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The university will return to campus this fall. Read our plan at www.bentley.edu/BacktoBentley 

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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Return to Campus for the Fall

Below are answers to questions about Bentley's return to campus this fall. We'll continue to answer your questions on this page so check back often. 

Last Updated: August 4, 2020

Academics and Classrooms

When is the goal deadline for faculty to indicate how they will be teaching? Will I have enough time to change housing preferences based on my course modalities (how my courses will be taught)?
We recognize that there is significant uncertainty about your individual class modality (how courses will be taught). Faculty are working diligently with their deans to determine the best teaching method for each course. This work will not be completed until August. We anticipate that most classes will be taught remotely. For those courses that still meet in person, classroom capacities will vary depending on the public health guidance from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in August / September.

This fall trimester will be different than the traditional classroom experience for all students. Classes will be delivered in one of three ways – live in person, synchronous online, or asynchronous online. For the classes taught live in person, students will rotate with other classmates to meet every other or every third class to allow all students the opportunity to attend some classes in person, while others attend online.

To ensure we have housing secured for those who want and need to live on campus this fall, we need to have commitments completed before we know all of the class modalities. Drop/add will be available to change courses until Monday, Sept. 7, but there is no guarantee that particular modalities will be available to all students. Our goal is to give you flexibility to make your own decisions about how to address this uncertainty. You may decide that being a residential student is important even if learning remotely while on campus. You may decide that it makes more sense to complete your classes entirely remotely for the fall trimester. With the trimester program, you have additional opportunities to take classes throughout this academic year.

Will I be able to change my classes once the teaching modality for each course has been determined?
Add/Swap/Drop is currently closed in order to update course modalities for fall and to allow new students to register for fall classes. The registration system will re-open for current students beginning August 5, and Add/Swap/Drop will be available to change courses until Monday, September 7. However, please note that there is no guarantee that particular modalities will be available to all students.

Can all classes be taken remotely?
Yes, all classes can be completed remotely during the fall trimester. Classes will be delivered in one of three ways – live in person, synchronous online or asynchronous online – all of which allow online, remote participation.

Is service-learning still taking place during the Fall trimester?
To maintain the health and safety of the community, we unfortunately will not be offering service-learning during the fall trimester. We aim to minimize students’ exposure to individuals outside of the Bentley community as we work to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Tuition

Will tuition be reduced for the fall?

No, Bentley will not reduce tuition for the fall. Despite some changes in campus operations due to COVID-19, we plan to continue to deliver a high-quality educational experience. Classes will continue with instruction from Bentley’s world-class faculty, and students will be able to advance without delay toward earning their Bentley degree. The quality and value of a Bentley degree remain as high as ever, helping our graduates build rewarding and successful careers and lives.

The cost of tuition covers many services in addition to classroom instruction. Students will continue to have access to all our university has to offer, including co-curricular activities like student clubs and organizations, and career services, whether students are on campus in Waltham or continuing their studies remotely.

We also want to be transparent that the costs of running the university have increased due to COVID-19. We have invested in new classroom technologies to expand our online and remote capabilities. Faculty and staff will increase the level of individual engagement with students to ensure they have the support they need to succeed inside and outside of the classroom. And health, counseling and wellness services will be ready to assist our students whether in person or remote. These are some of the additional services we have added for this year to help every student remain connected to and supported by the Bentley community, no matter where they live and learn.

Keep in mind our newly introduced trimester system will allow students the flexibility to study in any combination of the fall, spring and summer trimesters to personalize their approach to the year ahead. And because of the strains of this unprecedented time, we are offering undergraduate students the opportunity to take up to 15 courses over the three trimesters for the cost of 10. (See our 
trimester FAQs page for more information on this benefit.)

 

Why are the activity and technology fees being billed differently now?

To simplify your bill, effective July 1, 2020, we removed the separate technology and activity fees and combined them with tuition into a total tuition bill. The combined amount should be the same as the FY2021 previously reported on our website.

 A portion of the total tuition will continue to be used to support student organizations and activities. For this year, the annual activity fee for full-time students is $430 for undergraduate students and $290 for graduate students.  For students enrolled part time, the fee is $43 per class for undergraduate students and $48 per class for graduate students. 

As in past years, this activity fee will be managed by undergraduate and graduate student government organizations. They are reviewing the fee in light of public health restrictions that limit the number of events and activities that may be held on campus. If the student government organizations decide that the activity fee should be decreased, the credit will be posted to your account by Sept. 15.  

