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Student FAQs

Below are Frequently Asked Questions students may have as SUNY Orange transitions to remote instruction in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. New questions will be added as needed.

Questions you may have related to specific classes should be directed to your instructor for that class.

Learning at a Distance/Academics

What is the deadline to withdraw from a Spring 2020 class?

Withdrawal Deadline Extended

The deadline to withdraw from any full Spring term or second-half Spring term course is now Friday, May 15, 2020.

Do I have the option of a Pass/Fail grade for Spring 2020 classes?

To accommodate the changes in course delivery precipitated by COVID-19 and the challenges many students are facing during this unprecedented time, the following changes and options are offered for the Spring 2020 semester.  We hope that these options will help every student complete their coursework in the best way possible.

Withdrawal Deadline Extended

The deadline to withdraw from any full Spring term or second-half Spring term course is now Friday, May 15, 2020

Option for Grade Change to Pass / Fail

Students, under required advisement, may request a change of grade to Pass (/ Fail) after their final letter grades are submitted. 

Students who wish to pursue this process will be required to first talk with a professional advisor (or an Academic Associate Vice President) to ensure that you are appropriately advised of the programmatic, transfer, and financial aid implications of the change of grade.   Email advising@sunyorange.edu with “P/F Option Request” in the subject line. 

The deadline to request the Change of Grade to P/F is Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

Please note:

  • Students enrolled in programs in which programmatic accreditors prohibit the use of Pass (/ Fail), will not be able to request to change their final quality letter grade to Pass / Fail.
  • Students will be advised of the implications of changing a grade to Pass, including the prerequisite requirements for subsequent courses in their program of study.
  • In general, a grade of Pass will include grades A through D- (exceptions will be documented where a grade of C or better is required).
  • This process will be facilitated by the Registrar’s Office.  A record of all final grade changes will continue to be maintained by the Registrar’s Office.

How can I tell what format Summer classes will be?

There will be no in-person, on-campus instruction for the 2020 Summer sessions. All classes will be held in alternate/distance formats.

When looking at courses in self-service Banner, information about the format of Summer 2020 classes can be found in two places: “Cmp” (the Campus designation) and “Title” (the Title of the course followed by the format of the course).

Cmp (RS) = Synchronous

Remote learning with real time instruction at the designated day/time indicated in Banner. Please note, to participate in the class, students will need to use a device with a microphone and camera.

Cmp (V) = Asynchronous

Distance learning within a flexible time frame (0% real time instruction required).

Cmp (BL) = Blended

Remote learning that integrates synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Please note, to participate in the class, students will need to use a device with a microphone and camera.

I never wanted to take an online course.  Do I have other options?

No. These are unprecedented times and adjustments need to be made in many aspects of work and life. The college is practicing social distancing by maximizing distance formats for classes.

Standard protocol:

Phase 1: Work one on one with your instructor to make the adjustment to the new format

Phase 2: Contact the College’s Center for Student Success Center for coaching in the new format. 

Phase 3: If the distance format is not possible, please email your concern to questionaboutmyclass@sunyorange.edu and you will be directed to an AVP to discuss options and next steps.

I don't know anything about Blackboard.  What should I do?

First contact your instructor to discuss your specific class format. For more information about Blackboard, please log into MySUNYOrange and enter your account information. Once you’re logged in, click on the Blackboard icon in the top right corner. You will be connected to the Blackboard landing page that is populated with a student orientation and additional resources to support your success.

After referring to the resources in the paragraph above, students may contact the College’s Center for Student Success Center for coaching in the new format. https://sunyorange.edu/academicsupport/index.html

There is also a Student Guide to Blackboard posted on the College's Student Resources page.

How will science course labs resume / continue?

Alternate instructional plans are being developed by faculty during the week of March 23. Your instructor will be in contact with you with specific information about your lab-based course.

How will I complete my required hours in the Reading/Writing Center?

The Reading/Writing Center will be a resource for you in electronic formats. Send questions to readingwritingcenter@sunyorange.edu.

Can I still meet with my academic tutor?

Yes. The College’s Center for Student Success Centers will be continuing to offer support services remotely via NetTutor and Google Meet. Through these two options, students will be able to access real-time support in the full range of subjects typically offered under normal circumstances. For more information or to contact the center directly please click on the following link: https://sunyorange.edu/academicsupport/tut_online.html

Can I still attend my internship/ practicum site if classes on campus are not being held?

Alternative / distance formats for fulfilling internship / practicum/ field placement requirements are being designed by and will be shared with you by your instructors.

I need to withdraw from my course(s). How can I do this without coming to campus?

