Current students

Whether you’re coming back to a campus full time, engaged in online learning or taking a blended approach, you play an important part in the community’s health and well-being — on and off campus. Read more about the measures Ohio State is taking to keep you safe, learn how you can keep yourself and others safe, and find out what changes to expect on campus this fall.

Information about…

Updates

  • The academic calendar for autumn has been adjusted. The first day of classes is Aug. 25. The last day of in-person, on-campus instruction is Nov. 25. Instruction in the last week of the semester, Nov. 30-Dec. 4, and final exams, Dec. 7-11, will be virtual. 
  • The University Registrar has updated how courses will be taught in autumn (in person, online or blended). Students should review their schedule on buckeyelink.osu.edu and consult with their academic advisor for assistance making changes.
  • Accountability measures will be in place for those who do not complete the training and sign the pledge, or choose not to abide by required health and safety guidelines. These accountability measures may range from additional training and informal coaching to formal disciplinary action based on existing structures for students, faculty and staff. They are available here.
  • The university has compiled additional guidance regarding alternative face masks, the cleaning of cloth face coverings and respectful face mask compliance. More information can be found on the Personal Protection and Hygiene page.
  • Ohio State is committed to supporting our international student population. The Office of International Affairs has created answers to frequently asked questions to help clarify areas of concern regarding Autumn 2020. Read FAQs and find more resources at https://oia.osu.edu/.
  • The university has compiled a wide range of research-based intervention strategies and resources that can help build resiliency and enhance mental, emotional and physical health and well-being throughout the return to campus. Learn more on the Mental Health and Wellness page.
  • The Office of Student Life released guidance for student organizations to be successful in the 2020-2021 academic year. Information will also be regularly updated on the Student Activities webpage.

Frequently asked questions

Academic Calendar

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How is the academic calendar changing?

Autumn semester will start Aug. 25, and the last day of finals will be Dec. 11. There are several changes to the calendar:  

  • In-person, on-campus instruction will end before Thanksgiving, on Wednesday, Nov. 25.   
  • The final week of classes (Nov. 30 to Dec. 4) and final exams (Dec. 7-11) will take place through distance methods.   
  • Fall break (Oct. 15-16) will be canceled, and classes also will take place the day before Thanksgiving (Nov. 25). The university still will observe Veterans Day (Nov. 11) and Labor Day (Sept. 7).  

The autumn commencement date and format will be announced at a later date.  

The university is continuing to review the calendar for spring semester. 

Academic Work

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Will autumn classes be in person or virtual?

Ohio State will welcome students back to our campuses this autumn utilizing new health and wellness protocols to help protect the university community. To enhance physical distancing, courses will be offered in several formats, including in-person, online or blended. As part of the effort to maintain physical distancing, some in-person instruction will occur in non-traditional spaces in non-academic buildings. For example, arrangements are being made for some classes to be held in auditoriums and performance halls.

Classes that bring together 100 or more people — including students, faculty and instructional assistants — will be conducted online or in a blended model that includes virtual instruction with in-person labs, studio sessions, recitation sections and other arrangements for smaller groups.

The University Registrar has updated how courses will be taught in autumn (in person, online or blended). Students should review their schedule on buckeyelink.osu.edu and consult with their academic advisor for assistance making changes. 

The university’s approach to teaching is designed to offer rich, immersive educational experiences through in-person discussion, labs, studio, clinical and other hands-on experiences as well as effective online lessons that enhance student success.

When will I learn how my classes will be offered?

Colleges will be offering a variety of in-person, online and blended courses in autumn semester. The registrar’s office has updated all courses offered for autumn semester 2020 and informed students, on July 27, about their course schedules. Students who wish to make changes to their course schedule should contact their academic advisor.

How will courses be taught this autumn while the university enhances safety measures?

Ohio State is offering courses through a mix of in-person, online and blended teaching approaches. This approach is designed to offer engaging in-person educational experiences — such as labs, studios, field studies, performances and clinical activities — while also utilizing high-quality online learning to meet course objectives.

