As we move even closer to the start of the academic year, we hope you, your families and friends are staying well. We all look forward to an engaging and productive Fall semester. Today, we write to provide an update on several areas.
First, if you missed the Student Experience webinar hosted by President Folt on Monday, I encourage you to watch it as you will learn from faculty members and university leaders about the exciting plans and new programs USC has in store for this semester.
Student Fees. We understand the very real economic impact this pandemic is having on you and your families. As a result, for the fall 2020 semester only, the university will be reducing combined central student fees , including health and activities fees, from approximately $500 to $100 for undergraduates and from approximately $450 to $100 for graduate students. Student healthcare services and outreach will be available and activities will include more virtual live events, performances, speakers and more.
Student Workers. Thousands of our students provide valuable and important work in offices, classrooms, labs, residence halls, and elsewhere across the university. We are considering myriad ways to keep them employed in light of the restrictions on campus activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, student work that can be conducted remotely should continue to be done remotely. On-campus employment is limited, approved on a case-by-case basis and dependent on public health guidelines. These types of positions include Resident Assistants (RAs) and approved research support. Federalwork-study aid may be reduced or replaced for students with need who are receiving the Living at Home Grant . We are pursuing additional ways to help students awarded work-study who may have difficulty obtaining a job. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.
Student Testing. While most undergraduates currently are being advised to take their courses online, students who are returning to campus must have documentation of a COVID-19 test performed within seven days before their first day on campus. Details on uploading documentation and information about on-campus options for this initial COVID-19 test are posted on an instruction page on the USC Student Health website. Additionally, Student Health announced plans this week for COVID-19 surveillance testing for campus populations. This testing begins next week and is required for certain groups; you will be notified by an email from firstname.lastname@example.org you are included. These tests are designed to identify, isolate, contact trace, and contain new infections. Everyone is expected to follow university-required public health measures.
Please know that our plans may need to change at any time depending on public health guidance. We will continue to post regular updates on our newly designed website. For questions related to COVID-19, email email@example.com or call (213) 740-6291.
We are looking forward to welcoming our incoming Trojans at the virtual New Student Convocation on Thursday, August 6. This is always one of our favorite events. Enjoy your last couple weeks of summer, and please stay healthy.
Charles F. Zukoski
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs