Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Frequently Asked Questions



    This is a tough time for many students and their families financially, as it is for the university.  But our top priority--no matter the cost--remains to provide continued instruction while minimizing health risks to our students, faculty, and staff.

    Unfortunately, several comments on Winthrop’s social media regarding the university’s adjustment of fees/reimbursements plan incorrectly state that the move to remote instruction costs the university less than traditional face-to-face or hybrid course instruction. It is important to note that the move to remote instruction has not reduced any instructional costs in terms of faculty and staff pay.

    In addition, Winthrop has incurred costs for laptops, Wi-Fi hotspots, and material rentals to ensure student learning continues. Many materials funded through fees are purchased at the beginning of the semester and have already been used by students in classes, studios and labs. The university also has provided at-home licenses for software purchased on behalf of students and faculty/staff.

    The decision to not refund any portion of tuition was made carefully and in unison with other institutions across the state after extensive discussion with the Commission on Higher Education. 

    Despite online cost increases for summer that are associated with training and quality assurance, as well as purchase of laptops and software, the Board of Trustees agreed to substantially discount summer tuition for all students in regular programs to help students stay on track for degree completion.

    Online instruction typically refers to coursework that is fully digital and usually asynchronous (an online course, for example). Remote delivery is not fully online; rather, it is providing instruction that might normally be face-to-face in another way, usually digital. Winthrop is not expecting faculty to transform face-to-face classes into fully online classes, but to use digital tools (Blackboard, email, social media, etc.) to maintain continuity of instruction for the two-week time period.

    The Division of Academic Affairs has worked to address changes to the regular S/U process to help undergraduate students during the COVID-19 crisis. The chart below summarizes the changes. The registrar has posted frequently asked questions and answers about the process to help you. Visit that page and see the flowchart to help guide your decision on taking the S/U option.


    Usual Grading System

    Grading System for Spring 2020 only

    Letter Grades

    Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory

    Letter Grades

    Satisfactory/Credit/ Unsatisfactory




























    GPA—Full impact

    GPA—No impact

    GPA—Full impact A to C-

    but no impact below C-

    GPA—No impact

    If you are not on campus and have rented textbooks, they can be returned free by mail. You will need your order number to print the shipping label. This can be found in the confirmation email from your online order or if you rented your textbook in store, find it in any of your rental reminder emails. The UPS label can be printed on or before your Charge Date. Below is the direct link on the bookstore's website:

    Print rental return

    Students are now able to sell their textbooks back on our store's website by visiting this page.

    Each individual faculty member teaching a lab or studio section will communicate a plan to the students enrolled in that course. Please reach out to your professor.

    The Office of Extended Education is working on modifications to summer session courses. Decisions will be finalized soon, and may include shifting some face-to-face courses to fully online modalities, adding additional options for students who may need credit recovery, and/or shifting courses that require in person modalities to a window of time later in the summer session.

    Students should register for fall semester based on the assumption that we will be back to normal campus operations. We will keep students updated on any changes to Fall 2020 course offerings. There are none at this time.

    Students should not have to purchase additional technology for their courses, unless they choose to do so on their own. Please talk to your faculty about technology needs and licenses that have been made available to students for home use.

    Tutoring services remain available. Students can receive remote tutoring from the Winthrop University Writing CenterMath Tutorial Center, and Academic Success Center at

    Dacus offers online chat every day and every evening, and on Saturdays.  You can also Book-a-Librarian from their site for a virtual walk-through on how to do your research.  Follow Dacus on social media for regular updates about resources and guides.  You can also request course reserve readings though ILL.  For more information, follow this link:


Support Services

    The library is currently closed, but as decisions are made as to staffing in the remote instruction period, times and availability will be posted here and on the library's website. 

    Your faculty may need to make some adjustments due to the closure, but delivery of these courses will continue according to their approved schedule unless you are otherwise notified.

    The help desk will be available with limited staffing 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    With the cancellation of all on campus events for the remainder of the spring semester, students who are graduating in May or August 2020 will have the remainder of their cultural event requirement waived.  For students who are not graduating in May or August 2020, you will have plenty of opportunities to complete the requirement once Winthrop returns to normal operations. For more info, see the cultural events page. 



    No, the West Center is closed.

    Complex has been reopened for walking and biking only, with the expectation of individuals using social distancing while there. No other facilities or areas are open, and no congregating or group sports are allowed.


International Students/Study Abroad

    There are plans in place for many of these specific student scenarios. If you have questions about your specific situation, please contact our International Center.


