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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:


Fall 2021

Is Biola fully reopening in Fall 2021?

Yes! Our students will be returning to living and learning on campus for the new academic year. We are excited for a strong return of students in the fall with a much more normal semester beginning August 30, featuring 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 no physical distancing. Regardless of vaccination status, students are required to wear face coverings indoors.

What will Fall 2021 on-campus life look like? Will there be in-person co-curricular activities happening in the fall? If so, which ones?

All campus events and co-curricular activities will resume in-person including chapels. All on-campus services and offices will reopen at full capacity for students to access.

One of the hallmarks of a Biola education is the Student life experience - the co-curricular education and activities that students participate in outside the classroom. Students can look forward to some of our traditional events returning like Nation Ball and Mock Rock, cheering on our Athletic teams, being involved in student clubs and ministries and other co-educational programming in the residence halls or through the Collegium (for commuter students). 

What facilities will be open for student use?

We will resume all campus operations and services, including all on-campus eateries, the library, the Biola Store and the Fitness Center.

Will masks be required on campus?

On Thursday, July 15, 2021, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced an indoor mask mandate. Effective Saturday, July 17 at 11:59 p.m. everyone, whether vaccinated or not, must wear masks indoors. This means that Biola employees, students and visitors will be required to wear face coverings on campus while indoors at all times unless they are eating or drinking or alone in an enclosed office or dorm room.

The mask mandate is likely to be in place through September. We will keep the community updated.

Will Biola offer residential housing in the fall?

Yes. Residential living will resume at our typical capacity with two students per bedroom. Lobbies, communal spaces and kitchens will be reopened. More details on Fall 2021 housing selection can be found on the Housing & Residence Life website.

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

In our commitment to the health and safety of our community, we will continue to ask students and employees to self-monitor for COVID symptoms and stay home if they are feeling sick. Biola will continue enhanced cleaning and sanitization practices throughout campus.

Will I be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine to live and learn on campus?

Students, faculty and staff are not presently required to get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to return to campus, but they are encouraged to get it. 

The CDC and L.A. County Department of Health states that being vaccinated is still the best protection against COVID-19 and significant health issues related to COVID.

Can I continue to attend Biola remotely?

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. Remote options are available for students who have severe health issues. They will need to submit their request through the Learning Center.

Will students who started Biola remotely be able to participate in orientation activities?

Yes, students who started Biola remotely in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 can participate in New Student Orientation this Fall. For second year students (and their parents) who last year was their first year at Biola, we are including them in most of our Welcome Week activities. Visit the Orientation website for more information.

Are there going to be options to do remote Chapels?

We are going to embrace the full in-person college experience, and chapels will be included as well. We will not be offering remote Chapels for students unless they are traditional undergraduate students who have been temporarily approved for fully remote coursework. There are only a few students who are approved for this, and we will be in touch with how to proceed.

Will Biola require the flu shot this year?

The flu shot was a county requirement last year due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the county. We haven’t heard that the county will require the flu shot this year. At this time, Biola is not requiring the flu shot. 

Will unvaccinated students be required to do regular testing for COVID-19?

At this time, all undergraduate and graduate residential students who are not fully vaccinated are required to submit a negative PCR or antigen test upon checking into their residence hall for the fall semester. According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or 2 weeks after a single-dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Students must take the test within 72 hours prior to arriving on campus and bring printed proof of a negative test upon checking into your residence hall. Since people can continue to test positive on a PCR test for several weeks following a COVID-19 infection, students who have had COVID within the last three months may, at the time of check-in, provide documentation from a physician validating their diagnosis and dates of their illness instead of presenting a negative test.

All unvaccinated residential students will participate in weekly surveillance testing until case numbers improve. This is true even if you are unable to receive the vaccine due to health issues. At this time, unvaccinated non-residential students will NOT be required to participate in surveillance testing except for students in certain student groups such as student-athletes and some CMA students.

This is subject to change as we monitor changes in L.A. County.

Will Biola be offering the COVID-19 vaccine to students who have not been vaccinated?

