Re-Opening: Frequently Asked Questions

On this page, you will find the answers to common questions about enrollment, housing, student charges, athletics, and international students as these topics relate to the 2020 campus re-opening plan.


When will the new course schedules be available for students to review? How many classes will be online?

As of July 15th, the Office of the Registrar has updated the course schedule based upon responses from the faculty reflecting 80% of undergraduate courses being offered fully online, and the remainder being offered as a HyFlex option. This means that some students will take the courses face to face, while others have the option of taking it remotely. Please check your Bison Web account for your updated schedule.

I am an in-coming Freshman, how do I register for classes? I can't see my schedule.

Freshmen are registered for courses by the Office of Undergraduate Studies and program advisers, and will receive their schedules via Bison Web. Please routinely check your Bison Web account over the next several days for your updated schedule. 

Academic advisers are currently working on new student schedules.  Many of your schedules are already posted on Bison Web, however the remaining schedules will be posted by July 31st.  Your schedule as it currently appears on Bison Web is “in-progress” and may be modified through July 31st – due to approved transfer credit, AP or IB credits, changes in courses offered, etc.

I have a hold on my account. Can I still access my schedule?

Yes, students can view their schedules in BisonWeb with a hold on their account. However, they are not permitted to make any changes or add new courses to their schedule.

How do I access Bison Web to view my class schedule?

Steps to view schedule in BisonWeb:

  1. Log into BisonWeb
  2. Select Student Services
  3. Select Registration
  4. Select Student Detail Schedule
  5. Select a Term: Fall 2020
  6. Submit 


When is the Fall 2020 Semester Move-In?

The Fall 2020 move-in will start on Friday, August 14th, 2020, and continue until Sunday, August 23rd, 2020. The move-in will be staggered by buildings to ensure safety for everyone. The final move-in schedule will be released very soon. The schedule will include move-in for our new students and continuing student.

What’s the move-in structure/schedule?

The Fall 2020 move-in will be building specific to allow for social distancing. For example; Friday, August 14, 2020- Drew Hall, Last Name A-L from 9:00am- 6:00pm. If you cannot make it during your assigned time, will you be able to schedule a move-in time with the Resident Director.

For more information please click here:

If I decide to stay on campus or move off campus for Fall, does my selection also apply for the Spring?

The plans for Residence Life are solely for the fall semester. Students must move-out of the residence halls in November and we will announce Spring plans at the earliest possible opportunity. We want to maintain flexibility for the Spring semester for students, and the University. As the pandemic continues to evolve, we will adjust to evolving conditions. 

Will I still be able to stay on campus in a double occupancy room?

The University will dramatically reduce double occupancy in our residence halls, and will primarily institute single occupancy residence. Double occupancy will be honored on a case by case basis, primarily for siblings, and students who reside in the same household. Our revised plan to the District of Columbia also reserves up to 200 beds for potential isolation, secondary to public health guidance. Additionally, the revised plan outlines that we can house no more than 75-80% of student on campus who would ordinarily have been accommodated in normal circumstances.

Who will be allowed to stay in the residence halls since the University must reduce the number of students living on campus to adhere to public health guidelines?

Because the University will be reducing occupancy in our student residences, we will be populating student residential housing based on the following prioritization, and in the following order:  

  • Freshmen who have already paid a housing deposit
  • Students in Cohort-based Scholarship Programs (i.e. Karsh STEM Scholars, etc.)
  • Seniors who have already paid a housing deposit
  • Student athletes
  • International students who are unable to return to their country of residence
  • Graduate and Professional students who have already paid a housing deposit, and have face-to-face, laboratory, clinical or performance based courses that requires them to be on campus
  • Seniors who have not yet paid a housing deposit, but desire to be housed on campus
  • All other Sophomores and Juniors

I’ve decided I would like to cancel my housing assignment for the fall. What should I do and can my deposit be refunded?

Students with current housing assignments, who may wish to relinquish housing proactively due to their course schedule, the prioritization described above, or any other reason, may do so by submitting an Online Housing Cancellation form through this link:

The Office of Residence Life will house students according to the prioritization above, which means that if you are not in a category mentioned above, you must complete the form to relinquish housing. You are asked to do so by Thursday, July 23rd. After that date, The Office of Residence Life will reclaim housing in accordance with the de-densification plan. Housing deposits will be credited to your account. 

