Fall 2020 Student Life FAQ

Student Affairs staff continue to update these FAQs regarding the fall semester. Students and their families should visit this resource when they have questions. Any questions related to student life that have not been answered should be directed to deanofstudents@cua.edu.   Please find answers to some common questions under the following subject headings:

Updated October 20, 2020

COVID Testing

  • NEW: What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

    Whether you live on or off campus, you will need to isolate for a period of at least 10 days.  If you live on campus, you will be moved to an isolation room in Millennium South.  You should contact the RA on Call at the numbers listed in your residence hall and then return to your room and pack enough clothes for 10 days, your books, laptop and chargers.  A Community Director will contact you to arrange for your relocation.  Food will be delivered to you in your isolation space.  You will not leave your isolation space unless you need medical attention.  You should continue to self-monitor using the daily health checker and contact the RA on Call if your symptoms worsen or need any assistance.  Staff will check in with you on a regular basis.

    If you live off-campus, you will isolate where you currently live. If you have a roommate, wipe down common areas and the bathroom after each use. 

  • NEW: If I’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, why can’t I be tested right away?

    It is recommended that students wait to be tested after they’ve been in direct contact with someone who tests positive. Testing too soon after contact can result in a false negative. Catholic University’s testing center is following guidance suggesting that it is optimal to wait 5-7 days after exposure before administering a test to ensure there is enough genetic material from the virus to be detected. 

  • NEW: Will my professors be notified of my positive test results?

    The Office of the Dean of Students (DOS) is conducting follow up with and providing support to all known COVID-positive student cases.  DOS does not disclose that if a student has tested positive for COVID.  For students attending in person classes, DOS informs faculty that a student will not be able to attend in person classes due to medical reasons.  This notification occurs for positive cases and longer term quarantine.  

    We encourage students, if they so choose, to let instructors know of their status.

    For students attending classes virtually, DOS will email instructors upon student request.

  • NEW: Do I need to disclose to my classmates or professors if I’ve tested positive?

    Faculty have been instructed to maintain students’ privacy throughout this process. If a student contacts an instructor about test results, it is improper to share that information with the class. The student, however, may share that information and may have done so with friends in the class. Instructors should not discuss students’ positive test results as part of class instruction.

    Students who test positive should tell their close contacts (individuals who have been within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes), so that those individuals can quarantine and schedule follow up testing through Student Health Services.

  • NEW: What is screening testing? How is it different from the testing being conducted by the Student Testing Center?

    Screening testing is the intentional testing of non-symptomatic students, in our case part of our NCAA compliance, while the test center is available for any student who feels symptomatic, or believes they were recently exposed to someone who tested positive.  

    Students undergoing screeningtesting normally do not have symptoms, so they are not assumed to be sick; accordingly, they are not asked to isolate while waiting for their test results. Only students who are symptomatic or who were tested because of possible exposure are required to isolate while waiting for results.

  • NEW: Will classes move online if a student in an in-person class tests positive?

    As all in-person classes are maintaining physical distance using the revised classroom layouts, acrylic shields, and consistently wearing face coverings, it is not likely that classmates or instructors would be considered to be a direct or close contact of a student who has tested positive.

    Therefore, if a student in an in-person class tests positive, the class should continue to meet unless advised otherwise by the Dean of Students or Office of the Provost.

    DOS analyzes test result data and data on students in isolation/quarantine in a timely manner to see if there are any classes where there are a number of cases and additional measures are necessary. Determinations regarding additional measures will be made in consultation with the Office of the Provost. They will inform instructors if there are any special considerations for the class.

  • Who can use the campus testing center? 

    All students — undergraduate or graduate, residential or living off campus — can use the on campus testing facility and Student Health Services. Students should call Student Health Services at 202-319-5744 and talk to a healthcare professional who will discuss their symptoms or exposure and determine if the student needs to be scheduled for an appointment and make the necessary arrangements.  
  • Does the on-campus center offer walk-in testing?

    No.  To ensure the highest levels of safety for our students using the testing center and the staff who work there, on campus health facilities do not offer walk in hours. Students should call Student Health Services at 202-319-744 and talk to a healthcare professional who will discuss their symptoms or exposure and determine if the student needs to be scheduled for an appointment and make the necessary arrangements. When arriving for a scheduled appointment, students will need to call the office when they arrive.
  • If I can get quicker results elsewhere, why should I use Student Health Services?

