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Frequently Asked Questions for Undergraduate Students Starting in Summer 2020

Congratulations on being accepted to FSU! Welcome to our community. The first stages of your career as a Seminole will be a little different from the usual this year since all summer classes will be offered remotely. You will still get off to a great start, but we expect that you may have some questions.  

Many of your questions will be addressed during Orientation. This introduction to the University is required for all new degree-seeking undergraduate (first-year and transfer) students in order to receive academic advising and clearance for course registration. Family orientation programs are held concurrently with all student orientation sessions.

We encourage family members to participate in orientation so they can best support their student in reaching college goals, gaining important information about the University’s policies and resources, conducting business, and finding answers to questions. 

In response to global health concerns related to COVID-19, all Orientation sessions for the Summer/Fall 2020 terms are being held virtually. If you have not already registered for Orientation, you can do so here. You must register for Orientation no later than May 1st and will receive information about completing your Orientation session at least one week before it begins. Many of the questions listed below will be answered in greater detail as part of your Virtual Orientation. 

Below are answers to some common questions to get you started with your preparations to become a Seminole this summer. You will also find a very helpful list of resources for students at this link. 

Admissions & Accelerated Credit 

I have not paid my admissions deposit and I know I have until May 1 to decide if I want to enroll at FSU. With everything that is going on, can I have more time to decide?  We understand that some students and families may need more time before making a final decision on what college to attend by the traditional May 1 deposit deadline. If that is you, please email us at admissions@fsu.edu and let us know that you need more time. We will be glad to give you more time to make this important decision. Please know that the earlier you can decide, the better we can plan for your arrival on campus or extend invitations to other students.

I am not sure my high school will end before the Summer term starts. What should I do? The June Summer term is scheduled to begin Monday, June 22. We recognize that some high schools might need to extend their academic year into June and possibly beyond. If your high school term extends beyond our June 22 start date, we will work with you either to adjust your Summer term start date or switch your admission to our Fall term which begins August 24.

I may not be able to get my official high school transcript showing my high school graduation before the Summer term starts. Is that a problem? We are aware of this possibility. This will not be a problem and it will not keep you from starting classes in the Summer. Just get the final transcript to us as soon as it becomes available.

I won’t have my AP, IB, or Cambridge results before Summer starts. How do I know what classes to take? During Orientation, you should speak with your advisor about the credit you think you will earn. Your advisor will help you select classes that will not conflict with the credit you might earn via exam results.

Will campus be open for the Fall term or will it be online? At this time, the Fall 2020 term is scheduled to begin on August 24 as normal. In the event it becomes necessary to make a change, we will notify all students immediately.

What about my immunizations and health insurance requirements? FSU is aware of the challenges students may be experiencing obtaining immunizations in light of the current novel coronavirus pandemic. University Health Services will provide temporary deferments to allow for class registration. Deferments are approved on a case-by-case basis. If you are unable to meet your immunization requirement, please contact the UHS health compliance staff. The University requires that students have health insurance, but if you have specific concerns or questions, please contact the UHS health compliance staff. 

Summer Classes 

Do I need anything special to take online courses? You will need a computer with speakers and internet access at a minimum. A web camera, either as part of the computer or as an add-on, is preferred. Additional information about computer specifics are available if you have questions. You can learn more about the technical requirements and the essential online tools and applications you need in the Student Guide to Learning Online and this Tips for Learning Online. 

I am not sure that I have everything I need to take online courses. Is there someone I can contact about my situation? If you have a question about your hardware or software, please contact The ITS Service Desk which can provide assistance or referrals to additional support services. If you do not have a computer or internet availability, please contact Case Management Services at casemanagement@fsu.edu. 

How many classes will I be expected to take? The typical course load for a summer term is two courses or 6 semester hours, but you may take up to 9 semester hours. Your advisor during Orientation can help you decide how many hours to take. 

What type of classes will be available? Summer course offerings will be very similar to previous years. Seats in many popular summer classes have been reserved for incoming students and you can discuss options with your advisor during Orientation. Most students focus on pre-requisites for their major and General Education courses to get started, and these will be widely available.

Will I be able to meet with an academic advisor to help me pick the right classes? You will have an opportunity to meet with an academic advisor during Orientation. They will help you choose and enroll in appropriate summer classes.

