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COVID-19 FAQs for Students

Bentley continues to closely monitor updates about the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe. The university plans to return to campus this fall. (You can read the return-to-campus plan here.) Below are other answers to students' questions about the virus and Bentley's response to it.


Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the latest information, updates and answers to the questions below on COVID-19.

Massachusetts residents can also find information and resources, or can dial 211 any time of the day. A symptom checker can be found at

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, along with Partners In Health, has created the COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative. The program focuses on reaching out to the contacts of confirmed positive COVID-19 patients to help others who have been potentially exposed to the virus. If you are a contact, you will receive a phone call and/or text. Please answer it. The number will have a prefix of 833 or 857. Your phone or text will say call is from “MA Covid Team.” Calls are made between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Your information will not be shared and your name will not be released to anyone with whom you’ve been in contact. They will not ask for sensitive information like your social security number.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The virus symptoms manifest as a mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath. The CDC believes at this time that symptoms may appear in as few as two days or up to as long as 14 days after exposure.  Other less common symptoms include sore throat, nasal congestion, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Some people might experience a loss of smell or taste. Some individuals may not experience any symptoms of COVID-19 during the first 2 days they are infected. 

What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?
If you experience symptoms, isolate yourself, do not leave your home and seek medical attention by calling a medical professional. Inform medical professionals of your symptoms and any recent travel or potential exposure before going to the health facility.Avoid public transportation including ride share. If you are experiencing chest pain and difficulty breathing, you should call 911 if you are off campus and if on campus call University Police at 781-891-3131. 

How can I protect myself against contracting COVID-19?
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to practice good hygiene at work and at home, including staying home when sick, frequent handwashing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers (with at least 60% alcohol content). Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid close contact with people who are sick and put distance between yourself and others of at least 6 feet. You should follow the state and federal guidelines about the prevention of COVID-19. Please refer to Massachusetts’ latest guidance at    

In addition, we recommend:

  • Wash water bottles and wipe cell phones daily.
  • Avoid vaping to protect your lung health.
  • Please update your cell phone and emergency contact information in Workday.
  • Create a voice mail function on your cell phone so that health providers can leave you messages. They will not text you.
  • Install Rave guardian app on your phone to get emergency updates from campus.

How is COVID-19 transmitted?
According to the CDC, the virus spreads directly from person to person. An actively sick person with COVID-19 can spread the virus through respiratory droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets also land on nearby objects and surfaces. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. The CDC recommends staying up to 6 feet away from a person with symptoms or anyone that is not in your current household. It is possible to catch the virus from someone even before they have symptoms, but little is known about this aspect of the virus at this time.The CDC is now recommending that people wear a cloth covering mask over their mouth to prevent transmitting the virus to others. It is extremely important to remember to keep a distance of 6 feet from others at all times in public.

Are there medical supplies to have on hand for treating COVID-19?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The Health Center recommends you treat symptoms of fever with acetaminophen and over the counter cough medication, and drink fluids to keep hydrated. Please consult with your medical professional for additional guidance.

Financial Questions

The spring 2020 credits and financial aid adjustments have been posted to student accounts. Students and parents are invited to view the accounts and if applicable, request an online refund.

How does this impact my tuition and fees?
Bentley arranged online learning and a virtual community for the spring 2020 semester, allowing students to complete their coursework for the semester and meet graduation requirements, so tuition and academic fees were not refunded. 

How does this impact room, board and parking charges?
A credit for 44% of all room and board charges and parking charges was based on the effective move-out date of March 16, 2020. If you required additional housing after this move-out date, you saw a separate charge for the number of days that you required extended housing.

How does this impact my student activity fee (undergraduate students)?
The activity fee is managed by student representatives elected to the Allocations and Internal Audit Committee (AIA). Funds are allocated to the over 100 student clubs and organizations. The committee worked diligently to determine the reimbursement amount of the student activity fee to all students. At the beginning stages of the switch to remote learning, with most student organization programming suspended, fulfilled contracts and petty cash reimbursements were paid and new spending was halted. The committee worked closely with the Office of Student Programs & Engagement to finalize a plan for the reallocation of some programs to the next fiscal year to ensure an exciting welcome back celebration for the fall semester, in addition to bidding a proper farewell to graduating seniors. The remaining unspent fee was then evenly divided among students who paid either the full-year activity fee or the spring 2020 activity fee. 

