after Biola. Students can engage with service on the Biola app, as well.

What mental health resources are available for students besides the Biola Counseling Center?

Biola’s Pastoral Care team under the leadership of the Dean of Spiritual Development and Campus Pastor Todd Pickett will meet with students via Zoom and telephone regardless of student location. Spiritual Direction will also be available through the Institute for Spiritual Formation.

Where can I find support for financial insecurity, food insecurity, housing insecurity, etc.?

  • Students who have concerns about finances, food, housing, textbooks, or other basic needs insecurities for the Spring 2020 semester may visit Biola's Basic Needs programming website to learn about the different resources they can access while a student at Biola and fill out the Student Basic Needs intake form found on the website.
  • For students experiencing food insecurity, the Biola Shares team will be hosting a bi-weekly drive-thru Pop-Up Food Pantry on Biola's campus for students living locally to pick up basic food items while enrolled at Biola. The first drive-thru food pantry for the Spring 2021 semester, will occur on Thursday, January 14, 2021. For additional questions regarding this resource or any other BiolaShares service please email biola.shares@biola.edu.

Freshmen and Incoming Students

I’m a new incoming student. What can I expect in terms of support this semester?

Biola is eager to welcome and support each incoming UG student. Each student will have an assigned faculty/staff advisor and have continued opportunities for faculty mentoring and community engagement.

Will there be New Student Orientation this Spring?

Yes, new student orientation will take place for incoming students. New Student Orientation has already been adapted to take place primarily online, via a series of interactive and self-paced Canvas modules. These modules have been carefully crafted to be both informative and engaging, and they address everything students need to know and do in order to successfully transition into life at Biola. Completion is required by Monday, January 25. More details are available at biola.edu/student-orientation/schedule.


Athletics

Will athletes get to play an extra semester/year?

The NCAA has made available a season of competition and extension of eligibility waivers for all sports. These waivers extend extra semesters/seasons if certain requirements are met. More information on COVID-19 impact on athletic availability is posted in this NCAA Q&A document. Contact neil.morgan@biola.edu for any student-specific eligibility questions.

Will college sports compete in the spring semester?

Student-athletes who desire to return to campus can do so under the county and state guidelines. We had 294 student-athletes conditioning on campus this fall and will welcome back all student-athletes in January. The NCAA has canceled fall championships for 2020-21, reduced the allowable number of competitions, and plans to hold winter and spring championships this coming semester. The PacWest Conference will have a limited number of competitive contests for sports this spring that are all planned for the local Southern California area. Student-athletes who plan to participate in the Spring 2021 season will have a two week “quiet period” protocol to follow leading up to their return to campus. Upon your return to campus, we will be doing baseline testing for COVID-19 for each student-athlete and staff member. Teams will enter into “Phase 2” protocols until their team is cleared from the initial COVID-19 testing. After approval from our Team Physician, teams will move on to the “Phase 3” protocols, which are our competitive phase protocols. Coaches will be communicating with student-athletes on what that looks like for their team specifically as we approach our return in January.


International Students

What is the latest guidance from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) regarding the spring 2021 semester?

At this time, SEVP has not released any new or specific guidance for the spring 2021 term. Based on SEVP guidance released for fall 2020, it is expected that students with initial I-20s will need to be enrolled in an approved in-person course in order to pursue entry to the U.S. Our hope is that there will be less restrictions so that Biola can offer more in-person courses starting March 1. However, we recommend students base decisions on the list of in-person courses available now. It is also expected that students with an active F-1 visa may continue to maintain their F-1 status while studying outside of the U.S. in spring 2021 by enrolling as full-time students. Biola will continue to monitor for official guidance from SEVP and will update the community when new or further details are known. International students are encouraged to contact their DSO to discuss individual situations by submitting this form.

Who can I contact for immigration related questions?

New incoming students are encouraged to contact International Admissions international.coordinator@biola.edu and continuing students are encouraged to contact Biola Student Immigration Services at studentvisa.services@biola.edu.

Who can I contact for questions about Global Student Services & Orientation?

Students can contact Global Student Services & Orientation at globalstudentservices@biola.edu.

Will international students need to quarantine upon entering the U.S.?