Residence Life

    There are plans in place that are evolving for many of these specific student scenarios. We will work with students who have extenuating circumstances that make the extension of spring break and/or remote instruction complicated. The Department of Residence Life is a good place to start these conversations.



    During these stressful times, it’s important not to lose sight of your accomplishments as you’re about to become a graduate of Winthrop University. Here is information on regalia from the bookstore:

    If you pre-paid for regalia on the website and would like the items sent to your house--Please email the first and last name of the student and the shipping address to In light of the Coronavirus situation, you may experience longer shipping times. You will have your regalia to take photos to share with family and friends, wear at a later commencement, and have as a keepsake for this important milestone.

     If you pre-paid for regalia on the website and will not be able to participate in a postponed ceremony and, therefore, would like a refund--Please email the first and last name from the order and the order number given at purchase to  In light of the Coronavirus situation, you may experience a longer return timeline. Bookstore personnel will work diligently to get your money refunded.

    If you have yet to order/pay for regalia and would like to do so now and have it shipped to your home--Starting April 7, 2020, please visit to purchase regalia and have it shipped to your home.

    All May Commencement ceremonies are postponed. An in-person Commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, Aug. 15, for all graduate and undergraduate students who were planning to participate in May Commencement ceremonies. The number of ceremonies on Aug. 15, and their times, will be determined by the number of participants, and those details will be shared at a later date.


General COVID-19 Information/Campus Safety & Infection Prevention

    If you are prescribed self-quarantine, stay home. Do not come to campus. This will protect your health and the health of others. The Dean of Students office will handle student absence verification and resulting faculty notification. Faculty and staff members who self-quarantine should contact Human Resources.

    • Practice respiratory etiquette to include:
      • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% rubbing alcohol.
      • Avoiding touching of eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
      • Covering mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; immediately discarding used tissues in a trash can.
      • If tissues are not readily available, the cough or sneeze may be caught by the sleeve at the elbow or shoulder. Remove mucus or debris with a tissue and then wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Change or cover clothing contaminated with mucus to prevent spreading.
      • Washing or sanitizing hands after using tissues and after contact with respiratory secretions.
      • Washing hands after interacting with people, touching high volume places (door handles, tables, shopping carts, gas pumps, etc.), before eating, and once you arrive home.
      • Avoid shaking hands or other greetings that involve touching another person.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

    The university is taking additional sanitizing measures throughout campus, including disinfecting high-contact surfaces such as light switches, desks, doorknobs, and handrails throughout the day. Custodial staff are restocking hand soap and sanitizer in all restrooms frequently. Social distancing is strongly recommended, so some common study areas may be closed so custodial staff can focus more on more frequently used open spaces, labs, restrooms, etc. 


Faculty/Staff Information

    Yes, Computing and Information Technology has created a page on its website with resources and advice to more effectively work remotely and collaborate with co-workers. View the page.

    Faculty and staff may review workplace-related COVID-19 information here.

    The uncertainty of this unusual situation may cause high levels of anxiety and stress. Employees have access to counselors 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by calling 800-633-3353 or 704-529-1428. To access work-life services, log in to using the username "winthrop303" and password "guest".



    This is information provided in this Department of Education FAQ document: (pdf)

    At institutions that provide both online and ground-based education, those students who were enrolled exclusively in an online program on March 13, 2020, the date of the President’s Proclamation, “Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak,” Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 53 at 15337- 38, are not eligible for emergency financial aid grants. The formula provided by Congress for calculating the distribution of funds to institutions excludes students who were exclusively enrolled in distance education courses. Additionally, the emergency financial aid grants to students are for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, and students who were enrolled exclusively in online programs would not have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.


Other Questions

    Educational Testing Services has announced the cancellation of the GRE Subject test for Saturday, April 4, 2020, without a make-up date. Subsequently, Winthrop will not be hosting the GRE Subject test on Saturday, April 4, 2020, and will not provide a make-up date unless announced by ETS. Winthrop is scheduled to administer the LSAT on Saturday, April 25, 2020, in Owens Hall. Based upon current information, we plan to continue to offer the LSAT on Saturday, April 25, as scheduled. However, this is subject to change contingent upon LSAC (the administrator of the LSAT) continuing the date for testing at Winthrop and the university's own plans for events such as this in late April.

    Student Affairs has prepared this info form as a way for you to ask questions if you’re not sure to whom to direct your inquiry. Your info will be routed to the appropriate office or department.

    See this flier (pdf - 174 KB) for the criteria.  A list of statewide wifi can be found here.


Submit a question.