Skip to main content

Dr. Wes Brooks addresses options for distance learning this fall

July 23, 2020

Dear students,

It’s hard to believe we are in late July, and classes will resume in a little over a month.

People around campus have been preparing to welcome you back in a way that ensures we're following guidelines from health experts while offering engaging in-person experiences.

However, our plans and preparations for resuming live classes and activities on campus do not eliminate the risk of a person contracting COVID-19, which may raise some concern for you. Because of this, we know some students will want to continue distance learning and not return to campus for the fall semester.

Faculty and staff plan to deliver both high-quality in-person and distance learning experiences in which students can learn, thrive and find joy. Most classes will be offered with a distance format option, and many different student services and programs will be offered through virtual platforms.

Questions regarding class schedules should be directed to your academic advisor or the Registrar’s Office at

Some of you may wish to remain at home because you have an increased health risk. (If you are uncertain about your risk, consult your health care provider. The Centers for Disease Control also has information about risk factors.)

If this applies to you, then you will need to complete the COVID-19 Increased Health Risk Accommodations Request by July 29 to be waived from the residential requirement for the entire fall 2020 semester.

Some of you do not have an increased risk factor, but may simply prefer not to return in the fall.

If that applies to you, then you need an exemption from Augustana's residential requirement for the entire fall 2020 semester. To request an exemption, you should complete the Voluntary Full-Time Distance Learning Request by July 29.

In both cases, if you take classes remotely, your student status will change from resident to remote learner.

If you decide to be a remote learner, your cost of attendance will be adjusted, and you will receive a new award letter from Financial Aid. Please allow 2-3 weeks for Financial Aid to send the new letter.

Contact the Financial Aid office for details: 309-794-7207 or

By completing either form, you signal your interest in being a remote learner, but you are not committing to a final decision. After you receive the letter from Financial Aid, you then will be asked to finalize your fall plans.

As a remote learner, you would no longer have a housing assignment or a meal plan (if applicable). This exemption from Augustana’s residential requirement is only in place for the entire fall 2020 semester and J-term 2021.

Housing questions should be directed to Residential Life at 309-794-2686 or

You would return to on-campus housing at the start of the spring 2021 semester, unless the remote learner status continues to be offered.

Thank you,

Wesley H. Brooks, Ph.D.
Vice President and Dean of Students