    Some local clinics offer a “rapid test” that provides results sooner than the tests completed with Student Health Services.

    University staff examined the efficacy of a number of test types when opening the testing center. In choosing a test type, they weighed speed versus efficacy. The tests Student Health Services is currently using provide results in approximately 48 hours.

    The rate of “false negatives” with the rapid tests can lead to students needing to retest if they become (or remain) symptomatic. Student Health Services determined it would be a faster and more efficient process to start with the more accurate 48 hour test.

    University leadership continues to evaluate the efficacy of testing methods in case new technologies are released that may be better suited for our population.
  • Where can I find information about off campus testing sites?

    The District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia all maintain listing of testing locations.  Please click on each jurisdiction for additional information:

  • If I use a non-campus testing center and test positive, should I tell someone at Catholic?

    Yes.  Students who receive a positive COVID test result from an off-campus testing center should inform the Dean of Students of so that we can provide support and guidance.  Students should also contact Student Health Services if their condition is worsening or not improving or for additional medical guidance.  It is also important that you notify your direct contacts so that they can monitor their symptoms, quarantine, and be tested if necessary.  Direct contacts are those individuals who have come into direct contact (at least 10 minutes of contact within 6 feet) of a positive case. You should also follow the advice of medical professions related to isolation.
  • What happens if a student tests positive?

    Students who test positive are required to isolate until cleared to resume normal activities by medical staff.  Their housemates or suitemates and other direct contacts will need to quarantine for at least a 14 day period.  Student Health Services provides detailed information to students who need to isolate or quarantine.

    Residential students who test positive or are presumed positive based on symptoms will be required to relocate to a self-isolation room on-campus and their close contacts will be required to quarantine.

    University staff will conduct an initial trace of possible direct contacts with the student in question.  We are required to report positive or presumed positive cases to the D.C. Department of Health (DCDOH) will take the lead in more systematic contact tracing. 

    Health Services staff also will communicate to other University offices so that support and follow up can be provided to each student as needed.  

  • If a students tests positive for COVID, instead of isolating in DC, will they permitted to go home?

    Yes; any student who tests positive and requires isolation or is quarantined due to direct contact with a COVID positive can may return home if they could do so safely, such as by having their parents pick them up from campus. 

Quarantine and Isolation

  • NEW: Is there a general timeframe for isolation?

    Yes.  Students should consult with Student Health Services or their treating doctor, but in general if the results are positive and you have symptoms, you will remain in isolation for:
    • 10 days since your symptoms first started and
    • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
    • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving*

    *Some symptoms may last for weeks to months after recovery but should not extend your isolation (if you are getting better)

    If the results are positive and you have no symptoms, you will remain in isolation for:

    • 10 days after the date of your positive test
  • NEW: What do I do if I am a close contact (within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes) with a confirmed COVID positive individual?

    Whether you live on or off campus, you will need to quarantine for a period of at least 14 days of your LAST exposure to the COVID positive individual.  If you live on campus, you will stay in your current space.  You should contact the RA on Call at the numbers found in your residence hall.  A Community Director will contact you to provide additional information and instructions for your meals.

    On-campus residents are permitted to leave your individual room only for essential activities such as seeking medical attention, to get food or for individual exercise. Whenever you leave your room, you will need to ensure that you are properly wearing your face covering and maintain social distancing with others at all times. You should continue to self-monitor using the daily health checker and contact the RA on Call if you start to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms or need any assistance.

    Please note, you should not spend time in the common space of your suite until the conclusion of the quarantine. You should also take extra care to disinfect any common surfaces in your suite, including sinks, toilets and showers.

    If you live off-campus, you will quarantine where you currently live. If you have a roommate, wipe down common areas and the bathroom after each use

    Whether you are on or off campus, students under quarantine should contact Student Health Services to discuss and schedule testing. The testing should be performed 7 days or more after you were exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID 19. Monitor yourself for symptoms which include: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.  Check your temperature twice daily (fever is considered >100.4) If you experience any of these symptoms please contact Student Health Services. 

    Per CDC guidelines, if you are a close contact with a COVID positive individual, but test NEGATIVE, you will need to quarantine for a total of 14 days from last exposure due to the fact that you can develop symptoms 2-14 days after contact.  Should you develop symptoms during the period of quarantine, you will move into the isolation protocol noted above.

  • What does it mean to isolate or quarantine?

