Information for Students & Families

Important Resources for Students

Mandatory Testing Dates

Residential students are advised to check the schedule for upcoming COVID-19 testing on campus.

Daily Symptom Tracker

This online form must be completed daily by resident students prior to leaving their residence hall, and by commuter students prior to coming to campus. Access the symptom tracker.

COVID-19 Community Pledge

We're all in this together! All community members on campus agree to the guiding principles stated in the COVID-19 Community Pledge, intended to keep all of us safe and well.

COVID-19 Student Policies

A set of COVID-19 student policies, included in the Student Handbook, are intended to preserve the safety and health of our community as best as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fall Semester Move-Out

What is Sarah Lawrence’s policy for residential students regarding Thanksgiving break, move-out, and the end of the semester?

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow across the country, public health experts warn that Thanksgiving gatherings may serve as super-spreader events. While we know that the SLC community is taking great care to support our community’s health and safety, it is imperative that residential students who leave campus for the Thanksgiving break, even to attend a local gathering or event, must remain off campus for the remainder of the semester.

Students who choose to stay on campus during the Thanksgiving break can remain on campus through the end of the semester and can also, if they choose, vacate their residence hall (packing up and removing all of their belongings) and leave campus, should they prefer to travel after the Thanksgiving rush. If a student vacates their room prior to the end of the semester, they must also remain off campus for the remainder of the term.

Specific instructions were emailed to students - if a student has a specific question, they should contact their RA or Dean of Student Affairs, Paige Crandall

Why must students move out of their residences if they are returning in the spring?

Housing assignments for the fall term were based on a semester-specific number of students residing on campus. To moderately increase the residential student body for the spring term, students will receive new housing assignments so that the campus can accommodate the additional students while still promoting social distance and the safety measures that were in place during the fall. In addition, every residence hall must be thoroughly cleaned over winter break to support student health and safety. We recognize that this may be an inconvenience for some students and families, and have partnered with Collegeboxes who can store a student’s belongings over break and/or ship them anywhere in the world.

Can residential students store belongings so they don’t have to bring everything home and then back to campus in the spring?

While there is no storage available on campus and all student belongings must be removed from their residence, the College has partnered with Collgeboxes, which can store student belongings over break and/or ship them anywhere in the world. 

What is Collegeboxes and how can students use their services during move-out?

Understanding that some students may wish to store their belongings during winter break and others may want to ship them elsewhere (as all resident students must remove their belongings from their room when they leave at Thanksgiving or the end of the semester), Sarah Lawrence has partnered with Collegeboxes, which will store any item or box, in any quantity, and/or will ship items anywhere in the United States or internationally. Charges are determined on a per item basis and Collegeboxes provides $100 of insurance with additional insurance available on a per item basis. If using Collegeboxes, students are welcome to use their own boxes and packing supplies if they prefer, or purchase box kits from the company for $39.99 + tax. A box kit consists of five boxes, tape, a marker, label pouches and furniture tags. To find out more about signing up with Collegeboxes, visit their website or call them at 866-BOX.IT.UP (866-269-4887).

Collegboxes on-campus pick-ups are scheduled for Saturday, November 21, and Tuesday, November 24. Students who need to arrange a pick up on a different day will also be able to do so, but may be charged an additional fee. Additionally, students who decide to remain on campus through the end of the semester will have the option of a Collegeboxes on-campus pick-up on December 17. 

The company will provide a pick-up time frame and students must meet the Collegebox movers at their residence hall on the day and time period agreed upon (Collegeboxes staff is not allowed in campus buildings without the appropriate SLC student present).

Spring Semester 2021

What is Sarah Lawrence’s plan for the spring 2021 semester?

President Judd shared an outline of our spring plan in mid-October (available here). In addition to the students who currently reside on campus, the College looks forward to welcoming the class of 2021 back to campus for their final semester as Sarah Lawrence students. Additional information regarding housing, dining, and other areas of student life will be shared in early November and FAQs on those topics will be added to this site. As was the case during the fall semester, no student will be required to live on campus and all students can complete the semester away from campus, if they desire to do so.