A new quarantine requirement is in place for anyone who has engaged in non-essential travel outside of the county of Los Angeles. Anyone who has travelled outside of Southern California (defined as the counties of Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara or Ventura) must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival to the Los Angeles County area. Those returning to live on campus who have been outside the So Cal region must stay in their rooms and not leave campus for the duration of their quarantine, leaving only for meal pick up at the cafe or urgent/emergent medical care. The 10-day quarantine starts when students enter the county. Initial campus entry and routine surveillance testing will be required for all students and faculty involved in in-person classes or living on campus. Upon return to campus, residential students will be required to take a COVID-19 saliva based PCR test prior to check-in, and quarantine in their room until the results return (approximately 48 hours). Students with an active F-1 visa may continue to study in their home country in Spring 2021 by enrolling as full-time students.


Access to Campus

Will the library or other campus buildings be open for use?

Currently, the Fitness Center will be closed as indoor workouts and conditioning is prohibited. There are other services that may open (if county restrictions are lifted) but with reduced capacity such as the Library and Biola Store. Both the Library and Biola Store are open for curbside pickup and mail to home or remote services.

Will students living off campus be able to access campus for resources?

Commuter students in Phase 2 and 3 will access the campus for their courses or athletic conditioning. Students who are identified as eligible for a student job on campus will be able to access campus for their essential work responsibilities. Biola is hoping that by March 1 other commuter students will be able to access campus services such as the library. Biola will keep students updated when restrictions loosen and more students are able to access campus services.


Phase 3 FAQs

Will classes be in-person for Phase 3?

Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, at this point government restrictions still prevent us from having indoor lecture classes. We don’t know when these restrictions will be lifted. This means we need to offer students the option of remote or — when permissible — in-person classes, technology will not enable us to simultaneously deliver online and outdoor classes. Unless yours is a class that is part of Phase 2 that we previously announced as being in person (such as a lab or a studio class in the essential workforce categories), all courses will remain remote until state or county orders change.

What are the requirements for Phase 3 students to qualify to live on-campus?

Students who want to move onto campus must meet all the following criteria to be allowed back onto campus for Phase 3 repopulation. Students must be committed to attend one in-person chapel each week and not have any other feasible housing alternative (e.g. student lives further than 25 miles from campus). Students who meet these qualifications should review the Student Handbook and the important information on the website.

Why do students who decide to move on campus have to attend a weekly in-person chapel service?

Government orders allow us to offer in-person worship activity given the religious identity of Biola and recent judicial decisions supporting constitutional protections. In our biblically centered university, educating students in mind and character to impact the world for Christ is our mission and is at the core of what we do. It is essential to the Biola student experience. As many of us have experienced, being separated from church and spiritual community has made COVID-19 a very difficult time. Beginning in mid-February, Biola will offer in-person chapel services. Initially, these chapel services will be available to all students who reside in on-campus housing. We hope circumstances will change soon so that any student who wants to worship in person can come to campus to do so, and we will certainly keep you updated on our progress in making that happen.

Do in-person chapels count toward my chapel requirement?

Yes, you will receive chapel credit for each in-person chapel you attend. Students will need to supplement in-person chapels with Biola at Home Chapels through Canvas to fulfill the spring requirement of 14 chapels for full-time students (six have already been gifted to help students to reach the usual total of 20).

What if I have scheduling conflicts with the chapel times. Can I be excused?

No, in order to move on campus in Phase 3, you are committing to prioritize in-person chapel attendance in your schedule. If you have conflicts that cannot be moved, you should not plan to move onto campus. More details about the in-person chapel days and times will be sent out the week of February 1.

Why can’t commuter students (who are not part of Phase 1 and 2) attend in-person chapels?

We wish we could commit now to making the in-person chapels available to all students. Our concern relates to the still high numbers of COVID-19 infections in the county as well as a recent group of residential students who tested positive. While worshipping in person is important to us, we have to make sure the health of all is paramount. One of the ways we do this is by the surveillance testing we have implemented this spring. It is just not feasible at this point to perform such testing on every student who may want to occasionally access campus for chapel. As numbers drop and circumstances change, our hope is that we can phase in this opportunity for our non-residential students also.

Are students allowed to leave campus (to go home, go to get take-out, hang out with apartment mates, etc.)?

