Information for Students & Families

Important Resources for Students

  • Mandatory Testing Dates
    Residential and commuter 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.
  • COVID-19 Community Pledge
    We're all in this together! All community members on campus agree to these guiding principles intended to keep all of us safe and well.
  • COVID-19 Student Policies
    This set of new practices and protocols, 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.

Instruction

When will course registration and class interviews take place?

Faculty interviews and course registration is scheduled from August 29 through August 31, with alternate registration taking place on September 2. Students will have their course schedules on September 3 and classes will begin on Monday, September 7. More information about registration as well as instructions and answers to common questions can be found on MySLC (log in required).

When will classes begin?

Students will begin classes on Monday, September 7.

What will studying the performing and visual arts, sciences, and mathematics look like this fall?

Sarah Lawrence faculty and academic departments have been working to thoughtfully design courses that will be successful in online mediums. For more information regarding individual disciplines, please follow the links below:

Will grading be pass/fail this fall?

The College will not implement mandatory pass/fail grading for the fall 2020 semester. As a reminder, students always have the option to petition to take one class as pass/fail per semester. For more information, please contact the Dean of Studies Office at deanofstudies@sarahlawrence.edu.

Can students take a reduced course load in the fall semester?

Yes, students may apply for a reduced course load for the fall term by speaking with Associate Dean of Studies Polly Waldman. Polly can be reached via email at pwaldman@sarahlawrence.edu. It is suggested that students speak with Polly as soon as possible to begin the process in order to ensure that the reduced course load is in place by fall registration. I suggest your student speak with Polly soon to begin the process so the reduced course load will be in place by fall course registration.

Will class meetings be shifted?

We have shifted our entire course schedule one hour later (with the exception of evening classes, which will still meet from 7-10 p.m. ET) in order to better accommodate students on the west coast. Saturday blocks have also been added. At this time, no action is needed by  students and any changes to class schedules will be communicated well before the beginning of the school year.

What online meeting platforms will I use in my classes?

For synchronous/real-time interactive class meetings, Sarah Lawrence's preferred online meeting platform is Zoom. Detailed information for students and participants in Zoom meetings is available on MySLC (student login required). General information and resources for getting started with Zoom are available at Zoom.us. Some faculty may augment their classroom environment with apps like Big Blue Button, Google Hangouts, Slack, and others.

What access will I have to the library, either on campus or online?

On-campus we will have contactless circulation for SLC and Inter-Library Loan materials as well as some open study spaces in the library. Access to campus facilities, including the library, will be more structured and may require reservations to accommodate new capacity limitations. Online we have full access to the databases and e-books; e-reserves and Inter-Library Loan; online Research Guides and workshops; and online one-on-one consultations with a Research Services librarian. We will also scan chapters from hardcopy when requested. Check the library website often for the latest updates on resources, programs, policies, and procedures.

If I need to complete the entire year remotely, will I be able to do so?

The short answer to this question is yes. While no decision regarding the spring semester has been made yet, we know that many in our community may wish or need to remain off campus, even if a COVID-19 treatment or vaccine becomes available. Students will have the opportunity to complete their studies remotely for the full year.

What is happening with study abroad programs?

The only SLC abroad program running this fall will be Oxford, as the tutorials can be conducted remotely if necessary. There remain some non-SLC program providers in other parts of the world who are planning on being in operation, but for the most part, study abroad will be severely limited this fall and the College is working toward opening programs fully in January.

Students may apply for a spring-semester study abroad program even if they choose to take a leave of absence in the fall semester. 

For questions or more information on studying abroad, please email Prema Samuel, Associate Dean of Global Education, at psamuel@sarahlawrence.edu.

What is Sarah Lawrence's credit transfer policy in light of COVID-19?

