What is the status of study abroad programs?
The university is monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 in close cooperation with the Overseas Security Advisory Council (an office of the Department of State), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and our private health, safety, and security partner.
Have you witnessed or been the recipient of a bias-based incident?
As we navigate these challenging times as an inclusive campus community, please do not make assumptions about others based on perceived symptoms or identities (e.g., race, ethnicity and/or national origin). We want to foster a campus environment in which everyone matters and belongs. This means showing empathy and respect to all Vols, particularly those for whom this may be an especially stressful situation.
It is important to uphold our values during this evolving situation and to protect every aspect of our community’s well-being. For those who may need additional support, please utilize the following resources:
- Students can contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 974-HELP or the Student Counseling Center at 865-974-2196 for support services.
- Employees can access resources through the Office of Human Resources or by calling 865-946-CARE.
- For more information regarding bias and to make a report, visit bias.utk.edu.
How do students access their online classes?
Please visit the OIT website for information on accessing online learning resources.
If you need special accommodations during this online instruction period, please contact Student Disability Services at 865-974-6087 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need technology services or support, contact the Office of Information Technology at 865-974-9900.
How has the university distributed federal COVID-19 relief funding?
CARES Act funding, spring 2020
The university distributed $9.62 million provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for student emergency relief. Approximately 90 percent of the CARES Act funding was disbursed directly to about 9,000 eligible students in the form of grant aid to help with financial hardships as a result of COVID-19. The remaining 10 percent was distributed to students who applied for and were eligible for emergency financial assistance.
HEERF II funding, spring 2021
The university has begun distributing $19.62 million in federal student emergency relief from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II). Approximately 99 percent of the money allocated for student emergency relief is being disbursed directly to about 13,700 eligible students in the form of grant aid to help with financial hardships as a result of COVID-19. The remaining 1 percent of student emergency relief funds is being allocated to the Student Emergency Fund administered by the Office of the Dean of Students.
Grant aid in both spring 2020 and spring 2021 was distributed to UT undergraduate and graduate students with the highest need based on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Information about distribution of federal COVID-19 student emergency relief is available on the One Stop Student Services website.
What guidance do you have for international students?
What is the status of university travel?
- University-related travel within the US does not require an exception. Restrictions may be reinstated if CDC guidelines warrant a change.
- For university-related international travel, exceptions are required for destinations based on US Department of State travel warnings, CDC COVID-19 travel health notices, or CDC non-COVID-19 travel health notices. Review the Center for Global Engagement’s list of warning levels and health notices that require international travel exceptions.
- University-related international travel requires registration with the Center for Global Engagement regardless of whether the destination requires an exception.
- University-related international travel requires the use of World Travel and the purchase of travel insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI).
What you need to do
- Check US Department of State travel warnings, CDC COVID-19 travel health notices, and CDC non-COVID-19 travel health notices.
- Review the Center for Global Engagement’s list of warning levels and health notices that require international travel exceptions and the process for exception requests and travel registration for international travel.
- Request an exception for international travel if needed.
- If your international travel requires an exception, do not make arrangements until your exception is approved. Required exceptions must be approved before you complete international travel registration and IRIS travel request processes.
- Use World Travel for arrangements. International trips booked outside of World Travel will not be eligible for reimbursement. CISI insurance will be required and should be purchased by the traveler’s business unit.
- Register with the Center for Global Engagement, regardless of whether the international destination requires an exception.
Business units are responsible for trip cancellations related to COVID-19.
To avoid COVID-19 exposure during travel, follow the same health and safety behaviors as at home. Wear a mask. Practice social distancing. Wash hands frequently. Clean frequently touched surfaces and monitor your health.
Anyone coming to campus who has recently traveled, whether in the US or internationally, should decide whether they need to self-isolate based on local travel restrictions, the rate of community spread to which they have been exposed, any specific known exposures, and their own health assessment.
Support and resources
- Center for Global Engagement international travel information: Includes a list of warning levels and health notices that require international travel exceptions and the processes for exception requests and travel registration
- Center for Global Engagement Programs Abroad site: Includes frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and programs abroad
- US Department of State travel warnings
- CDC COVID-19 travel guidance: Includes travel health notices for international destinations
- CDC non-COVID-19 travel health notices
Will tuition or fees be reduced?
To help students and families, the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees approved a zero percent tuition increase at each campus for the 2020–21 academic year.
Our campus has reduced housing and meal plan rates to adjust for the shorter academic calendar. The reduction does not apply to block meal plans or dining dollars.
The on-campus residency requirement for first-year students has been waived for the 2020–21 academic year.
The university is following its usual fee structure to fund many university operations, support new investments needed due to the pandemic, offset cost increases, and keep charges for individual services lower for all students.