After I register for classes, can I make changes to my schedule? Changing your schedule after you have selected your courses is known as Drop/Add. You have until the end of the first week of classes to adjust your schedule by adding or dropping a course. This process will be explained as part of Orientation.

How do I get my textbooks or other required class materials? All books and other class materials may be purchased through the FSU bookstore and shipped to your house. 

I have special learning needs. Is there someone I can contact about my situation? Students can apply for learning accommodation services through the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS). You may apply for services at any time during the semester, but the OAS will require at least seven (7) days to process your application and schedule the intake meeting. The application is available online.

Do I need proof of immunizations and health insurance to start in the summer? Yes. FSU is aware of the challenges students may be experiencing in obtaining immunizations in light of the current novel coronavirus pandemic. University Health Services will still be adherent to the University’s policies and procedures regarding immunizations but will provide temporary waivers to allow for class registration until students return to campus in order to accommodate for the difficulties you may be currently encountering in obtaining immunizations. The University requires that students have health insurance, but if you have specific concerns or questions, please contact the UHS health compliance staff.

I am thinking about taking a math class but am not sure which one will be best for me.  FSU uses the online ALEKS math placement test, which is administered online. If you need to take the test, you will receive registration information via email. You must take the test before attending Orientation.

I am thinking about taking a language class. Is there anything special I need to do? For those students who have initiated foreign language study prior to entering Florida State University (specifically in high school where no college credit was awarded), selection of the appropriate language course level is extremely important. For that reason, a mandatory (no cost) placement test is required for all students who plan to continue study in either French, German, or Spanish and have not already received college credit for that language. Students who are studying a new language which they did not study in high school, and for which they have no other experience, are not required to take such a test but would enroll in the 1120 level of the language of interest. Please go here for more information about language placement testing. 

Are online courses harder than face to face courses? Online courses are not more difficult than face-to-face courses. The difference is how they are designed to support your learning. Instructors in online courses utilize many technologies and strategies to support your learning and connect you with fellow students. These strategies may be different than what you are used to experiencing in an in-person class. FSU faculty are committed to providing quality learning opportunities, regardless of delivery method.

How often do online classes “meet”? Classes will be either synchronous (taught live) or asynchronous (online with no scheduled meeting time). Here’s how to tell the difference:

Classes with specific days/time listed: These are synchronous classes. The class will meet virtually at those times via Zoom or other technologies. The registration system will not allow you to enroll in remote, synchronous classes with overlapping times. 

Classes with days/time listed as TBA: These are asynchronous classes. The class will not meet virtually at a specific time and will use other teaching methods like recorded videos so coursework can be done at your convenience. 

 Will the online courses be pass/fail or graded? Summer online courses will receive letter grades. For more information on the FSU grading policy go here

Tuition, Fees, & Financial Aid 

How much will my classes cost? Tuition and Fees are assessed per credit hour, so your cost will vary depending upon the number of hours and the type of courses you take. For in-state residents, most courses will cost $215.55 per semester hour, so for six semester hours the approximate cost will be $1293. For out-of-state residents, most courses will cost $721.10 per semester hour, so for six semester hours the approximate cost will be $4,327. You will know your exact cost after you register for your classes. Additional information regarding tuition and fees may be seen here.

There are fees associated with some of my classes and not others. Why is this? Some courses are assessed additional costs for online fees, labs, materials and supplies, and general cost recovery. Most online classes have a distance learning fee per credit hour in addition to regular tuition and fees. This supports the additional staff and technologies required to create and teach the online class. Traditional, face-to-face courses being taught remotely do not have a distance learning fee. For a full list of these courses and costs, download the Additional Cost file here.

Is financial aid available for the Summer? Yes. To receive Financial Aid for the Summer, you must submit the 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and register for at least 6 semester hours of credit.  If you have specific questions, we ask that you reach out to the Office of Financial Aid via email at financialaid@fsu.edu

I qualified for a Bright Futures Scholarship from the state of Florida. Can I receive it this Summer? Yes. Both the Academic Scholars and Medallion scholarship will be available to you although the book stipend for the Academic Scholars is only available in the Fall and Spring.

I have a financial aid award for the Summer. How will I get my money and when? Disbursement of summer financial aid to students enrolled in session C will begin on 6/16/2020 for federal grant and loan awards. Bright Futures awards will be disbursed to eligible students at the end of drop add on 6/30/2020 and every week thereafter. Additional information related to financial aid may be viewed on our website. In order to get your money, you must enroll in Direct Deposit. 

