Students & Families FAQ

Answers to these questions will be updated as more information becomes available. Check Daily Messages for news of significant updates and changes. We will note when details are not yet known or when decisions are still being made. If you have a question that’s not answered on these pages, please submit it for consideration via our comment form.

Select a topic area below to view answers to frequently asked questions, and use keywords or terms in the search bar to narrow your search. To ensure that you can find what you need, FAQs are organized by audience and by general topics. As a result, you will see the same question and answer multiple times throughout the site.

Academics

  • If you are working on a thesis that requires on-campus work in January 2021, you will be able to petition to be on campus during that time. As part of the petition process, the college will seek input from your thesis advisor about why your on-campus presence is necessary to completion of the thesis. We currently anticipate that students will be able to petition to be on campus from Jan. 4 through the beginning of the spring semester, though this may change, depending on health conditions at the time. Arrival times may be staggered, like they will be in fall, and will be dependent on our ability to test and quarantine students who have left campus for the winter break, prior to returning for thesis work.

    Updated 7/8/2020
  • We recognize that extenuating circumstances may make your initial enrollment decision problematic (e.g., travel/visa restrictions; illness in the family, etc). If this occurs, please contact the Dean’s Office to let us know so that we can help you develop a workable plan.

    Added 7/8/2020
  • The academic calendar for dates of instruction in the fall remains as posted, with classes beginning on Thursday, Sept. 10, and ending on Friday, Dec. 11. We’ll offer a combination of in-person and remote instruction until Thanksgiving, after which all instruction will be held remotely, as will exams. Students may request to remain on campus during Thanksgiving Break and through the final exam period. All other students will be expected to leave campus at Thanksgiving Break and complete the rest of their semester from elsewhere. Winter Study is canceled for 2021. We’ll share the start date and calendar for the spring semester sometime in October 2020.

  • For the 2020-2021 academic year only, the faculty have reduced the minimum number of required courses per semester from four to three. The faculty also lowered the number of credits required for graduation, so that you would only need to take three credits per semester throughout this year in order to graduate on time. You can opt to take more than the minimum number of courses if you wish.

    Another adaptation, for the 2020-2021 academic year only, is that students can take as many pass-fail courses as they wish (provided the courses are designated as pass-fail eligible), and those courses will not count toward their total allowance of three pass-fail courses over the duration of their time at Williams. In addition, students can extend their decision about whether to withdraw from a course or designate a course as pass-fail until the last day of classes. Finally, for the 2020-2021 academic year, courses designated as pass-fail can be used to fulfill college requirements, including the divisional requirement, Writing Skills (W), Quantitative/Formal Reasoning (Q), and Difference, Power and Equity (DPE).

  • Yes. The total cost of attendance, which was announced in December, has been reduced by 15%. This reduction recognizes the extraordinary circumstances of this academic year, as well as the uncertainty we all face in the year ahead, including the economic and societal uncertainty facing our students and families. Tuition, room and board for the 2020-2021 academic year will be $63,200. Parent contributions for students receiving financial aid will also be reduced by 15%.

  • Yes. Your decision to enroll remotely for the fall can be switched to an in-person enrollment for the spring. We will provide more information about the deadline for those requests once the fall semester is underway.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • Individual instruction in voice and most instruments will continue to be offered, though given the need to follow social-distancing protocols, some or all instruction may need to occur remotely. Students interested in lessons should contact the individual studio teachers to learn whether they have space available in their studios or whether there are online or in-person auditions (this varies by studio). More information about lessons can be found here or by visiting the virtual Music Open House during First Days. Registration for half-credit lessons (MUS 281) is completed separately from the student self-registration process; once a teacher has accepted you into their studio, they will send a registration link, which must be completed during add/drop period.

  • View a preliminary list of courses for the fall and spring semesters here. The list includes information about faculty and instruction modality (hybrid vs. remote).

  • Our science faculty are working creatively to support student learning in all aspects of our courses, including laboratory techniques. We see our four-year science curricula as both cumulative and holistic and will make every effort to ensure that majors in laboratory science departments receive comprehensive exposure to all aspects of the discipline. Students should contact relevant department chairs and faculty advisors with specific questions.

  • As of June 29, no foundation has announced that it’s canceling its programs. Application cycles are proceeding as planned. No deadlines have been postponed. Updates will be posted on each foundation’s website.

  • We will be making a decision about the WEPO program by Aug. 1. By that date we hope to have better information about the availability of visas and travel restrictions.

    Visit the WEPO website for more program-specific FAQs, or contact Tina Stoiciu for more information.

    Updated 7/7/2020
  • The Mystic Program will not be operating this fall. Visit the Williams-Mystic website for more information.

    Please contact Tina Stoiciu at Williams or Tom Van Winkle at Williams Mystic for information about the spring 2021 semester.

  • Yes, if you opt to take a fourth course, it will count toward your degree. During the 2020-21 academic year only, students who take three courses in both semesters will be required to complete a total of 30 courses for graduation. Students who complete three courses in one semester and four courses in the other will be required to complete a total of 31 courses. Students who complete four courses in both semesters will be required to complete a total of 32 courses for graduation.

  • If you choose to take the minimum three courses during the fall and/or spring semesters of this academic year, you will NOT have to take extra courses later in order to graduate on time. You will still be expected to complete your college and major requirements. Faculty and deans will be happy to work with you to ensure that you can do so.

  • Yes, we plan to offer several intensive courses (taught remotely) in January that would allow students to make up previously incurred deficiencies.

  • While fifth courses can be used to fulfill college or major requirements, they do not count toward total courses required for the degree.

  • A preliminary version of the course catalog, with both fall and spring classes, is available here. The list includes course title, instructor and teaching modality (hybrid or remote). The formal course catalog will be available on Aug. 3 and will include information about both fall and spring courses for the 2020-2021 academic year.