 

Will my room and meal fees for the fall be affected by COVID-19? If so, how does this affect my financial aid?

Yes. To avoid the risk of students going home and then returning to campus with COVID-19 after Thanksgiving, all classes will be held remotely when classes resume after the break, and residence halls will remain closed through the end of the trimester. Students’ room and meal fees were discounted by 20 percent reflecting fewer days on campus. 

Please note, your financial aid is based on full-time enrollment and your housing status. If you completed the COVID-19 Housing and Meal Plan Contract Addendum by the deadline and we received confirmation from Housing and Residential Services, your housing status in your financial aid will reflect this. Otherwise, your financial aid will reflect your anticipated housing status as of the date of billing.

Although room and meal plans are be lower for the fall due to the transition to online learning after the Thanksgiving break, financial assistance will be the same for the fall and spring terms. If your enrollment or housing status changes, your financial aid may be revised. Please contact the Office of Financial Assistance if your enrollment or housing plans change at any time during the academic year.

More information can be found on our website: https://www.bentley.edu/offices/student-financial-services


Why were there only four payments in the payment plan for fall 2020?

The university has been monitoring closely the changing health and safety guidelines and announced on June 30 our plans to reopen campus and welcome students back for the fall. After that announcement was made, billing was delayed from July 8 until July 15 to give students more time to decide whether they will live on campus in the fall. As a result, the due date was moved from August 1 to August 8, requiring that we reduce the payment plan from five to four payments. 

 

Does the Liberty Mutual tuition insurance program cover COVID-19?

The insurance policies do not cover pandemics and, therefore, would not cover a student who withdraws due to COVID-19. 

Financial Aid

How will my financial aid be impacted?
We understand that students and families will need help in pursuing their educational goals in the year ahead. The pandemic has added uncertainty related to the loss of income and anxiety around potential future income reductions. We are committed to working with every student who may have questions or concerns to help them find the best solution. Bentley awards need-based financial aid to help families pay the cost of attendance, which includes tuition and fees, room and board, and allowances for books, supplies and personal expenses. Each student’s financial situation is unique, so eligibility for need-based financial aid is reviewed and calculated individually.

Financial aid for the 2020-21 academic year was calculated using 2018 calendar year income. If you would like to provide additional information to update your current financial situation, we will use this information to give context to the evaluation of your financial need for the upcoming year.

Financial aid packages will reflect the information students submitted in their housing survey. For students who did not reply, aid will be packaged assuming campus residency and full-time enrollment.

We recognize that managing a decrease in family income and/or an increase in non-discretionary expenses is difficult. In the absence of additional aid, students can elect to research other financing options to help finance educational expenses.

Students who elect to take courses fully remotely will not have the cost of room and board calculated into their total cost of attendance, and financial aid awards will be reduced accordingly. Students who elect to live on campus will have room and board fees discounted by 20 percent to reflect the residence halls closing after Thanksgiving through the end of the trimester.


Students who have additional questions about loan options or questions about financial assistance for the 2020-21 academic year should contact their financial aid counselor or send email to finaid@bentley.edu.

How would living at home and attending classes remotely affect my financial aid?
The Cost of Attendance (COA), upon which financial aid is based, is reduced for students who are living at home. Although there is no component for room and board during a term when a student is living at home, there is an allowance for food to reflect the fact that the family grocery bill will be higher when a student is living at home. For students commuting to campus, a transportation allowance is factored in. The COA also includes an allowance for personal expenses such as laundry and toiletries.


If a student opts for off campus living, how will financial aid be affected?
The Cost of Attendance (COA) for students living off-campus (not in their parents’ home or the home of a family member) is similar to the COA for students living on campus and includes components for rent and food. Students living off campus and not living at home may be asked to document their expenses, particularly apartment rental expense.

What opportunities will there be for student employment this fall?
Student employees are still needed to keep Bentley running, even though campus operations will be very different this fall. For students who have already worked under the Federal Work Study (FWS) program or the Bentley Work Program, please check with your supervisor. Your job may be one that can be performed remotely if needed. As always, new students with a Federal Work Study award are given priority in the hiring process in an effort to ensure that they are able to earn any FWS amount included as part of their financial aid package. However, being awarded FWS does not guarantee that you will be able to obtain employment but gives you the opportunity to apply for jobs. While we try to assist students with FWS in finding employment, jobs on campus are limited. A job is not assigned or guaranteed, and we are not always able to place all students. For new students or students who have not worked on campus before, available jobs will be posted on Workday in August.