Yes, students are allowed to leave campus. There are no restrictions on students traveling to different regions or cities, however, students are strongly encouraged to limit their off-campus activities and travel in order to minimize potential exposure to COVID-19. Students who live together in off-campus homes are considered to be part of a household so there’s no restriction on their interaction. However, transmission has been observed in student homes as some live with others who have high exposure risk (i.e., working in childcare centers, etc.). Therefore, it’s important students make decisions that best support their health and reduce risk and risk to others. Contact the Health Center to make a telehealth appointment with the triage nurse at the health center if talking through this with a healthcare provider would be helpful.

Will facilities, such as the library, be open for students to use?

The Fitness Center will be closed as indoor workouts and conditioning is prohibited. There are other services such as the Library and Biola Store that may open (if/when county restrictions are lifted), but with reduced capacity. Campus eateries are open for grab-and-go and outdoor dining (socially distanced). Additional facilities may open as county restrictions change or are lifted.

What do move-in logistics look like for Phase 3 students?

Students will receive a confirmed check in date from the Housing and Residence Life office. While students may arrive in state the day prior, they will not be able to access campus until their check in date, either March 1 or 2. Two people from the same household as the student can help the student move in on the day of their check in. A comprehensive list of what is approved in the housing handbook can be found at biola.edu/housing. Please also refer to COVID-19 Testing requirements in the email you received or here.

Once more students move on campus during Phase 3, will all rooms still be single-occupancy?

In keeping with current state and county protocols, students will be housed individually. The lobbies will not have furniture per county protocol to limit students from congregating indoors.

How will in-person chapel work? Who can attend and will there be a quarantine/testing requirement?

In-person chapels will meet Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. and Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. outdoors. All Phase 3 students must attend one in-person chapel per week, which counts toward students’ chapel requirement. Since this is a requirement for housing, all seniors and engineering students in their last semester at Biola must also attend at least one in-person chapel per week. Phase 2 students can attend, but are not required to attend the in-person chapels. The first in person chapel will be Wednesday, Feb. 17 for students who will be on campus for Phase 2. Phase 3 students will be invited to attend in-person chapels starting Wednesday March 10.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine be required for students once it is more available?

Biola has not yet made a decision about requiring our students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and there is no such requirement for employees or for students returning to campus for the Spring 2021 semester. The vaccine is still in its early stages of distribution and Biola's leadership is monitoring the situation. We expect that the administration will have more information from health officials as the semester progresses. That information will be gathered and there will be fuller discussions at that time.

How does quarantine/isolation work for students who are positive for COVID-19?

Biola has a supply of rooms set aside to accommodate on-campus students needing to quarantine or isolate. Students will receive ongoing digital daily assessment, access to healthcare as needed, meal delivery and access to spiritual and mental health support.

Do the same on-campus distancing rules apply to students when they are off campus?

There are no restrictions on students leaving campus, however, Biola expects students to continue to follow health protocols when they do leave campus. Hikes, walks and physically distant conversations are all still possible, while adhering to the health protocols.

Why do students need to be tested for COVID-19 regularly?

Mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing is another mitigation strategy that Biola began implementing this Spring. This emerging best practice allows identification of individuals who may be in a pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic phase of the illness and isolate them to reduce the burden of spread on campus. This is a saliva based test that is offered free of charge when students and faculty come to their assigned testing window. Students will obtain a COVID-19 test on campus when they arrive. Residents will obtain a test when they check-in to their dorm. Commuter students in Phase 2 courses/programs will be tested on Friday, February 12 between 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Students and faculty will be tested routinely approximately every two weeks.


HEERF II/CRRSAA

How does Biola define exceptional need?

Students who have exceptional need meet the following criteria:

  • Students filed 20/21 FAFSA and completed their file with the Office of Financial Aid
  • Students must have spring tuition charges greater than $2k.
  • Students must have a family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) less than $10,001.
  • Students must have unmet need (COA-EFC-Gift Aid) greater than $5k.

Are incoming students eligible to receive the funds?

No, the funds are only available for students who are enrolled in the current spring term.

Will graduate students, PTUG and part-time students be eligible and if so, will they receive a smaller amount?

These categories of students are eligible if they meet the criteria, and they will receive the same amount as traditional undergraduate students. Graduate, PTUG and part-time students have a lower cost of attendance which was taken into account in determining the eligibility threshold.