  • Pre-registration will be available from Aug. 10-17, and you will be able to indicate your preference for three courses at that time. You will have the opportunity to indicate your preference for a fourth course between Aug. 26 and 30. You can make changes to your schedule or add a fifth course during drop/add period, Sept. 8-18. You will receive advance instructions for the pre-registration process from the Registrar’s Office. Incoming first-year students and incoming transfer students will be matched with a faculty advisor who can provide additional guidance; you will learn more about your advisor in mid to late July.

  • Yes. Students will be asked to select three courses during the initial stage of pre-registration. Soon afterward, students will be able to add a fourth course if they choose. You may opt to add a fifth course during the drop/add period at the very beginning of the semester.

  • Yes, you can opt to take an extra course this fall to make up a previous deficiency if you wish.

  • For the 2020-2021 academic year only, students can take as many pass-fail courses as they wish (provided the courses are designated as pass-fail eligible), and those courses will not count toward their total allowance of three pass-fail courses over the duration of their time at Williams. In addition, students can extend their decision about whether to withdraw from a course or designate a course as pass-fail until the last day of classes. Finally, for the 2020-2021 academic year, courses designated as pass-fail can be used to fulfill college requirements, including the divisional requirement, Writing Skills (W), Quantitative/Formal Reasoning (Q), and Difference, Power and Equity (DPE).

  • Yes, smaller classes with proper social distancing, adhering to health protocols will be held.

    For more Physical Education FAQs, please visit the EphSports website.

  • There will be online options, as there were this past spring semester, to support your physical health and complete your physical education requirement.

    For more Physical Education FAQs, please visit the EphSports website.

  • The fall 2020 class block grid will leave 30 minutes between consecutive occupancy of any classroom to leave time for sanitization. You can view a visual guide of the block grid here.

    The fall 2020 class schedule will be posted on the Registrar’s website on August 3.

    Updated 7/6/2020
  • WCMA be open to Williams students, faculty, and staff, for class use and by appointment for individuals and small groups. The museum is not open to the public at this time, and drop-in visits are not possible. Please visit the WCMA website for more details about the fall semester.

  • Guidelines for the Graduate Program in the History of Art this academic year may differ from what is outlined for undergraduate students. Program staff will send updates as they are available. MA students in the Grad Art Program should contact [email protected] with any questions.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • Yes, although access will be restricted to current faculty, students and staff. Hours may be modified. And users will be expected to follow campus social-distancing and hygiene guidelines. Visit Williams Libraries for updated hours.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • We anticipate that when the semester begins all library services—both online and in-person—will be available to faculty, students and staff, although some will be modified to meet social-distancing and hygiene standards. Visit Williams Libraries for updated information.

    Updated 7/6/2020

Athletics

  • NESCAC and the NCAA have issued statements about expectations for a safe return to play. Those statements leave a great deal to the discretion of individual schools, but strongly recommend a phased approach to return to play and competition. This means that any athletic engagement will begin and proceed slowly and with an abundance of caution. Knowing how important athletics is in the lives of many students, we hope to provide opportunities for team engagement. Teams will be able to practice outside in small groups if they adhere to social distancing guidelines, and may progress to more game-like practice activities if conditions improve.

    However it has been decided that Williams fall sports teams will not travel and compete during the fall semester. Our decision has been guided by the utmost attention to safety protocols to ensure the health and safety of our athletes, coaches, staff and community. Decisions about winter and spring teams have not yet been made. The Athletics Department will host a special town hall devoted to information and discussion of these issues. For more Athletics FAQs, please visit the EphSports website.

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

    For more Athletics FAQs, please visit the EphSports website.

  • A student’s standing on the team will be unaffected. It is hoped students will make the best decision for themselves.

    For more Athletics FAQs, please visit the EphSports website.

  • Yes, following college guidelines of social distancing and mask wearing, we will create programming for students to get outside in activities such as hiking, climbing, canoeing and fishing in the fall. We hope to offer a full complement of snow activities as the season changes.

    For more WOC FAQs, please visit the EphSports website.

  • Yes.

  • We are hopeful winter teams can begin practice on Oct. 15. A decision about when teams can return after Winter Break will be decided later in the fall.

  • Yes, smaller classes with proper social distancing, adhering to health protocols will be held.

    For more Physical Education FAQs, please visit the EphSports website.

  • There will be online options, as there were this past spring semester, to support your physical health and complete your physical education requirement.

    For more Physical Education FAQs, please visit the EphSports website.

Campus Life

  • Yes, students need to make an appointment. For the safety of all students and staff, the Health Center requires students to call the Health Center at 413-597-2206 to be pre-screened by a Registered Nurse (RN) for the appropriate care.

    Student Health and Wellness Services will be relying heavily on telemedicine for the fall semester. If a provider deems that the student needs to be seen face to face and that it is safe to do so, they will schedule an appointment for the student. Students requiring more significant care will be transported to a local urgent care or emergency room.

    Many appointments are available the same day or next day.

    Please see the Integrative Wellbeing Services website for more information on accessible services.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • NESCAC and the NCAA have issued statements about expectations for a safe return to play. Those statements leave a great deal to the discretion of individual schools, but strongly recommend a phased approach to return to play and competition. This means that any athletic engagement will begin and proceed slowly and with an abundance of caution. Knowing how important athletics is in the lives of many students, we hope to provide opportunities for team engagement. Teams will be able to practice outside in small groups if they adhere to social distancing guidelines, and may progress to more game-like practice activities if conditions improve.

