About

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Key Information for Oregon College and University Campus Communities on the 2019 novel c​oronavirus and COVID-19 ​ ​​​

​FAQ for Colleges and Universities in Oregon

​​​​​Communi​cating on College Campuses ​

Last updated March 25, 2020

Where can I find reliable up-to-date public health information on the 2019 novel coronavirus and COVID-19?​

Go to the Oregon Health Authority or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for public information on the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. As the situation evolves, the information here is updated regularly:

What is recommended for sharing information with students, staff, faculty, and families?

Colleges and universities are encouraged to share reliable information to help limit spread of COVID-19 among students, faculty, and staff.  Consider sharing the following resources.  

The Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Updates website: The OHA has the most up-to-date information on the virus in Oregon, available in multiple languages. This includes Frequently Asked Questions, current updates on the situation in Oregon, guidelines on prevention and travel, information for health providers, local public health authorities, families, schools, tribes, and more. Here are just some of the OHA resources: You can find these links below by visiting the OHA COVID-19 website.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coronavirus Disease 2019 website, including: General CDC communications resources including videos, fact sheets, and posters. General CDC fact sheets help students, staff, faculty, and their families understand COVID-19 and the steps they can take to protect themselves.

Maintain confidentiality

Maintain confidentiality of people with confirmed coronavirus infection. Do not share information about cases that has not already been shared by your local public health authority. Your local public health department and institution will communicate critical information about an outbreak in a college setting, but student confidentiality will be maintained in accordance with federal privacy laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.​

Keep rumors and misinformation from spreading

Sharing accurate information during a time of heightened concern is critical to keep rumors and misinformation from spreading. You can help by pointing people to reliable sources such as the OHA or CDC.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created a web page focused on Coronavirus Rumor Control here.​

Stay Home, Save Lives Outreach Resources

​We encourage our partners to share information on how to stay safe and save lives. Please consider downloading and sharing these materials, unaltered, in any medium for any noncommerical use.

​​​​​Cancellations or Suspension of Classes/Campus Events

Last updated March 24, 2020

What is the guidance regarding closure or suspension of Oregon college campus operations, classes, and events?

On March 23, 2020 Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-12​, directing Oregonians to stay at home to the maximum extent possible, closing specified retail business, requiring social distancing measures for other public and private facilities, and imposing requirements for outdoor areas and licensed childcare facilities.

On March 19, 2020, Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-09 to immediately implement measures for significantly reducing in-person operations at Oregon colleges and universities. For purposes of this Executive Order, “colleges and universities” include public universities listed in ORS 352.002, a community college operated under ORS chapter 341, and degree-granting private colleges and universities that operate in Oregon. The Higher Education Coordinating Commission is directed to provide further guidance to colleges and universities regarding specific directives in the Executive Order, as necessary.

On March 16, 2020, Governor Kate Brown ordered a statewide cancelation of all events and gatherings larger than 25 people — exempting essential locations like workplaces, grocery stores, pharmacies, and retail stores. This order additional recommended that Oregonians avoid gatherings of 10 people or more.

Shift to Remote or Online College and University Instruction
Colleges and universities are advised to continue teaching and learning operations but shift to remote or online delivery, in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 20-09.​  

In-Person Instruction Prohibited, with Some Exceptions
Pursuant to Executive Order 20-09 issued on March 19, 2020, colleges and universities are prohibited from conducting in-person classroom, laboratory, and other instruction from March 21, 2020, through April 28, 2020 (“effective period”), unless that period is extended or terminated earlier by the Governor.  Colleges and universities shall be exempted from this requirement for the purpose of providing clinical, laboratory, or other in-person instruction associated with courses required for the completion of a health care-related certificate, license, or degree, or other certificates, licenses, or degrees that are essential to emergency response and resiliency efforts, where no remote or online alternative is practicable.  When conducting any in-person instruction permitted under this paragraph, colleges and universities should employ social distancing measures, consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority.

Shift to Critical Functions  
From March 21, 2020 through April 28, 2020, colleges and universities shall limit on-campus operations only to critical functions and shall employ social distancing measures, consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority, for all on-campus employees and residents.  Critical functions may include, but are not limited to, the operation of dormitories, dining services, general administrative services, safety programs, childcare centers, research, medical facilities, and other activities critical to emergency response and resiliency efforts.

Colleges and universities will determine what is a critical function for their institution, and HECC has issued general guidance for them to consider. Communication and coordination with the HECC and other colleges and universities is highly encouraged.

Time Period 
The Executive Order 20-09 goes into effect immediately from March 21, 2020, through April 28, 2020.  All orders and guidance may change in terms of scope or duration as the situation evolves.  For related and previous orders, see State Guidance here​.