Can undocumented students or international students receive these grants?

According to the federal guidance, the CRRSAA and HEERF funding cannot be used for international students or undocumented students. However, there are other emergency funding or institutional aid available to help those students. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at financialaid@biola.edu so they can assist you in identifying every option available to you to meet as much of your unmet need as possible.

What is a HEERF grant?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, HEERF stands for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and is authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. The fund provides $81.88 billion in support of education and to support students’ learning through the COVID-19 pandemic.

How can students get the money?

Since these grants are automatic, eligible students need not apply to receive them. The fastest way for students to get their money will be through direct deposit (ACH), if they already have it set up. For those eligible students who have not set up direct deposit, they will receive a check in the mail to the address reflected on their student account.

When will grants be disbursed?

The Accounting Department is working to disburse direct deposits by March 19 and checks will be mailed on March 24 to those who do not have direct deposit set up.

Do students need to apply to get the grant?

No. Students will not have to apply to receive this grant. Eligible students will automatically receive it.

Who is eligible to receive the funds?

Students who meet the set of criteria below are eligible to receive the funds:

  • Students must be enrolled for the spring term at any level (e.g. undergraduate, graduate, PTUG, online students).
  • Title IV eligible students with satisfactory academic progress.
  • Students filed 20/21 FAFSA and completed their file with Biola’s Office of Financial Aid
  • Students must have spring tuition charges greater than $2,000.
  • Students must have a family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) less than $10,001.
  • Students must have unmet need (COA-EFC-Gift Aid) greater than $5,000.

Summer 2021

Will all summer classes be held remotely?

The majority of our summer courses in session A and B will be offered online or remote, with a few exceptions. In-person options may expand as we near the start of summer session A if circumstances continue to change.

Will more students be allowed to move into summer housing outside of Phase 1, 2, 3?

Yes. We will offer summer housing to more students who wish to live on campus. More details will be shared from Housing & Residence Life the week of March 22 regarding who is eligible, the process for applying, summer dates and more.

Will visitors be allowed on campus?

Visitors may be allowed on campus under special circumstances this summer, however, Biola is waiting on additional information from the county. COVID safe on-campus tours are available for prospective students by reservation only.

Can students who are taking summer internships nearby be allowed to live on campus?

Yes, if they are enrolled in a credit summer course.

Will the library be open for the summer semester?

The Library will be open at a reduced capacity of normal occupancy with reduced hours for students, faculty and staff. The occupancy will be announced during the summer since we expect LA County to move into the orange tier over the summer, allowing a higher occupancy than what is currently allowed.

Am I eligible for free summer housing?

Free summer housing is only available to those students who are currently living on campus and planning on enrolling in a summer course. Dr. Corey shared in his announcement about the phases: “For those moving onto campus in the spring, and to assist with their educational progress, students taking courses in either summer session A or B will be allowed to continue to live in our residences during those enrolled summer sessions at no charge for housing.”

I am a graduating senior, but I plan on taking a summer course. Am I eligible for summer housing?

Unfortunately, we are not able to permit you to live in campus housing this summer.

Will staying on campus during the summer guarantee me housing in the fall?

No. All students interested in fall housing must go through the Housing Selection process. Details on that process can be found on the Housing & Residence Life website!

What if I’m not enrolling in either summer session? Can I still live in campus housing?

Yes, if you are not graduating and plan on enrolling in the fall, you may live in campus housing at the cost of $14.22/day, or $1550 for the full summer.

Can I live on campus this summer if I’m not planning on living on campus this fall?

Yes! But you must be a continuing fall student. Summer housing typically ends one week before the end of Summer Session B for students not living in fall housing, in order to allow facilities sufficient time to prepare for the fall opening. We have not yet been able to determine if that date can be moved for off campus students. If you live on campus for the fall, you will transition to your fall assignment at that time.

Will I have a roommate if I live on campus during Summer 2021?

At this time, we do not anticipate any students having roommates during summer housing.

Will kitchens and common areas still be closed during Summer 2021?

At this time the kitchens and common areas will continue to be closed. However, if LA county guidelines for Institutions of Higher Education change, we will reopen kitchen and common areas in accordance with the guidance.

Can students pay for summer courses with a credit card?

Yes! We will be allowing all students to pay for Summer classes with a credit card starting April 1 to June 30. This is a change only for Summer 2021.