    However it has been decided that Williams fall sports teams will not travel and compete during the fall semester. Our decision has been guided by the utmost attention to safety protocols to ensure the health and safety of our athletes, coaches, staff and community. Decisions about winter and spring teams have not yet been made. The Athletics Department will host a special town hall devoted to information and discussion of these issues. For more Athletics FAQs, please visit the EphSports website.

  • Our plan is for each on-campus student to have their own bedroom (a single dorm room). This may change if the numbers of students returning to campus is higher than the number of available rooms. The number of students sharing a bathroom will vary by residence hall. There will be daily cleaning of bathrooms, and sanitation products will be provided to students. We plan to limit access to common rooms and rearrange furniture in gathering spaces for safety. Laundry will be free for all students living on campus.

    Updated 7/9/2020
  • Residential card access will be limited to the dorm or building in which the student lives.

  • With many college operations continuing in a remote fashion, some administrative departments may not have the same student employment needs as they have had in the past. We expect there will be a mix of on-campus jobs and remote work opportunities available for students including Teaching Assistants and other academic-focused experiences. In some cases, “remote work” may be done from an individual’s dorm room.

    We cannot accommodate remote work arrangements outside the U.S. due to international tax and labor laws.

    Updated 7/6/2020
  • We continue to work to develop protocols that will allow us to practice safely. Club sports will not compete or be able to travel off campus to events.

    For more Athletics FAQs, please visit the EphSports website.

  • Only those students who enroll for the fall and choose the on-campus option, along with those students who have been pre-approved to live off campus, will be allowed on campus. All other students will require permission in advance from the Dean of the College to come to campus and use college facilities.

  • Driscoll, Whitmans, Lee Snack Bar, ’82 Grill, Grab-n-Go, and the Eco Cafe will be open to students for takeout only. All other dining halls will be closed. Faculty and staff will not have access to open dining halls; only assistant coaches will be permitted in addition to students. Please visit the Dining Services website for specific questions about dining on campus.

    Updated 7/9/2020
  • Yes, following college guidelines of social distancing and mask wearing, we will create programming for students to get outside in activities such as hiking, climbing, canoeing and fishing in the fall. We hope to offer a full complement of snow activities as the season changes.

    For more WOC FAQs, please visit the EphSports website.

  • Yes, we will provide a process to request housing on campus in the event that a resurgence of Covid-19 requries us to evacuate the campus.

  • Yes! Students now have the option of meeting with their career advisor in person (from a social distance) or remotely, per their preference. Students can either make an appointment online, email us at [email protected] or contact a staff member directly. We encourage you to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay informed. See the ’68 Center for Career Exploration website for more information about programs and activities.

  • In order to protect the health and safety of our community, we will be staging arrival dates very carefully. Students will be assigned a particular date for move-in, so that we can manage the inflow of students as effectively and safely as possible. Students are encouraged to adhere to their assigned date and time. Exceptions to move-in dates will be limited.

  • If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911 (or 9-911 if calling from a campus phone).

    If you are experiencing an urgent psychological crisis, call Integrative Well-Being Services at 413-597-2353 and select option 2 to speak to the on-call clinician.

    You can also call Campus Safety at 413-597-4444 to be connected with crisis services.

  • All faculty, staff and students will be expected to sign a commitment that affirms their understanding of procedures and policies, as well as their commitment to the Williams community. Copies will be sent to all faculty, staff and students later this summer. The college will undertake an educational campaign to ensure expectations are clear and well-communicated.

  • In an effort to prioritize people’s health and safety, the college has made the difficult decision to close campus to all visitors. We look forward to welcoming you to campus when it’s safe to do so. In the meantime, please explore Williams virtually.

  • The calendar for the fall will remain the same, including Mountain Day, Homecoming and Family Days. Please stay tuned for more information about what the programming for these events will look like as we get closer to the dates.

  • Public health protocols preclude us from allowing families into the residence halls. Our staff will be on hand to help students settle in. Students are expected to minimize what they bring and move themselves into their spaces. Protocols for delivery/pick-up of items stored in Towne Fieldhouse are still being developed. Please stay tuned for more information.

  • WCMA be open to Williams students, faculty, and staff, for class use and by appointment for individuals and small groups. The museum is not open to the public at this time, and drop-in visits are not possible. Please visit the WCMA website for more details about the fall semester.

  • Yes, although access will be restricted to current faculty, students and staff. Hours may be modified. And users will be expected to follow campus social-distancing and hygiene guidelines. Visit Williams Libraries for updated hours.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • We anticipate that when the semester begins all library services—both online and in-person—will be available to faculty, students and staff, although some will be modified to meet social-distancing and hygiene standards. Visit Williams Libraries for updated information.

    Updated 7/6/2020

Dining

  • Driscoll, Whitmans, Lee Snack Bar, ’82 Grill, Grab-n-Go, and the Eco Cafe will be open to students for takeout only. All other dining halls will be closed. Faculty and staff will not have access to open dining halls; only assistant coaches will be permitted in addition to students. Please visit the Dining Services website for specific questions about dining on campus.

    Updated 7/9/2020

Enrollment

  • Only students who have completed all degree requirements are able to participate in Commencement. This means that students who take a leave cannot participate in commencement with their original class. These students can, however, opt to participate in Senior Week, Ivy Exercises, and Baccalaureate with their original class if they so choose. Students who complete their degree requirements in December are invited to return to campus the following June to participate in Commencement exercises. Students who take a leave are able to choose which class they would like to affiliate with for reunion events post-graduation.

    NOTE: Williams was not able to host a commencement for students who graduated in the Class of 2020 due to COVID-19. We hope to offer these students the opportunity to participate in a commencement celebration when it is safe to do so. Any student from the Class of 2020 who has completed their degree requirements (including those who took a leave and completed their requirements off-cycle) will be included in this opportunity.