If you have not already done so, please email your course instructor or advisor using your SUNY Orange email.  If there is agreement that the withdrawal is the best option, you can forward your request on to advising@sunyorange.edu  Be sure to provide your full name, A# and the course number, section, crn #, and title of the course you wish to drop.

A professional advisor will follow up with you to discuss any potential financial aid implications.

Your request will then be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office for processing.

If I withdraw from one or all of my classes can I get a refund or credit to take the course in a future semester?

A "Request for Tuition Credit" application is available to any student who feels they warrant an exception to the College's Refund Policies. Determinations are not made lightly and will generally be considered only for extenuating and difficult circumstances such as documented illness (of the student or a family member); involuntary changes in employment; the student’s military activation; or the death of an immediate family member.

While we recognize that COVID-19 will change the way we finish the Spring 2020 semester, course instruction continues remotely, therefore, no tuition credit will be granted because the mode of instruction has changed.  We would encourage you to speak with your instructor and advisor before dropping a course.

Please be aware that a tuition credit is neither guaranteed nor automatic. The Committee will meet to review requests beginning May 1, 2020. Instructions and an application can be found at https://sunyorange.edu/studentaccounts/refunds/tuition_refund_policy.html#Tuition_Credit


When can I take my CLEP test, or TEAS test?

All testing has been canceled at this point in time.  We will resume in-person testing as soon as it is safe to do so.  In the meantime, we are exploring other options TEAS testing.  CLEP testing may only be administered in person and will resume as soon as possible.

Accessibility Services

Do my academic accommodations still apply to remote learning?

Yes. Accommodations exist to provide equal access so they will still apply to remote learning. Certain accommodations may look different or change depending on the disability and the access needed.

Will I still receive extended time for graded tests and quizzes?

Yes. How you receive that extended time will vary depending on the remote format of the class. You may wish to contact your professor via email to remind them of your accommodations needs.

My instructor has not adjusted my extended time for exams. What do I do?

Will I still make appointments with OAS to take my exams?

No. Since exams will be given remotely and not physically on campus, you do NOT need to make an appointment with OAS using the online test form. We do however recommend emailing your instructor and copying OAS when you have announced exams. Frequent communication with your instructors is important.

What if I need additional accommodations during this time period? 

The process to request accommodations has not changed. Use this link accommodation request  to request any additional accommodations necessary. OAS staff will review the request and if supported by disability and documentation we will deem if it is reasonable or not. If approved, a new accommodation notice will be sent. If OAS staff has questions regarding your request, an email will be sent.

How will I receive note taking services?

This will vary depending on the format of your class. If this is an approved accommodation for you and you have further questions, please email accessibilityservices@sunyorange.edu with the class name and the format of remote learning. 

I usually have tests read as an accommodation, what happens now?

Read and Write (the software used in Testing room) is available for download in your student portal. NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access) is a free resource which can be found here https://www.nvaccess.org/

How will I return any equipment borrowed from OAS?

Any equipment loaned from OAS can be returned at a later date.

Financial Aid/Student Accounts

Where is my financial aid refund?

The Financial Aid Office staff is working remotely and continues to process awards. Funds will be disbursed once all requirements are completed and funds are eligible for disbursement.  If you are due a financial aid refund, the Student Accounts Office will process the refund according to your preference within 7 to 14 days.  To confirm the status of your refund email  studentaccounts@sunyorange.edu

What about my Federal Work Study job? Can I still get paid?

Students who held work study jobs prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, will continue to be eligible for work study funding.  An email was sent to all work study students explaining how the process will work for the rest of the semester.  If you did not receive this email, please contact finaid@sunyorange.edu

I have extra expenses or have lost income due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Can I receive additional financial aid during spring semester?

Many students are experiencing additional costs as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.  The federal government is rapidly developing guidelines that may allow students access to emergency financial aid, to help offset those costs.  Currently, this guidance has not been finalized.  We will share any updates on the MySUNYOrange portal, in the middle column of the "Student Finances" tab.  Please check back every few days for more information.

What happens to my financial aid if I withdraw from my classes now?

Students who are registered for Spring 2020 courses will not be penalized if they have to withdraw due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Any financial aid received for Spring 2020 will not be recalculated.  In addition, eligibility for financial aid in future terms will not be affected.

I am an Orange County resident. How can I submit a Certificate of Residency for the Fall?

The Fall Verification of Residence will be available when registration begins for the Fall semester.  Students may submit the Orange County Verification of Residence form online at https://sunyorange.edu/studentaccounts/residency_instructions.html

I don’t have the money to clear my Bursar hold? Can I still register during priority registration?

All financial holds must be satisfied prior to registering for any future semesters.