We have made significant financial investments to protect the health and safety of our community, upgraded technology in classrooms across campus, and trained instructors to enhance their delivery of online and hybrid teaching. While the method may be different, the quality of instruction reflects the University of Tennessee educational experience our students expect.
Mandatory fees—facilities, library, student programming and services, study abroad scholarship, and transportation fees—remain in place for all students, as do other fees such as course fees. Read more about fees.
The campus is open to all students, and we continue to offer access to high-quality facilities and services including University Libraries, TRECS (Tennessee Recreation Center for Students), the Student Health Center, the Counseling Center, the T Transit Service, the Student Union, Vol Dining, and others.
The fees we charge allow the university to provide students with an array of support services, including in-person and online advising, academic coaching, tutoring, library services, career guidance, and other services, in addition to in-person and online health, wellness, and counseling resources. In some cases, students have even greater access to support resources than before due to the significant investment in creating new ways to access services.
Additionally, students have many opportunities to engage in safe in-person and virtual extracurricular activities that give them a meaningful college experience.
In-state vs. out-of-state tuition
As Tennessee’s flagship public land-grant university, UT is supported by state appropriations. The university is following its usual tuition model, which includes a lower rate for in-state residents whose taxes make those vital state appropriations possible every year.
We understand that a college education is a significant investment, and we are committed to providing more students with an affordable, high-quality education. UT is investing more dollars than ever before in financial aid and scholarships. Tuition remained the same for the 2020–21 school year as last year, which follows five straight years with tuition increases at or below 3 percent.
How do I get my wellness items?
Wellness kits were distributed to residence halls, sorority and fraternity housing, off-campus housing complexes, and campus offices. You can pick up any remaining wellness items, while supplies last, at the Student Union information desk.
Why did residents of Massey Hall relocate?
Massey Hall residents relocated to other residence halls during the Fall 2020 semester to create more space for students who need to self-isolate.
The relocation became necessary due to the dramatic rise in case counts and self-isolations at the time.
University leadership took the following steps to support Massey students for the disruption to their college experience and the hardship they experienced:
- Massey Hall residents received a 66 percent prorated refund of fall semester housing fees, whether they chose to move to another room on campus or cancel their housing contract.
- Students who relocated received the Massey housing rate in the spring semester no matter where they lived.
- Each Massey Hall resident received a VolCard Debit scholarship deposit of $250.
- The university provided supplies and staff to help students move to their new room on campus and help get them settled there.
- The university contacted instructors of Massey residents to ask them for flexibility during the move. Vol Success Team academic coaches worked to support students.
- The university hosted a webinar to answer questions from Massey Hall residents and their families.
- The Office of the Dean of Students hosted virtual support rooms for Massey Hall students.
Why was Massey Hall chosen for relocation?
The hall was 67 percent occupied, among the the lowest occupancy of all residence halls on campus. Massey provided up to 582 isolation beds after the 393 students moved out.
In order to prevent moving residents who unknowingly had COVID-19, personnel from the Student Health Center tested all residents.
Additional refunds for students who returned home
- Massey residents who chose to return home received a 66 percent refund of their fall dining plan plus unused dining dollars.
- Massey residents who chose to go home had the option of requesting a prorated parking permit refund (66 percent of fall semester cost) or switching to a commuter pass and receiving the price difference.
- No other fees were eligible for a refund for Massey residents who chose to return home, but students with special circumstances could request a tuition-and-fee appeal by contacting email@example.com.
What temporary restrictions are in place?
Temporary restrictions are implemented and lifted based on data. Participation in community testing is crucial to providing the data needed to determine when restrictions can be lifted.
Current temporary restrictions
The following restrictions were put in place at the beginning of spring semester:
- No visitation is allowed in residence halls and sorority and fraternity houses, except those where restrictions have been lifted (listed below under “Changes to temporary restrictions”). Visitation restrictions are lifted by location based on strong participation in community saliva testing and testing results.
- Campus dining is carryout only with limited socially distant seating available.
- Access to recreation and common spaces is limited.
- In-person events are limited.
Updates are posted below as restrictions are lifted or expanded.
Changes to temporary restrictions—spring 2021
- Visitation following normal university COVID-19 guidelines is allowed in the following locations as of March 26: Alpha Delta Pi house, Alpha Gamma Rho house, Alpha Tau Omega house, Beta Theta Pi (residing in in Lambda Chi Alpha house), Beta Upsilon Chi (residing in the Phi Sigma Kappa house), Chi Omega house, Delta Gamma house, Delta Zeta house, Kappa Delta house, Kappa Sigma house, Phi Gamma Delta house, Phi Kappa Psi house, Pi Kappa Alpha house, Sigma Alpha Epsilon house, Sigma Chi house, Sigma Nu house, Sigma Phi Epsilon house, Zeta Tau Alpha house.