How does this impact my student activity fee (graduate students)?
The university worked with the Graduate Student Association to determine the amount of the activity fee that was adjusted. This was posted to students' accounts.

How does this impact Falcon Funds for seniors?
The outstanding balance for Falcon Funds for seniors was posted to the students' account. For all other students, this balance will remain on their account. 

Why didn't I receive the full room and board credit? Why was my financial aid impacted due to the room and board credit?
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. Your ability to contribute to the cost of attendance was determined using the FAFSA and/or CSS Profile forms you submitted. This was used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution, which does not change over the course of the year. The equation for determining the amount of financial aid you are eligible for (your “financial need”) is:

Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

For this semester, when we were calculating financial aid adjustments to the room and board credits, the Cost of Attendance part of the equation (the left side) was reduced because room and board charges were reduced. That led to a reduction in the Financial Need part of the equation (the right side). We adjusted financial aid packages based on this change. Those whose package included a Bentley grant had the grant reduced proportionally.

Why can't my Expected Family Contribution be immediately adjusted given the current impact COVID-19 has had on my family's finances?

We understand that the COVID-19 crisis created a lot of uncertainty, including the loss of income and anxiety around potential future income reductions. Eligibility for financial aid for the 2019-20 academic year was calculated using 2017 calendar year income.

For families where current actual income is equal to or higher than 2017, we were not able to make any adjustments to your financial aid. For families where current actual income differs significantly from 2017, we were able to use professional judgment to adjust our calculation of your financial need. 

For families where current actual income is still in flux and it may be difficult to predict an estimated 2020 income, Bentley worked to accurately respond with additional financial aid. Throughout this process, we welcomed appeals from families who have experienced a substantial change in income.

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

Regarding applications for financial assistance for the 2020-21 academic year, 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.

How does this impact my student credit balances?
Continuing students may opt to leave the credit balance on your student account for future semesters. If so, you don't need to take any action. If your initial bill was paid using funds from a 529 or other tuition plan, please contact the administrator of the plan directly with any tax questions.

If you are requesting a refund, the fastest way to receive it is to set up your refund elections in Workday with your domestic bank account information. If a student does not enroll in direct deposit, the refund may be delayed as Bentley has limited check printing capabilities during this period of severely limited campus operations. 

If you have not already done so, please click on the link below for a step-by-step guide to set up refund elections:

The funds will be sent to the bank account that is set up in the student Workday account. If the funds should go to the parent’s bank account, then the student should input that account information in their Workday account. 

All requests for refunds should be made online by completing the refund request form. Below is a step-by step guide for the process:

If the charges were paid by a Federal Parent loan, the refund will be issued to the parent. If the initial charges were paid via Flywire, the refund will be processed through Flywire. All refunds will be processed as soon as possible. However, please allow up to 2 weeks for processing during this high volume period.

Thank you for your patience. If you have questions about the refund request process, please email Student Financial Services at or call 781-891-2162.  

Will my Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) work if I am away from the university?
The Bentley University SHIP is provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and provides access to the worldwide Blue Cross Blue Shield network and coverage for hospitalizations, specialty care, mental health and prescription medications throughout the United States and abroad. This means whether you are on-campus at Bentley, living at home, traveling throughout the United States or outside of the United States, your Bentley SHIP will provide you with coverage for emergency and non-emergency care. Important information about the Bentley University SHIP, including the benefits and coverage, can be found on the University Health Plans website. University Health Plans, Bentley University’s SHIP broker and plan administrator, is available to answer general questions about the insurance plan. To speak with a representative, please call (800) 437-6448 or send an email to

Students can find BCBS participating providers by using the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Find a Doctor tool and selecting “PPO or EPO” as the network or by calling Member Services at (888) 753-6615. For questions about behavioral health coverage, students should call the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Behavioral Health Coordination Line at (877) 566-2583. Students who waived the Bentley University SHIP should contact their private health insurance company for questions about their plan coverage and benefits, provider network and claim status.