    Visit the Student Handbook website for more information on off-cycle enrollment.

    Added 7/9/2020
  • Students who wish to withdraw from the college after the semester is underway (rather than shifting modality from on-campus to remote) should understand the process and our tuition refund policy.

    Students who enroll and return to campus 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.

    The college’s Refund Policy will apply to your board plan, only. There will not be a refund for tuition or room. Board will be refunded for the remainder of the term according to the formula at this link. (updated 7/10/2020)

    Housing and miscellaneous fees are not prorated after the start of classes. Coverage under the college’s student health insurance plan will continue for the length of the plan (Aug. 15, 2020-Aug. 14, 2021).

    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.

    Conversely, if you are enrolled as a remote student, you will not be allowed to change your mind and return to campus after the semester is underway. You will, however, be allowed to shift your status for the spring semester. We will ask students about their preferences for spring enrollment in October.

    Added 7/8/2020
  • We recognize that extenuating circumstances may make your initial enrollment decision problematic (e.g., travel/visa restrictions; illness in the family, etc). If this occurs, please contact the Dean’s Office to let us know so that we can help you develop a workable plan.

    Added 7/8/2020
  • We are requiring all students and families to make a decision by July 10 so that we can do the planning and operational work required to fully support all of our students in the fall. As you can imagine, if we don’t know how many people will be here, it will be hard to plan and staff the campus properly. Please make the best decision you can based on the information available to you now. If you are strongly considering living on campus, it is especially important to let us know this by the deadline so that you can be included in the housing lottery process and secure a room.

    Added 7/8/2020
  • While we look forward to seeing many of you, we know others will choose to take time off. Incoming first-year students and incoming transfer students may opt to take a gap year. Returning sophomores, juniors and seniors may opt to take a personal leave. All students will receive a letter from Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom with instructions for making such requests. You can also reach the form directly by going to to the PeopleSoft homepage. Choose Student Records —> Self Service Forms —> Intent to Enroll Fall 2020. Please email [email protected] or call 413-597-3088 for any access problems.

    The deadline to declare your choice is 5 p.m. EST on Friday, July 10. Incoming first-year students and incoming transfer students with questions about taking a gap year should contact Liz Creighton, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, at [email protected]. Returning sophomores, juniors and seniors who would like to speak to a dean about taking a personal leave should fill out this form; the Dean’s Office will be in touch with you to schedule a meeting.

  • Only those students who enroll for the fall and choose the on-campus option, along with those students who have been pre-approved to live off campus, will be allowed on campus. All other students will require permission in advance from the Dean of the College to come to campus and use college facilities.

  • Yes. The total cost of attendance, which was announced in December, has been reduced by 15%. This reduction recognizes the extraordinary circumstances of this academic year, as well as the uncertainty we all face in the year ahead, including the economic and societal uncertainty facing our students and families. Tuition, room and board for the 2020-2021 academic year will be $63,200. Parent contributions for students receiving financial aid will also be reduced by 15%.

  • Yes. Your decision to enroll remotely for the fall can be switched to an in-person enrollment for the spring. We will provide more information about the deadline for those requests once the fall semester is underway.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • Your bill for the fall semester will be posted in your Williams Student Record on July 22. Balances for the fall semester must be paid or have a payment plan in place by Aug. 24. In mid-July, you will receive an email from the Office of Student Accounts with details about payment plan options and FlyWire, the college’s new payment system.

  • Yes, you will be as eligible as an applicant in your new graduation year.

  • No. Enrolled students who are studying remotely will only be required to pay tuition, which has been reduced by 15%.

  • Students enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan for the 2019-2020 academic year and who choose to take a personal leave from the college will be able to buy a continuation plan for health insurance coverage. The continuation plan will extend coverage through at least the fall term. The college is working to finalize the exact dates and cost of coverage.

    Eligible students will be able to select the continuation plan when the student health insurance portal goes live on July 15. Please note that the premiums will be the student’s responsibility, and payment should be made directly to the broker, AJG Inc. The payment can be made through the portal when selecting coverage.

    Find more information about student health insurance for the 2020-2021 academic year on the Health and Wellness Services website.

    Updated 7/6/2020
  • Yes, although access will be restricted to current faculty, students and staff. Hours may be modified. And users will be expected to follow campus social-distancing and hygiene guidelines. Visit Williams Libraries for updated hours.

    Updated 7/1/2020

Financial Aid

  • Students who wish to withdraw from the college after the semester is underway (rather than shifting modality from on-campus to remote) should understand the process and our tuition refund policy.

    Students who enroll and return to campus 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.

    The college’s Refund Policy will apply to your board plan, only. There will not be a refund for tuition or room. Board will be refunded for the remainder of the term according to the formula at this link. (updated 7/10/2020)

    Housing and miscellaneous fees are not prorated after the start of classes. Coverage under the college’s student health insurance plan will continue for the length of the plan (Aug. 15, 2020-Aug. 14, 2021).

    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.

    Conversely, if you are enrolled as a remote student, you will not be allowed to change your mind and return to campus after the semester is underway. You will, however, be allowed to shift your status for the spring semester. We will ask students about their preferences for spring enrollment in October.

    Added 7/8/2020
  • Yes. The total cost of attendance, which was announced in December, has been reduced by 15%. This reduction recognizes the extraordinary circumstances of this academic year, as well as the uncertainty we all face in the year ahead, including the economic and societal uncertainty facing our students and families. Tuition, room and board for the 2020-2021 academic year will be $63,200. Parent contributions for students receiving financial aid will also be reduced by 15%.

  • Yes. Your financial aid award will change in several ways to better support you during these extraordinary times. First, your parent contribution will be reduced by 15%. Additionally, your summer earnings contribution and your work study expectation have been replaced entirely with grant funding from the college. You will receive an email from the Office of Financial Aid on June 30 with additional information about your financial aid award for the coming year, including your revised parent contribution.

