In this video, campus leaders provide answers to student questions about expenses, work study, financial aid, course completion and other matters as a result of the campus closure.
These FAQs are evolving, and items will be added as new questions and answers emerge. Please understand that many answers are a work in progress—we will be honest when information is not yet known or decisions are still being made, and we will update those items as soon as possible.
If you have a question to suggest, please submit it for consideration via our comment form.
The most reliable sources of information are the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization for general information. For college-specific information, please visit the Williams College COVID-19 information page.
Visit the Library Services website for ongoing updates on remote support, resources and access.
What do I do with my library books? What if I still need them for class?
Return all Williams library books and interlibrary books you no longer need to Sawyer or Schow libraries before you leave campus. If you plan to continue to use the materials, we have adjusted the due date for Williams books to the end of the semester. If you need interlibrary loan books, you may take them with you. We will renew those loans when possible and pay any fines if necessary. Please return items you take with you to Williams Libraries via USPS Media Mail when you are finished.
What do I do with my textbooks? What if they are rentals? Can I still receive textbooks I’ve ordered or order new ones?
Answers to these and other questions are on the Williams Bookstore website.
Can I get a refund of room and board fees for the time that I’m off-campus?
Yes. All students leaving campus will receive a credit on their student account for the unused portion of their room and board. The credit will be prorated based on your family’s contribution to the cost of attendance. The minimum credit will be $1,850, and the maximum credit will be $3,000. If you have an outstanding balance on your account, please be aware that the credit will first be applied to that balance. Credits will be applied to your account by Monday, March 16.
How do I turn my room and board credit into a refund?
Refunds can be requested in sarah.williams.edu beginning on Tuesday, March 17. Navigate to Self Service > Campus Finances > Student Refund Request. Click the “Add a New Value” tab to continue to the payee and address information.
How will I receive my refund?
We encourage students to sign up for direct deposit with Accounts Payable at sarah.williams.edu. This will be the most efficient way for you to receive your funds. If direct deposit is not set up or your account is invalid, it can significantly delay receiving your funds. In order to receive your funds via direct deposit, please make sure your account has been set up 24 hours prior to you requesting your refund.
Follow these step by step instructions on how to set up direct deposit (under “NEW – Enroll in Direct Deposit for Refunds and Accounts Payable Payments”).
Please know that this direct deposit system is separate from the Human Resources/Payroll system. If you receive funds via direct deposit from your campus job, it does not guarantee that you have direct deposit set up with the accounts payable department.
All students should confirm their current direct deposit account information in sarah.williams.edu to ensure the Accounts Payable office has your most up to date banking information.
If your refund request will be made payable to a parent/guardian (or anyone other than you), you can’t utilize direct deposit, and the funds will be sent in a check to the address you provided.
What if I am staying on campus?
Please see the section “Petition to Remain On-Campus.”
What should I do with my belongings?
When you leave, take as many essential belongings with you as you can.
Students may store items that they cannot take with them, through the college's Free Student Storage Program.
Boxes and Supplies: If you have your own boxes, totes, luggage, etc. that can hold your items, please use those first. Additional boxes will be delivered to all campus residences. Please only take the number of boxes you need and only from your building. The Office of Student Life will provide each student with a roll of packing tape and a marker in your Paresky mailbox.
Pack your items and then write your name, class year and current housing assignment clearly and boldly on four sides of the box. If you have an item that doesn’t fit in a box or used your own tote/luggage/etc., attach a label to it with your full name, class year and current housing assignment.
Please do NOT pack any food, spices, liquids, trash or items that are not completely dry.
Simply leave your labeled storage items in the middle of your room when you depart. Any items that haven’t been packed or labeled as noted above, or that aren’t permitted for use in the residence halls, will be subject to disposal.
What do I do with stuff I don’t want?
We’re looking into local options for donation drives and will let you know if we’re able to coordinate a drop spot for unwanted items. Waste and recycling containers will also be placed around campus.
What do I do with my room key?
Write your name, residence hall and room number legibly on the envelope that will be provided in your Paresky mailbox. Just before you depart campus, leave your key in the envelope in your room.
If you forget to leave your key, you can drop it off at Office of Student Life's key drop in an envelope with the information as noted above. Keys not returned are subject to a fine.
If you have a room code (instead of a key), no need to do anything about it.
What do I do with the WALLS artworks I borrowed from the museum?
WCMA asks all students who borrowed artworks from the WALLS collection to leave the art installed in your room when you leave campus. Museum staff will collect the artworks once students have vacated the dorms. Please do not return the art to the museum yourself or take it off the wall.
Will anyone enter my room while I’m gone?
Facilities staff need to enter rooms to clean, close windows and shades, and adjust thermostats and radiators for energy conservation. Staff may also enter rooms to perform maintenance tasks, repairs, carpet cleaning, or other tasks. They will not open boxes or interfere with your belongings, except to gently move them aside if necessary to conduct their work. Every effort you make to place your packed belongings in the center of the room, away from walls, will help the staff.
I am unable to take my car or bicycle home, what should I do?
Students who cannot remove their vehicle from campus before the departure deadline must request to leave their vehicle on campus by contacting Campus Safety and Security. Parking will be in the designated area of Thompson Lot, directly behind Thompson Dorm. You must bring your vehicle keys to CSS, and they will be held there until your scheduled return to campus.
Any student that has permission to remain on campus and has a registered vehicle must continue to park in their assigned lot. Please be advised that all parking rules and regulations will remain in effect.
A student who is unable to remove their bicycle from campus should clearly label their bicycle and lock it to a bicycle rack outside their building. Bicycles will not be allowed to remain inside any college building.
