I’m a late stay student. What do the “stay home orders” in St. Louis mean for me?
Orders from the St. Louis County and St. Louis City Departments of Public Health are in effect from March 23 through April 22, requiring all residents to stay at home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. If someone violates the orders, they may be subject to criminal penalties. For students living in Residential Life Housing on and off campus, these expectations apply to you as well.  

You are permitted to leave your home for “essential activities” such as getting food and doing laundry, or to seek medical care, but otherwise you should stay home.  “Essential activities” include outdoor activities such as going for a walk, run, hike, or bike ride, but only if you are able to meet “Social Distancing Requirements” (i.e., walking outside 6 feet from another person). If you do leave your home, please take your key to avoid being locked out of your space. You should remain in your room, suite, or apartment as much as possible. If you do go out, you must avoid gatherings with other people, particularly with groups of  more than 10 people, and keep a distance of six feet between yourself and others. This is for your safety and the safety of everyone in our community.

What is happening with the residence halls? Did all the students move out?
Undergraduate students are completing the remainder of their spring semester coursework off campus at their permanent home residence, in order to reduce the risk of community spread among students. Undergraduate students who remained in university housing over spring break were required to leave university residence halls and university apartments for the rest of the spring semester no later than 5 p.m. Sunday, March 15. A small number of students who were unable to return home due to extenuating circumstances will remain in the residence halls.

What about students who couldn’t go home?
We were aware that some students would be unable to return home due to extenuating personal circumstances. The university is making every effort to support students who find themselves in a difficult situation related to housing for the remainder of the semester. A small number of students are remaining in the residence halls until the end of the spring semester. On-campus dining for these students is carry-out only at this time; mobile ordering is available. Dining locations and the hours they are open (to order food, not to dine-in) are available on the Dining Services website.

I’m a residential student and I left my belongings in my dorm room. Can I come back and get them?
No. Unfortunately, because of the health risk to our community, we are not allowing any students to return to campus to get their belongings. Please do not attempt to return to campus or St. Louis to pick up your belongings. Our residential buildings are all locked and card access has been turned off for students not currently staying in Residential Life housing. We will notify you when it is safe to return. We want you and our community to stay safe.

How will I get my belongings?
As of March 20, we have been able to identify, collect, and ship nearly all of the priority items that were identified that you need by March 23 to resume classes. These have been delivered to FedEx and you should be receiving them very soon, if you haven’t already. We are confident there will be a time in the future when we can reunite all our students with their personal belongings. For now, all of our buildings will be locked down and belongings will be left in student rooms until further notice.

What if I left something in the residence halls that I need right away, like medication, for example?
Nearly all of the priority items that were identified through the request form on the WashU Housing Portal have been collected and delivered to FedEx for shipment to you. If you have an urgent request or a specific concern related to the items that were shipped to you (i.e., critical medicine that you cannot get a prescription for elsewhere), please call the Call Center at 314-935-8300 or 888-234-2863. In the meantime we encourage you to contact your primary care provider for medical needs.

Who is going to pay for shipping all my things?
Packing and shipping of Residential Life students’ belongings arranged through Residential Life will be covered at the university’s expense.

How and when will students be reimbursed for housing and meal plans?
Students receiving a prorated reimbursement for housing and/or dining fees will receive a credit to their student accounts. If your reimbursement results in a credit balance on your student account, you will receive a refund. Credits are being calculated for each affected student, and refunds will be issued beginning in early April. The quickest and most efficient way to receive your refund is through direct deposit. Students can take action now to sign up for direct deposit on WebSTAC. To do so, select Billing & Bear Bucks ->  Pay/View My Bill -> Sign up for direct deposit refunds. If you are already signed up for direct deposit, you may wish to confirm your banking information.

Since classes are being moved to online instruction, will students be reimbursed for tuition?
Because students will be completing their academic coursework online and receiving credit toward their degree programs, tuition will not be reimbursed. The university continues to operate during this time, with faculty still teaching classes and completing normal activities, with regular support from staff within the schools. Students will continue to receive academic instruction from the same faculty members, albeit in a modified environment, for academic credit, and we will continue to provide academic support services and resources remotely. In addition, the university is absorbing the additional costs of delivering online coursework during challenging circumstances. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and patience as we navigate this sudden and unprecedented situation.

I live in university-owned housing – will financial aid be reduced when my prorated housing charges are credited?
No, financial aid will not be reduced. Adjustment amounts will be determined by Residential Life and credited to your student account in early April. If your housing adjustment results in a credit balance on your student account and you are signed up for direct deposit, your refund will be automatically deposited into the account you have on file through WebSTAC. If you are not signed up for direct deposit, we will mail a check to the permanent address in WebSTAC. The quickest and most efficient way to receive your refund is through direct deposit and you can take action now to sign up for direct deposit on WebSTAC if you haven’t already done so. To sign up, select Billing & Bear Bucks -> Pay/View My Bill -> Sign up for direct deposit refunds. If you are already signed up for direct deposit, you may wish to confirm your banking information.

I need to receive my on campus housing refund before early April. What can I do?
Contact Student Financial Services at financial@wustl.edu and we will provide up to $1,000 of your expected housing refund. This will be provided as a direct deposit, if you are enrolled. If you are not enrolled, we will mail a check to the permanent address on file in WebSTAC. The quickest and most efficient way to receive your refund is through direct deposit and you can take action now to sign up for direct deposit on WebSTAC if you haven’t already done so. To sign up, select Billing & Bear Bucks -> Pay/View My Bill -> Sign up for direct deposit refunds. If you are already signed up for direct deposit, you may wish to confirm your banking information.

What if I’m from St. Louis? Can I come to campus and get my things?
Please do not attempt to return to campus to pick up your belongings. As of March 20, our residential buildings are all locked and card access has been turned off for students not currently staying in Residential Life housing. We will notify you when it is safe to return. We want you and our community to stay safe.

I live off campus, in non-university-owned housing. Do I have to move out?
We encourage you not to return to St. Louis, but your ability to enter your rental property is at the discretion of your individual landlord.

I’m an international student and I need documentation so I can travel home.
Please contact the Office of International Students and Scholars at 314-935-5910 or oiss@wustl.edu.

If I am unable to return to the residence halls, where should I stay? Will the university assist me in finding alternative housing?
All students with housing needs should use the WashU Housing Portal to submit a request.

Is the university providing any preferred housing resources for students?
Drury Inn and Chase Park Plaza are offering discounts to Washington University students.

What if I’m already here in St. Louis? Can I get into the residence halls to get my things?
Please do not attempt to return to campus to pick up your belongings. As of March 20, our residential buildings are all locked and card access has been turned off for students not currently staying in Residential Life housing. We will notify you when it is safe to return. We want you and our community to stay safe.

What if I’m a graduate or professional student living in St. Louis? Can I come to campus?
Graduate and professional students who are staying in St. Louis should remain off campus and participate in online instruction, unless being on campus is necessary due to the nature of their research or academic program. More information will come from academic deans of each school.

If I’m a student-athlete, how does this decision impact me? Will athletic activities be suspended as well?
Student-athletes also should leave campus and complete the remainder of the spring semester at their permanent residences.

I’m feeling stressed or anxious about this situation. What counseling and support resources are available?
We understand some community members may feel anxious about this evolving public health situation or have concerns about friends and family living in areas currently experiencing the outbreak. Here are some available resources:

< Back to COVID-19 FAQs Table of Contents