Spring 2021 Student & Family Guide

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  • The deadline for declaring spring enrollment status was December 10.

    • If you are enrolled as a remote student, you will not be allowed to return to campus this spring.
    • If you are currently committed to enroll on campus but have changed your mind and want to enroll remotely or take a leave, we certainly understand. Please contact Cyndi Haley in the Dean’s Office as soon as possible if you would like to change your enrollment option.
    • If you’re enrolled on campus, you can later decide to transition to remote learning. If you are taking lab or performance-based classes with a prominent in-person component, you will be expected to talk to your faculty members about how you can effectively transition to remote learning.
    • If you decide to withdraw from the college after the semester is underway (rather than shifting from on-campus to remote) you should understand the process and our tuition refund policy.
    • Whether you withdrawal or switch to remote, the college’s refund policy will apply to your board plan, only. There will not be a refund for tuition or room.
    • Financial aid recipients who switch from on campus to remote after the start of classes will receive an updated financial aid package that will include a prorated personal allowance.


  • While the pandemic continues to create complex challenges for international students, Williams is making every effort to accommodate your specific needs. Please feel free to reach out to Associate Dean of Students / Director of International Student Services Ninah Pretto and Assistant Director of International Student Services Karima Barrow with any questions or concerns.

    For International Students Studying Remotely

    On July 15th, 2020, ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) issued an FAQ document for academic institutions to follow with respect to F-1 international students. Federal guidance remains the same due to the pandemic for the spring 2021 semester:

    • What is the current Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy due to the pandemic for F-1 international students? Continuing international students can take classes in various modes: in-person, hybrid or fully remote in or outside the U.S. It is our understanding that there will be no effect on your SEVIS record as long as you remain enrolled full time and have no other violations of status such as unauthorized employment or unauthorized drop below full-time enrollment. If you would like to drop below a full-time course load, you must first contact Dean Ninah Pretto for guidance.
    • Can an F-1 international student with an Active SEVIS record take a fully online course load in spring 2021 at Williams College from inside or outside the United States? Temporary exemptions in place under the July 15 ICE FAQ allow continuing F-1 international students to take a fully online course load from inside or outside the United States.
    • If I enroll full time while in the U.S. and my visa expires, do I need to renew my visa? No. As long as you remain in the United States, you do not need to renew your visa because your valid stay is governed by your I-94 and your I-20.
    • If I am a continuing student and remain outside the United States, do I need to get a new F-1 visa? No. If your F-1 visa is still valid, you do not need to apply for a new visa regardless of your SEVIS status. Yes, if your visa expires while you are outside the United States you must renew your visa before entering the United States.
    • How can I prepare for Course Participation Across Time zones? When you sign up for courses, please make note of each one’s time block. Faculty may request that students be available for virtual participation during some or all of these time periods. We encourage you to reach out to each of your faculty members to provide information about your unique situation and needs.
    • How will my Financial Aid be impacted? Your financial aid will still apply as long as you are either taking courses remotely from outside the U.S., or in-person on campus. Learn more on the Financial Aid website.
    • Course Withdrawals and Personal Leaves. International students can withdraw from a course or take a personal or medical leave for a single semester or longer. Please contact Dean Ninah Pretto for more guidance on your various options and how they will impact your SEVIS record.
    • As a continuing student in Active SEVIS status, how does the current situation affect my ability to apply curricular practical training or optional practical training? We do not have guidance on how CPT and OPT are affected by students enrolled in remote classes, but we assume—since you are in active status and are enrolled full time—that there is no effect. You should not be affected as long as you meet the requirement of full-time study for one academic year.
    • I am preparing to reenter the United States. What documents do I need for travel?
      • Passport
      • F-1 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) DHS is still accepting electronic signatures on the Form I-20.
      • EAD card (if you are currently on OPT)
      • Employment Letter (If you are currently on OPT)
      • All air passengers entering the U.S. will be required to present documentation of a negative COVID-19 viral test (called a Qualifying Test) conducted within the 3 days before your flight to the U.S. departs.