Fall 2021

Is Biola fully reopening in Fall 2021?

Yes, Biola Returns for Fall 2021. Our students will be returning to living and learning on campus for the new academic year. We are hopeful for a strong return of students in the fall with a much more normal semester beginning August 30 with all in-person classes except those pre-designed for online delivery.

Will classes be in person in the fall?

This fall, all classes will be delivered in-person with accommodations available for students who cannot travel to the United States or have other health conditions which prevent them from being on campus. Fully remote options will be available for the fall through the Learning Center for any student who is unable to attend in person.

In light of LA County’s restrictions, how does Biola plan to reopen campus to all students in Fall 2021?

With the increase of vaccination distribution across the state, cases dropping significantly and LA County moving into the red tier, we are planning for in-person learning and living for the fall semester. Our plans for the fall have been drafted with the expectation that the county will move into the orange tier in the next couple of months, allowing for expanded on-campus activities. If the guidelines become even less restrictive, we will adjust our practices accordingly and send an update to the Biola community.

Can I continue to attend Biola remotely?

No. Accommodations for remote classes will only be available for students who cannot travel to the United States or have other health conditions which prevent them from being on campus. Fully remote options will be available for the fall through the Learning Center for any student who is unable to attend in person.

Will Biola offer residential housing in the fall?

We currently expect our residential living will resume at our typical capacity with two students per bedroom. Please submit your fall housing application by the deadline in order to secure your spot. More details on Fall 2021 housing selection can be found on the Housing & Residence Life website.

How will chapels occur during the fall?

More than likely, chapels will be held indoors at a reduced capacity to accommodate for physical distancing. Students will have the opportunity to attend chapels in-person or watch synchronously online. 

What will Fall 2021 on-campus life look like?

With the increase of vaccination distribution across the state and cases dropping significantly, we are hopeful we will see robust in-person activities — the normal slate of collegiate athletics with fans, plays, lectures, concerts, art exhibits and the like. All on-campus services and offices will be open for students to access with appropriate physical distancing, and in some cases, at a reduced capacity.

Will students be required to wear masks?

At this point, we are planning for all faculty, staff and students to follow physical distancing guidelines and wear a face covering at all times except while eating or drinking. If the county guidelines change regarding wear masks, we will update our community.

Will there be social gatherings allowed on campus?

With the increase of vaccination distribution across the state and cases dropping significantly, we are hopeful we will see robust in-person activities — the normal slate of collegiate athletics with fans, plays, lectures, concerts, art exhibits and the like. At this time, the allowed capacity of social gatherings is unknown for the fall. However, we expect to be allowed to have social gatherings with a reduced capacity of attendees and health protocols in place. We will have more specifics over the summer months as we get closer to the start of the fall semester.

What facilities will be open for student use?

We intend to resume all campus operations and services, including all on-campus eateries, the library, the Biola Store with appropriate health and safety protocols in place.

Will there be in-person co-curricular activities happening in the fall? If so, which ones?

With the increase of vaccination distribution across the state and cases dropping significantly, we are hopeful we will see robust in-person activities — the normal slate of collegiate athletics with fans, plays, lectures, concerts, art exhibits and the like. All on-campus services and offices will be open for students to access with appropriate physical distancing, and in some cases, at a reduced capacity.

Will students traveling from outside of the state of the county be required to quarantine?

We are not sure at this time. Currently, Los Angeles County is still under the 10-day quarantine order for any person coming from outside of the SoCal region.

Will I be required to get the COVID vaccine to live and learn on-campus?

Students, faculty and staff are not required to get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to return to campus, but they are encouraged to get it. Students, faculty and staff who elect not to receive the vaccine will likely be required to undergo regular mandatory COVID-19 testing in order to return to in-person teaching, learning and working. There may also be other requirements for those not vaccinated such as mandatory quarantine in the event of an outbreak.

What health and sanitization practices will Biola implement during the fall semester?

Classroom furniture and occupancy will be adjusted to allow for physical distance between students and professors. Again, if county guidelines change and become less restrictive, we will adjust accordingly. Plexiglass shields are installed at tech podiums and lecterns around campus. All classroom touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected each weekday morning. Classroom desks and other surfaces will be treated every 60 days with a microbiostatic coating to prevent microbes including viruses from being able to live on surfaces. Hand-sanitizer dispensers will be available in every classroom and throughout campus. Furniture in the indoor and outdoor common areas, such as patios and courtyards, will be adjusted to allow for required physical distance between individuals.