By offering in-person, online and blended teaching approaches, the university will also be able to implement our plans for health and safety, as outlined at safeandhealthy.osu.edu.

The registrar’s office has updated all courses offered for autumn semester 2020 and informed students about their course schedules. Students who wish to make changes to their course schedule should contact their academic advisor.

How will clinical rotations, internships, student teaching and other experiential learning experiences be handled in autumn semester?

Ohio State will continue to offer experiential learning experiences this fall in clinics and other professional settings to prepare students for their careers and to meet certification requirements. Safety is a priority for all learning experiences, and we are applying appropriate COVID-19 health and wellness guidelines to protect students and their patients or clients in each setting.   

When will I get my iPad?

The university will begin the technology kit distributions in August to provide a safe experience for incoming first-year students and eligible transfer students. For details, see the Digital Flagship website.

What are my options if I am uncomfortable taking in-person classes?

The university has updated course offerings for autumn semester to offer a variety of in-person, virtual and blended experiences. We would encourage you to discuss any concerns that you might have with your academic advisor after that process has taken place to evaluate your options. Students with particular needs for accommodations should also contact Student Life Disability Services or the ADA Coordinator’s Office.    

Ohio State has published guidelines and requirements on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes site that detail the measures to be taken by the university and the requirements for all individuals to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of the community.

A pledge will be required for members of the campus community, including students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors, to affirm their understanding of what is needed to help fight the spread of the virus and their intention to do their part. Accountability measures will be in place for those who do not abide by required health and safety guidelines.

Building Closures

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When will the RPAC and other rec sports facilities reopen?

Student Life’s Recreational Sports is preparing to offer recreational spaces for use in for autumn semester. Additional information can be found on the Recreation page.

When will libraries reopen?

We are preparing University Libraries facilities to reopen — adhering to physical distancing and other safety guidelines — for the start of autumn semester. Contact-free book returns and pickups will resume the week of July 13. Libraries’ extensive collection of digital materials remains available, and the majority of library services are accessible remotely. Service updates, helpful resources and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on Libraries’ website.

Commencement

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Is there a plan for the class of 2020 graduation?

The university is committed to holding a graduation ceremony for members of the Class of 2020, their families and guests, at a time that is safe and practical. We are closely monitoring the evolving conditions and continue to follow guidelines from federal, state and local health authorities to limit large gatherings. We will communicate developments when we know more. 

Dining

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How will university dining plans be affected? 

The university has outlined the details of the plan to promote physical distancing in on-campus housing and dining locations. Dining options will feature mobile ordering and grab-and-go options. For additional information, visit housing.osu.edu.

Will this include a reduction in costs for housing and meal plans since there will be less time on campus?

University housing (excluding graduate/professional/family housing) and dining operations on all campuses will close at the end of the day on Wednesday, November 25, after which time classes will be completed in an online format. (There will be an exception process to offer housing to students with an ongoing, qualified need.) Associated housing and dining charges have been adjusted to reflect the abbreviated on-campus schedule for autumn 2020. Note: Changes in housing assignments and/or dining plans may impact your Statement of Account.​

Housing

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I have signed up for university housing. Should I be looking for alternative housing?

In order to maintain physical distancing when students are welcomed back to campus in the fall, the university will reduce population density in residence halls. Updates have been provided to first-year students and returning students who have expressed interest in living on campus. Assignments will be provided at a later date. Living on campus contributes to student success and persistence, and the university will continue to house students of all ranks.   

Ohio State has temporarily expanded the housing exemption criteria for returning second-year students for the 2020-21 academic year. Second-year students had the option to exercise the special exemption by notifying University Housing via housing.osu.eduHousing options are being provided to second-year students who still choose to live in university housing. Information is posted on housing.osu.edu.   

The university has outlined the details of the plan to promote physical distancing in on-campus housing and dining locations. For example, move-in will occur in a staggered approach over the course of up to two weeks, and dining options will feature mobile ordering and grab-and-go options. For additional information, visit housing.osu.edu.         

