UMGC is committed to supporting you during the COVID-19 national emergency, and we understand you may have some questions about how to manage your education during this challenging time.

 

Classroom Access and Coursework

What if I lose Internet access or do not have access to a computer?

During the COVID-19 pandemic response, Internet providers follow the Federal Communications Commission's Keep Americans Connected Pledge. This should prevent you from losing Internet access due to an inability to pay your Internet service bill.

Other Access Resources:

Internet: There may also be options to obtain free Internet access close to where you live. For additional resources and information on staying connected, visit UMGC's Coronavirus News Updates webpage.

Mobile Access: It is possible to monitor discussion boards, check your grades, and read and complete some assignments using a mobile phone, although we recommend you do not rely on just your phone, if possible.

Microsoft Office 365: This suite can be used online using a web browser, tablet, or smartphone. You can also download the Office suite to a Windows or Mac computer (downloading the software is only available for current students, faculty, and staff). The Office mobile apps provide less functionality but are optimized for mobile devices. You can download the Office mobile applications from your device's app store.

Access Office 365 online. Note: Use your UMGC e-mail address to log in. Your e-mail address is your username + @student.umgc.edu (Ex: hsolo2@student.umgc.edu).

We encourage you to investigate these options before deciding to drop or withdraw from your class. If you need additional time to submit assignments, please contact your instructor.

Can I get extensions on work if I am dealing with a specific COVID-19 situation that is preventing me from completing work?

Contact your instructor for each of your classes about your specific situation and to arrange for any extensions.

What should I do if I'm not hearing back from my instructor?

Instructors may take up to 24–48 hours to respond. Please message your instructor in LEO or using their UMGC e-mail. You can also see who is online and use the Instant Messaging and Chat tools to help stay connected in the classroom. Also, be sure to regularly monitor your classroom announcements so that you do not miss important updates from your instructor. You can set up notifications from your LEO profile to receive notifications by text or e-mail when new announcements are posted.

If you reached out and still have not received a response from your instructor within 48 hours, contact Student Advising so that we may escalate the matter. Please provide us with details regarding when you attempted to contact your instructor, how you attempted to contact your instructor, and general information regarding the purpose for your contact. Advising will be happy to provide this information to the academic department for further resolution.

I haven't been able to focus on my classwork due to a change of life circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes may be caused by, but are not limited to, the following: expanding childcare duties, including homeschooling; teleworking at night; loss of access to Internet; lost or reduced income; increase in work due to essential worker status; and general stress/anxiety caused by the ongoing pandemic.

If you need additional time to submit assignments, please contact your instructor first before withdrawing to determine whether completing the course is a better option. If you are forced to drop or withdraw from your classes, please see the guidance on dropping and withdrawing from classes. You may also consider requesting an exception to the Course Withdrawal Policy. Given the hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented, we will be as flexible as possible and evaluate each individual student's situation.

Academic Impact of Withdrawing:

Withdrawing from courses can potentially impact your academic progress and should only be done if it is your only option. The academic consequences for this action include receiving the grade of "W" for the course, which will appear on any unofficial or official transcripts. A grade of "W" will not impact your GPA and does not count as completed credit toward your degree.

The first thing you can do before withdrawing from a class is talk with your instructor. Your instructor can inform you about your progress in a specific course based on the grading criteria stated in the syllabus and your participation and grades earned to date. Your instructor may also be able to explore opportunities that may allow you to successfully complete the course in accordance with university guidelines and policies.

For more information, visit our Drop and Withdrawal FAQs webpage.

Financial Impact of Withdrawing:

If you have been awarded financial aid and begin attendance, but then change your enrollment and/or fail to attend class for the time period(s) originally specified, the UMGC Office of Financial Aid is required to recalculate the financial aid award(s) you are eligible for based upon your adjusted enrollment.

If you are considering dropping or withdrawing from a UMGC course and you are receiving any form of financial aid, including grants or scholarships, please review our FAQs about dropping classes and financial aid before dropping or withdrawing from a class.

Contact Financial Aid with any questions about your specific situation before dropping or withdrawing from your classes. Phone (800-888-8682), chat, and e-mail support are available. Visit our Financial Aid Help webpage for more details.