  • Enrolled students who are studying remotely will only be required to pay tuition, so your financial aid will be adjusted based on that revised cost of attendance. Additionally, your parent contribution will be reduced by 15% and you will receive a $4,000 personal allowance per semester to cover expenses you’ll incur while studying remotely. 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. As usual, the full cost of your required textbooks and course materials will be covered by the Book Grant, and the college’s Health Insurance Grant will cover the full cost of the Student Health Insurance Plan, which provides coverage worldwide.

  • If your family’s financial circumstances remain unchanged during the upcoming year, you can expect a very similar financial aid award for 2021-2022, but there is always the possibility of a change based on new information. Each student’s financial aid is re-evaluated each year so we can ensure we’re meeting your financial need at that moment. If you defer your enrollment or take a leave from the college, we will review a new application for financial aid in spring 2021 and provide you with an updated financial aid award soon after.

    Please note that the 15% reduction to your parent contribution and the additional grant provided to replace the summer earnings contribution and work study expectation for 2020-2021 will not carry forward to your financial aid package for the 2021-2022 academic year. Those are one-year adjustments that have been made in response to Covid-19. However, all students retain the option to choose any one summer during your Williams career when your summer earnings contribution will be replaced by additional grant funding from the college, and the option of petitioning to have another year’s summer contribution fully or partially replaced by additional grant if your projected earnings will be less than your summer expenses.

  • You will be able to purchase your books, including digital and rental titles, online through the Williams Book Store. Once you’ve selected your items and are ready to check out, select Williams College Campus ID, then enter your seven-digit ID number without the W at the beginning. The Williams Fall 2020 account will appear. Select the radio button to agree to the terms and conditions and use the “Pay With This” banner to apply the ID card. You will receive an order confirmation email and a secondary notification when your order has shipped or is ready for pickup. The purchase will be charged to your student account, and the Book Grant will be applied.

  • If you are a financial aid recipient, you will receive information from the Office of Financial Aid shortly about funding to support costs incurred because of Covid-19. Setting up a work space is one example of how such funding might be used. If you still find yourself in need of supplies for the semester, you can submit a critical needs funding request for review.

First Year Students

  • Students who wish to withdraw from the college after the semester is underway (rather than shifting modality from on-campus to remote) should understand the process and our tuition refund policy.

    Students who enroll and return to campus 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.

    The college’s Refund Policy will apply to your board plan, only. There will not be a refund for tuition or room. Board will be refunded for the remainder of the term according to the formula at this link. (updated 7/10/2020)

    Housing and miscellaneous fees are not prorated after the start of classes. Coverage under the college’s student health insurance plan will continue for the length of the plan (Aug. 15, 2020-Aug. 14, 2021).

    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.

    Conversely, if you are enrolled as a remote student, you will not be allowed to change your mind and return to campus after the semester is underway. You will, however, be allowed to shift your status for the spring semester. We will ask students about their preferences for spring enrollment in October.

    Added 7/8/2020
  • We recognize that extenuating circumstances may make your initial enrollment decision problematic (e.g., travel/visa restrictions; illness in the family, etc). If this occurs, please contact the Dean’s Office to let us know so that we can help you develop a workable plan.

    Added 7/8/2020
  • We are requiring all students and families to make a decision by July 10 so that we can do the planning and operational work required to fully support all of our students in the fall. As you can imagine, if we don’t know how many people will be here, it will be hard to plan and staff the campus properly. Please make the best decision you can based on the information available to you now. If you are strongly considering living on campus, it is especially important to let us know this by the deadline so that you can be included in the housing lottery process and secure a room.

    Added 7/8/2020
  • While we look forward to seeing many of you, we know others will choose to take time off. Incoming first-year students and incoming transfer students may opt to take a gap year. Returning sophomores, juniors and seniors may opt to take a personal leave. All students will receive a letter from Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom with instructions for making such requests. You can also reach the form directly by going to to the PeopleSoft homepage. Choose Student Records —> Self Service Forms —> Intent to Enroll Fall 2020. Please email [email protected] or call 413-597-3088 for any access problems.

    The deadline to declare your choice is 5 p.m. EST on Friday, July 10. Incoming first-year students and incoming transfer students with questions about taking a gap year should contact Liz Creighton, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, at [email protected]. Returning sophomores, juniors and seniors who would like to speak to a dean about taking a personal leave should fill out this form; the Dean’s Office will be in touch with you to schedule a meeting.

  • Yes. Your decision to enroll remotely for the fall can be switched to an in-person enrollment for the spring. We will provide more information about the deadline for those requests once the fall semester is underway.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • Absolutely! We are excited to welcome our newest students to Williams. Some of the content will be posted online so that students can access key information about their own schedules, and some components will be interactive. While we will not be hosting EphVenture trips during First Days this year, orientation programming will provide helpful information about life at Williams, health and safety, and academics, and is designed to help you get to know your classmates as well as Williams faculty and staff.

  • Unfortunately, we will not be able to include family members in pre-orientation and orientation events this year due to our health protocols. We will, of course, provide helpful information for parents and families online.

  • All incoming first-year students will be matched with a faculty advisor in mid-July.

  • All incoming first-year students will be assigned to an entry, along with a set of Junior Advisors. You will hear more about your entry assignment in mid-August.

  • First-year students are not permitted to bring cars to campus. All other students should contact Campus Safety and Security for more information on parking policy.