Yes, the Health Center will have vaccines available in mid-August. Feel free to contact the Health Center to schedule an appointment at that time.

How will the university promote individual health choices about wearing face coverings?

Students can voluntarily wear face coverings outdoors for their own comfort, health and safety. At this time, all students, regardless of vaccination status are required to wear a face covering indoors. 

We will have students from all over the country and the world coming to campus, living and learning in close proximity. Some will be vaccinated and some will not, and students will have differing opinions regarding face coverings. We are a community that promotes respect and kindness to one another regardless of our thoughts on COVID. We want to promote an environment where those in our community who desire to wear a mask outdoors can do so without being shamed. Biola will not tolerate any form of bullying and staff will engage in allegations of bullying or harassment with appropriate measures.

How will quarantine be handled for students who test positive for COVID?

We have a team who will care for our residential students who may need to go into quarantine. Our plan includes:

  1. Students will have their meals delivered to their room, which is handled by the Resident Director in partnership with the Manager of the Cafeteria.
  2. A 24/7 Student Care Support Team will provide general care and time sensitive emergency response. This team is comprised of the Resident Directors and Campus Safety personnel. 
  3. Daily medical check-ins will be conducted by the Health Center team. The purpose of this team is to monitor the student’s progress and address any current or emerging health issues.
  4. The Biola Learning Center will work directly with the student's professors to help manage the student's academic needs.
  5. The Biola Counseling Center will be available to walk-alongside students, as needed.
  6. Lastly, we have a Pastoral Care Team that will be in touch with the students to encourage and pray with them.

Is there a likelihood of Biola’s campus to be shut down due to COVID-19?

It is important that we follow the mitigation measures to minimize the spread of the coronavirus on Biola’s campus. We understand that the county will not close down campus unless there is a severe outbreak. This is why we encourage the Biola community to become vaccinated and to follow all health and safety mitigation measures we have put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

Are there any exemptions to wearing masks?

Unfortunately, the County’s indoor mask mandate is a requirement of all people, regardless of vaccination status. We are not granting any religious or personal exemptions from wearing masks. If someone has medical issues with wearing a face covering, they should contact the Student Health Center.

Will students who have traveled outside of the U.S. need to quarantine?

At this time, the CDC nor the county requires students traveling from other states to quarantine. However, the CDC does have recommendations for unvaccinated domestic travelers. Students who are traveling from outside of the United States in August and planning to live in campus housing should complete the following form by August 15, 2021. Global students who are not planning to live in campus housing and have questions about health requirements, please email globalstudentservices@biola.edu.

How long will the mask mandate last?

The indoor mask mandate is likely to be in place through September. We will keep the community updated.

If I’m a student living in summer housing and am unvaccinated, do I have to submit a negative test to move into my assigned fall housing?

Yes. 

I am not vaccinated yet, but would like to get vaccinated? Will vaccines be available through the Biola Health Center?

Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will be available starting Aug. 17 at the Biola Health Center. Please contact them to make an appointment.

Do I have to wear a mask while working out in the Fitness Center? In the gym?

Yes, all people using the fitness center and the indoor gym are required to wear a face covering at all times. If wearing a face covering is difficult while you are exercising, we recommend you find alternative ways to exercise outdoors.

Will physical distancing be required on campus?

Physical distancing will not be required, however, increasing physical distance between individuals is strongly recommended in settings where masking cannot be maintained, such as in dining halls. Biola will implement physical distancing as appropriate or possible in lecture halls, specialized classroom settings, and all other indoor spaces as it remains an effective mitigation strategy.

Will international students be required to quarantine upon arrival to Biola’s campus?

Biola will follow the CDC quarantine guidelines for people traveling abroad to the United States. If you are not vaccinated:

  • A negative test is required to fly into the United States
  • You are required to get tested 3-5 days after travel. Contact the Biola Health Center for more information.
  • You are required to quarantine for 7-10 days. If you are living in Biola’s campus housing, you will be placed in a quarantine room.