Sarah Lawrence College has revised its credit transfer policy to accept courses taken online at other institutions. The general guidelines include:

  • Courses must have been completed at a college or university accredited by the Middle States, New England, North Central, Northwest, Southern, or Western Association of Schools and Colleges, or foreign schools of comparable accreditation.
  • The courses must be liberal arts courses in disciplines offered for credit at Sarah Lawrence. Courses within the traditional definition of the liberal arts though not offered at Sarah Lawrence, e.g., geology, are also acceptable.
  • A final grade of “C” (not “C-“) or higher must have been earned. It is recommended that students contact the Registrar’s office at regoff@sarahlawrence.edu before enrolling in courses at another institution to verify the course credits will transfer to their Sarah Lawrence College transcript.

I'm an upperclass student, can I take a leave of absence? What is the process to do so, and will my financial aid be affected?

As in planning for any academic term, we suggest you first speak with your don and/or faculty member(s) you have worked with closely to understand your options, make an informed decision, and develop a plan. Students may request a leave of absence by submitting this form to the Dean of Studies office. As with any change in student status, we suggest you contact the office of Financial Aid to understand how a change may or may not impact your aid.

I'm a first-year student, can I take a gap year? What is the process to do so, and will my financial aid be affected?

Students who have determined that they would like to engage in a “gap year” before enrolling at Sarah Lawrence are welcome to submit a request through the Office of Admission (slcadmit@sarahlawrence.edu). We will provide a short form that will allow you to expand on the reasons for your gap year as well as the activities you intend to pursue in that time that will enhance your learning and/or engage personal or professional goals. Please note that gap year requests should be submitted by July 15, 2020, to hold a spot for the Fall of 2021. While need-based financial aid must be recalculated every year of enrollment whether you take a gap year or not (though usually remain very similar unless there have been significant resource changes to the family, merit scholarships will remain unchanged when you do enroll in Fall 2021.

Will Graduate & Professional students return to campus in the fall?

Graduate & Professional Studies students will attend courses in a hybrid (remote and in-person) format. Specifics will be sent to students by program directors. Please reach out to your program director with any questions you may have.

What kind of thought has been put into the ways in which online learning may heighten inequities between students?

Sarah Lawrence has given much thought to the ways in which online learning may affect our students.

On-campus housing: SLC has identified three groups of students who will have priority for living on campus this fall. First-year and transfer students will be given the option to live on campus in order to facilitate the transition to college and the Sarah Lawrence community.  Continuing international students who have remained in the US since the College began online instruction in April 2020 will also be offered on-campus housing in consideration of the fact that international travel restrictions and consular closings have made visa status and acquisition very unpredictable. Students who face hardship or are in unstable housing will also have the opportunity to live on campus. The Dean of Studies Office staff has created guidelines and will examine a student’s extenuating circumstances and will make a determination based on the individual. Please click here to learn more about hardship criteria.

Technological or Connectivity Issues: Some students may have found online learning to be challenging because of technological obstacles. The College has a fund to assist such students with the purchase of hardware, software, and internet service upgrades where necessary. These resources can be accessed through the Dean of Studies Office. Please contact us at deanofstudies@sarahlawrence.edu.

Students with Disabilities: Some students may have found online learning to be challenging.  The Associate Dean of Studies & Disability Services works individually with students with disabilities to assure that they have equal access to the full range of opportunities at the College including the appropriate accommodations for online learning. For more information please contact pwaldman@sarahlawrenc.edu.

Academic Work not Readily Suited to Online Formats:  Faculty in disciplines that have traditionally relied on in-person or tactile experiences, such as dance performance, and chemistry labs, are developing course-specific solutions in order to facilitate online learning this fall.  Please stay tuned for more information from specific programs.

Housing & Commuting

Will first year students be required to live on campus?

On-campus residential life is a unique component of the student experience at Sarah Lawrence. First year students are encouraged to live on campus, but the residency requirement will be waived this year and the final decision will be up to individual students and their families.

What is a single-occupancy room?