    Isolation is used to separate people who are infected with COVID-19 (with or without symptoms), from people who are not infected.  Ideally, individuals who are in isolation should stay in a separate specified room and use a separate bathroom until safe to be around others.  Campus residents under isolation may not leave their suite except to seek medical attention.

    Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from health professionals.  Campus residents under quarantine are only permitted to leave their suite for essential activities such as seeking medical attention or for individual exercise and picking up meals daily from distribution centers.

  • How is the University managing isolation and quarantine on campus?

    The University has designated specific residential facilities to serve as isolation spaces for residential students who may become symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19. Student Health Services staff will monitor patients isolated with COVID-19 on a regular basis and will be available for consultation and advice for students.  Additionally, our Residence Life and Dean of Students staff outreach to students in isolation to provide support.

    Once it is determined that a student should be tested, they are moved to an isolation space until the results are known.  Students who test positive will remain in an isolation space until cleared to resume normal activities by medical staff.  Their suitemates and other direct contacts will need to quarantine for at least a 14 day period.  Student Health Services provides detailed information to students who need to isolate or quarantine.

    If a Student Health Services provider determines that a student with COVID-19 requires more advanced care or is unable to care for themselves, it will ensure that the patient is safely transferred to a local health care facility.

  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, instead of isolating in DC, will they be permitted to go home?

    Yes; any student who tests positive and requires isolation or is quarantined due to direct contact with a COVID positive can may return home if they could do so safely, such as by having their parents pick them up from campus.
  • How do DC quarantine guidelines impact students for the remainder of the semester?

    The District of Columbia guidelines require individuals arriving from “high-risk” states to quarantine for 14 days.  The DC listing of high-risk states is updated every two weeks, so students should review this information before planning any travel from the DC region.  On-campus students who leave campus and visit a high-risk state will need to quarantine upon return to campus.  

  • How will isolated or quarantined students get food?

    University staff will deliver food to on-campus residential students who are in isolation or quarantine.  Delivery will be made directly to isolation rooms and students in quarantine will pick up food from a location close to their residence hall.  In most cases, an initial care package of items will be delivered at the start of the isolation/quarantine period and will be followed with regular food deliveries.  Students in these situations will received detailed instructions from Student Health Services and Residence Life.  

Health and Safety

  • Are off-campus students permitted to come to campus?

    Yes.  Now that the initial quarantine period has expired, off-campus students may access the campus to participate in on-campus jobs, to utilize their meal plan in the Pryzbyla Center, attend Mass, and to attend scheduled appointments at Student Health Services and the Counseling Center. 

    Students are also free to walk around campus for exercise and leisure, but should maintain social distance, wear face coverings, and abide by all health and safety precautions. 

    Prior to coming to campus, students should complete the online symptom checker; students should not come to campus if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID and should contact Student Health Services.

    Additional campus services and facilities (library, labs, study areas, etc.) will gradually become accessible to non-residential students as the semester progresses, though often with conditions such as reserved time slots, advance notice, and limitations on capacity. Updates will be communicated via emails and on this COVID FAQ page.

  • What is the Cardinals Care Pledge?

    Cardinals Care Pledge

    As members of the Catholic University community, our relationships are governed by the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.”  I pledge to do my part to take responsibility for my own health and the protection of others, and to help keep our community safe from the spread of COVID-19.  I take this responsibility with the utmost seriousness and will follow the instructions and expectations provided by the University.

    As a student at Catholic University, I agree to the following:

    1. I will perform a daily health screening and seek advice from Student Health Services if I have responded “yes” to any of the following symptoms associated with COVID-19 or have come into close contact (within 6 feet for 15 or more minutes) with a confirmed positive COVID-19 person:
      • Fever of 100.4°F or higher
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Fatigue, muscle aches or body aches
      • Headache
      • New loss of taste or smell
      • Sore throat
      • Congestion or runny nose
      • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
    1. I will follow the directions of Student Health Services and stay in my residence when I am experiencing symptoms, except to seek medical care.
    2. I will, whenever possible, maintain social distance of at least 6 feet from other people.
    3. I will regularly wash my hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
    4. I will always wear a face covering in all campus buildings when other people are present, and outdoors when keeping a six-foot distance cannot easily be achieved. Exceptions include when eating or drinking or within my assigned residence hall room. 
    5. I will regularly clean and disinfect my room, shared common spaces, personal belongings, and clothes.
    6. I will help enforce safety measures on campus by respectfully reminding others to wear face coverings and follow good personal hygiene practices.
    7. I will use doors marked as entrance and exit appropriately and follow any building flow arrows in the proper direction, even if this means having to exit the building and re-enter.
    8. I will follow all COVID-19 signage instructions.
    9. As a resident of Brookland and the greater Washington, D.C. community, I will practice responsible citizenship, abide by D.C. regulations regarding face coverings, and not engage in disruptive or unsafe behavior on or off campus. I will not host or participate in in-person social gatherings* with greater than 10 individuals in total. 

    o I acknowledge that I have read and understand the Cardinals Care Pledge.