Will this impact my current/future financial aid package?
Each student’s financial aid package is unique, so each financial aid adjustment was calculated and reviewed individually

What is Bentley doing to help students in financial stress due to COVID-19?
Bentley announced an Emergency Assistance Fund to help students meet very real, urgent and unanticipated expenses due to COVID-19. More than $130,000 was raised by trustees, faculty, staff and alumni. Over 200 students were able to receive emergency assistance through this fund. President Davis-Blake and Provost Blancero announced that they will each donate 10% of next year’s salary to the Emergency Assistance Fund to help meet ongoing needs. These gifts as well as additional contributions by members of the community have allowed for a second phase of emergency funding assistance, which will be available to Bentley students in June 2020. 

Is Bentley applying for funding through the CARES Act? 
On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to ease the financial strain across the country created by COVID-19. A portion of that economic relief package included a Higher Education Emergency Relief fund to provide emergency grants to students to help them pay expenses caused by the pandemic’s disruption. On April 28, Bentley received $1.3 million for emergency financial aid for students. Bentley has signed and returned notice to the U.S. Department of Education that 100 percent of the $1.3 million will be allocated for student emergency relief. 

Can I receive money through CARES or the Emergency Fund to resolve my outstanding student account balance?
We recognize the challenges that the pandemic has placed on many families. Unfortunately, neither the Emergency Fund nor the CARES Act is available for tuition or outstanding balance payments. Students who have questions about their remaining bill, including payment plan options, should contact Student Financial Services at to resolve their balance by June 1, 2020. Students who have questions about loan options for spring 2020 balances or questions about financial assistance for the 2020-21 academic year should contact the Office of Financial Assistance at  

What if I’m having financial trouble due to the changes for this semester?
Bentley understands that during this uncertain time, students may face adversity in adjusting to these new circumstances in pursuing their educational goals. We want to help. If you need financial or other types of support, please contact the Student Affairs team at We also encourage students to reach out to their NEST mentor if they want to speak with someone individually about the right way to get help. 

Will my outstanding student account balance affect my ability to participate in classes for the fall 2020 semester? 
Continuing students with unresolved balances for spring must resolve the balance in full by June 1, 2020. If the balance is not resolved in full by June 1, 2020, you will be dropped from your fall 2020 classes. When your classes are dropped, you will need to recreate your schedule once your balance is paid. Please note that the classes you are enrolled in for fall 2020 may not be available if you must recreate your schedule.

Will my outstanding student account balance affect my ability to participate in classes for the summer 2020 semester? 
Students with unresolved balances for spring will be allowed to participate in summer classes. However, they will not be allowed to add classes or receive a transcript.

Student Housing

Will campus be open in the fall?

Yes. We are planning a return to campus for students, faculty and staff back for the fall, and we are excited to welcome everyone back. We've been working hard to prepare for the return, consulting with our public health experts and relying on the latest medical guidelines to create a safe environment. The health and safety of our learning community has been paramount in our decision-making. We believe that with new guidelines and precautions in place, we can deliver a high-quality educational experience and provide exemplary student services in a way that gives each student flexible options to achieve their educational goals. You can learn more about our "Back to Bentley" return-to-campus plan here.

What about personal belongings that I left on campus?
All belongings left on campus were packed and stored at an off-campus location by Olympia Moving & Storage at no charge to the student. Any students who were unable to collect their personal belongings have received communication from the Residential Center about the storage process.

Students returning to campus for fall 2020 will have their belongings delivered to campus in August for move-in, but they may also work with Olympia to access their belongings sooner if needed. Students who are not returning for fall 2020 will have their belongings stored until August 21, 2020 and must pick up their belongings before that date or they will be discarded. Students can also choose to have their belongings shipped to them, but shipping fees will apply.

Questions about storage and accessing items can be directed to Olympia Moving & Storage at You may also visit their Bentley-specific website at

How can I contact the Residential Center with questions or for assistance?
The Residential Center will continue to operate from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please note that we will not be conducting in-person meetings until further notice. We welcome you to call us during business hours at 781-891-2148 or send an email to

For students who remain on campus, if you need assistance outside of business hours, please contact University Police:

  • Non-Emergency: 781-891-2201
  • Emergency: 781-891-3131
Campus Services

Will Bentley hold courses on campus in the fall?
Yes. We are planning a return to campus for students, faculty and staff back for the fall, and we are excited to welcome everyone back. We've been working hard to prepare for the return, consulting with our public health experts and relying on the latest medical guidelines to create a safe environment. The health and safety of our learning community has been paramount in our decision-making. We believe that with new guidelines and precautions in place, we can deliver a high-quality educational experience and provide exemplary student services in a way that gives each student flexible options to achieve their educational goals. You can learn more about our "Back to Bentley" return-to-campus plan here.

