Spring 2021 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?
- Student Jobs
- Student Life
- Student Support
- International Students
- Gap Year/Withdrawing
- Freshmen and Incoming Students
- Academic Calendar/Events
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 plan to welcome back by March 1 all other students who wish to live on campus. We expect to implement this last phase based on our anticipation that by that time, we will be relieved of the more significant restrictions. We will continue with our strong support of remote learning for those who 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.
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.
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.
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:
- You are subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; or
- You are advised by a healthcare provide to self-quarantine or self-isolate due to COVID-19 related concerns; or
- 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 email@example.com for further instructions.
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.
(to be applied to spring semester tuition)
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.
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. 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.
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.
Will in-person chapels be offered in the Spring?
Pending LA County approval, Biola plans to host socially-distanced live gatherings for chapel while adhering to county and state health protocols in conjunction with remotely-delivered options.
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.
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). 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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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 email@example.com 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.
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. New students and those with initial I-20s are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Current students with active I-20s are encouraged to contact email@example.com.
Who can I contact for immigration related questions?
Who can I contact for questions about Global Student Services & Orientation?
Students can contact Global Student Services & Orientation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will international students need to quarantine upon entering the U.S.?
Whether a student will be asked to quarantine or not will depend on the country of origin they are coming from and whether their guidelines allow for testing that negates the quarantine period. Biola believes most international students will not need to quarantine when they arrive on campus for an extended period, but they will be required — as will all students — to take a PCR test upon arrival and quarantine in their rooms until the results are available (approx. 36-48 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, we are unsure which campus buildings and services will be open for students to access. There are some 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 such as the Library and Bookstore. Students will be updated in early February as to what facilities and services are available and at what capacity.
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.