In accordance with guidance from the safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup, the university will provide isolation and quarantine housing for on-campus residents. The residential experience is a core part of the Ohio State student experience, and university leaders are committed to promoting a safe and healthy on-campus experience in partnership with students. 

Will the City of Columbus have the apartments needed to take more students compared to last year?

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio State has worked closely with landlords, property management companies and the City of Columbus to support our students in the off-campus area. We always encourage property owners and landlords in the off-campus community to be fair with our students, and Student Life’s Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services team helps support these efforts.

If you need additional support with off-campus housing, please contact offcampus@osu.edu. Support from Student Legal Services is also available for eligible Columbus campus students. Students can schedule a virtual appointment with someone from their team, and one of their legal areas of support is off-campus housing. You can find more information on their website: https://studentlegal.osu.edu/

Will Ohio State work with area landlords or government health agencies to try to get the students to practice physical distancing in off-campus areas?

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio State has worked closely with landlords, property management companies and the City of Columbus to encourage students who live in the off-campus area to practice physical distancing and good hygiene habits as well as avoid having or attending large gatherings. The university will continue working with all stakeholders to encourage health and safety efforts. 

Why can’t you guarantee second-year students their original housing?

In order to maintain physical distancing, the university will need to reduce population density in the residence halls, which means the configurations of a portion of our rooms will change to account for fewer occupants. 

Who will live in the residence halls?

In order to maintain physical distancing when students are welcomed back to campus in the fall, the university will reduce population density in residence halls. Updates have been provided to first-year students and returning students who have expressed interest in living on campus. Assignments will be provided at a later date. Living on campus contributes to student success and persistence, and the university will continue to house students of all ranks.    

Ohio State has temporarily expanded the housing exemption criteria for returning second-year students for the 2020-21 academic year. Second-year students who want to exercise the special exemption must notify University Housing by emailing housing.osu.eduHousing options are being provided to second-year students who still choose to live in university housing. Information is posted on housing.osu.edu.   

The university has outlined the details of the plan to promote physical distancing in on-campus housing and dining locations. For example, move-in will occur in a staggered approach over the course of up to two weeks, and dining options will feature mobile ordering and grab-and-go options. For additional information, visit housing.osu.edu 

In accordance with guidance from the safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup, the university will provide isolation and quarantine housing for on-campus residents. The residential experience is a core part of the Ohio State student experience, and university leaders are committed to promoting a safe and healthy on-campus experience in partnership with students.   

If all of my classes are online, am I required to live on campus?

Fully online courses can be taken from any location. These courses, which will be labeled as “distance learning” on your schedule, do not have an in-person lab, studio or clinical rotation, for example. Given the impact of the pandemic on circumstances this semester, students who choose to stay home to take fully online courses are not required to live in university housing or be physically present on any campus.

International Students

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How will plans for autumn semester impact international students?

Ohio State recognizes that there may be travel or other challenges for international students this fall, and we are working to help students address any issues. For assistance:   

  1. Incoming students should contact International Undergraduate Admissions (int.undergrad@osu.edu) or Graduate Admissions (gradadmissions@osu.edu) with questions about academics or deferring to a different term.   
  2. All international students should contact the Office of International Affairs (iss@osu.edu) for assistance with immigration questions. 

Miscellaneous

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What will Ohio State do if coronavirus requires the university to suspend in-person operations again?

The university recognizes the need for contingency plans, and we are preparing for a variety of situations. Both prior to COVID-19 and as a response to it, Ohio State has developed a strong capacity for online operations that includes websites and resources devoted to supporting learning, teaching, work, research and more. We continue to build on those capacities.

Will fall sports resume?

Final plans for all sports will be subject to decisions made by the Big Ten Conference and NCAA, and directives of federal, state and local health authorities.

Student Health and Safety

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What will happen if someone doesn’t comply with required health and safety guidelines?

Accountability measures will be in place for those who choose not to abide by required health and safety guidelines. These accountability measures may range from additional training and informal coaching to formal disciplinary action based on existing structures for students, faculty and staff. They are available here.