Many of the residence halls and living arrangements at Sarah Lawrence are apartment/townhouse/suite style, with students sharing common spaces like living rooms and some residences offering shared kitchens. Single-occupancy does not mean students will be isolated from each other, but simply that any bedroom will have only one inhabitant. In many cases, a student will share communal spaces with housemates.

What if I can’t return home for Thanksgiving or after?

In order to reduce community travel and the potential for COVID-19 to be brought back to campus after the holiday, all students who leave campus for Thanksgiving break will not be allowed to return and all teaching will move to 100% online following the holiday, through the conclusion of the semester. Additional details regarding campus operations during the Thanksgiving holiday and the portion of the semester following the holiday are forthcoming.

Will students need to vacate campus if there is a second wave of COVID-19?

Without a vaccine, it is an unfortunate truth that COVID-19 will be present in our daily lives. The health and safety of the Sarah Lawrence community will remain the College’s premier priority and vacating the campus may become necessary. That decision will be made in consultation with campus, local, and state health experts. We know much more about responding to COVID-19 today than last spring when students first left campus and part of our planning has involved setting aside residence halls for possible quarantine and isolation use. While we can’t predict the future, we are confident in our protocols and procedures regarding possible positive tests and early identification of any potential outbreak.

Will first year students need to move out of their dorm rooms at the conclusion of the in-person semester?

We are optimistic increased residential density will be a possibility for the spring semester, and anticipate making a decision on the topic after the semester begins and the College is able to assess the pandemic and its implications regarding the on-campus community. The class of 2021 will receive housing priority for the spring semester and as such, it is possible first year students may need to move out of residence halls to allow seniors to be together for their final semester.

Can I live at home or off campus and commute to campus?

Yes. Students who live near campus or who elect to find their own housing near campus are welcome to commute to SLC and use the College’s facilities like the library and computer labs, possibly meet with faculty members, and to participate in study groups and campus life events. It is important to note that all College facilities and events will have capacity limitations and time on campus may be limited and/or subject to advance scheduling to ensure appropriate physical distancing. Commuter students will not have access to residence halls nor will they be allowed to visit residence halls.

What resources are available for students seeking off-campus housing?

The College heard from many students and families that they wish to find housing near campus for the fall semester. To help with this, we have negotiated significantly reduced rates for students should they wish to pursue housing at nearby hotels. Those interested in pursuing accommodations at The Hyatt in the Cross County Shopping Center please contact Darryl Lafferty, director of sales, at darryl.lafferty@hyatt.com or 914-377-1403. Similarly, SLC has negotiated a discount with the nearby Hampton Inn and Suites. Please call Lisa Keppler, Director of Sales, at 914-963-3200 extension 604 for information and additional details. Please note that both of these venues are off-campus housing and are not extensions of the Sarah Lawrence campus - students will contract directly with the hotel. The College will not be able to provide shuttle service to/from these locations nor will it offer residential programming. All students are welcome to visit the Off-Campus Resources page for more information about the area's housing and geography. This entry will be updated should additional options become available.

Can students have cars on campus during the fall semester?

Yes. As opposed to previous semesters, all resident students are permitted to bring a vehicle during the fall semester and will be required to purchase a parking permit for their car. Commuter students may also purchase a parking pass for the fall semester. For more information please visit MySLC.

Will a meal plan be available to commuter students for the fall semester?

Yes, students who do not live on campus will be able to purchase a non-resident meal plan, which offers 50 meals and $100 of Meal Money for the fall semester. This plan is only available to students who do not live on campus. The College will evaluate the safety and feasibility of expanding meal plan options for Spring 2021 and will provide information on them at a future date.

If I feel uncomfortable being on campus, what should I do?

If you are a student and have special circumstances, please reach out to Student Affairs. COVID-19 will be present around the world until there is a widely-available vaccine, which is why our courses will be taught so they can be completed in a remote setting. Students are welcome to continue their studies away from campus.

Move-In

When is move-in?