 

Grading

Will there be any flexibility or leniency to the eligibility requirements for a grade of Incomplete for those impacted by COVID-19?

Faculty will continue to work individually with each student for successfully completing a class. If you believe that you would be able to successfully complete a class if given more time, particularly if you have been impacted by COVID-19, you may consider requesting a Grade of Incomplete. Review the UMGC Policy 170.71 – Grade of Incomplete. If you would like to request a Grade of Incomplete, you should reach out to your instructor.

Additional information can be found in course syllabi.

At this time, UMGC is making the following exceptions to the established provisions of the policy:

  • Section I.B. of the policy specifies that "[t]he grade of "I" may be considered only for students who have completed at least 60 percent of the total coursework requirements with a grade of B or better for graduate courses or C or better for undergraduate courses." This part of the policy is being suspended at this time. Rather than considering a certain percentage or certain grades thus far in the course, faculty will focus on your likelihood of success if given more time to submit their assignments. Faculty will consider whether you been engaged, in communication with the faculty member, and have submitted passing work to-date to determine if you are eligible for an "Incomplete."

  • Section I.B. of the policy specifies that "the faculty member will determine a deadline within four months of the last day of the semester or term during which the course was attempted." Faculty may instead determine a deadline within six months of the last day of the semester or term during which the course was attempted.

  • Section I.E. of the policy specifies that "Graduate Students may not extend beyond the assigned deadline in Section I.B." All students—undergraduate and graduate, across all three schools—will be able to request a one-time extension to the agreed upon deadline. Students should follow the process for submitting request as described in Section I.D.

Please note that you are still required to request an "I" grade before the last day of the term in which the course was attempted. If, for some reason, you are unable to request an "I" grade before the end of the term, you should consult with your instructor.

If an "I" grade is granted, your instructor will notify you of deadlines for completion of your assignments in writing.

With everything that is going on, I am worried that my grades will be affected. Am I able to change my grading option to pass/fail?

Choosing a grading method should be requested within the drop period. If your request for changing a grading method to pass/fail is in relation to COVID-19 and you are an undergraduate student, you may submit a request for an exception grading option change by e-mailing sagrades@umgc.edu. Your request should include your name, EMPL ID, and the class for which the grading basis needs to be applied.

Pass/Fail is not a grading method available for graduate courses. You may wish to consider requesting a grade of "Incomplete" if you are having trouble completing your assignments on time and you are impacted by COVID-19. Learn about your options when requesting a grade of Incomplete.

 

Drop or Withdrawal

I am enrolled in a spring class and considering dropping or withdrawing. What are my options?

If you are considering dropping or withdrawing from a class due to difficulty completing assignments, we recommend speaking with your instructor about possible extensions on deadlines first before withdrawing so that you don't negatively impact your academic progress.

If you decide you cannot complete a class, the following guidelines apply:

  • Dropping a class must occur before a deadline to receive a full refund. Check the undergraduate academic calendar or graduate academic calendar for deadlines.

  • Withdrawal from a class occurs when students remove themselves from a course after the drop deadline but before 65 percent of the total number of days in a session has expired. As with dropping a class, check the undergraduate or graduate academic calendar for deadlines. Note: withdrawing from a course can have financial and academic implications that should be taken into consideration when making this decision. The amount of tuition owed is based on the refund schedule.

  • You may also consider an Exception to the Course Withdrawal Policy. All requests for exceptions to the UMGC drop and withdrawal and/or refund policies must be submitted within 90 days from the last day of the term during which the circumstance occurred.

  • Please contact Student Advising for any questions about your specific situation and options.

Academic Impact of Withdrawing:

Withdrawing from courses can potentially impact your academic progress and should only be done if it is your only option. The academic consequences for this action include receiving the grade of "W" for the course, which will appear on any unofficial or official transcripts. A grade of "W" will not impact your GPA and does not count as completed credit toward your degree.

The first thing you can do before withdrawing from a class is talk with your instructor. Your instructor can inform you about your progress in a specific course based on the grading criteria stated in the syllabus and your participation and grades earned to date. Your instructor may also be able to explore opportunities that may allow you to successfully complete the course in accordance with university guidelines and policies.