What kind of safety measures is the university taking?

The resumption of full operations on Ohio State campuses will include a combination of the use of appropriate face masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene, limited density in indoor spaces, control of the flow of traffic into and around select high-traffic buildings, continued employee teleworking when possible, testing, symptoms tracking and contact tracing. 

The university will distribute a free return-to-campus package to students, faculty and staff that includes face masks, hand sanitizer and a body thermometer. 

Ohio State has published guidelines and requirements on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes site that detail the measures to be taken by the university and the requirements for all individuals to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of the community. A pledge will be required for members of the campus community, including students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors, to affirm their understanding of what is needed to help fight the spread of the virus and their intention to do their part. Accountability measures will be in place for those who refuse to complete the training or abide by required health and safety guidelines. The university will also launch a sustained public information initiative. These efforts are based on guidance from federal, state and local health authorities and recommendations of the safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup of the university’s COVID-19 transition task force. 

Are masks being provided or do I need to find my own?

Face masks will be part of the return-to-campus kits provided to students, faculty and staff in August before classes resume. The kits will include one disposable mask, two reusable masks, a thermometer, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. Students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to use the masks provided in the return-to-campus kits. The university has also compiled recommendations for alternative face masks that meet health standards as well as guidelines for cleaning cloth face coverings.

Are masks required?

Face masks must be worn on Ohio State’s campuses. Masks must be put on before entering indoor or enclosed spaces including, but not limited to: classrooms, common areas, conference rooms, shared office spaces, hallways, buses and shared vehicles. Exceptions for indoor settings include single occupancy of a dedicated office, dining and some approved athletic/performance settings. Masks must also be worn in outdoor spaces where individuals gather and cannot maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet between each person. Signage will designate appropriate face mask removal zones for physically distanced dining, athletics, performances and other activities.
 
Prior to the start of autumn semester, the university will distribute a free return-to-campus package to students, faculty and staff that includes face masks, hand sanitizer and a body thermometer. Students, faculty and staff will be strongly encouraged to use the face masks provided to them by the university. The university has also compiled recommendations for other types of appropriate face masks that meet health standards.

What support will be provided for students who live off campus?

Support services are available for students who live in the off-campus area. Students can work with the Off Campus and Commuter Student Services office (offcampus@osu.edu), Student Legal Services (studentlegal@osu.edu) or the Student Advocacy Center (advocacy@osu.edu) for support with housing, legal issues and any other issues they may be navigating at the university.

Are there any safety guidelines for commuter students living at home but coming to campus for in-person classes?

Ohio State is working closely with public health officials and other partners to encourage students who do not live on campus to practice physical distancing and good hygiene habits as well as avoid having or attending large gatherings. The university will continue working with all stakeholders to encourage health and safety efforts.

Support services are available for students who do not live on campus. Students can work with the Off Campus and Commuter Student Services office (offcampus@osu.edu), Student Legal Services (studentlegal@osu.edu) or the Student Advocacy Center (advocacy@osu.edu) for support.

Testing and Tracking

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Will students and employees be tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus?

A voluntary pilot COVID-19 swab testing program is underway for a limited number of employees who have returned to Ohio State’s campuses. All testing will be conducted in compliance with guidance from federal, state and local health authorities. Ohio State will take appropriate measures to assure the privacy and confidentiality of the protected health information of students, faculty and staff. The results of this pilot will be used to inform decisions about broader testing for autumn.

Do I have to track my temperature each day?

A daily health check to report body temperature and health status will be required for all students, faculty and staff each day they intend to be on Ohio State’s campuses in the autumn. This daily check can be reported through the Ohio State mobile app or compass.osu.edu. Wexner Medical Center employees should continue to use the health system’s health monitoring tool. Accountability measures will be in place for those who refuse to complete the training or abide by required health and safety guidelines.

Training and Pledge

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Who should take the online training and sign the Together As Buckeyes Pledge?