  • Yes, although access will be restricted to current faculty, students and staff. Hours may be modified. And users will be expected to follow campus social-distancing and hygiene guidelines. Visit Williams Libraries for updated hours.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • We anticipate that when the semester begins all library services—both online and in-person—will be available to faculty, students and staff, although some will be modified to meet social-distancing and hygiene standards. Visit Williams Libraries for updated information.

    Updated 7/6/2020

Health

  • Covid-19 testing will be required for all students. There will also be testing for faculty and staff. Tests will be administered upon arrival and then weekly throughout the rest of the in-person term. We’ve arranged with the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to provide testing via a minimally invasive, self-administered nasal swab, and conducted under observation by a trained professional. All testing will be free.

  • Yes, students need to make an appointment. For the safety of all students and staff, the Health Center requires students to call the Health Center at 413-597-2206 to be pre-screened by a Registered Nurse (RN) for the appropriate care.

    Student Health and Wellness Services will be relying heavily on telemedicine for the fall semester. If a provider deems that the student needs to be seen face to face and that it is safe to do so, they will schedule an appointment for the student. Students requiring more significant care will be transported to a local urgent care or emergency room.

    Many appointments are available the same day or next day.

    Please see the Integrative Wellbeing Services website for more information on accessible services.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • Most people arriving in Massachusetts—including Massachusetts residents returning home—are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days, per state guidelines. Starting July 1, 2020, also per state guidelines, travelers to Massachusetts from the states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York and New Jersey are exempt from this directive and need not self-quarantine for 14 days. Workers designated by the federal government as essential critical infrastructure workers are exempt from the directive to self-quarantine for 14 days if traveling to Massachusetts for work purposes. No one should travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19.
  • Students enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan for the 2019-2020 academic year and who choose to take a personal leave from the college will be able to buy a continuation plan for health insurance coverage. The continuation plan will extend coverage through at least the fall term. The college is working to finalize the exact dates and cost of coverage.

    Eligible students will be able to select the continuation plan when the student health insurance portal goes live on July 15. Please note that the premiums will be the student’s responsibility, and payment should be made directly to the broker, AJG Inc. The payment can be made through the portal when selecting coverage.

    Find more information about student health insurance for the 2020-2021 academic year on the Health and Wellness Services website.

    Updated 7/6/2020
  • For more information on how to request permission for an emotional support animal, please contact the Office of Accessible Education or click here.

  • Yes, we will provide a process to request housing on campus in the event that a resurgence of Covid-19 requries us to evacuate the campus.

  • If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911 (or 9-911 if calling from a campus phone).

    If you are experiencing an urgent psychological crisis, call Integrative Well-Being Services at 413-597-2353 and select option 2 to speak to the on-call clinician.

    You can also call Campus Safety at 413-597-4444 to be connected with crisis services.

  • All faculty, staff and students will be expected to sign a commitment that affirms their understanding of procedures and policies, as well as their commitment to the Williams community. Copies will be sent to all faculty, staff and students later this summer. The college will undertake an educational campaign to ensure expectations are clear and well-communicated.

  • Masks will be required per Massachusetts state law, both indoors and outdoors, when social distancing cannot be maintained. Everyone will be required to wear a mask or face covering in public indoor spaces on campus, including classrooms, dining halls and the library, as well as other indoor spaces. The college will distribute three reusable face coverings to all students, faculty and staff working on campus and will have spare disposable masks available in high-traffic areas.

  • Following their initial Covid-19 test on arrival, students will be required to quarantine in their rooms, with bathroom access only, for 24-48 hours until the results are confirmed. Meals will be delivered to rooms or, in certain cases, a common room, during this time. We realize the seriousness and inconvenience of this measure, but it’s the only way we can ascertain that everyone has tested negative before they join the campus community.

Housing

  • If you are working on a thesis that requires on-campus work in January 2021, you will be able to petition to be on campus during that time. As part of the petition process, the college will seek input from your thesis advisor about why your on-campus presence is necessary to completion of the thesis. We currently anticipate that students will be able to petition to be on campus from Jan. 4 through the beginning of the spring semester, though this may change, depending on health conditions at the time. Arrival times may be staggered, like they will be in fall, and will be dependent on our ability to test and quarantine students who have left campus for the winter break, prior to returning for thesis work.

    Updated 7/8/2020
  • Students who wish to withdraw from the college after the semester is underway (rather than shifting modality from on-campus to remote) should understand the process and our tuition refund policy.

    Students who enroll and return to campus 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.

    The college’s Refund Policy will apply to your board plan, only. There will not be a refund for tuition or room. Board will be refunded for the remainder of the term according to the formula at this link. (updated 7/10/2020)

    Housing and miscellaneous fees are not prorated after the start of classes. Coverage under the college’s student health insurance plan will continue for the length of the plan (Aug. 15, 2020-Aug. 14, 2021).

    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.

    Conversely, if you are enrolled as a remote student, you will not be allowed to change your mind and return to campus after the semester is underway. You will, however, be allowed to shift your status for the spring semester. We will ask students about their preferences for spring enrollment in October.

    Added 7/8/2020
  • Our plan is for each on-campus student to have their own bedroom (a single dorm room). This may change if the numbers of students returning to campus is higher than the number of available rooms. The number of students sharing a bathroom will vary by residence hall. There will be daily cleaning of bathrooms, and sanitation products will be provided to students. We plan to limit access to common rooms and rearrange furniture in gathering spaces for safety. Laundry will be free for all students living on campus.

    Updated 7/9/2020
  • Residential card access will be limited to the dorm or building in which the student lives.

  • All incoming first-year students will be assigned to an entry, along with a set of Junior Advisors. You will hear more about your entry assignment in mid-August.

  • In order to protect the health and safety of our community, we will be staging arrival dates very carefully. Students will be assigned a particular date for move-in, so that we can manage the inflow of students as effectively and safely as possible. Students are encouraged to adhere to their assigned date and time. Exceptions to move-in dates will be limited.