What is the academic calendar for the spring semester?

To follow public health guidance and maximize our collective time on campus during the warmer weather part of the semester, allow for advancements in COVID-19 testing and treatments, and provide time for faculty and staff to prepare their courses and the campus, the academic calendar will be adjusted for the spring semester. Classes will begin on Monday, February 1.  We will again adopt a phased-approach to the beginning of the semester as we gather a community from around the globe and all instruction (classes, conferences, and other meetings) for the first two weeks of the spring semester (starting February 1) will be completely online. As it appears likely that travel associated with a week-long spring break will be inadvisable for our collective health and safety, the College will instead schedule two on-campus “mini-breaks/study days” during the semester rather than the traditional spring break. Details and exact dates regarding senior week and commencement will be forthcoming.

Which courses will have in-person components and which will be online only?

The decision to offer classes or any instructional component in-person during the spring semester will continue to be at the discretion of individual faculty members and may change as the state of the virus shifts, both in our community and region. To provide as much clarity as possible, a large number of faculty have shared their intent for instruction style for the spring (online class meetings with in-person conferences available to resident and commuter students, for example). That information is available here (MySLC login required) and the document will be updated if additional information becomes available. Please keep in mind that these decisions may change, whether by New York State mandate, personal faculty circumstance, or Sarah Lawrence policy, to reflect a change in the pandemic. If a student has a specific question about a class they are currently in or are considering for the spring, students are encouraged to ask pertinent faculty during spring course interviews or in class meetings in the coming weeks.

Who will be offered on-campus housing during the spring semester?

In addition to the students who received housing during the fall semester (first year students, international students, and students with a hardship that made learning away from campus impossible), the College looks forward to also welcoming the class of 2021 back to campus for their final semester as Sarah Lawrence students as well as any student who qualified for housing during the fall semester but who chose not to live on campus.

My circumstance makes it impossible to complete the spring semester away from campus, can I apply to live on campus?

Yes. Students who have a hardship that makes it impossible to complete the spring semester away from campus may apply for on-campus housing by emailing the Dean of Studies office by November 16 to discuss their circumstances. As was the case in the fall, applications will be reviewed by a committee that includes VP for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fatiah Touray; Dean of Studies Danny Trujillo; Dean of Students Paige Crandall; Associate Dean of Disability Services Polly Waldman; and Director of Financial Aid Nick Salinas and students will be notified of the committee’s decision prior to Thanksgiving break. Students who received housing through this process for the fall do not need to reapply.

Which residence halls will be in use? Will students have roommates?

The College anticipates continuing the fall semester's housing plan and the majority of students will continue to live in single bedrooms, sharing common spaces in suites/apartments. Andrews Court and Slonim Woods are expected to be used to house seniors, and Rothschild and the Mead Way houses are expected to be held in reserve should additional space be necessary for the class of 2021. While students will not be able to select which residence hall they live in, seniors will have the option to choose up to seven apartment-mates (thus who would be in their “Living Pod”). All other students will be able to select up to three additional students they would like to live with or in close proximity to. We also know that some students may prefer to share a room and have a roommate. This option will be available and any room used as a double room would be large enough to accommodate spacing per New York State guidelines (double rooms would most likely be the largest bedrooms in Hill House). If a senior would like to have a roommate, they would be placed into an appropriate Hill House room.

We expect that OSilas, Dudley Lawrence, and MacCracken Halls will continue to serve as housing for quarantine and isolation and no students will be placed into those residence halls.

What is a “Living Pod” and why is it important?

As students in on-campus housing will be able to choose their own suitemates, the College expects students will socialize predominantly within their “Living Pod” (those they live with). Members of a Living Pod can eat together with in groups of five or fewer and can attend events together without social distancing throughout the spring semester. For the entire semester, students will not have access to residence halls they do not live in (with the exception of the use of academic space in select residential buildings) and will not be allowed to enter apartments/suites/residences that are not their own. These precautions, alongside “Living Pods” are designed to limit the number of “close contacts” any individual might have, should a student test positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts need to enter quarantine.