Health Center

Can I make an appointment at the Health Center?
The Health Center is closed for medical care during the summer season. The health center is working remotely to assist with administrative questions during the summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For assistance from Monday to Thursday during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., please email us at Our office, like other university offices, will be closed from Friday through Sunday until mid-August 2020.

Where should I go with administrative questions?
If you have a question about the Bentley University Health Insurance Plan, please contact University Health Plans. If you have a non-urgent administrative question, such as a question about the health requirements, you can email the health center at You can expect a response in 1 to 2 business days. 

Which services are offered by the university's student health insurance plan?
Bentley University students currently enrolled in Bentley's Blue Cross Blue Shield Plan offered by the university can access information about COVID-19 testing and resources, including a 24/7 nurse care line and live video visits with a physician or mental health provider, by going to 

What should I consider with my health insurance?
If you are not currently enrolled in the Bentley University Student Health Insurance Plan, it is important that you verify that your insurance coverage covers you adequately especially if you are a student that lives permanently out of state. Bentley most frequently works with Cataldo Ambulance Services and Newton Wellesley Hospital. Students should always carry their health insurance card and know their preferred local Boston hospital. This is especially important if you do not have the student health insurance or have insurance based outside of Massachusetts. 

The student health plan is a PPO providing access to the national BCBS provider network. Students enrolled in the plan have access to emergency and non-emergency care anywhere in the US. The plan also provides worldwide coverage so international students that have returned to their home country would continue to have access to the plan benefits through the end of the policy. Your last date of coverage under the plan will be 8/14/20. 

If you have questions about the Bentley Student Health Insurance plan, visit the University Health Plans website.

Counseling Center

I am currently struggling with a mental health issue, is it still possible to get support from the Counseling Center at this time?
Yes. While the Counseling Center is not currently meeting with students in person, you will be able to make a teleservices appointment to speak with a provider on the phone or over confidential, secure video chat health software. Please call the front desk at (781) 891-2274 to schedule an appointment.

Is mental health support available outside of normal business hours?
Yes. We have after hours clinicians available outside of normal business hours.  Please call the Counseling Center main number (781) 891-2274 and follow the prompts to be connected.

I am experiencing a mental health emergency, what should I do?
If you are in crisis and need support right away, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

International Students

How can I conduct business with the CISS from off-campus?
CISS will continue operating with modified procedures in place. Students should contact CISS by email at and should submit all documentation as scanned electronic documents to this email address until further notice. We will make arrangements for the distribution of original documentation (such as EAD cards and I-20s) and those arrangements will be communicated directly to impacted students. We are working hard to ensure that your ability to access required documents and advising will not be affected by this situation.

Our CISS staff will be checking the email account regularly, and we will do our best to respond to your queries in a timely manner.


Will there be Drop-In Hours during summer?
Drop-in Hours are not available during the summer. In addition to scheduling an appointment, students can email or call 781-891-2803 to connect with an advisor in Undergraduate Academic Services. All emails and phone messages will be answered within one business day.  

Are there guides to help with registration? 
You can access the step-by-step guides entitled Registering for Classes in Workday, Continuing Students Registration, Using Workday and Scheduler Planner to Register for Courses, and Adding/Dropping or Swapping a Class in Workday here.   

Pulsifer Career Development Center

Is the Pulsifer Career Development Center open for business?
Yes, our office is open year round and currently connecting with Bentley students remotely. Students can meet with their career coach via Zoom, Skype or phone.

How is the Pulsifer Career Development Center ensuring students can still connect with alumni and employers?