How can I make a payment online?

Log into your MySUNYOrange; Click Student Finances tab; Go to My Account;  Click My Account Statement; 5) Click Make a Payment in Full

 How can I contact Student Accounts?

Other questions? Visit https://sunyorange.edu/studentaccounts/index.html or email studentaccounts@sunyorange.edu

Wellness Center

Is personal counseling available even though we are off campus?

Yes. Counseling services continue to be available to support SUNY Orange students in a remote capacity. Students who are struggling with adjusting to challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak should contact the Wellness Center to set up a virtual appointment. Counseling is being provided for students via HIPPA compliant Zoom sessions or by phone. Please contact Wellness Center’s Mental Health Counselor, Maureen Flaherty, LMHC, at maureenflaherty@sunyorange.edu to schedule an appointment.  Our hours of operation are from 8:30 - 4:30 p.m, Monday through Friday. Email messages left after hours will be returned the next business day. 


Will we still have a Commencement ceremony?

After much deliberation and review of the current social distancing guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I regretfully announce that SUNY Orange will delay our 2020 Commencement ceremony that was originally scheduled for May 21.

We all likely recognized several weeks ago that we would find ourselves in this position, even while holding out the slimmest of hopes we could go forward as planned.

I treasure our end-of-year recognition events because they celebrate your accomplishments. At Commencement, I watch with pride as you walk across the stage, have your name announced and accept the much-deserved cheers and applause that you have earned. I know that day is also treasured by your families and loved ones, as well as our Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, administrators, and everyone else who played a role, large or small, in supporting your degree completion.

For those reasons, and others, I truly wish that we could celebrate in our customary way, at our customary time. But, clearly our priority now is to slow the spread of COVID-19 and preserve our own health, as well as the health of our College community, our friends and our neighbors. We are all in this together.

I’m hopeful we can find a suitable way to virtually recognize the Class of 2020 in late May, while also investigating the potential timing of an in-person Commencement ceremony later in the year. I’ve been working with Student Government, headed by Danna Nieves Velazquez, on possible alternatives and I promise to share all additional details as they are finalized.

I wish all of you the best of luck for the remainder of the Spring semester.


Dr. Kristine Young

Is it too late to submit a graduation application?

Although the deadline has passed to submit your May graduation application, students who were unable to meet that deadline may still send their filled out application to registrar@sunyorange.edu for processing.  The graduation application is online at https://sunyorange.edu/registrar/docs/GraduationApplicationfillable_000.pdf 

Payment may be made online by selecting the “Other Payments” option on the dropdown menu.

For more information about the application process, please visit https://sunyorange.edu/registrar/apply_for_grad.html

Will this affect my graduation if I can't do as well online as I could have in the classroom?

The College will share any adjustments to graduation requirements (if any are necessary) once we receive guidance from SUNY and the New York State Education Department.

Career Services

Can I get help preparing my resume? What about career exploration?

The Career Services staff is able to assist you.  We have many tools you can access online and it is possible to meet virtually with a counselor.  Check out  https://sunyorange.edu/careers/index.html or email donald.green@sunyorange.edu

Transfer Advising

How can I get information on transfer opportunities?

We have just launched Virtual College Transfer Events: https://sunyorange.edu/transfer/virtual.html and will continue to update the site.  In addition, if you have any general questions related to transfer or want to discuss transfer one-on-one, please email transferadvising@sunyorange.edu.  We can discuss transfer information via email, phone, or Zoom.

Veterans Services

Will my VA benefits be impacted by the move to online coursework due to COVID-19?

Any students using the Post 9/11 GI Bill will see no change in their BAH due to the shift to online coursework for the spring semester.  If summer courses are also moved to an online format, BAH will not be impacted during the summer term either.  There is no impact to other types of VA benefits.

What should I do if I am active duty or in the Reserves or National Guard and need to withdraw from a course(s) due to military obligations?

Please speak with your instructor(s) to see if it is possible to make up the work you will miss and/or receive an incomplete in the course.  If that is not possible and you need to withdraw, please reach out to vetaffairs@sunyorange.edu.


Will the shuttle bus be running?

No. No on campus, in-person instruction is planned for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, therefore the shuttle bus will not be running.

I am struggling to pay my rent and bills and my work hours have been cut? Can I get help to finish the semester?

Yes, emergency support is available through the generous support of several Foundations and donors. Submit an application and supporting documentation to www.sef.suny.edu and we will respond quickly to get you the resources you need.

Can I still apply for a Scholarship?

Yes. The deadline for applications has been extended to May 1.  Please use this link to submit your application https://sunyorange.academicworks.com/users/sign_in