    *The limitation of 10 individuals for in-person social gatherings applies to what the District has called "non-academic" gatherings. The main purpose of the 10-person limit is to minimize the risk of transmission of the virus via superspreading events and settings where social distancing cannot be easily accomplished.  Academic gatherings include any University sponsored or supported programs and events, not just classroom instruction.  Therefore, the District is allowing the University to host activities such as receipt of the Sacraments, sporting events, and other activities in accordance with the in-person limits and social distancing requirements established in the “Re-Open DC” plan.  Participation in these types of activities will gradually become accessible to non-residential students after September 8.  Additionally, non-quarantined students are free to participate in religious exercises off campus.


  • What measures are in place to clean and sanitize campus facilities?

    The Division of Facilities Planning and Management staff have spent the summer streamlining cleaning processes to ensure we can clean classrooms between classes during the fall semester while also maintaining cleanliness in residence halls. Details of measures being taken to ensure students, faculty, and staff have a healthy and safe campus experience can be found on the Facilities site.  
  • Are students required to wear face coverings?

    Consistent with the University-wide Face Coverings policy, all members of the University community (faculty, staff, and students) are required to wear face coverings in all campus buildings when other people are present and while on campus grounds when social distancing cannot be achieved.  Violation of this requirement may result in disciplinary action including removal from campus. Exceptions include when eating or drinking or within your assigned residence hall room.  Please review the policy for more specific requirements.

  • Is the University implementing social distancing?

    Yes.  Consistent with the University-wide Social Distancing Policy and local and federal guidelines and requirements, all members of the University community should practice social distancing.  Limiting close face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Social distancing means keeping a safe space between yourself and others.  To practice social distancing, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other others.  Social distancing should be practiced in combination with other everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including wearing cloth face coverings, avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands, and frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer.
  • Are students expected to complete a daily health checker?

    Yes.  One of the most important things that we will all need to do each day is paying attention to and monitoring our health, including conducting symptom checks and taking our temperature each day before classes.  All students received an email and/or text message each day with a link to the symptom checker.  All students who are residing in the District of Columbia (on or off campus) should complete this daily.  Additionally, any student who is coming to campus for employment purposes, meetings or to participate in any University activity are expected to complete this survey prior to coming to campus.   

    All students should bring their own thermometers upon return to D.C. to help conduct self-checks. Additionally, students should ensure that they have awareness of the symptoms of Covid-19.  A good point of reference is the CDC Coronavirus site.

    During the routine academic year, Student Health Services (SHS) is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and most Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.  For the health and safety of all patients and staff, students must call SHS at 202-319-5744 to speak with a staff member if you have a health-related concern.  SHS will determine if you need to be scheduled for an appointment and will make the necessary arrangements.  

  • What other precautions should students take to help stay healthy?

    Proper handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting sick. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community.  Always avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.  Follow these steps to ensure that you have effectively washed your hands:

    • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.   
    • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.  
    • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. 
    • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
    • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

    Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.

Student Account Adjustments, Merit Scholarships and Medical Insurance

  • Will there be a tuition adjustment for the fall 2020 semester?

    On Monday, August 3rd, President Garvey announced a reduced tuition for those students who were scheduled to be taught in person or in a hybrid model and have now moved to a fully online mode.  The discount will be 10% of each student's tuition cost.  The exact adjustment will be calculated by crediting the student 10% of the difference between the full tuition cost of their program and the student's institutional scholarships and grants.

    • For undergraduate students, this adjustment will be reflected in Cardinal Students by August 15th.  The August 17th billing statement (which will be received on August 18th) should accurately reflect the adjustment.
    • For graduate students, due to the dynamic nature of course registrations and scholarship awards, this adjustment will be posted at the end of the add/drop period (September 7).
  • If I choose to take a semester or full-year leave of absence, will I lose my merit scholarship?

