SUA to Continue Remote Class Instruction for Fall Semester

May 26, 2020
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Dear Soka Community,

I would like to share that after long discussion and varied considerations, we have decided to continue with remote class instruction this coming Fall. This decision was not an easy one and after many meetings the Undergraduate Academic Continuity Community and the In-Person Education Committee were unanimous in coming to this decision. I have confirmed that the Graduate School and Bridge Program have also made the same decision.

The many challenges of being able to meet whatever requirements the state or local officials will eventually outline made it clear that out of an abundance of caution and safety for our entire community, this was the right decision. On May 15, the Department of Education provided updated guidance for interruptions related to COVID-19 extending the distance education waiver through the end of the calendar year/end of the Fall semester.

This allows us to make this decision. We have also decided that we will not offer on campus housing this Fall. Hyon Moon, our Dean of Students, will be sending a separate announcement regarding the housing decision and some of the factors affecting it, which were also important in our decision to continue remote education in the Fall.

This decision to continue with remote education in the Fall was reported to the Board of Trustees at their meeting which just occurred between May 19-21. In light of the economic impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on students and their families, the Board of Trustees has taken the following actions to help and support our students:

  1. No increase in tuition, room and board: The tuition, room and board fees for 2020-21 will remain at the 2019-20 levels. The previously announced increase has been rescinded. No room and board charges will be applied for Fall 2020.
  2. Special Coronavirus relief grant: For 2020-21 academic year, all students will receive a one-time coronavirus relief grant of $8,062 that will be applied toward tuition. This grant will be added to your financial aid package and may impact eligibility for other financial aid awards.

The Office of Financial Aid will be sending emails with more information on both of these decisions in the near future.

While the university faces economic challenges due to the pandemic, we recognize that students and their families are facing the same challenges. We hope these actions will help to alleviate some of the financial hardships so that our students can continue their education and development as future global citizens.

Please stay healthy and safe.

-Ed

Edward M. Feasel
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Note: This message was delivered to the Soka community via email on Friday, May 22, 2020.