When will the tuition bills be mailed out, including any scholarships or financial aid?
Bills for the fall term will be available in Workday by July 15. For students with complete financial aid applications, the bill will include financial aid. The due date for fall, normally at the beginning of August, has been extended to August 10. 

Housing

I am coming to campus from a state not deemed "low risk" by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Can I still move in? 
If you live outside of the “lower risk” states there are several ways to adhere to these Massachusetts requirements in the new travel order:

  • You can arrive on campus with verification of a negative test within the past 72 hours as outlined in the Massachusetts policy.
  • You can stay with relatives or friends in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, New Jersey or Hawaii for 14 days before your move-in date.
  • You may come to campus, have a screening test (which will be assigned to you) and self-quarantine until the test results are returned. Please note that due to the restrictions imposed by the policy, we may not be able to have you self-quarantine on campus and you may need to stay a local hotel until the test results come back (24-48 hours).

What will the move-in process look like? 
All residential students will receive an e-mail in their Bentley e-mail account on Tuesday, August 4 outlining their assigned move-in date and time. The move-in schedule was created to maintain safe physical distancing and to test every student upon arrival. No rooms located right next to each other will move-in at the same time to better facilitate a safe move-in.

Upon arrival you’ll be directed to the testing site. Once testing is complete, you will be directed by staff to your residence hall for move in. Testing will take approximately 10 minutes. You will then have an additional 25 minutes to unload all items into your room and then move your car to pre-selected parking area. 

Students are allowed to bring two (2) people to assist with move in (each of whom must also wear a face covering and maintain proper distancing). Students are only allowed one car at move in. All visitors must apply with the Massachusetts Travel Guidance.

What will residential students do if they test positive for COVID-19?
The Residential Center has identified two buildings to be used for isolation housing on North Campus in the event that a residential student contracts COVID-19. This is an apartment building with a private bathroom, kitchen and living space. If a student needs to be moved to isolation housing as they tested positive or have positive-like symptoms, the Residential Center staff and Health & Wellness team will work with the student on all logistical needs. Rooms will be furnished with clean linens, a pillow and a towel, as well as water and snacks. Additionally, Bentley Dining will work with the student to deliver meals as needed. The room will come prepared with toilet paper, disinfectant spray, paper towels, tissues and a thermometer. Once in isolation housing, the student cannot leave until given approval by Health & Wellness staff. University Police has outfitted a vehicle to safely transport the student to North Campus. Students are not allowed to do laundry when in isolation or quarantine.

When will I receive confirmation of my fall 2020 housing assignment?
Students will receive confirmation of housing assignments by July 20 with the understanding that public health guidelines may require us to make a change. We anticipate that all students requesting housing will be accommodated on campus with returning students receiving their selected assignments. Cancellation policies will still apply.

Can I cancel my housing assignment after July 8 and is there a refund? 
After July 8, cancellation requests will be reviewed by a committee to determine approval and if any possible fees may be assessed. 

What steps are the Residential Center taking to ensure the health and safety of residential students? 
The Residential Center will routinely educate and inform residential students on appropriate cleaning protocols within their assigned spaces. Basic cleaning and sanitization methods will be expected of all residents to maintain an appropriate cleanliness standard within their room/suite/apartment. Residents living in suites or apartments are required to clean their own space including restrooms.

Will I be able to live in the residence hall for the spring semester if I cancel my housing contract?
For students who we cannot accommodate in the residence halls in the fall, we don't yet know if we will be able to revert to our full occupancy and offer housing for spring. If we can increase residence hall occupancy for spring, students with canceled Housing Contracts will be among the first students to be offered on-campus housing. Plans for the spring trimester will be announced later this fall.

Will I have a roommate this fall?
Students will live in double-occupancy or single-occupancy rooms. Spaces in all triple and quad rooms will be reduced to double capacity for the fall. Students with a direct roommate and living in a suite/apartment will be treated as a family unit. If a roommate/suitemate develops COVID-19 symptoms or is confirmed positive, all roommates/suitemates will be required to self-quarantine or self-isolate based on the family unit definition and follow recommendations by the Health Center and the Residential Center.

How do I request a roommate? 
The Room Change process for returning students was communicated after housing selection in April. Every effort will be made to accommodate roommate requests. However, we cannot guarantee all requests as space limitations may result in necessary changes.

