From: Michael S. Roth
Date: April 24, 2020
Subject: Enrollment Update from Wesleyan University
Dear student and family,
Congratulations again on your admission to Wesleyan University! I hope that during these trying times your family is staying safe and healthy. Whether you have already committed to Wesleyan or are still weighing options, I would like to share some updates on how Wesleyan is responding to COVID-19.
Enrollment and Potential Deferrals
Students around the country are wondering whether campuses will be open in the fall. At Wesleyan – as at most residential schools in New England – the hope is to have a full, residential academic year. Of course, the welfare of our students, faculty and staff is of paramount importance, and Wesleyan will not resume normal operations until all proper public health precautions have been taken. These include building capacity to test people who study or work on campus, provide supportive isolation to those who fall ill, and minimize opportunities for the spread of any illnesses. In the event we are unable to resume our residential educational experience in the fall or your student is unable to travel to campus due to COVID-19 related issues, we will automatically grant a deferral of enrollment until the spring. That said, we are earnestly preparing now to provide a safe, robust and holistic education to our students this fall.
In the unfortunate event that campus is not open in fall, we will offer accepted students the option of enrolling in the spring semester (granted automatically) or in the fall 2021 (by request). Those students choosing not matriculate at either of those times would have their places at Wesleyan offered to other deserving students. Like any student taking extended time off, they will be asked to reapply should they wish to join a Wesleyan class in the future.
Due to unfortunate circumstances related to COVID-19, the financial situations of some families may have changed since applications and/or deposits were made. Please note that Wesleyan will continue to meet the full demonstrated need of financial aid recipients for the duration of their Wesleyan careers. Our financial aid directors are available to speak with families who have questions regarding their options, regardless of whether or not they applied for institutional aid at the time of application.
Student Summer Earnings Contributions
It is possible that due to the economic downturn some financial aid recipients may not be able to meet their summer employment expectations or that the saved resources of some families toward the summer earnings expectation may need to be reallocated to cover unanticipated expenses. In recognition of these extenuating circumstances, we will waive students’ summer earnings contributions this year. Qualifying students will receive additional grant support to replace this expectation.
Tuition Refund Guarantee
While we certainly hope to welcome your student in the fall, we realize that during these uncertain times you may not be comfortable committing financial resources to tuition, room, board, books and fees just yet. Please know that any payments made toward the cost of attendance in the fall will be promptly refunded—or applied to a future term—as long as you request a refund before the start of classes in September.
Our highest priorities right now are the health and safety of our students and ensuring they receive a world-class education with a path toward graduation in four years (or less, if one chooses the three-year option). That path toward graduation may include taking advantage of summer sessions. To help students get a head start on this, we will be offering many (if not all) of our enrolling students the opportunity – at no additional cost – to take an online course this summer that, if successfully completed, would count toward graduation. We want to make it as straightforward as possible for eager students to “Say Yes to Wes.”
MAY 1, DEPOSIT DEADLINE. In order to properly plan for your arrival, it is important for us to know how many students will be matriculating in the fall. If you need more time because your family is deciding between Wesleyan and another institution that has a June 1st reply date, please be in touch with the Office of Admission.
JUNE UPDATE. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments closely, and in the first week of June, we will provide an update on our plans for the beginning of the fall semester.
Rest assured that, if for public health reasons or per state regulations new student arrival must be postponed, students can have their matriculation automatically deferred. The Office of Admission will not require a formal request or proposal. Until the start of classes, we will fully refund any payments made toward tuition, fees, room, and board.
JULY 10, DEADLINE TO REQUEST DEFERRAL. Regardless of university changes to the fall schedule, some students may wish to defer matriculation. To request that enrollment be deferred to the fall of 2021, students must email the dean of admission at firstname.lastname@example.org by July 10 with their plans and an acknowledgement that they will not enroll full-time at another institution in the interim. Decisions regarding deferral requests will be announced by July 17. While we will aim to accommodate as many requests as possible, out of consideration for current high school juniors, we may need to limit the number of gap year requests that are approved.
EARLY AUGUST, HOUSING AND ADVISER ASSIGNMENTS ANNOUNCED. Early August, when students learn where they will be living and who their advisor will be, is always an exciting time – and a time to start planning their fall schedule of classes. We expect no changes here; if anything, some advisors may be in touch earlier!
AUGUST 13 FALL PAYMENT DEADLINE. Student bills will be sent out by the university in early July, and by Aug. 13, all students enrolling for the fall semester must have paid their bill or initiated a payment plan with the Student Accounts Office. (Please remember that these payments are refundable under the conditions I noted above.)
Wesleyan is a caring community where people take care of one another, and we very much look forward to welcoming you here at the end of summer. In the meantime, I encourage you to check for updates on our coronavirus webpage and reach out with any questions you or your student might have to your admission dean.
President Michael S. Roth