All Ohio State students, faculty and staff must complete an online training and sign a pledge to help promote a safe and healthy campus community. The online training has been assigned to BuckeyeLearn transcripts for students, faculty and staff, and the Together As Buckeyes Pledge will be signed electronically upon completion. Accountability measures will be in place for those who do not complete the training or choose not to abide by required health and safety guidelines. These accountability measures may range from additional training and informal coaching to formal disciplinary action based on existing structures for students, faculty and staff. They are available on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

What is the deadline for the training and pledge?

Completing the training and signing the pledge are mandatory for all students, faculty and staff before returning to Ohio State’s campuses. Those who have already been working on a campus should take the online training and sign the pledge as soon as possible, but no later than August 25. For those not physically returning to a campus, the training and pledge need to be completed by the start of autumn semester on August 25.

What will happen if someone doesn’t comply with the behaviors described in the online training and pledge?

Accountability measures will be in place for those who do not complete the training and sign the pledge, or choose not to abide by required health and safety guidelines. These accountability measures may range from additional training and informal coaching to formal disciplinary action based on existing structures for students, faculty and staff. They are available on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

What does the training cover?

This course covers the expectations and basic requirements for the Ohio State community and will help everyone understand their role in helping to keep the campus community open, safe and healthy. Recommended guidelines and requirements have been created for our university community on all Ohio State campuses by the COVID-19 Transition Task Force based on the recommendations of the Safe Campus and Scientific Advisory subgroup. The guidelines are based on the latest data and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and other authorities. 

Some requirements that are specific to areas of campus — such as a lab or a residence hall – as well as those set forward by colleges or units will be outlined in the respective building(s). Visit the university’s Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website for more information.

How long is the online training?

The online training is approximately 10 minutes.

How do I access the training?

The online training has been assigned to all students, faculty and staff who are required to complete it. It can be found on your BuckeyeLearn transcript. You can access the training by logging in to https://buckeyelearn.osu.edu with your Ohio State credentials. Once you are logged in, select the “My Transcript” button on the BuckeyeLearn homepage. Follow these instructions for details. If you need technical assistance, university employees can contact the IT Service Desk at 614-688-4357 or through Self Service.

How do I sign the pledge?

The online training will be assigned to BuckeyeLearn transcripts for students, faculty and staff, and the Together As Buckeyes Pledge will be signed electronically upon completion. The pledge is also available to review on Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

Who should I contact with questions or technical assistance?

For technical questions, contact the IT Service Desk at 614-688-4357 or through Self Service. For other questions, email studentlife@osu.edu.

Transition Task Force

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How are decisions about the transition back to campus being made?

Recommendations from the task force are provided to the president and the Ohio State Board of Trustees. All decisions will be made by the president and Board of Trustees in coordination with the governor of Ohio, local governments, Ohio Department of Higher Education, Inter-University Council of Ohio, Ohio Department of Health and health care entities, and national associations and governing bodies. 

What is the role of the safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup?

The safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup is using a data-driven approach to recommend to the task force when it is safe to begin transitioning back onto campus as well as robust safety protocols and other measures that will be in place for that return. 

Transportation

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Will CABS buses resume operations?

A campus-wide CABS service plan will be updated prior to the resumption of autumn semester, and additional planning is underway.  

CABS is helping protect the safety of passengers through operational changes, including: 

  • Cleaning and disinfecting all buses and high-touch surfaces at least twice per day, including handrails and poles 
  • Taping off CABS seats to promote physical distancing and limited occupancy 
  • Checking driver health before they start their shift 
  • Ensuring all CABS drivers wear face masks 
  • Requiring all riders to wear face masks 
  • Requiring all riders to board and exit from the rear door 

Travel

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Is study abroad canceled?

The university has taken the difficult step of canceling all education abroad programs for the autumn semester. Ohio State will continue to monitor federal guidance and resume these important teaching-and-learning experiences once it is advisable to do so.

Is all university travel canceled?

Domestic and international travel restrictions, initially announced in March, have been extended until December 31, 2020. All previously approved travel prior to that date must be canceled. Exemption processes and elevated approvals related to travel restrictions are available under specific circumstances. For more, visit the Business and Finance website.

