March 20 Update on HMC Coronavirus Response

Dear Students and Families,

Thank you for your patience as Harvey Mudd College navigates these challenging times. We hope that you and your families are well and that you are following local, state and federal public health advice and guidance. Given Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order last evening closing all non-essential businesses and asking all Californians to stay at home, coupled with the guidance provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, we wanted to provide you with an update on where things stand at HMC.

Instruction and Essential Campus Services

  • The executive order provides an exemption for colleges and universities to continue having essential faculty and staff work to support distance learning and other critical activities. We strongly encourage most faculty and staff to work from home and have provided resources for them to do so.
  • Faculty members have begun using the two-week Spring Break period to continue transitioning their courses to an online format. Students should receive communications from their instructors (if they haven’t already) outlining what the plans are for each course. As a reminder, we have given faculty individual latitude in how they will handle grading for courses.
  • We are committed to supporting our staff and faculty, particularly hourly staff and those on the front lines of helping our students from Facilities and Maintenance and Dining Services. Our plan is to have essential staff from Facilities and Maintenance and Dining Services report to work to provide services to on-campus students who were not able to return home.
  • The Division of Student Affairs has live-in staff who will be available via the Dean on Call system to provide emergency support to on-campus students as long as they are healthy enough to do so.
  • Student Health Services will be limiting its hours of availability, but will still be available to provide support for the few students who remain on campus.
  • CIS continues to provide remote support and offers a friendly reminder about HMC Resources for Teaching & Working Remotely.

Student Employees and Students on Work Study

  • The College plans to continue paying all students on federal work study for the remainder of the semester. Our hope is that many of these students will be able to work remotely. For those who are not able to do so, the College will continue to pay them so as not to cause undue financial hardship.
  • If student employees not on federal work study wish to continue work, there may be an opportunity to do so remotely. Given our continued need for tutoring and grutoring, we do expect we will continue to ask students who are comfortable working remotely to do so. We may be asking some student employees to take on different responsibilities. We are compiling a list of student employees in each area and will be reaching out to them separately.

Refunds for Room and Board

We appreciate your patience as we worked to make rapid decisions to respond to this unprecedented situation facing us all. We are still uncertain of what the long-term implications to students and families will be in relation to federal and state financial aid, but we believe right now it is more important that we provide as much support as possible to our students and families, particularly those who are experiencing financial hardships due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

We are taking the following steps:

  • The College will provide prorated refunds for room and board to all students who have left campus or notify us they plan to leave campus by noon, Monday, March 23, 2020. For on-campus students who are able to leave, please email VP for Student Affairs Anna Gonzalez as soon as possible to notify her of your intentions.
  • Students who remain on campus after this date or who do not notify us that they plan to leave campus by this date will not receive refunds.
  • In order to maximize the potential refund for students and families, we will not be adjusting the cost of attendance for financial aid purposes. This expedites the process of allowing us to refund money to you and increases the amount you should receive.
  • You should receive a communication from Student Accounts informing you when the credits have been posted to the student account. Our plan is to send checks in the name of the student to the permanent address we have on file. Please email Student_Accounts@hmc.edu if you prefer to make alternative arrangements.
  • For students who already have a credit balance on their accounts, our plan is to include this credit balance in the refund check we provide. We will reach out to those with credit balances on an individual basis to determine if you would rather that we issue the full credit or leave a partial credit on your account.
  • Given the very complicated nature of this task, we ask for your patience as we navigate through this process. Our goal is to provide these refunds as quickly as we are able to do so.

In closing, we would like to again thank you for all of your support, emails of encouragement and expressions of concern and thanks during this time. Harvey Mudd is an incredibly strong community of people who believe in the power of science and engineering to address the critical challenges facing the world today. We believe there has never been a more important time for our mission.

Please continue to take care of yourselves and of each other. We are in this together, and we are confident that as a community, we can weather this.

Thank you,
Maria