Who do I contact with questions about my expenses for the rest of the school year?
Students receiving financial aid who have concerns about expenses incurred as a result of the closure of campus can submit a request for additional emergency funding. All other students should contact the Office of Student Accounts.
What about my campus job/work study?
If you are leaving campus, you may continue to work remotely and be compensated if you have a current, active position that meets an important need in the department and that can legitimately be done remotely. Talk to your supervisor.
If you are approved to remain on campus, you may continue to work on campus and be compensated if the department’s needs still exist. We understand the needs of your departments are evolving. Student jobs may no longer be needed, or reduced work may be available, meaning fewer students and/or fewer hours may be needed.
Departments and/or hiring managers should coordinate with Student Employment around which student positions will be continuing for the remainder of the semester. Important note: Any TAs who are not continuing to work through the remainder of the semester will need to have their jobs inactivated to stop automatic payments. Please use the academic year change form as needed.
Please note: If students are working, regardless of whether they are on campus or not, the hour limits for the academic year will remain in effect. You can expect reinforcement of this practice and may be asked to adjust your hours accordingly.
How is my campus earnings expectation being forgiven?
All students receiving financial aid will receive a $350 grant to support their needs during this transition period. These funds can be used for baggage fees, shipping costs, Wi-Fi, mobile hot spots, day-to-day transportation, personal expenses like toiletries, or any other expenses you might incur.
This grant, in combination with fully funded travel home, replaces the eight remaining weeks of your campus earnings expectation. In most cases, this combination of funding exceeds the remaining campus earnings expectation and is offered in acknowledgment of this extraordinary moment in time.
This funding is provided in addition to a prorated credit for room and board. Students with additional concerns can submit a request for additional emergency funding.
How do I access my $350 grant?
For aided students who are enrolled in direct deposit, the grant is already in process and should be available soon. For aided students not enrolled in direct deposit, the grant will be provided in cash and can be picked up at the Office of Admission and Financial Aid in Weston Hall at any of the times below. Please be sure to bring your student I.D. with you in order to access your grant.
- Friday, March 13: 8:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
- Saturday, March 14: 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
- Sunday, March 15: 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
- Monday, March 16: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, March 17: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Will my health insurance work off-campus?
The Williams Health Insurance Plan provides worldwide, 12-month coverage from August 15, 2019, to August 14, 2020. As long as you’re enrolled in the plan and have paid the premiums, you’ll be covered. If you’re covered under a different health insurance plan, check with your insurance provider to verify coverage.
The Williams Health Insurance Plan also will waive co-pays for student members with access to its telehealth platform, Well Connection. Telehealth, which offers convenience as well as the opportunity to avoid potential exposure to contagion, enables students to video conference with providers for medical care and behavioral health.
Students should share with a provider their insurance information and determine whether the provider is considered in-network or out-of-network. There may have out of pocket costs for out-of-network providers. For more information on the Williams plan, visit the Benefits and Plan Information website.
How do I apply for reimbursement of travel expenses for leaving campus?
Please use this form to request reimbursement. The form is for travel or related expenses that financial aid students have incurred as a result of the college's decision to close the campus.
Students on campus who need to fill prescriptions can use the Walgreens Pharmacy shuttle service described here.
What if my program was canceled and I am not able to make up the coursework online?Contact Christina Stoiciu, director or international education and study away, to map out a plan.
How do I get a refund for my travel from my program if I am a financial aid student?
Please use this form to request reimbursement. The form is for travel or related expenses that financial aid students have incurred as a result of the program's closure.
I am concerned about quarantine upon my return, what should I do?
Contact Christina Stoiciu regarding your specific concerns and we can determine what options might be available to you. Also, please be sure to follow the CDC guidelines on self-quarantine.
What resources do I have available to me outside of my program?
If you find yourself in a situation where you need medical or travel assistance, contact International SOS directly. Also, we know that this is an incredibly stressful time for you. If you need any mental health support, please contact TalkSpace, a free talking/texting/video app for any assistance you may need.
How does this impact my F-1 status?
The Department of Homeland Security has issued guidance for institutions moving to distance learning, stating that during this exceptional time, as long as you continue to be enrolled full time and make academic progress, even if online, you will be fulfilling the enrollment requirements of your F-1 visa.
What travel documents do I need?
For travel, please make sure to take the following original documents with you:
- Valid visa (check your expiration dates!)
- Form I-20 (with updated travel authorization signature—students on OPT and Canadian citizens must update the signature every 6 months; all other students every year)
We encourage you to keep the above documents with you if you will be traveling domestically. But be careful with them and always keep them in a safe place. You may obtain an updated travel signature from the Dean’s Office. There will be limited opportunities for us to mail you your I-20, so please do not forget it!
Can I still apply for CPT & OPT?
Yes, please continue to submit CPT requirements for summer internships to Dean Ninah Pretto.
For seniors, OPT applications must be mailed prior to exiting the U.S. There will still be risks of traveling outside the U.S. while OPT is pending. No guarantees can be made on OPT approval and reentry to the U.S.
For questions and more detailed information please contact Dean Ninah Pretto.
What if my visa is expired?
You can remain in the U.S. in valid F-1 status with an expired visa. If you exit the U.S., you will need a valid F-1 visa in your passport in order to re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status. F-1 visas can only be obtained at U.S. Consulates/Embassies, which are all located outside of the U.S.
What are your plans for Commencement and Reunion?
We have not made a decision about Commencement, Reunion or other major events later in the spring and summer. We promise to inform people as quickly as possible once we have reliable information upon which to base an informed decision.