    No. Merit scholarships are guaranteed for eight semesters of full-time study. Therefore, a student on leave will retain the value of the remaining semesters of scholarship eligibility.
  • Will I receive a refund for housing and dining if I am no longer permitted to live on campus?

    For sophomores, juniors and seniors who signed a housing agreement to live on campus for the fall 2020 semester, a full refund of the housing and dining charges will be granted.  Those credits should be reflected in Cardinal Students.  The Housing Cancellation fee will be waived in these cases.
  • Am I still required to waive or enroll in the University's Medical Insurance Plan?

    Yes.  Please visit the Student Medical Insurance site to either waive insurance if you have coverage or to enroll in the University's plan.  

Orientation:  Growing as a Cardinal

  • What is the "Growing as a Cardinal" program?

    Welcome to Catholic University! We are so excited to have you join our community here at Catholic U. Making the transition into college life is an exciting and challenging time. As a result, your first six weeks will determine how you approach the rest of your college career.  We were in your shoes just a short time ago and understand the difficulty in finding your way through college.  To assist you, Catholic offers the Growing as a Cardinal program.  The goals are to help you make the adjustment to Catholic U as smooth as possible and to help you become part of our campus community.

    Growing as a Cardinal offers many opportunities for you as a first-year student! Through this program, you will be introduced to a variety of resources the University offers. You will discover helpful people and places that you otherwise would not have known about. Growing as a Cardinal provides workshops, service opportunities, and social activities in order to help you gain knowledge and tools that will help you become a successful individual not only in college but also in your future years to come.

    Administrators, faculty, staff, and students all participate in Growing as a Cardinal in order to give you the opportunity to acquire as many resources as possible. And of course, you’ll have some fun! You can meet lifelong friends at Freshman Retreat or learn ways to get involved during the Fall Involvement Fair. Growing as a Cardinal is a wonderful opportunity to really discover what Catholic U has to offer and become part of our University. We encourage you to take part in this exciting challenge!

    What exactly is Growing as a Cardinal? Great question! As first year students, you will have the opportunity to attend events put on by student organizations and departments. There are six categories of events. Faith & Service, Intellectual Development, Wellness, Social Connections, Community & Responsibility, and Intercultural Understanding. A description of each of these are below. Once you attend two events from each of the six categories, you will be eligible to win some great prizes. The person who attends the most events will win the grand prize “The Presidential Treatment”. Prize packages will be revealed this week but we will have multiple packages each valued at approximately $500! Your progress on completing the challenge will automatically be tracked via the Nest as long as you're sure to check-in at each event. To view your progress:

    1. Go to https://nest.catholic.edu and login using your University login

    2. Once logged in click on your personal menu icon in the top right hand corner and choose "Paths" from the drop down list

    3. This will take you to your personalized page where you can track your progress and find events that fulfill completion requirements

    Additional information, including the list of events for the first week of school,is available on the Orientation website


  • When will residential students be permitted to move-in to the residence halls?

    A phased move-in to campus housing will begin on August 8, 2020.  Most first year residential students will move in August 17, 18 and 19th.  

    Please visit our Residence Hall Move-In site for further information.

  • Are there specific items that I should plan to bring to campus?

    Yes.  Students should plan to bring their own thermometer to assist in monitoring their health, spare face coverings, and basic cleaning supplies to maintain a clean living environment.
  • Are other individuals able to help me move in?

    Yes.  Students are permitted two helpers during the three hours window that you are moving into the residence halls.  We are asking that you limit the number of individuals accompanying you to assist in our social distancing efforts.
  • Are there restrictions on what I should pack for my room?

    For this year, we are asking students to limit the items they bring to campus to the essentials that can fit into a maximum of three-40 gallon totes, two large suitcases, microfridge, television and backpack. We also strongly recommend that you label all your boxes and belongings with your last name, residence hall and room number prior to arrival. Students can also rent microfridges from Housing Services. Finally, if you own a hand truck or cart, we suggest you bring it with you to assist in your move-in.

    Students should also consult our policy page to ensure an understanding of restricted items.

  • How will room occupancy be adjusted?

    The majority of students will be assigned to a single room in Centennial Village, Opus and Millennium North and South where they will share a bathroom with 1-3 other students and be considered a family unit. Each student will have their own bedroom.  The Freshman Honors community will be in Opus Hall.  We will try to honor all roommate requests as new assignments are made.