For more information, visit our Drop and Withdrawal FAQs webpage.

Financial Impact of Withdrawing:

If you have been awarded financial aid and begin attendance, but then change your enrollment and/or fail to attend class for the time period(s) originally specified, the UMGC Office of Financial Aid is required to recalculate the financial aid award(s) you are eligible for based upon your adjusted enrollment.

If you are considering dropping or withdrawing from a UMGC course and you are receiving any form of financial aid, including grants or scholarships, please review our FAQs about dropping classes and financial aid before dropping or withdrawing from a class.

Contact Financial Aid with any questions about your specific situation before dropping or withdrawing from your classes. Phone (800-888-8682), chat, and e-mail support are available. Visit our Financial Aid Help webpage for more details.

What happens if I don't withdraw or drop but just stop participating in class?

Please reach out to your instructor so they can work with you on a plan for successfully completing the class. If you stop participating in your classes and do not actually withdraw from them, you will receive grades of F or possibly FN (failure for nonattendance). Ceasing participation will not automatically remove you from your classes.

The FN grade is assigned when you register for a course but never participate, or if you submit some early assignments but cease to participate or submit any assignments in the first 60 percent of the semester. For failure solely based on academic performance or failure including such nonattendance but after the 60 percent date shown in the academic calendar, the F grade is used.

Do you have withdrawal guidance for active-duty military students?

  • GoArmyEd students: If you need to withdraw from a class due to issues concerning COVID-19, you should pursue a military withdrawal through GoArmyEd. You must complete the Request for Tuition Assistance Recoupment Waiver – Withdrawal for (WM) Military Reasons and it must be signed by an appropriate-level commander. Then, upload the signed waiver to the eFile tab of their GoArmyEd Student Record using the "Request for Waiver of Tuition Assistance Recoupment" transaction type. If you have questions or concerns with this step, contact a GoArmyEd counselor or the GoArmyEd Helpdesk at 1-800-817-9990.

    If a military withdrawal is approved through GoArmyEd, the tuition assistance recoupment stops for the class(es), the tuition assistance is restored to your tuition assistance ceiling, and the military withdrawal hold will be removed from your account.

  • Active-duty students in any other service branch, including the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard: Contact your command and education centers to address tuition assistance concerns. The class withdrawal needs to be addressed with the service branch prior to withdrawing in the MyUMGC portal; then, a Request for Exception form will need to be submitted to the Office of Student Resolutions at exception.request@umgc.edu.

    • Navy students: Please note that the Navy College Virtual Education Center (NCVEC) has posted a message stating they are not available by phone. NCVEC is only available through virtual channels at this time. Contact information and hours of availability are posted on their website.

Please contact the Office of Student Resolutions at exception.request@umgc.edu with any questions or concerns.

Additionally, our military advisors are available for remote advising sessions for any questions or help needed regarding your degree plan or funding. To contact a military advisor or schedule a remote advising session, visit our Military Virtual Advising Rooms or send an e-mail to baseadvisor@umgc.edu.

 

Finances

I now need to use the funds I had planned to use on tuition to pay for daily needs while I am out of work. Can I receive an extension on my payment plan?

If you are on a current payment plan and need an extension, you must request a one-month extension in writing. You can manage your payment plan from the UMGC Student Account Center.

For additional questions, please contact studentaccounts@umgc.edu.

 

Transcripts

Am I still able to submit my transcripts to UMGC?

Yes. Keep in mind that UMGC is operating remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, so students who are having transcripts submitted to UMGC are strongly encouraged to ask the sending institution to send them electronically and securely. If the record will be sent by a university official, it must be encrypted (in a PDF, with the password sent via separate e-mail). If a "send-to" e-mail address is required, please use studentrecords@umgc.edu or direct any questions about submitting transcripts to studentrecords@umgc.edu.

 

Additional Questions?

If you have specific questions or concerns related to the impact of COVID-19 not covered above, and you want to discuss your concerns with a UMGC staff member, contact us at 800-888-8682 or at studentsfirst@umgc.edu.