If a double-occupancy room is unavailable, can roommates be housed in neighboring singles? 
Yes, if we cannot house requested roommates together, the Residential Center will work to place them in adjoining rooms.

If students are housed in single-occupancy rooms, what is being planned to encourage interaction and prevent social isolation?

We agree that social interactions are important, especially for first year students. Even in the more isolated environment being proposed, there will be opportunities for friendship, connection and community. The RA staff, orientation staff and First Year Seminar student facilitators will all be working to ensure that first year students have ample opportunities to get to know one another.

How will residence hall rooms be set up?
In rooms such as triples, enhanced triples and quads where room capacity has been temporarily reduced, residence hall staff will leave rooms set up for full occupancy in anticipation of all residents returning to on-campus housing when deemed safe to do so.


Will all students move-in on the same day?
In order to practice safe physical distancing, no later than August 5, the Residential Center will communicate an updated move-in timeline to all students via their official Bentley e-mail address.

Will lounges and common areas be available for students to use?
Capacity of lounges in residence halls has been reduced. New occupancy signs are posted in front of lounge spaces and students must adhere to altered capacity limitations to allow for appropriate physical distancing. While in a lounge or any public space on campus students, must wear face coverings. At this time, we will not allow for students to use common/shared kitchens.


What can I bring with me to campus?
We ask that students only bring essentials such as clothes, school supplies, bedding, bathroom essentials and items that are easy to pack. Outside furniture is not permitted for the fall 2020 trimester. 


I'm a varsity athlete and saw that the NE10 suspended intercollegiate competitions this fall. Can I cancel my housing contract?

Before you make that decision, we urge you to connect with your coach because we are waiting for guidance from the Northeast-10 Conference and the NCAA about the possibility of workouts and practices that adhere to public health guidance. If after discussing it with your coach you decide you'd like to live off campus and you filled out the COVID-19 Housing and Meal Plan Contract Addendum, you can fill out the Contract Release Form in the Housing Portal by selecting "Forms & Applications" at the top of the page and then selecting "Contract Release Form." If you are on the housing waitlist, please email housing@bentley.edu if you'd like to be removed from it.

COVID-19 Testing

Will students be required to get tested for COVID-19?
All residential students will be required to have a screening test for COVID-19 administered by the university when they arrive on campus and then regularly thereafter. The university will pay for all costs associated with screening tests for residential students. For diagnostic tests administered when a student is sick with COVID-19, health insurance will cover the cost of those diagnostic tests. Please verify your student health insurance coverage. 

Additionally, all non-residential students who plan to be on campus as well as all staff and faculty who plan to be on campus will be required to undergo weekly onsite screening tests.

How will tests be administered? 
Bentley is partnering with the Broad Institute to conduct screening testing. The Broad (pronounced brōd) test procedure uses a nasal swab in the front of your nose, which is less likely to cause discomfort. Results are expected in about a day.  


What is the university doing to prepare if someone tests positive for COVID-19?
We are requiring students to complete a daily self-assessment. If any symptoms of COVID-19 are displayed, students are required to self-monitor and self-report by immediately calling the Health Center or University Police. In situations where a student is recommended to self-quarantine or self-isolate, students may not be permitted to continue residing in their residential space and will be provided alternative housing arrangements as needed. The university will have designated space set aside for isolation and quarantine. Additional sanitation will be provided in spaces if a student tests positive. In some instances, students may go home to rest and recuperate when possible.

Dining

Do we have to pay for the delivery or tip the driver for on-campus GrubHub?
No tipping will be required and we are envisioning more of a pick-up scenario at all dining locations across campus. Grubhub will allow students the ability to place a pre-order dining selection in whatever location they like and have it made-to-order and ready for pick-up.

Are other dining services open like Harry’s, LaCava, Currito?
We anticipate that all of our dining locations including late night at Harry’s (no alcohol served at the present time due to current guidelines), Lower Café, Einstein’s, The Nest and Currito’s will be open.

What will the meal plan, food service and 921 look like this fall?

We have incorporated feedback received by students and their families and have redesigned our meal plans to include meal trades. Meal trades allow students to trade a traditional meal swipe for a meal selection at designated locations across campus including Harry’s in the Student Center, the Lower Café in LaCava and Currito’s in the Dana Center. Food service will look different as we look to serve meals in to-go or take-out packaging. Meals can be pre-ordered using the Grubhub app which we are introducing to campus. We will maintain a full menu with selections to meet all dietary needs. Similarly to the past, we will, of course support all preferences including vegan, vegetarian, halal, kosher and allergen free choices. All preparations will adhere to strict quality standards.