Will students be able to visit friends in other residence halls or apartments?

Similar to the fall semester, students will only have access to their own residence hall and students will also not be allowed to have visitors from other apartments and residences into their living quarters (if a student does not live in Slonim Woods #5, they cannot enter Slonim #5, for example). If a student wishes to see a friend outside of their “Living Pod” they must follow social distancing precautions and meet in a communal space on campus like the library or Campus Center. This precaution is necessary to limit the number of “close contacts” a student might have and reduce the number of people who may potentially need to enter quarantine upon receiving a positive COVID-19 test result.

Can students continue to commute to campus? What will access to campus be like for commuter students?

Yes, commuter students can continue to commute to campus and use campus facilities as they did in the fall. All commuter students must participate in the College’s COVID-19 testing program and complete the College’s daily COVID-19 symptom tracker every day they come to campus. Campus spaces will continue to have occupancy limits and certain facilities, like the Sports Center, will continue to operate on a reservation system. In addition, on-campus events will require an RSVP to ensure adequate space accommodations.

What is New York’s State’s Travel and Quarantine Policy?

New York State’s mandatory travel quarantine policies, which the College must enforce, remain in place. As was the case in the fall, students must complete quarantine off campus before moving into their residence hall. However, we are thankful that, at least for the moment, Governor Cuomo has added some flexibility to this policy for those arriving in New York from other locations within the United States and/or from CDC Level 2 or 3 countries. More information regarding this New York State policy is available here.

What safety precautions will be in place for the spring semester?

Safety measures are layered into every component of campus life at Sarah Lawrence. The College will have a phased opening in the spring, similar to its approach for the fall semester. Common areas in community buildings like the Barbara Walters Campus Center, Heimbold, and library will be cleaned regularly and frequently, including temporary closure of places like the Campus Center food service area for daily cleaning (Bates Dining Hall is open during this closure). Cleaning supplies are available to resident students through Campus Operations and common areas like classrooms also have cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer stations available so students can wipe down areas before/after use. In addition, the College will continue its surveillance testing program to identify  possible asymptomatic spread and will test and care for students who present with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Use of outdoor spaces is always encouraged and outdoor tents will remain in place so that students and classes can meet in larger groups. College-sponsored events will continue to have limited capacities and will require participants to RSVP so that adequate spacing is ensured and a roster for possible contact tracing is quickly available. Campus will continue to operate with a significant decrease in its residential capacity and face masks and social distancing will be required for the entire semester.

Will social distancing and face masks be required for the spring semester?

Yes. Until there is a vaccine, the Sarah Lawrence community’s behavior—wearing face masks, social distancing, avoiding large crowds/gatherings, and practicing thorough personal hygiene—will continue to be the foundation of our health, safety, and continued success. Every component of campus life, from extracurricular events to class meetings, will have layers of safety measures built into them, which, at minimum, will include face mask wearing by participants and adequate spacing.

What is the College’s COVID-19 testing plan for the spring?

Our collective actions are the best way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our community: washing hands, wearing a face mask, social distancing, avoiding non-essential travel away from campus, and limiting exposure to large crowds. Testing can be part of this strategy, but test results only represent a moment in time, and so our behavior is the lynchpin in our ongoing collective health and safety.

Upon arrival on campus, every resident student will be tested as part of the move-in process and we anticipate commuter students will also be tested during the first week of the semester. Once a baseline level of health for the community is determined, the College will begin surveillance testing.

At this time, SLC’s ongoing testing plan for the spring semester involves roughly 15-20% of the resident student body receiving a COVID-19 test every week. This will identify any changes to the community’s health and highlight possible community spread so that it can be quickly addressed. In addition, students will complete a daily symptom tracker and will be placed into isolation and receive a COVID-19 test if they present to Health & Wellness with symptoms consistent with the virus. We know that testing protocols will continue to develop in the coming months and if additional testing technology becomes more widely available, or federal or state requirements change, the College will update this plan for testing accordingly.