  • Public health protocols preclude us from allowing families into the residence halls. Our staff will be on hand to help students settle in. Students are expected to minimize what they bring and move themselves into their spaces. Protocols for delivery/pick-up of items stored in Towne Fieldhouse are still being developed. Please stay tuned for more information.

Human Resources

  • Most people arriving in Massachusetts—including Massachusetts residents returning home—are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days, per state guidelines. Starting July 1, 2020, also per state guidelines, travelers to Massachusetts from the states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York and New Jersey are exempt from this directive and need not self-quarantine for 14 days. Workers designated by the federal government as essential critical infrastructure workers are exempt from the directive to self-quarantine for 14 days if traveling to Massachusetts for work purposes. No one should travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19.

International Students

  • Students who wish to withdraw from the college after the semester is underway (rather than shifting modality from on-campus to remote) should understand the process and our tuition refund policy.

    Students who enroll and return to campus 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.

    The college’s Refund Policy will apply to your board plan, only. There will not be a refund for tuition or room. Board will be refunded for the remainder of the term according to the formula at this link. (updated 7/10/2020)

    Housing and miscellaneous fees are not prorated after the start of classes. Coverage under the college’s student health insurance plan will continue for the length of the plan (Aug. 15, 2020-Aug. 14, 2021).

    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.

    Conversely, if you are enrolled as a remote student, you will not be allowed to change your mind and return to campus after the semester is underway. You will, however, be allowed to shift your status for the spring semester. We will ask students about their preferences for spring enrollment in October.

    Added 7/8/2020
  • We recognize that extenuating circumstances may make your initial enrollment decision problematic (e.g., travel/visa restrictions; illness in the family, etc). If this occurs, please contact the Dean’s Office to let us know so that we can help you develop a workable plan.

    Added 7/8/2020
  • We are requiring all students and families to make a decision by July 10 so that we can do the planning and operational work required to fully support all of our students in the fall. As you can imagine, if we don’t know how many people will be here, it will be hard to plan and staff the campus properly. Please make the best decision you can based on the information available to you now. If you are strongly considering living on campus, it is especially important to let us know this by the deadline so that you can be included in the housing lottery process and secure a room.

    Added 7/8/2020
  • F-1 International Students may take courses remotely from outside the U.S. Questions about maintaining F-1 status will be answered by Dean Ninah Pretto once DHS guidance is released for the fall.

    Updated 7/2/2020
  • Yes, you can take courses remotely from outside the U.S. Your Form I-20 program start date will be updated to the semester you are able to obtain your visa and travel to the U.S. to participate in-person. Please contact Dean Ninah Pretto for more information.

    Updated 7/2/2020
  • F-1 international students must maintain a full-time course load in order to maintain their status. If you would like to drop below a full-time course load, you must first contact Dean Ninah Pretto for more information.

  • Please check with Dean Ninah Pretto about this possibility.

  • When you sign up for your courses, please make note of its time block. Faculty may request that students be available for virtual participation during some or all of these time periods.

  • Yes.

  • The Student and Exchange Visitor Program has not yet issued guidance about this issue. We will provide this information as soon as it is made available. In the meantime, please contact Dean Ninah Pretto for more information.

  • 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. Please contact Dean Ninah Pretto for more information.

  • Yes, F-1 international students can take a personal leave for a single semester or longer. A personal leave will end your current F-1 status, and you will be required to apply for a new F-1 status when you decide to return. Please contact Dean Ninah Pretto for more information.

Remote Learning

  • Students who wish to withdraw from the college after the semester is underway (rather than shifting modality from on-campus to remote) should understand the process and our tuition refund policy.

    Students who enroll and return to campus 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.

    The college’s Refund Policy will apply to your board plan, only. There will not be a refund for tuition or room. Board will be refunded for the remainder of the term according to the formula at this link. (updated 7/10/2020)

    Housing and miscellaneous fees are not prorated after the start of classes. Coverage under the college’s student health insurance plan will continue for the length of the plan (Aug. 15, 2020-Aug. 14, 2021).

    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.

    Conversely, if you are enrolled as a remote student, you will not be allowed to change your mind and return to campus after the semester is underway. You will, however, be allowed to shift your status for the spring semester. We will ask students about their preferences for spring enrollment in October.

    Added 7/8/2020
  • Only those students who enroll for the fall and choose the on-campus option, along with those students who have been pre-approved to live off campus, will be allowed on campus. All other students will require permission in advance from the Dean of the College to come to campus and use college facilities.

  • Yes. Your decision to enroll remotely for the fall can be switched to an in-person enrollment for the spring. We will provide more information about the deadline for those requests once the fall semester is underway.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • You will be able to purchase your books, including digital and rental titles, online through the Williams Book Store. Once you’ve selected your items and are ready to check out, select Williams College Campus ID, then enter your seven-digit ID number without the W at the beginning. The Williams Fall 2020 account will appear. Select the radio button to agree to the terms and conditions and use the “Pay With This” banner to apply the ID card. You will receive an order confirmation email and a secondary notification when your order has shipped or is ready for pickup. The purchase will be charged to your student account, and the Book Grant will be applied.

  • If you are a financial aid recipient, you will receive information from the Office of Financial Aid shortly about funding to support costs incurred because of Covid-19. Setting up a work space is one example of how such funding might be used. If you still find yourself in need of supplies for the semester, you can submit a critical needs funding request for review.

  • Our science faculty are working creatively to support student learning in all aspects of our courses, including laboratory techniques. We see our four-year science curricula as both cumulative and holistic and will make every effort to ensure that majors in laboratory science departments receive comprehensive exposure to all aspects of the discipline. Students should contact relevant department chairs and faculty advisors with specific questions.