Dining in The 921 will support physical distancing and directional markers will need to be observed. We will have occupancy guidelines that we will need to adhere to. Due to that, we will have multiple options where you can enjoy your meal individually or in small groups. Face coverings will need to be worn while picking up your meal and while walking through the spaces. Once at a table, face coverings may be removed while eating. We are incorporating touch free access to The 921 where students will tap their ID card to enter the dining hall. Our Dining Ambassadors will be on hand to support students and the dining experience.

Library

Will the Library be open in the fall? 
Yes, the library plans to be open in the fall.

  • Reference and library services have and will continue to be offered in person and remotely to all Bentley students, staff and faculty.
  • The library will operate at 40% occupancy capacity according to the state’s guidelines. 
  • The library’s hours of operation beginning August 31, 2020 will be: 

    Monday – Thursday 
    7:30 a.m. - Midnight
    Friday
    7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Saturday
    10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Sunday
    12:00 p.m. - Midnight

How will the library be monitored? 
A work study student will be stationed at the front entrance to certify proper occupancy capacity. Staff will be charged with making sure all library users are abiding by physical distancing guidelines.

Will study rooms be available? 
Yes, most study rooms will be available for reservation with a two-student occupancy limit. 

How will access to library be impacted? 
The library will be card-swipe access only. Only those with a Bentley ID will be allowed in the building.

What restrictions/rules will be put on the use of the library? 

  • Students must wear masks at all times in the library.
  • Students will be encouraged to use the two self-checkout workstations to limit person-to-person contact. 
  • Library materials will be quarantined for a period of 60 hours per ALA, ACRL, IMLS, OCLC, MLS and NEDCC guidelines. The library catalog will indicate which materials are in quarantine.
  • Reserve materials will be on an open stacks near the Library Services Desk.
  • All library users will be asked to return materials directly into one of our two book drops – either the external drop at the front door or the drop found under the self-check machine.
  • Interlibrary loan service is dependent on the Massachusetts Library System and restrictions made by other libraries around the world.
  • No museum passes will be available until limitations on museum attendance have been lifted. 

Students and parents can contact library staff here.

Athletics

Housing

Q: Since I will not be participating in varsity athletics, may I cancel my housing contract?

Before you make that decision, we urge you to connect with your coach because we are waiting for guidance from the Northeast-10 Conference and the NCAA about the possibility of workouts and practices that adhere to public health guidance. If after discussing it with your coach you decide you'd like to live off campus and you filled out the COVID-19 Housing and Meal Plan Contract Addendum, you can fill out the Contract Release Form in the Housing Portal by selecting "Forms & Applications" at the top of the page and then selecting "Contract Release Form." If you are on the waitlist, please email housing@bentley.edu if you'd like to be removed from it.

Answers to the questions below were provided by the Northeast-10 Conference:

Athletics Aid

Q: Will athletics aid agreements for the 2020-21 academic year be impacted by the Conference’s announcement that NE10 competition has been suspended for the fall?

A: NE10 institutions are committed to honoring athletics aid agreements that have been issued to student-athletes for 2020-21 in accordance to the terms and conditions laid out in those agreements.

Note:  Any student-athlete who chooses to not enroll, or enrolls part-time, cannot receive athletics aid during that semester. Additionally, the ability to receive institutional financial aid may be impacted by a decision to not enroll full time. Please consult with your Director of Compliance for guidance before making a determination on your enrollment status.

Practice and Playing Seasons: Involvement in Sports this Fall

Q: Which fall sports are impacted by the NE10 decision to suspend intercollegiate competition in the fall until Dec. 31, 2020?

A: This decision impacts the 10 fall sports that the NE10 offers regular season and/or championship competition:  M/W Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, M/W Soccer, Volleyball. Additionally, Men’s and Women’s Golf and Women’s Tennis have traditionally defined the fall semester as their primary championship segment. With this determination, those sports will not conduct regular season and/or championship competition this fall.

Q: Which winter sports does this decision by the NE10 impact?