More details about COVID-19 testing will be shared prior to the semester, including details about commuter student testing, which will continue to be available and part of our community testing protocols.

What does the process for isolation and quarantine entail for residential students?

There are two common situations that will result in a residential student being placed into on-campus isolation:

  1. A student tests positive for COVID-19 as part of the College’s surveillance testing program. Once the positive result is received, the student will be contacted by the College and placed into isolation housing, where they will receive care from Health and Wellness and also be supported by two members of the College’s staff who will help coordinate any materials they might need for classes, deliver food to their rooms, and generally monitor their wellbeing. Should no symptoms arise, isolation would be complete 10 days after the date the test was administered.
  2. A student presents to Health & Wellness with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Health & Wellness will administer a COVID-19 PCR test and the symptomatic student will enter isolation housing, under the care of Health and Wellness and College staff, while awaiting test results. If the result is negative, the student may exit isolation (Health & Wellness, however, may still determine, for the health of the community, that a student should remain in isolation until their symptoms improve), and if the test is positive, the student will remain in isolation for 10 days since the onset of symptoms.

In both scenarios, as soon as a positive test result is received, the student will be notified and contact tracing, in partnership with the Westchester County Department of Health, will begin (SLC will also notify an infected student’s parents regarding the student’s test results as well as the parents of any students who are found to be close contact). Close contacts of an infected student will be quickly identified and placed into quarantine housing (which is separate from isolation housing) and cared for by Health & Wellness and College staff (two Residence Life staff members are specifically focused on supporting students in isolation and quarantine). Meals and any items a student may need for class (and any other personal items) will be delivered to a student’s door. Quarantine, which a student can complete on campus or away from campus, should they wish to return home or have another safe place to do so, will be complete 14 days from their most recent exposure to the infected student.

How is contact tracing on campus done?

The College works closely with the Westchester County Department of Health with regard to contact tracing as well as sharing information, confidentially, so that the County is aware of SLC’s circumstances at all times. The College partners with the Westchester County Department of Health to identify and contact (by phone/text or in person) students who may have been close contacts of a COVID-19 positive individual and staff who are trained in contact tracing as well as in supporting students will coordinate a student’s move into isolation or quarantine. The Department of Health determines whether a possible close contact may have been exposed to the virus and for how long an individual should remain in isolation or quarantine—the entire process of contact tracing and placing all affected students into quarantine often takes less than 12 hours.

How is Sarah Lawrence keeping its community informed regarding the spread of COVID-19?

The College created a dashboard that has been updated daily since August with information about resident students who are in on-campus isolation (a resident student would enter isolation because of a positive test or by way of presenting to Health & Wellness with symptoms consistent with COVID-19). The dashboard is also updated every Monday with test results the College received from the 7 day period prior and offers information from New York State regarding viral spread in our region and state.

Financial Aid & Student Employment

Will my financial aid change for the spring semester?

Every student's financial aid package is specific to their unique circumstance, and so it is impossible to provide an explicit answer for every instance in this FAQ - if you have a question about your aid package it is best to reach out to our Office of Financial Aid.

In general, a student's aid package may change as their cost of attendance shifts. For example, a student who lived on campus during spring of 2019 and then lived at home (at their permanent residence) during the fall of 2020 may have experienced a reduction in aid to reflect the decreased cost of attendance. The inverse would also likely be true and aid would increase if a student who lived at home during the fall of 2020 decided to live on campus (or off campus, not with parents/family) during spring of 2021. Again, financial aid is a matrix of merit awards, need-based funds, federal resources, work study, and other sources and so if you have specific questions the Office of Financial Aid is happy to discuss how a student's aid package might change, if at all, between the fall and spring semesters this academic year.

Will student employment opportunities be available in the spring?

Yes, student employment will continue to be available in the spring semester. Similar to the fall, students with federal work study and international students will be prioritized for available opportunities. After the priority period, available positions will be assessed along with work study and international students still seeking employment to determine opening opportunities to all students. If a student currently has a position, they can return to their position with approval from their supervisor. New student employment opportunities will begin being posted in early January.