Move-in is scheduled for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday September 4, 5, and 6. Additional details regarding move-in logistics, housing assignments, and pertinent updates will be shared with students via email throughout the summer.

Can my family and/or friends help me move into my residence hall?

To facilitate a move-in process that prioritizes health and safety, the College must limit the number of people who come to campus to help students move into their residence halls. As such, each student will be able to bring one guest.

What if I am unable to move into my residence hall room in time for the beginning of the year?

First, don’t worry. If you are feeling ill on your move-in day, please do not come to campus. Students who need to move into their residence hall after the College’s regularly-scheduled move-in window will be able to do so, and it will be managed on a case-by-case basis as there will be COVID-19 testing requirements and other procedures that will need to be followed. Please reach out to the Dean of Studies office.

Can I ship items to campus ahead of moving in?

Yes, you may ship belongings to campus, however we ask that packages arrive no earlier than August 14. As a reminder, we are asking all residential students to carefully consider what they bring with them to campus and to pack light. For more information, including how to address your packages, please visit our “What should I bring with me?” page.

Quarantine Information for Students Arriving in New York from States with High Instances of COVID-19

I will be living on campus, when should I complete the required 14-day quarantine?

Please plan to begin the 14-day quarantine two full weeks before your move-in day, but also keep in mind that should COVID-19 symptoms develop during this time, you will then start an isolation period. You will remain in isolation for at least another 10 days from the date of symptom onset.

I am planning to commute to campus, when should I complete the required 14-day quarantine? 

If you are an impacted student who plans to live off campus but commute to campus, you will need to complete this quarantine a full two weeks before you come to campus for the first time.

If I am arriving in New York from outside of the United States, do I need to quarantine?

Those arriving in the United States from a CDC Level 2 or Level 3 country, whether arriving in New York or another location in the United States, must complete a 14-day quarantine. Please keep in mind that if this quarantine is completed in a state that New York currently has on its list of states with high rates of COVID-19, an additional 14-day quarantine would be required upon arrival in New York.

Will I need to provide documentation that I'm arriving in New York and/or to prove I completed New York's mandatory quarantine?

Those traveling to New York from a hot spot state, whether driving, flying, or another form of transportation, must fill out the State's traveler form online, or at the airport if flying.  Currently, the College is aware that upon arrival by air, travelers are being monitored through daily communications to assure quarantine compliance. At this time the New York State Department of Health and the Governor's Office have not indicated what, if any, documentation will be required to show one complied with the 14 day quarantine. Should New York's policy be amended to include documentation for proof of quarantine, SLC will inform students and parents. As a reminder, a student who lives in a hot spot state does not need to quarantine in New York, and may do so in any state not on New York's list of states with high prevalence of COVID-19.

How do I test for COVID-19 within 14 days prior to arrival on campus and quarantine for 14 days after leaving a state with a high infection rate?

The request to test for COVID-19 within 14 days prior to arrival on campus is a College policy and the requirement to quarantine for 14 days after leaving a state/country with a high infection rate is a New York State requirement. Per New York State guidelines, you are allowed to leave quarantine for a medical appointment, including a COVID-19 test, and must wear a mask and social distance during your time out of your quarantine space. If you make an appointment for a COVID-19 test in New York while in quarantine, please inform the testing site that you are in quarantine due to arrival from a state with a high infection rate.

Where can I receive a COVID-19 Test in New York?

As a reminder, all residential and commuter students will be tested at the beginning of the fall semester, either as part of move-in procedures for residential students or in the first days of the semester for commuter students (this includes both undergraduate and graduate students). If you are arriving in New York for the state’s mandatory quarantine, or would like to take a COVID-19 test for another reason, there are several testing sites near campus, and the state has more than 750 testing sites. If you are from out of state and are receiving a test in New York to comply with the College’s request for students to have a negative test within 14 days prior to arrival, please use your Sarah Lawrence (or off campus housing) address so contact tracers have appropriate information should a test be positive.