A: This decision impacts regular season competition during the fall semester for M/W Basketball, M/W Swimming & Diving and M/W Track & Field.  This decision does not impact the two NE10 members that have men’s ice hockey teams classified in Division I or any sports for which the NE10 does not sponsor a championship (I.e., women’s ice hockey, bowling, rowing, wrestling, equestrian, skiing, rugby, and gymnastics.) Any decision impacting those teams will be made by the institution or its sport-specific conference affiliation.

Q: Will student-athletes and teams be allowed to participate in practice and training opportunities during the fall 2020 semester, even if outside competition does not exist?

A: Team activities, practice and training opportunities will be determined and defined by each member institution and shall adhere to local and state public health regulations. All applicable NCAA playing and practice season rules will be followed.

Q: Will the NE10 conduct its fall sports competition and championships during the spring semester?

A: The NE10 and its member institutions are striving to ensure a meaningful regular season and conference championship experience for its fall sport student-athletes during the spring 2021 semester, as long as a return to competition can be safely executed. Initial plans for spring competition fall sports will be provided at a later date.

Q: Will the NE10 conduct its winter championship sports during the spring semester?

A: The NE10 endeavors to provide a regular season schedule and/or conference championship experience for its winter sport student-athletes during the spring 2021 semester, with the intention of aligning with appropriate NCAA selection criteria and dates, as long as a return to competition can be safely executed.

Q: Will the NCAA move its fall championship sports to the spring semester?

A: At this time, the NCAA has announced its intention to conduct its fall championships during the 2020 fall semester on their traditional dates. The NE10 will continue to monitor national discussions regarding the revision of NCAA championship dates or cancelation of NCAA fall championships. Conference leadership will continue to advocate for regional and national opportunities as we seek to provide postseason opportunities for NE10 student-athletes. NCAA Golf and Tennis Championships remain positioned in the spring semester.

Eligibility: Semesters of eligibility, Seasons of Competition, & Outside Competition

In general, Division II student-athletes are allowed to participate in four seasons of competition within 10 full-time semesters.

Q: What happens if a student-athlete elects to not enroll at any institution in the fall 2020 and/or spring 2021 term?

A: If a student-athlete does not enroll full-time in fall 2020 or spring 2021, they will not have used one of the 10 full-time semesters of eligibility under NCAA rules.

Q: What happens if a student-athlete elects to enroll part-time at their institution in the fall 2020 and/or spring 2021 term?

A: If a student-athlete does not enroll full-time in fall 2020 or spring 2021, they will not have used one of the 10 full-time semesters of eligibility under NCAA rules.

Please note there could be restrictions related to participation in athletics activities with the team and/or coaches including practice if a student-athlete is only enrolled as a part-time student.  

Q: What happens if a student-athlete elects to enroll part-time at another institution in the fall 2020 and/or spring 2021 term?

A: If a student-athlete does not enroll full-time in fall 2020 or spring 2021, they will not have used one of the 10 full-time semesters of eligibility under NCAA rules and would not trigger transfer status from their NE10 institution.

Q: What is defined as full-time enrollment?

A: Per NCAA rules, undergraduate full-time enrollment is defined as being enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours in that term. Graduate full-time enrollment is defined by the institution.

Q: Would a decision to withdraw after classes start for the term be treated differently?

A: Yes, if a student-athlete chooses to withdraw, or drop to part-time enrollment, after the start of classes this would still trigger the use of a semester of eligibility. Please note that withdrawing from an institution after triggering full-time enrollment could have implications on meeting progress towards degree and eligibility requirements.

Q: If a student-athlete does not compete against outside competition (e.g. another institution) during the in 2020-21 academic year, would that student-athlete use a season of competition?

A: No, per NCAA rules, a student-athlete must participate against outside competition in order to utilize a season of competition. Under NCAA rules, a student-athlete who is enrolled full-time may participate in practice and conditioning activities without using a season of competition.

Q: If a student-athlete participates in competition during spring 2021 semester, would they use a season of competition?

A: Yes, if NE10 competition in traditional fall sports is moved to the spring 2021 semester, these sports would then have the spring semester classified as the championship segment and participation would count as a season of competition.

Q: If a student-athlete is enrolled full-time, receives athletics aid, and does not practice with the institution’s team, can that student-athlete compete as a member of a non-collegiate amateur team during the institutions season in that sport? (E.g., a local club team if the student-athlete was to take classes virtually and resides at their home residence.)