When I have finished registering for my classes, when and how do I pay for them? If you receive financial aid like Bright Futures, scholarships or other aid, this will be posted to your account automatically based on the disbursement schedule. You can check your balance in the Campus Solution system and pay your balance. You learn more about this during Orientation.

Housing & Dining 

Will University Housing be available? There will not be University Housing available for the Summer C term. Your first opportunity to live on campus will be in the fall semester. If you haven’t already done so, complete your fall contract on the housing portal. More information can be found on the University Housing website.

I submitted a contract for on-campus housing for the summer. Will I get a refund? Yes, if you have already contracted for housing for Summer C, your deposit will be credited to your student account.  

I purchased an on-campus dining plan for the summer. Will I get a refund? Meal plan charges will not yet have been posted to your account. You will not be charged for this.

Success in Online Classes 

How do I get started with online learning at FSU? Learning online is a different experience from a traditional, face-to-face classroom. You will need access to technology to connect with your instructor, as well as good organization and time-management skills. The Student Guide to Learning Online provides steps to help you get setup and ready to learn online.

What technology do I need for online classes? You will need a computer with speakers and internet access at a minimum. A web camera, either as part of the computer or as an add-on, may be required for some courses. Access to Canvas, Office 365, and many other programs is available either free or at significantly reduced costs for FSU students. You can learn more about the technical requirements and the essential online tools and applications you need in the Student Guide to Learning Online.

What do I do if I don’t have access to a computer or internet? Students experiencing financial hardship related to acquiring the appropriate technology, should contact Case Management Services at casemanagement@fsu.edu. For free and discounted WiFi, check out the ITS Free and Discounted WiFi Options page.

What is the difference between remote and online classes? Classes will be offered “online” (a course specially designed for online learning) or “remote” (traditional lecture or discussion-based classes offered through online platforms). You can search for “remote” offerings in MyFSU’sClass Search using the “Physical Location” field.

Classes will be either synchronous (taught live) or asynchronous (online with no scheduled meeting time). Here’s how to tell the difference: 

Classes with specific days/time listed: These are synchronous classes. The class will meet virtually at those times via Zoom or other technologies. The registration system will not allow you to enroll in remote, synchronous classes with overlapping times.

Classes with days/time listed as TBA: These are asynchronous classes. The class will not meet virtually at a specific time and will use other teaching methods like recorded videos so coursework can be done at your convenience.

How can I get help with my classes? FSU has a multitude of resources to help you be successful in your classes, whether online or face-to-face. You will learn about these during Orientation. In the meantime, you might want to look at the websites of the Academic Center for ExcellenceFSU LibrariesReading Writing Center, and the Johnston Digital Studio. There you may schedule online appointments for tutoring or other academic support services for students.

Getting Connected at FSU 

Where do I go to learn about virtual events and activities that are happening? There are many ways to engage with the FSU community during Summer C, from online fitness classes and dialogues to International Coffee Hour, gaming competitions and student live tweeting events. To learn more about virtual events, visit the FSU Calendar. There are also additional student support resources available on the Virtual FSU website or by following @FSUDSA on Twitter and @FSUStudentAffairs on Instagram.  

How can I get connected to the Florida State community? Florida State students are involved in over 700 recognized student organizations (RSOs)! Learn more about them by logging into Nole Central, where you can connect with RSOs centered on community services, academics, multicultural communities, fraternity and sorority life, performance, politics, religion and faith, sports and so much more! Be sure to follow @fsusga@SLC_FSU@FSUSOI@ClubDownUnderon social media for the latest information and ways to connect. For more information, visit here

I am a CARE student. What are the expectations for my participation? CARE students will still participate in the 2020 Summer Bridge Program. Students will complete their Orientation and participate in a range of activities and programs throughout the summer online that will help you transition to FSU and prepare for success throughout your FSU experience. CARE will provide more detailed information about their online Summer Bridge Program experience by email. You can find more information here.

I am a transfer student. What does this mean for me? Plan to attend one of the transfer student Orientation sessions for the most up to date information. To learn more and to register for Orientation, go here. You will find many resources designed specifically to support transfer students on the Transfer Student Services website.

I am an international student. How will this affect me? International students should contact the Center for Global Engagement to discuss regulations related to your visa and online/remote learning. This Center will also provide you with ongoing support and a range of cultural activities for all FSU students.