  • When will students know their new room assignments?

    Housing Services is currently in the process of reassigning all students to their own bedroom in Centennial Village, Opus and Millennium North and South.  Students will be able to view their updated room assignment by Wednesday, August 12. We will try to honor all roommate requests as new assignments are made.

  • What protocols are in place for cleaning in the residence halls?

    Students will continue to be responsible for cleaning all aspects of their living spaces.  To that end, students should bring cleaning items to campus upon move-in.  Common areas outside of student living spaces (i.e. community bathrooms, kitchens, lounges, etc.) will continue to be cleaned  by University personnel utilizing enhanced cleaning protocols per CDC guidance and using EPA-approved substances. 

    For the fall 2020 semester, students living in Centennial Village, Opus and Millennium North and South will use only the shared bathroom for their unit and otherwise adhere to University-implemented health measures.  Students living in these halls will continue to be responsible for cleaning their bathrooms.

    Common areas such as kitchens, lounges, and laundry facilities will be appropriately set for social distancing, with capacity limited through measures such as rearrangement or removal of certain furniture. Current enhanced cleaning and disinfecting will continue for such spaces.

  • Can I make a change to my housing application preferences?

    At this time it would be very difficult to make changes.  If you would like to request a room change, email Housing Servies. 
  • Are exceptions being made to allow other students to live on campus for Fall 2020?

    Many of you have reached out to the University to request an exception to the recent announcement and requested approval to live on-campus.  Housing Services is extremely limited in our ability to make exceptions to this announcement.  If you have extenuating circumstances, please email cua-housing@cua.edu with a detailed explanation of your request for on-campus housing for the fall semester.  We cannot guarantee that your request will be approved and encourage you to explore off-campus options as well.  Requests must be submitted to Housing Services by Friday, August 7th.  

  • Are exceptions to the residency requirement being made to allow other students to live off campus for Fall 2020?

    We understand that some students who are required to live on campus are now looking for off-campus housing arrangements to allow you to be in the District even though your classes will be online.  If you are a returning student that would typically be required to live on-campus per the Student Housing Policy and you sign a lease for off-campus housing, you will receive an exemption from this policy should we determine that non-first year more students can return to campus for the spring semester.  Housing Services will request a copy of the lease to confirm that the start date occurred during the fall semester. 

  • What are the plans for Spring 2021 in the event that the University allows additional students to live on campus?

    With the ever-changing conditions of COVID-19 and the inability to predict which phase of re-opening the District of Columbia will be in at the start of the Spring 2021 semester, we are not able to announce plans for a residential experience for the spring semester at this time.  We will continue to monitor the situation and work with the District on a plan to safely re-open the residence halls to more students.  As information and plans for returning to campus are confirmed, we will notify students as soon as possible.  

  • What about my belongings that are in storage?

    Many students used Campus Storage or Dorm Room Movers to have belongings from the spring semester placed in storage until your return to campus. We will work with you and the vendor to retrieve your items.  If you signed up with a vendor and placed your items in storage, you will receive a separate email with further instructions. 

  • Will residence hall lounges and kitchens be available for student use?

    Yes.  Common areas such as kitchens, lounges, and laundry facilities will be appropriately set for social distancing, with capacity limited through measures such as rearrangement or removal of certain furniture.
  • If I have been approved for a housing accommodation through the Office of Disability Support Services, will I still receive this accommodation?

    Students should contact DSS and Housing Services to discuss their specific situation.


  • Where will residential students pick up meals during the initial mandatory quarantine period?

    Through September 7, meals will be distributed to tents located in the Opus Hall parking lot and the McMahon parking lot for on-campus residential students.  Breakfast will be available from 7-9am, lunch from 11am-1pm, and dinner from 5-7pm.  Starting Tuesday, September 8, the Pryzbyla Center will re-open with multiple dining options.  These will include Starbucks, The Market (convenience store), Murphy's Grill, and the Food Court (including Chick-fil-A and Which Wich).  Hours will be posted on the dining services website prior to opening.  
  • If I am an off-campus student, can I eat on campus if I have a meal plan?

    Yes.  Starting with dinner on Saturday, August 22 through Monday, September 7, off-campus students with meal plans will pick up their meals at the tent in front of Father O'Connell Hall.  Lunch will be available from 11:30am-1pm and dinner from 5:30-7pm.  Breakfast for the following morning will be distributed at dinner the previous evening.