Do international students who are in a lockdown country have the opportunity to do remote learning?

Students who are not able to travel to the United States due to restrictions will have the opportunity for accommodations to continue to do remote learning in the fall. They will need to contact the Learning Center to make their arrangements.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Will people who get the vaccine still spread the virus?

At this time researchers have stated that the vaccine is effective in preventing serious illness of COVID-19 in those who have been fully vaccinated. Ongoing research is underway regarding whether vaccinated individuals can transmit the virus. 

  Right now, Israel is actually leading the way in vaccinations and has over 35% of its population vaccinated, which means we can learn a lot from them. Two studies were released in March with very hopeful results. One study found that the Pfizer vaccine reduced asymptomatic transmission by 89.4%, and the second study saw a 75% reduction in transmission in asymptomatic and symptomatic cases.

Other preliminary data also suggests that vaccinated individuals are less likely to develop even asymptomatic infections, which would reduce transmission. This is very hopeful because if we can reduce transmission then we can determine when other safety measures like wearing masks can be removed.

Will the vaccine change a person’s DNA?

No. The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines provide instructions to our cells regarding how to make and develop antibodies to the COVID-19 spike proteins. Once the mRNA instructions have been given, the cell breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA (CDC, 2020). The mRNA does not change or alter our DNA in any way because it does not enter a cell’s nucleus which is where DNA is stored (CDC, 2021b).

How long will the vaccine protect a person from COVID?

Since this is a new disease that we have not had the ability to watch over time, ongoing research is needed and underway to understand how long a COVID-19 vaccine can provide antibody protection to those who receive the vaccine. Current U.S. guidelines and protocols reflect at least a six month window of protection from illness.

Will the vaccine protect someone against the many variants?

At this time researchers have found that the vaccine appears to provide protection to the circulating COVID-19 variants (CDC, 2021a). However, researchers continue to monitor COVID-19 variants and response to the available vaccines.

When the Pfizer vaccine was studied with the UK variant there was no impact on efficacy, which remained at 90-95%. When we look at the results of the South Africa variant and the Pfizer vaccine there was a 0.81-1.46-fold decrease (see comparison chart above) in neutralizing antibodies, so a slight decline. Moderna was also compared with the two new variants. The full results for the UK variant have not been released yet, but they have been predicted to have no change on efficacy as well. Moderna did see a 6-fold decrease in neutralizing antibodies when studied with the South Africa variant, which was more significant.

How many people will it take to reach herd immunity?

Typically with infectious diseases we need to have between 70-90% of the population with antibodies from vaccines and natural infections to be able to reach herd immunity. Per the World Health Organization (WHO, 2020), the proportion needed for herd immunity is still unknown and is actively being researched. Some researchers have estimated that we need around 70% of the population protected based on how contagious the disease is and the trends we have documented, according to MayoClinic and other researchers. More information is needed regarding the duration of antibodies from those infected by the virus and those who have been vaccinated.

Will the vaccine give you COVID-19?

The current available COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) are not live viruses. You cannot get COVID-19 from these vaccines.

Do I have to get the COVID-19 vaccine if I think I had COVID-19, but did not get tested and/or I tested positive for COVID?

It is recommended that you still get the vaccine as the protection from antibodies in those with confirmed infections is short-lived, and presently only known to last for approximately three months.

Do I have to tell someone once I have been vaccinated? Health Center for contact tracing?

Students should upload a copy of your COVID-19 vaccine record to your Medicat portal at biola.medicatconnect.com, which is accessed by the Health Center. You can login with your NetID and password.

If I decide to be vaccinated will I be charged or can I claim it with my health insurance?

The vaccine is offered free to everyone.

Are students required to get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Students, faculty and staff are not required to get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to return to campus, but they are encouraged to get it. Students, faculty and staff who elect not to receive the vaccine will likely be required to undergo regular mandatory COVID-19 testing in order to return to in-person teaching, learning and working. There may also be other requirements for those not vaccinated such as mandatory quarantine in the event of an outbreak.