A: No, this would trigger eligibility issues related to outside competition rules. Additionally, if a student-athlete triggered full-time collegiate enrollment during previous academic year, the institution will need to evaluate whether the student-athlete impacted their amateur status in any way through the outside competition (i.e. receipt of prize money, expenses).

Q: If a student-athlete is enrolled full-time, does not receive athletics aid, and does not practice with the institution’s team, can that student-athlete compete as a member of a non-collegiate amateur team during the institutions season in that sport? (E.g., a local club team if the student-athlete was to take classes virtually and reside at their home residence.)

A: Yes, this student-athlete would not trigger eligibility issues related to outside competition rules. However, if a student-athlete triggered full-time collegiate enrollment during previous academic year, the institution will need to evaluate whether the student-athlete impacted their amateur status in any way through the outside competition (i.e. receipt of prize money, expenses).

Q: If a student-athlete is not enrolled or enrolled part-time and does not receive athletics aid, can that student-athlete compete as a member of a non-collegiate amateur team during the institutions season in that sport? (E.g., a local club team if the student-athlete was to take classes virtually and reside at their home residence.)

A: Yes, this student-athlete would not trigger eligibility issues related to outside competition rules; HOWEVER, this may impact your eligibility in how your institution certifies your progress toward degree eligibility.   

If a student-athlete triggered full-time collegiate enrollment during previous academic year, the institution will need to evaluate whether the student-athlete impacted their amateur status in any way through the outside competition (i.e. receipt of prize money, expenses).

Q: If an incoming student-athlete defers their initial full-time enrollment beyond fall 2020, may they continue to participate in practice or competition in their sport with an outside team?

A: Incoming student-athletes are allowed to participate in organized competition for a one-year time period following high school graduation without impacting eligibility. After this initial one-year “gap” year, continued participation would impact eligibility.

Participation in Athletic Activities: For Students Not Enrolling Full-Time

Q: May student-athletes who are not enrolled (or enrolled less than full-time) in a given term participate in practice or other countable athletically related activity during that term?

A: No. NCAA rules require that student-athletes be enrolled full-time in order to participate in countable athletically related activity such as practice and team training.

Graduate Students

What will the hybrid learning environment look like for graduate students? 
The Graduate Admissions staff will host a Hybrid Online Learning Experience Webinar on Thursday, July 16 from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. EDT to discuss Bentley’s hybrid course modality, including how to access courses, the timing of livestreamed classes, group projects in a hybrid model and the benefits of studying in hybrid classes. Email applygrad@bentley.edu for more information and to sign up for this virtual event.

New International Students

Watch the CISS International Students Webinar

Can I study online in the fall from outside the U.S.? What happens to my immigration status?
If you are a new student at Bentley for the fall 2020 trimester, you may choose to begin your studies online from your home country. While you may begin your degree online outside of the United States, F-1 visa holders with “initial” I-20s will not hold F-1 visa status during this time (this does not apply to continuing students, SEVIS transfers or students with Change of Educational Level I-20s). CISS will defer your I-20 start date to January 2021, and you will begin in F-1 status when you arrive in the U.S. for the Spring 2021 trimester. 

If you are a SEVIS transfer student (you have been in F1 status in the US previously and have arranged to transfer your SEVIS record) you will receive further communication from CISS at a later date. We are currently reviewing the recent guidance to determine the possibility of keeping your transferred F-1 record active.

Please note that we are continuing to issue I-20s for the fall 2020 trimester so that you may plan to join us on campus for classes, which would activate your F1 status. However, if you are unable to secure a student visa in time to begin the fall trimester in the U.S., you can register and begin classes remotely and contact the CISS to obtain a deferred I-20 as detailed above.

Can new students come to Bentley and study?
Yes. You will be in active F-1 status as long as you are able to enter the U.S. for the start of the fall trimester and are registered full time (12 credits for undergraduate and 9 credits for graduate students), regardless of the format of your classes.

Please note that if you plan to study in person, you must arrive in the U.S. and report to CISS either in person or electronically no later than September 28, 2020 in order to maintain F1 status for the fall 2020 trimester.

Does Bentley University know when the U.S. Consulates and Embassies will be processing student visa applications?
Many U.S. consular posts have suspended routine visa processing temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic with a phased reopening beginning July 15. Unfortunately, we do not know when individual U.S. Embassies and Consulate posts will resume processing student visas. CISS will continue to issue and send I-20s to admitted students so you can be prepared to initiate your visa application as soon as the consular posts reopen. You should check your embassy or consulate’s website frequently for appointment availability.