    Starting Tuesday, September 8, the Pryzbyla Center will re-open with multiple dining options.  These will include Starbucks, The Market (convenience store), Murphy's Grill, and the Food Court (including Chick-fil-A and Which Wich).  Hours will be posted on the dining services website prior to opening.  Beginning Tuesday, September 8, the plan is to have meals available at the Pryzbyla Food Court. 

  • When will regular dining operations begin?

    Starting Tuesday, September 8, the Pryzbyla Center will re-open with multiple dining options.  These will include Starbucks, The Market (convenience store), Murphy's Grill, and the Food Court (including Chick-fil-A and Which Wich).  Hours will be posted on the dining services website prior to opening.  
  • I have Dining Dollars left over from the spring semester.  Can I use them?

    Typically Dining Dollars do not carry over from spring to fall.  However, because of COVID-19, Dining Dollars have been carried over to this semester.  In the past, students were required to have an active meal plan in order to use Dining Dollars.  However, this semester we are waiving that requirement.  Starting September 8, students with Dining Dollars can use them with or without an active meal plan.  Meal plans may be purchased at any time via Cardinal Students MyHousing & Dining.  Meal plan options for upperclass students can be found here.
  • Can I purchase a meal plan if I do not already have one?

    Yes.  Meal plans may be purchased at any time.  Options can be found on Dining Services.  Meal plans are purchased through Cardinal Students under the navigation "MyHousing & Dining."
  • How will the dining services handle covid regulations and risks?

    Thorough cleaning will be performed in all dining areas between meals according to protocols prescribed by Facilities, consistent with best practices and federal guidance. In addition, all individuals involved in preparation or delivery of food or the sanitation of the premises will undergo daily temperature checks and symptom checks. The Dining Services Website sets forth the enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols using chemicals designed for food service environments, hand hygiene, and food and product safety measures.

  • What about allergies and dietary restrictions?

    Allergies and dietary restrictions will continue to be addressed and accommodated by dining services staff, including the executive chef and registered dietitian.  Dining Services will continue to work with students with restrictions. Contact cua-diningservices@cua.edu with questions.

  • Will there be mostly take-out? Will they be compostable material?

    There will be mostly take-out from the dining facilities.  It is unknown how much of the material will be compostable, and we are aware of the desire for continued sustainability.  Starting September 8, limited seating will be offered in both the Pryzbyla Food Court and Student Restaurant.  Space in the Pryzbyla Great Room will also be reserved for this purpose. Outside of the Pryzbyla Center, tents in the Opus Hall parking lot and McMahon parking lot will be available for limited seating.  
  • Will everyone need to be issued new student IDs to allow for the touchless card reading in terms of the meal plan?

    No. The current IDs will work with new readers.
  • With respect to dining, where are the students expected to eat? Is there any communal dining in shifts or groups?

    Starting September 8, limited seating will be offered in both the Pryzbyla Food Court and Student Restaurant.  Space in the Pryzbyla Great Room will also be reserved for this purpose. Outside of the Pryzbyla Center, tents in the Opus Hall parking lot and McMahon parking lot will be available for limited seating. We do not expect to assign shifts to students.  
  • If students are confined to their rooms for extended periods of time, is there a plan for them to eat? Will they be allowed to get food?

    Yes.  Students who are in quarantine or isolation will have food delivered on a regular basis.  
  • If the Great Rooms will be used for eating, does that mean student orgs cannot hold events in those spaces?

    Though we plan to utilize the Great Room for dining seating, this does not preclude it also being used for student events.

Student Organizations, Campus Activities, Athletics, and Socializing

  • Is the Fitness Center open for students?

    Yes, effective September 8, the Kane fitness center is open with limited hours and health and safety restrictions.  Students should visit the Fitness Center website for additional information.
  • What opportunities exist for students to engage in extracurricular activities?

    A Community Engagement Task Force is developing opportunities for students to continue to engage in extracurricular activities. In the meantime stay connected with cards connected at https://student-affairs.catholic.edu/cards-connected/index.html. We want students to be engaged both from afar and as appropriate when they are here. We will continue to update this website with opportunities for virtual and in person engagement as permitted.

  • Will there be online/virtual opportunities for students to connect through the social groups that were on campus so those that are not on campus can still enjoy college?