Tuition and Fees

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Based on the adjustments to how courses are being taught, can I adjust my schedule?

Yes. The registrar’s office has updated all courses offered for autumn semester 2020 to reflect how they are being taught. Courses will be coded as “in person,” “distance learning” (fully online), or "hybrid" or "distance-enhanced" (a blend of in person and online) and informed students about their course schedules.

The university’s goal is to ensure that every student who returns to our campuses has engaging in-person educational experiences. We also recognize that some students may prefer a fully online experience. After reviewing your course schedule, please work with your academic advisor if you have questions or would like to make changes. If you have not yet been assigned an academic advisor, contact your program at advising.osu.edu.

Will Ohio State adjust the cost of tuition and fees because autumn 2020 includes a mix of in-person, online and hybrid courses?

The mix of in-person, online and blended teaching will continue to meet the university’s high academic standards while Ohio State implements our plans for health and safety, as outlined at safeandhealthy.osu.edu. All courses are designed to meet specific learning objectives for students, and they are offered for full academic credit.

We have a single tuition model for students who are taking all or some of their courses in-person or in a blended mode on our campuses. There is a different structure for undergraduate and graduate students who are fully online. Professional students are charged based on their program’s structure. The university will not be otherwise adjusting tuition and academic fees, which are the primary way that we fund the costs related to instruction.

To view tuition and fee information, go to: registrar.osu.edu/FeeTables/MainFeeTables.asp.

See examples of the tuition and fee structure for in-person and blended education versus the structure for fully online students:

Will Ohio State provide refunds if the university needs to change how it completes the academic year?

In the event that the university needs to change the mode of instruction for your course(s) during the semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic or other factors, Ohio State will not provide refunds of tuition and fees. Students who satisfactorily fulfill course requirements this semester will receive full academic credit.

The university may provide partial refunds of housing and dining costs in the event the university requires students to move out of the residence halls earlier than the official move-out date for the semester. BuckID funds and Dining Dollars would be rolled over as detailed on the University Dining Plans page.

Why does Ohio State charge a non-resident surcharge?

The state requires by law that we charge a non-resident surcharge. In addition, the non-resident surcharge helps to cover a portion of the basic costs of teaching, whether in-person or online. Ohio taxpayers support instruction and university operations through their state taxes, and the university receives a subsidy for each Ohio student to help fund instruction. The non-resident surcharge helps to do the same for students from outside of Ohio. This is the standard way that tuition is structured among public universities throughout the United States.

Are housing and dining costs being adjusted this year?

University housing (excluding graduate/professional/family housing) and dining operations on all campuses will close at the end of the day on Wednesday, November 25, after which time classes will be completed in an online format. (There will be an exception process to offer housing to students with an ongoing, qualified need.) Associated housing and dining charges have been adjusted to reflect the abbreviated on-campus schedule for autumn 2020. Note: Changes in housing assignments and/or dining plans may impact your Statement of Account.

Can I still use Columbus campus services if I am fully online?

For autumn 2020 semester, students who are fully online can opt in for services available to in-person students on the Columbus campus.

If you are taking fully online courses this semester, the university will by default charge a Distance Education fee but you will not be charged the fees associated with on-campus services. You would therefore not be able to use those services. (See the default online fee structure for Columbus campus students.)

If you opt in for a bundle of these services, the university will not charge the $100 Distance Education fee and instead charge $250.90 for the fees associated with on-campus services. These on-campus fees, which are available only as a package, include the COTA, Recreation, Student Activities and Student Union.

Selecting this option will not affect the non-resident surcharge for students from outside Ohio.

Note: This option is offered in autumn 2020 given the extraordinary circumstances. It may not be available in future semesters.

Resources


Please reference this website for the most up-to-date guidelines. The university’s COVID-19 Transition Task Force’s Safe Campus and Scientific Advisory Subgroup will continue monitoring changing conditions and consult with local and state health authorities. Recommendations and requirements will be refined as needed.