If you must quarantine on campus, we have a team of people ready to assist you. Should you need to miss class, your professors will work with you on class assignments. For incoming global students who are arriving on August 23, Global Student Programs and Development has a student leader team dedicated to caring for the needs of students in quarantine during Global Orientation. We are preparing for ways so you can still connect with fellow global students and get resources for the transition.

What are the requirements for international students if you are vaccinated?

  • A negative test is required to fly into the United States.
  • You are required to get tested 3-5 days after travel. Contact the Biola Health Center for more information.
  • You are not required to quarantine but continue to monitor yourself for symptoms.

What adjustments is Biola making to their ventilation especially in classrooms with no windows?

Biola’s HVAC teams have already made adjustments to building ventilation systems to allow for the maximum amount of outside air and airflow possible. We have also worked closely with our on-campus staff to ensure ventilation systems are operating at all times when buildings are occupied. Most of our non-residential buildings do not have operable windows, so ensuring we have adequate ventilation has been very important. We do have a number of portable air filter units that can be deployed upon request and additional units are readily available. Facilities Management will be happy to come out and do an assessment if there are any concerns.


HEERF III

How does Biola define exceptional need?

We are defining exceptional need in two ways. Students who have exceptional need meet the following criteria:

First, students who meet the following block grant criteria.

  • Students must have a 2020-21 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) less than or equal to $15,000 or were paid a Cal Grant in 2020-21
  • Students must have unmet financial need (Cost of attendance less EFC less gift aid) greater than $5,000.
  • Students must have net spring 2021 tuition charges greater than $2,500.

Second, students who had significant loss of income due to COVID or significant additional expenses related to COVID.

Are incoming students eligible to receive the funds?

No, the funds are only available for students who were enrolled in the spring 2021 term as of the end of the spring semester.

Will graduate students, online bachelor’s 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 above criteria, and graduate and post-baccalaureate students will receive a lesser amount than traditional undergraduate and online bachelor’s students.

Can undocumented students or international students receive fund from HEERF III?

Yes, if they have exceptional need based on significant loss of income due to COVID or significant additional expenses related to COVID they will need to complete the questionnaire to determine if they qualify for aid. There is also other emergency funding or institutional aid available to help those students, too. Students are encouraged to fill out this questionnaire and the Office of Financial Aid will review the student’s information and assist them in identifying every option available to them to meet as much of their unmet need as possible.

How can students get the money?

Eligible students who meet the criteria for block grants will receive the grants automatically unless they opt to credit their Biola account by completing this form. If students opt to apply all the grant to their university expenses, it will either pay down existing charges or be applied to Fall 2021 tuition as of July 1, 2021. If students choose not to apply the funds to their Biola account, the funds will be automatically deposited into the bank account they have designated as their refund account, if they have it set up, or a check will be mailed to their permanent mailing address on file. Since the block 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. To set-up a direct deposit or to check whether you have already set one up, please visit the Student Accounts website for more detailed instructions. If you have trouble setting up direct deposit, please contact Student Accounts by emailing student.accounts@biola.edu or call 562-903-4760. For those eligible students who have not set up direct deposit, they will receive a check in the mail to the permanent address reflected on their student account.

Students who have exceptional need due to significant loss of income due to COVID or significant additional expenses related to COVID will be notified if they qualify for aid and how to obtain the funds.

When will block grants be disbursed?

Student Account Services is working to disburse direct deposits by Tuesday, July 6, with checks going out by Wednesday, July 7 to those who do not have direct deposit set up.

Who is eligible to receive the “block grants”?

Students who meet the set of criteria below as of May 25, 2021 are eligible to receive the block grants.

  • Students must have been enrolled (e.g. undergraduate, graduate, post-traditional, online students) as of the end of the spring 2021 semester.
  • Students filed a 2020-21 FAFSA and completed their file with Biola’s Office of Financial Aid.
  • Students must have a 2020-21 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) less than or equal to $15,000 or were paid a Cal Grant in 2020-21
  • Students must have unmet financial need (Cost of attendance less EFC less gift aid) greater than $5,000.
  • Students must have net spring 2021 tuition charges greater than $2,500.