    The Office of Campus Activities will be supporting our student organizations just as they always do and will provide resources and training opportunities to help student organizations provide virtual events that continue to build the great community that Catholic University is known for. Please check out the Nest for a list of virtual, hybrid and in person events happening at Catholic.
  • Can student organizations meet?

    Yes, student organizations will be able to meet both on campus and virtually. Please check out the Campus Activities Covid website for information pertaining to student organizations and here for information related to event planning.
  • Will we still have student organizations?

    All of our recognized student organizations will be permitted to operate, recruit, and coordinate events. There will be some limitations on the scope and details of events and meetings but we will not be limiting the number of organizations we have.
  • How will student organizations run this semester? Will student organizations be able to reserve spaces and hold in person events?

    Since in-person classes on campus are only available for first-year students, student organizations will likely not be able to reserve space on campus without consultation and approval from OCA. Please check out the Campus Activities Covid website for information pertaining to student organizations and here for information related to event planning. A.
  • How do I make a request for funding for a student organization?

    Treasury Board will meet on a weekly basis on Monday nights starting at 7:30pm until September 28th. Starting on October 6th, meetings will move to Tuesday nights at 7:30pm. You can sign up for a presentation slot here or on the Funding Request page, and links to log in to the meetings will be sent at a later date. As always, you must sign up and submit documents by five days before your presentation.
  • Will students still be able to gather/study/eat in the Pryz?

    The Office of Campus Activities will work with student organizations on how to host appropriately sized programs and meetings virtually, in order to maintain student engagement, connection and out of classroom growth.  Please check out the Campus Activities Covid website for information pertaining to student organizations and here for information related to event planning.  

    Dining Services will continue to provide meal plans and other options for students. We are working on plans for touchless points of sale and ordering ahead via an app to prevent long lines from forming in the Pryzbyla Center.  We will also design alternative seating arrangements, utilizing spaces in and around the Pryzbyla Center as we adhere to the guidelines that we will follow.  The priority for Dining Services will continue to be providing nutritious meals and food options in a safe environment.

Student Employment

  • Will there still be campus jobs available for students?

    University departments will continue to employ students to fill campus jobs.  However, there may be limitations to the number of available positions as we move through our phases of reopening. 

    As we firm up staffing plans for the Fall, students will view and apply for open positions using Handshake, CatholicU's on and off-campus job and internship posting site.  More information will be forthcoming on the availability of positions.

    Job descriptions will indicate if the position is a remote opportunity or if it will require a student to be physically present in the office. This decision will be made by each supervisor, based on the operating structure of the office as it complies with university health and social distancing guidelines.

    Click here for more information on how to access on-campus jobs in Handshake as well learn more about identifying local/part-time opportunities near campus.

  • Are Federal Work Study jobs available?

    The Federal Work Study program is a need-based federal aid program.  Students awarded Federal Work-Study (FWS) can work on-campus or remotely if they currently reside in DC, MD or VA (DMV).  
    FWS awarded students currently residing outside the DMV can only work remotely if they are applying to DC Reads or Jump Start.  
    Any FWS awarded students currently residing outside the DMV and who do not wish to work for DC Reads or Jump Start should contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance Students (202-319-5307/cua-finaid@cua.edu) to identify alternative financial support options.



  • Will students still be allowed to use the Metro and go into downtown D.C./travel since some areas could be high risk?

    Yes, our community will still be able to use Metro and travel throughout DC.  It is important that our community maintains up to date awareness of changing conditions and requirements.  See the WMATA Website for information. For instance, in mid-May, Metro announced that face coverings are required for all riders.  In late May, the Mayor announced that DC is moving into Phase One of reopening, which loosened some restrictions on various activities.  Over the course of the summer, we anticipate that there will be further loosening restrictions as we move into Phase Two and Three of reopening.
  • What are some options for students who live far from Catholic U to safely return and travel between their homes and Catholic U and can students (even underclassmen) bring cars onto campus?

    Under the terms of our Campus Master Plan with the District of Columbia, first and second year residential students are not permitted to park on campus.  Any commuter student will be able to purchase a campus parking permit.

    In terms of travel via other means (i.e. trains, planes, etc.) it will be important for students to check with the airline, etc. and maintain up to date awareness of changing conditions and requirements.  For instance, as of late May, the State of Virginia requires face coverings at Reagan National and Dulles International airports while Baltimore/Washington International Airport in Maryland has both recommendations and requirements for face coverings.  Similarly, Amtrak requires face coverings for all customers.