  • There will be online options, as there were this past spring semester, to support your physical health and complete your physical education requirement.

    For more Physical Education FAQs, please visit the EphSports website.

Remote Working

  • With many college operations continuing in a remote fashion, some administrative departments may not have the same student employment needs as they have had in the past. We expect there will be a mix of on-campus jobs and remote work opportunities available for students including Teaching Assistants and other academic-focused experiences. In some cases, “remote work” may be done from an individual’s dorm room.

    We cannot accommodate remote work arrangements outside the U.S. due to international tax and labor laws.

    Updated 7/6/2020

Student Resources

  • Yes, students need to make an appointment. For the safety of all students and staff, the Health Center requires students to call the Health Center at 413-597-2206 to be pre-screened by a Registered Nurse (RN) for the appropriate care.

    Student Health and Wellness Services will be relying heavily on telemedicine for the fall semester. If a provider deems that the student needs to be seen face to face and that it is safe to do so, they will schedule an appointment for the student. Students requiring more significant care will be transported to a local urgent care or emergency room.

    Many appointments are available the same day or next day.

    Please see the Integrative Wellbeing Services website for more information on accessible services.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • With many college operations continuing in a remote fashion, some administrative departments may not have the same student employment needs as they have had in the past. We expect there will be a mix of on-campus jobs and remote work opportunities available for students including Teaching Assistants and other academic-focused experiences. In some cases, “remote work” may be done from an individual’s dorm room.

    We cannot accommodate remote work arrangements outside the U.S. due to international tax and labor laws.

    Updated 7/6/2020
  • Yes. The Center for Learning in Action (CLiA) is organizing both remote and, where appropriate, socially distanced, in-person community engagement opportunities. Potential remote opportunities can be found here.

  • Yes, you will be as eligible as an applicant in your new graduation year.

  • We anticipate that interviews will be held remotely this year.

  • As yet there is no indication that this is the case. However, we expect fellowship opportunities to be more competitive because of increased interest.

  • Yes, the Fellowships Office will be open, though it is possible that they will operate remotely.

  • As of June 29, no foundation has announced that it’s canceling its programs. Application cycles are proceeding as planned. No deadlines have been postponed. Updates will be posted on each foundation’s website.

  • Yes! Students now have the option of meeting with their career advisor in person (from a social distance) or remotely, per their preference. Students can either make an appointment online, email us at [email protected] or contact a staff member directly. We encourage you to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay informed. See the ’68 Center for Career Exploration website for more information about programs and activities.

  • WCMA be open to Williams students, faculty, and staff, for class use and by appointment for individuals and small groups. The museum is not open to the public at this time, and drop-in visits are not possible. Please visit the WCMA website for more details about the fall semester.

  • Yes, although access will be restricted to current faculty, students and staff. Hours may be modified. And users will be expected to follow campus social-distancing and hygiene guidelines. Visit Williams Libraries for updated hours.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • We anticipate that when the semester begins all library services—both online and in-person—will be available to faculty, students and staff, although some will be modified to meet social-distancing and hygiene standards. Visit Williams Libraries for updated information.

    Updated 7/6/2020

Study Away

  • The majority of our study away partners have canceled their programming for the fall. If you have applied to a program that is still running an in-person study abroad program for the fall and you would like to attend, please contact Tina Stoiciu to determine whether or not Williams can authorize the program.

  • We are monitoring this very closely. No official changes have been made yet, however, if these restrictions are implemented, the college will not be able to authorize travel to any EU countries.

  • We advise all students to register for courses and housing at Williams in the event that there are further travel restrictions or program closures. The office of International Education and Study Away will monitor this closely and stay in close communication with all study away students with important updates via email.

  • 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 fall, 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.

  • We will be making a decision about the WEPO program by Aug. 1. By that date we hope to have better information about the availability of visas and travel restrictions.

    Visit the WEPO website for more program-specific FAQs, or contact Tina Stoiciu for more information.

    Updated 7/7/2020
  • The Mystic Program will not be operating this fall. Visit the Williams-Mystic website for more information.

    Please contact Tina Stoiciu at Williams or Tom Van Winkle at Williams Mystic for information about the spring 2021 semester.

Travel

  • Most people arriving in Massachusetts—including Massachusetts residents returning home—are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days, per state guidelines. Starting July 1, 2020, also per state guidelines, travelers to Massachusetts from the states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York and New Jersey are exempt from this directive and need not self-quarantine for 14 days. Workers designated by the federal government as essential critical infrastructure workers are exempt from the directive to self-quarantine for 14 days if traveling to Massachusetts for work purposes. No one should travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19.
  • Yes. The Center for Learning in Action (CLiA) is organizing both remote and, where appropriate, socially distanced, in-person community engagement opportunities. Potential remote opportunities can be found here.

  • Students will not be permitted to travel outside Berkshire County during the fall reading period (Oct. 12-13). All instruction will switch to remote learning after Thanksgiving for the remainder of the semester. Students may request to remain on campus during Thanksgiving break and through the final exam period. This accommodation will be available to students for a variety of reasons related to concerns about travel or conditions at home. All other students will be expected to leave campus at Thanksgiving break and complete the rest of their semester from elsewhere.

Work Environment

  • All faculty, staff and students will be expected to sign a commitment that affirms their understanding of procedures and policies, as well as their commitment to the Williams community. Copies will be sent to all faculty, staff and students later this summer. The college will undertake an educational campaign to ensure expectations are clear and well-communicated.

  • We anticipate that when the semester begins all library services—both online and in-person—will be available to faculty, students and staff, although some will be modified to meet social-distancing and hygiene standards. Visit Williams Libraries for updated information.

    Updated 7/6/2020