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FAQ for Students on COVID-19

What should I do if I need to come to campus?

The MGH Institute campus is closed, with the exception of essential services, including but not limited to: IT, Campus Services, and Facilities. If you have an “essential” function to be completed, please contact Denis Stratford for approval and coordination to come to campus.

Do my accommodations need to change now that my classes are online?

Faculty and staff have been notified that previously approved accommodations for on-campus courses, where applicable, continue when taking your courses online. If you have questions or want to add/change an accommodation, contact Luella Benn, associate director for Accessibility Resources. Luella is available by email, Zoom, or phone at (617) 643-9346. Accommodations are still reviewed and implemented confidentially on a case-by-case basis. You can also access the Accessibility Resources website to upload new/revised requests for accommodation. 

How are international students affected by online classes?

The U.S. government has temporarily approved international students to remain in the U.S. and complete spring semester coursework that has transitioned to online. For individual questions or additional support, contact Jessica Upton, international student advisor.  

Have any decisions been made about summer classes or programs?

As we look ahead to the summer, it is clear that public health and safety guidelines make it impossible to return to full-time instruction on campus. We have therefore made the decision to continue online learning for all didactic classes, including simulation and telehealth experiences, through the end of August.

Will I be able to get my degree at some point earlier (not a diploma, but a transcript) so I can take a licensure exam, start a job, etc.?

Degrees for students finishing in Spring will be conferred on May 11, 2020 and diplomas sent on May 12. Transcripts with degree noted will be available starting May 12.

I am a student and have a Graduate Assistantship (GA) job on campus. Will I be able to work from home?

Some GA positions will have the ability to work from home. Contact your manager for more information or if you are dealing with financial hardship at this time.

Will tuition and fees be reduced since instruction has shifted online?

Online or in-person, the MGH Institute strives to give all students a comprehensive, state-of-the-art education. All of our courses will continue to be taught by our highly credentialed faculty. Each of our clinical programs is working with their national (and state) accrediting, certification, and licensure bodies to provide students with maximum flexibility for meeting requirements to practice through a variety of virtual experiences. Fees support services such as the library, instructional technologists, virtual learning experiences, access to computer programs, along with a host of other services. These services have been increased with the Institute's shift to online learning. In fact, students are accessing these services in record numbers. For these reasons, the Institute’s tuition and fee charges will not be adjusted during this summer’s temporary shift to online instruction, and we are planning to keep tuition and fees as scheduled. 

Can I still conduct research?

Please contact your faculty research advisor for guidance.

If my financial situation has changed relative to IHP or in my personal life, who should I talk to?

Students should contact the Financial Aid Office and set up a time to meet virtually or by phone with a counselor to review their individual case. Note that in order to receive financial aid, you have to be enrolled at least half time, and the definition of half time is different for graduate students than it is for undergraduate students. Contact info: FinancialAid@mghihp.edu Phone: (617) 726-2788.

Will the school consider rolling over each class budget to the next 2020-2021 school year? Many class representatives were planning on doing events at the end of this semester or in the summer with the class. It would be a shame if this money was lost and we were unable to use it towards a class event with the current circumstances.

Yes, OSAS will roll over each class budget to the 2020-2021 school year.  You can count on that money you have for your class events in the next school year.  

Can I still get resume/job search help? 

Yes, Russ Abbatiello, director of Career Development, is meeting via Zoom or telephone with individual students and small groups.

Are clubs allowed to hold events or meetings off campus?

We encourage clubs to get creative and meet up via Zoom – virtual meetings, events, friendly competitions to engage members and so forth. We want you to share resources and ideas to support each other through social distancing, but no in-person meetings should be held until further notice.

Can I still submit receipts for reimbursement of club expenses that occurred before social distancing began? 

Yes, OSAS is still processing student reimbursements. Scan and email your receipts to Kerry Kearns. Kerry is available by phone, Zoom, and email to guide you through this process. Keep your original receipts, as always.

I’m feeling anxious or facing personal struggles in my life. Who can I talk to? Is the Student Assistance Program still available?

The Partners Employee Assistance/Student Assistance Program is available to all students and their household members. Visit their website for common self-care tips. If your feelings of worry or anxiety become prolonged or too intense, contact the EAP/SAP at (866) 724-4327.

Below is a set of resources that the EAP/SAP has created, as well as a new guide from the Mass General Department of Psychiatry. Please use these resources to cope with the everyday stresses and concerns that we are all feeling. Additional resources can be found on the Institute’s COVID-19 webpage.

What is the Institute doing to protect the surrounding community?

The IHP leadership, working in conjunction with leaders at MGH and Partners, has kept abreast of the evolving nature of this challenge and believes that we have a responsibility to lead in the effort to decrease the spread of infection and reduce the risk to our community. We voluntarily adopted proactive social distancing and travel guidelines at the onset of this crisis and have been at the forefront of best practices regarding this pandemic.

Where can I find the contact information I’m looking for?

View a list of MGH Institute offices and services.

At one of the Town Halls, it was mentioned that student emails will now only remain active for three months following student graduation. My question is, is this three months following our anticipated graduation date (i.e. May) or following our actual graduation ceremony (i.e. the end of August)?

All students will continue to have access to their Institute email for three months following commencement, which is scheduled to be held August 30, 2020.

I heard the Institute was receiving stimulus funds from the federal government and I would like more transparency as to how those funds are planned to be used. I think many students are negatively impacted by this crisis and some of this money should go towards supporting them. 

We will be receiving $500,000 from the federal government to provide COVID-19 pandemic support.  Fifty percent of the $500,000 will go directly to students to provide relief from coronavirus related expenses. The other half will come directly to the Institute to spend on those areas where there have been increases in costs as a result of the coronavirus. We have to spend this money in a way that the federal government dictates. 

The Financial Aid office is committed to assisting students who may be experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Grant Fund (HEERF), along with Institutional Resources, have been secured to financially assist students who are facing financially difficulty meeting extra expenses, and designed to help students cover expenses directly related to COVID-19 disruptions in campus operations. To apply for all types of emergency funding please use the Special Circumstances Form. This application will be sent electronically to the financial aid office for review. Students will be reviewed and notified on a case-by-case basis.

What options are there for deferment for current and incoming students? What sorts of consequences would they face?

You are encouraged to have this discussion with your academic dean, program director, or faculty advisor.  There are consequences to financial aid, returning to the IHP and maintaining the skills and knowledge you’ve already learned.

Will the academic calendar stay the same for the summer semester? 

Please contact your faculty advisor or your dean to discuss this.  

Where is our tuition money going?

The Institute is 88% tuition driven, which means 88% of our budget comes from your tuition.  Seventy percent of this pays faculty, staff and graduate assistant salaries. We continue to pay 100% of the Institute employees.  The remaining 12% comes from research, our investments, donations, and continuing professional development the Institute offers.  For more information, please visit mghihp.edu/FY19.

Many of us are displaced, living with parents and siblings or home with our own children and partners who are also working from home and engaged in homeschooling with nowhere to go at this time for quality study environment.  It is very likely that summer camps will be closed and this situation will continue for parents.  How can we address the environmental impacts this pandemic is having on our quality of learning and increased demands for parents?

Resources for parents are being developed, including an ongoing working parent support group. Check out our Parent Corner for a list of virtual resources like games, activities, museum and farm visits and more. Stay tuned for more information on opportunities the Institute is exploring to help parents.