    • While most of our study away partners have canceled their spring programs, Williams is permitting study away for a few in-person approved programs. Please contact Tina Stoiciu to determine whether or not Williams can authorize the program.
      Students must sign up for International SOS to participate in international programs, and students and their families must also sign Williams’ Risk and Release form. Risk and release forms are available through this link.
    • The office of International Education and Study Away will stay in close communication with students via email with important updates in the event of further travel restrictions or program closures.
    • For the most part, Williams will not be authorizing study-away programs that are offering remote-only programming. If you have questions about a particular program, please contact Tina Stoicu to determine whether Williams can authorize the program.
    • If you would like to consider the possibility of taking a full semester of in-person classes at another U.S. institution this spring, please contact Tina Stoiciu to determine what is feasible. If you are currently living outside the U.S. and would like to take a full semester of in-person classes at an institution local to you, please contact Tina Stoiciu for more information.

    Williams Exeter Programme at Oxford (WEPO)
    The WEPO program will be operating for the full year with full safety, testing, and quarantine measures in place. Visit the WEPO website for more program-specific FAQs, or contact Tina Stoiciu for more information.

    Williams Mystic Maritime Studies Program
    The Mystic Program will not be operating during the spring 2021 semester. Visit the Williams-Mystic website for more information. Please contact Tina Stoiciu at Williams or Tom Van Winkle at Williams Mystic for more information.


Tuition & Fees and Financial Aid

    • Parent & family contributions for students receiving financial aid have been reduced by 15%. This is in addition to the 15% cost of attendance decrease that all students received for fees in the 2020-2021 academic year.
    • Enrolled students who are studying remotely will not be charged for fees, housing or meals at Williams, but we realize that some of these costs are still a reality for your family so we’ve increased your personal allowance to cover some of those expenses. As part of your financial aid award, your personal allowance has been increased to $4,000 and your financial aid has been adjusted accordingly. Just like students who’ll be studying on campus, your summer earnings and work-study expectations will be replaced entirely with grant funding for the 2020-2021 academic year. If you still find yourself in need of supplies for the semester, you can submit a critical needs funding request for review.
    • Should you need it, the college’s Health Insurance Grant will cover the full cost of the Student Health Insurance Plan, which provides coverage worldwide.
    • As usual, the full cost of your required textbooks and course materials will be covered by the Book Grant.

    For answers to additional questions, visit the Financial Aid website or email finaid​@williams​.edu.


  • Go to Student Accounts to learn when and how to pay term bills (tuition and fees) and to


  • The total cost of attendance, has been reduced by 15%. Tuition, room and board for the 2020-2021 academic year is $63,200. Parent contributions for students receiving financial aid will also be reduced by 15%.



  • As shared in this community-wide message on January 28, Williams is planning an in-person ceremony to celebrate the senior class (details still to be determined), shaped by rules about gathering size.

    Sadly, we do already know we won’t be able to allow attendance by families or other off-campus guests, or students from the three other classes. We want to get back to a world where we can invite thousands of loved ones and friends to campus for this celebration, without creating a deadly superspreader event. But a call had to be made, and with new variants of the virus emerging and so much still in flux, it’s just not safe, which is why lots of other schools are making the same call. We’ll do our best to provide ways that families and friends can participate virtually.



  • Continually updated information on everything from facilities access to recreational tips and opportunities can be found on the Athletics Department website.


  • Please visit the the Athletics Department website for the latest information on the spring athletics season and competition, as well as other information such as facilities access to recreational tips and opportunities.


  • Information about on-campus and remote offerings and attaining PE credits during COVID can be found on the Athletics website.


  • Club sports will not compete or be able to travel off campus to events. We continue to work to develop protocols that will allow us to practice safely.


Ongoing Services

  • Whether you’re attending on-campus or remotely, we recommend shopping for your books on the Bookstore website once you’ve registered for classes. Click here for information about ordering, payment, accessing the book grant, and more.