I have a friend or family member who lives in an unaffected state, can I quarantine there?

Yes! Students may complete this quarantine in New York or any other state that is not on New York’s mandatory quarantine list. Please keep in mind that if you are quarantining with family and develop symptoms, you will need to be able to isolate yourself, and all individuals you have been in contact with 48 hours prior to developing symptoms will need to complete a 14-day quarantine.

Is there a chance my state may fall off the mandatory quarantine list before the fall semester begins?

New York State is regularly updating the states for which quarantine upon arrival is necessary, so it is possible that your state of residence may satisfy the threshold and be removed from the list. All states that, on a seven day rolling average, have positive COVID-19 tests in excess of 10% or that exceed 10 positive cases per 100,000 residents are affected by this policy.

If I am in quarantine due to New York State’s travel policy and my state is taken off New York’s restricted list while in quarantine, can I exit quarantine?

New York’s policy is that any individual who has been in a “hot spot” state in the previous 14 days must complete the required quarantine, even if that state was removed from the restricted list while an individual is in quarantine. This is because, while a state may no longer have high rates of COVID-19, it did when the individual left it.

If a family member or friend plans to help me move into my residence hall, do they need to complete New York’s quarantine?

If the individual helping you is travelling to New York from a hot spot state, then yes, they do need to complete the quarantine prior to coming to the Sarah Lawrence campus.

If I am from an impacted state, can I provide a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival in New York to avoid the quarantine?

This is one of several questions the Council of Independent Colleges and Universities has asked Governor Cuomo’s office. At this time, the answer is no. If there is a change to the 14-day quarantine policy, the College will share that information as soon as it is available.

I live in an impacted state and have no way to complete quarantine, what do I do?

Students who intend to live on campus, have a documented hardship, and have no way of completing quarantine given their personal situation may apply for a very limited number of grants from the College to help fund a hotel room near campus to complete quarantine. To apply for a grant, please reach out to deanofstudies@sarahlawrence.edu to discuss your personal situation. Students completing quarantine before their arrival on campus will be responsible for all their personal needs, including meals, during the two week period.

I can’t complete quarantine and arrive on campus in time to move in, what do I do?

First, don’t worry. We understand that some may have personal circumstances that require flexibility in order to meet the quarantine requirements and then move into their residence hall. Please reach out to the Dean of Studies office at deanofstudies@sarahlawrence.edu to discuss your situation.

I would like to complete quarantine near campus, what are my options?

Sarah Lawrence is working with local hotels to provide accommodations for those who wish to complete quarantine in the Bronxville area. Discounted rates for Sarah Lawrence students and families who wish to quarantine near campus are available at The Hyatt in the Cross County Shopping Center. Please contact Darryl Lafferty, director of sales, at darryl.lafferty@hyatt.com or 914.377.1403.

Where can I learn more about New York’s quarantine policy? Which states are currently impacted?

Specific details regarding the policy, including an updated list of affected states can be found here.

Student Activities & Co-Curriculars

Will there be an orientation program for first year and new transfer students?

Yes, the College will offer orientation programming and all new students will participate in the Belonging at SLC program, which pairs new students in small groups with a peer mentor and college staff beginning in August.

What will my social life be like on campus?

Campus offices, residence life, and student organizations are planning opportunities for students to meet and connect while observing health and safety protocols. These include activities online and on campus so all students have access. On campus activities will be limited to small gatherings in residence halls, in campus spaces such as the Barbara Walters Campus Center, and outdoors. Some events allow for more students to participate, such as our outdoor movie screening series. Our residences will provide students in residence the opportunity to interact in their suites, apartments, or townhomes, as well as to meet others in their buildings. Resident Advisors (student residence life staff) will bring residents together for community building both in and outside of residence. While it is a student's decision whether they travel off campus, all members of our community should be aware of the potential risk of such activities as they increase exposure to COVID-19 for the individual and the community. Resident students will receive training regarding health and safety prevention and practices before the beginning of the academic year.