  • We are setting up virtual sessions called Career Communities for industry experts (including alumni) to meet students via Zoom to share information about the company, functional roles and the industry.
  • We have virtual workshops with alumni and industry representatives on specific job search topics including: tips for interviewing virtually; conducting a successful technical case interview; and setting up a virtual informational meeting to name a few.
  • We have sessions for students to meet one-on-one virtually with an ‘alumni-in residence’ to get career advice directly from an industry expert.

If a student did not get a job or internship, what else is there for a student to do to have a successful #MySummer2020 to gain meaningful experiences to share with a future employer or a graduate school admission’s office?

  • Partnering with our faculty, we are able to offer students the opportunity to do volunteer research projects with faculty this summer.
  • We have discovered opportunities for meaningful volunteer opportunities and micro-internships. 
  • All students can access LinkedIn Learning (for free) and develop and add valuable skills to their resume and LinkedIn profiles from learning graphic design, communication or negotiation skills to technology skills such as Python and many more!
  • The graduate career center can help students gain more career awareness through CareerLeader and have an on-line self-paced career course students can complete this summer.
  • On the undergraduate side, rising sophomores can participate in a Strong Interest Inventory assessment and have a one on one session with a career advisor to start thinking about majors and career paths of interest.
  • Rising juniors and seniors can take their CDI 301 course this summer (at no cost) and be ready for the job and internship search this fall. 
  • We will update frequently to add new options and resources for our students.

How do students know what events are available?
Students should continue to check
our Handshake portal through which you will apply for employment opportunities, attract employers your profile, schedule career coaching sessions, and find relevant career events. For events, as we are adding the Zoom links and CDI 301 course registration in there. Undergraduate students can also view to see upcoming events and relevant blogs.

Will employers be conducting interviews in the fall? 

Yes, 22 companies have already scheduled campus interview dates for the fall and several have scheduled on campus events to meet with students. We have the technology to pivot these to a virtual format if need be, but interviews and events will go on. We are planning several networking nights for students and employers to connect via, Brazen, an on-line platform.

What else?
The Pulsifer Career Development Center is pleased to announce we are launching Handshake to students on August 1, 2020. Access our Handshake portal through which you will apply for employment opportunities, attract employers your profile, schedule career coaching sessions, and find relevant career events. If there are questions about Handshake, please reach out to

Study Abroad

Will Fall 2020 study abroad programs be cancelled?
As of May 7, 2020, all incoming and outgoing study abroad programs were suspended for the Fall 2020 trimester. Full-year (2020-21) programs are still under consideration. For more information, see the May 7 communication below.

Can I register for courses on-campus in case my program is cancelled? 
Residential Services will be working with students formerly enrolled in study abroad programs to find on-campus housing for the fall if they want it, even if they did not sign the housing contract before the deadline. However, finalized details about this process may not be available until after the normal housing commitment deadline in June. All inquiries about Fall 2020 housing can be directed to


As the world continues to fight COVID-19, this year's Commencement exercises have been rescheduled as follows:

Graduate and PhD Ceremony
Friday, August 21
Academic Procession: 1:45 p.m.
Ceremony: 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Undergraduate Ceremony
Saturday, August 22
Academic Procession: 9:30 a.m.
Ceremony: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Frequently asked questions and answers about the ceremony for students and their families can be found here


What about my internship?
Students who are expecting to start or resume off-campus internships should contact their employers. Some businesses are offering remote work opportunities during this unprecedented time. Please work with your adviser at the Pulsifer Career Development Center for additional advice or to address specific questions. 

Student Employment

Am I required to report to my on-campus work study?
While campus is closed for students, remote options may be available for some student positions. Please work with your manager to discuss how this arrangement might work for you.

What if I experience a financial hardship because of not being able to work on campus while closed?
While not required, the federal government has provided guidance that colleges and universities may choose to continue to pay Federal Work Study wages to students who are not able to earn their FWS wages due to a temporary campus closure. In accordance with these guidelines, Bentley students who have a Federal Work Study award and who have worked during the spring 2020 term will be paid any wages not already earned up to the amount of their initial FWS award for the 2019-20 academic year. These funds will be paid in a lump sum to the same bank account where wages are currently directed. This payout does not apply to students who have earned up to their annual FWS award or who worked under the Bentley Work Program.

Contact Information

We will continue to communicate via email and social media with the Bentley community and post all updates at