Will I be issued a new I-20 as discussed in the July 6 SEVP guidance?
As that guidance has been rescinded, students do not need a new I-20 issued to them in order to travel to the US or apply for a visa. Please ensure that returning students have a valid travel signature on Page 2 of your I-20, and if not please request one from CISS.

What are the travel restrictions for entering the U.S.?
As travel restrictions change frequently, we recommend checking the NAFSA COVID-19 travel site for the most up-to-date information affecting international student travel.

How will studying online or in a hybrid format during fall 2020 affect my OPT or CPT eligibility next summer?
Your eligibility timeline for F-1 benefits (CPT/OPT) begins accruing once you enter the U.S. in F1 status. If you enter the U.S. to begin the fall trimester in F1 status, the fall trimester will count towards your one year of eligibility, regardless of course modality. If you choose to study outside of the U.S. for the fall 2020 trimester, you will not begin your F1 status nor start accruing eligibility for benefits until you enter the U.S. for the spring 2021 trimester.

Please see our web pages on OPT and CPT eligibility to understand current eligibility requirements.

Returning International Students

Watch the CISS International Students Webinar

Can I study online in the fall from outside the U.S.? What happens to my immigration status?

  1. If you don’t take any classes or if you take less than a full load of credits, you will need to take a Leave of Absence and must remain outside of the U.S. Email loa@bentley.edu for Leave of Absence procedures. Because you will be on leave, your immigration status will be terminated and we will provide documentation so you can begin again in initial status when you return. The accrual of your one year of eligibility for CPT and OPT would begin again upon your return.
  2. You can take a full load of courses remotely, and you will be able to maintain active F1 student status. Even if you are not in the U.S., as long as you are maintaining a full load of courses you will continue to be considered an active F1 student and we will register you in SEVIS accordingly.

Can I come to Bentley and study?
Yes. You will maintain your F-1 status as long as you are registered full time (12 credits for undergraduate and 9 credits for graduate students) regardless of the format of your classes.  

How does this situation impact my work authorization?
As long as you are maintaining status by taking a full load of courses, you will accrue eligibility towards CPT and/or OPT during fall 2020 because you will be maintaining your F1 status.  We have also compiled a comprehensive document to answer many of the questions surrounding OPT and CPT during COVID-19, including information on remote work and furloughs.

How does the change to trimesters affect international students?
The move to trimesters allows students to take a full load of courses during the summer, if desired. You are not required to take classes during summer as it is optional. The summer trimester is still considered the “annual vacation” period for F1 international students and does not count toward the two semester requirement for CPT or OPT eligibility. International F1 students must still take a full load of courses in both the fall and spring trimesters.

What if I’m trying to leave the U.S. and am having difficulty getting a flight
Check with your consulate or embassy in the U.S. – they may be able to assist you. If you are approaching the end of a grace period or no longer have F1 status, we recommend keeping detailed documentation of your efforts to depart the United States in a timely manner. This may include e-mails, texts and copies of any correspondence you have had with your airline. If you stay beyond the end of your grace period or accumulate too much unemployment time while on OPT, this documentation may be useful to show that you made every effort to depart the United States, but circumstances beyond your control prevented you from doing so in a timely manner.

What if I need to return home after Thanksgiving since residential halls won’t be open and classes will be online?
The latest guidance clarifies that you will maintain status regardless of the format of your classes. As such, you may either remain in the U.S. (off campus) or return home as of Thanksgiving. As long as you are continuing your full course load, your will remain in F1 status.

What if I need to arrive later than the start of classes for the fall 2020 semester?
All new students must arrive on Bentley’s campus no later than September 28, 2020 in order to maintain F1 status for the fall 2020 trimester. Returning/continuing students, however, can maintain F1 status from both outside the US and inside the US as long as they are taking a full course load. As such, you can arrive in the U.S. at any point in the semester though you may face limitations and restrictions with housing arrangements.

Faculty and Staff Travel

Are there any restrictions on faculty and staff travel?
In March, the university began reviewing business travel by faculty and staff, and non-essential domestic and international business travel was suspended through June 30. The university has now extended that suspension of all non-essential domestic and international business travel by faculty and staff through Dec. 31, 2020. Bentley-related travel must be approved by a vice president or provost. Faculty or staff who are planning personal international travel anywhere in the world are asked to notify their vice president or dean.

Bentley Plans a Return to Campus this Fall