How will student clubs and organizations run in the fall?

Student organizations are an essential part of the Sarah Lawrence community and we are working on creative ways to continue building connections across the College. In general, student organizations will operate this fall within the College’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Since many students may not be on or around campus, most groups will likely operate primarily in a virtual setting—members of the Student Engagement team will reach out to individual organizations in July to set up times to talk about fall planning. The annual re-registration process for organizations will take place a little earlier than normal to help the College prepare for the fall organization fair, full details on the re-registration process and timeline will be coming out in later this summer. If you have specific questions, please contact Josh Luce, Director of Student Involvement, at jluce@sarahlawrence.edu.

Will Sarah Lawrence provide shuttle service to the Bronxville train station and to New York City during the fall semester?

The health and safety of the Sarah Lawrence community is the College’s top priority. As the pandemic has spread around the country, we know that increased travel and crowding raises the risk to the community for the spread of COVID-19. As such, there will be no shuttle services provided by Sarah Lawrence this fall, with the exception of service for residential students with disabilities. If a student needs transportation, the College has established a flat rate partnership with Taxi Cross County for travel to/from campus to places like the Cross County Mall. Their Bronxville dispatch can be reached at 914.337.8311.

Financial Aid

How will my financial aid be affected if I'm not living on campus?

If you choose to live at home with parents and/or guardians, your cost of attendance will not include room, board, and the College’s activity fee. Therefore, your cost of attendance will be lower. If you have a merit scholarship, the amount of that portion of your financial aid award will not be changed. If you have a need-based component to your financial aid and choose to remain at home, we will adjust the cost of attendance as per federal guidelines, and those need-based components of your aid award will need to be recalculated; the percentage of need met will remain the same, however, so the net cost of attendance should not increase. The Office of Financial Aid (finaid@sarahlawrence.edu) is available to help you estimate what the net cost would be for living at home. Finally, if you choose to live off campus independently or with roommates, your financial aid award will not change.

 

Information for International Students

I received my I-20 form from SLC earlier this summer, but the US consulate in my country is closed and I can’t get my visa in time.  What should I do?

You should start your SLC degree program remotely for the fall 2020 semester. We will amend your SEVIS record with a January 2021 arrival date, in the hopes that it will be possible for you to study in person in the spring semester, and we will send you your updated I-20 form. Please let Shirley Be (sbe@sarahlawrence.edu), International Student Adviser, know if you plan to do this. Graduate students should also inform their program director. 

You may apply for your F-1 visa in the fall​, which will provide the credentials necessary to travel to the US in the spring. 

Can I be physically present in the US and study full-time remotely at SLC on my F-1 visa?

If you are a student continuing at SLC, you may do this. If you will be a new student at SLC, please email Shirley Be (sbe@sarahlawrence.edu), International Student Adviser, to discuss your situation.

I am in F-1 status and transferring from another US institution. Can I pursue my SLC program remotely in F-1 status while I am physically present in the US?

We are awaiting guidance from the US government, and the answer may vary depending upon the program you’re entering. In the meantime, you may email Shirley Be (sbe@sarahlawrence.edu), International Student Adviser.

I am concerned about the ways international students, particularly people of Asian or Asian American heritage and/or people from severely affected countries, are being treated in various communities. What is Sarah Lawrence’s response to this?

As stated in our principles of mutual respect, racism and xenophobia has no place on the Sarah Lawrence campus or anywhere else. COVID-19 has global implications that may affect individuals and populations differently and it is paramount we recognize the additional implications its spread has for members of our community who have family and friends in China and/or in other areas of high infection, to be aware and to combat prejudice individuals have and are experiencing locally.

SLC stands by and with its Asian and Asian American community members and will continue to counter misinformation and bias about the coronavirus with information and education.  We encourage members of the community to report any incidents of bias that you may witness or personally experience contacting us at DEI@sarahlawrence.edu.