If I cancel my housing for Fall 2020, will I be able to apply for housing for the Spring 2021?

Yes, The Office of Residence Life and University Housing will create a housing sign up for Spring 2021. The Spring 2021 housing sign-up application will be available early November.

How will the university handle guests of students?

Visitors/guests in the residential halls are now prohibited at all times, due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

How will the university address roommate disputes regarding COVID-19 concerns?

From the Office of Student Conduct: During these challenging and uncertain times, we must rely on our core values and act in ways that demonstrate respect and civility. All enrolled students continue to be held to the HU Student Code of Conduct and the HU Student Handbook. Adhering to these standards of conduct, policies, and procedures ensures a safe environment for the University community. Please make every effort to embody the Bison spirit on-campus, off-campus, and online by continuing to be exemplary students and community members. This also means cooperating with the University, the Department of Public Safety, the HU Student Health Center, and District officials with guidelines on social distancing and all safety directives. Please remember, all conduct policies and regulations during this semester remain in effect and will be enforced.

Will extra accommodations be made available?

There are reserved dedicated units for potential COVID-19 exposure which will be offered upon availability. If a student needs isolation or quarantine, representatives of the Residence life team will work closely with health professionals to determine, on a case-by-case basis, a recommended housing option and isolation plan.

Student Charges

Will there be a reduction in tuition costs now that classes will predominantly be held online?

We are aware of the significant financial impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on many of our students and their families. As we prepare for the Fall semester, the Board of Trustees is actively reviewing the University budget and current student charges and considering whether there is a way that we can provide further assistance to our students with the greatest financial need in this difficult time. We intend to share the results of these discussions with the campus community in the very near future.


Will Howard University sports be played in the Fall?

On July 16, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced the league will suspend all sports competition, championships and non-championships, for the 2020 fall season.  A decision is yet to be made on whether the fall sports will be moved to the 2021 spring semester. Student athletes will continue to have ongoing engagement with their coaches to ensure optimization of their physical and mental well-being as they continue their matriculation.

How does this decision impact Spring sports like Basketball?

At this time, the MEAC’s plan is to proceed with winter sports competition as scheduled, unless health and medical professionals advise otherwise. 

International Students

Am I permitted to enroll in online classes as an F-1 student?

Yes, in response to COVID-19, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has temporarily permitted schools to adapt their F-1 programs and school operations. Normally, international students are limited in taking online classes to count toward their full-time enrollment status. Until schools are able to resume normal operations, international students may take courses online/remotely.

What if I am unable to complete my courses or degree requirements as scheduled?

Students who need to extend their program completion date must contact the OISS and follow the standard extension process. Extensions must be reported in SEVIS prior to the current completion date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019. Students are also encouraged to consult with their academic advisors to work through the best plan of action to complete their degree requirements. For students who had expected to graduate and already applied for permission to work, the program extension could have significant impact on your eligibility to obtain or use those employment benefits. We do implore you to contact the OISS to speak with an advisor as soon as possible.

What happens if I am unable or do not want to maintain a full-time course load?

All active F-1 & J-1 students must continue to maintain a full course load during the fall and spring semesters. For students who are facing difficulties with completing coursework online, we do implore you to utilize all available resources to bolster your academic success. This includes maintaining communication with your school/college’s advising unit, utilizing office hours, virtual tutoring and study skills, and so forth. If you are unable to maintain a full-time course load due to health reasons or the suspension of certain programs, please consult with the OISS before making any final decisions to adjust your enrollment status.

For students who would be able to enroll full-time but prefer not to for the time being, your SEVIS record may be terminated and you must prepare to depart the US (if still present in the US). When you are prepared to return to Howard for a later semester, you will need to submit a Former Student Returning application, and (if readmitted) obtain a new Form I-20 or DS-2019 to document the remainder of your studies. Again, please consult with the OISS before taking official action.

Will I be able to resume my studies this fall?

Yes, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will allow continuing international students to pursue their full-time classes as scheduled, whether classes are delivered in-person, online, or through a hybrid format. You may view the university’s fall reopening plan via As instructional plans and SEVP guidance evolve, the OISS will continue to assess immigration options for international students enrolling this fall.


Where can I find a directory of campus contacts?

The following list includes links to frequently requested departments:
Student Financial Services (Financial Aid)
Student Affairs
Residence Life
Office of Off-Campus Housing
Student Health Services
Student Activities