Closure Decisions in the Event of Confirmed Cases of COVID-19  
In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19, the first step for colleges and universities is to consult with local health officials. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA), working through the local public health office and in collaboration with the U.S. CDC, provides information and guidance to institutions.  College and university administrators should work in close collaboration with local health officials, and follow state and federal guidance, to protect the public health of students, faculty, staff, and all who participate in the campus community. The recommendation on suspension and cancellation may change in terms of geographic scope or duration as the location outbreak situation evolves.

​​​P​reventing Discrimination and Stigma

Last updated March 20, 2020

​​​​Reinforce anti-bias

Some individuals are experiencing stigma and discrimination in the United States r​elated to COVID-19. This includes people of Chinese and Asian descent, as well as some returning travelers and emergency responders who may have been exposed to the virus. We need to counteract these trends. Discourage people from making assumptions of risk based on race, ethnicity or country of origin. It is important to remember that the virus doesn’t discriminate. There are no specific cultural groups or people of a particular heritage that are more or less likely to get COVID-19 following exposure or spread it to others. The CDC has information higher education institutions can share to reduce COVID-19-associated fear and stigma. Other resources:
​OHA anti-discrimination resources are available in multiple languages on their website. Links to English versions are below.​

​​​​Social Distancing and Mitigation Measures 

Last updated March 24, 2020

What social distancing and mitigation efforts should colleges and universities take for critical activities that continue to be in-person?

On March 23, 2020 Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-12​ (Stay Home, Save Lives), directing Oregonians to stay at home to the maximum extent possible, closing specified retail business, requiring social distancing measures for other public and private facilities, and imposing requirements for outdoor areas and licensed childcare facilities.

On March 19, 2020, Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-09 to immediately implement measures for significantly reducing in-person operations at Oregon colleges and universities. Per Governor’s Executive Order 20-09, campus operations on Oregon colleges and universities shall continue only if deemed critical, and in-person instruction is prohibited unless subject to the exception. If deemed critical or subject to exception, events should be limited in size, and gatherings should ensure that individuals are able to avoid close contact with one another. 

Gatherings

On March 23, 2020 Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-12, directing Oregonians to stay at home to the maximum extent possible, closing specified retail business, requiring social distancing measures for other public and private facilities, and imposing requirements for outdoor areas and licensed childcare facilities.

To reduce spread of COVID-19, the CDC has recommended community mitigation strategies to increase containment of the virus and to slow transmission of the virus, including cancellation of gatherings of people and social distancing in smaller gatherings. Pursuant to Executive Order 20-12​, issued on March 23, 2020, non-essential social or recreational gatherings of individuals outside of a home or place of residence are prohibited in Oregon, regardless of size, if a distance of at least six feet between individuals cannot be maintained, among other new directives. Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-07, on March 17, 2020 prohibited events and gatherings in Oregon larger than 25 people. In addition to these guidelines, per Governor’s Executive Order 20-09, campus operations on Oregon colleges and universities shall continue only if deemed critical, and in-person instruction is prohibited unless subject to the exception.

Social Distancing

Colleges and universities should see the OHA and CDC for the most current prevention and social distancing guidelines.​ As of the date of this document, these recommendations are to:
  • ​Maintain a distance of six (6) feet between individuals; and reconfigure spaces as needed including classrooms, workplaces, and dining halls to allow for distance.  
    • The CDC recommends that individuals avoid close contact, defined as within 6 feet. ​
    • The Governor’s Executive Order 20-12​, 1c. states: “When Oregonians leave their homes and residence they should at all times maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any person who is not a member of their immediate household, to the greatest extent possible, and comply with the other Social Distancing Requirements guidance issued by the Oregon Health Authority.”
    • More information on the OHA recommendations are available on their website here. 
​High-Risk Populations 
Avoiding social gatherings and close contact is especially important for those at high risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19, such as older adults and people with serious underlying medical conditions. These individuals should avoid social gatherings, avoid close contact with others, wash hands often, and closely follow federal and state public health recommendations. Individuals at higher-risk should also consult with their healthcare providers about specific steps to lower their risk of illness. All employees and students, volunteers and visitors who are ill should stay home and away from others.    

See the CDC Frequently Asked Questions here for guidance on individuals considered at higher risk. Per Governor Brown’s Updated Mitigation Measures for Coronavirus Response, individuals at higher risk of serious illness include adults aged 60 years and older and those with underlying health conditions. The Oregon Health Authority provides recommendations for events hosting vulnerable populations (dated March 15, 2020), which lists underlying medical conditions that may increase the risk of serious COVID-19 for individuals of any age.   

Other Recommendations to Mitigate Risk
In addition to the social distancing recommendations above, other recommendations to mitigate risk at events and activities that are held in-person are to:
  • ​Implement staggered schedules.
  • Change the location of event to an outdoor setting.
  • Transition to multiple events with fewer people.
  • Send announcements ahead of events and post signage reminding high risk individuals and persons who are sick to stay home.
  • Display signs that encourage hand washing.
  • Promote appropriate respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene practices prior to, and during, the class or event through signage and announcements.  Visit the CDC’s Coughing and Sneezing Etiquette and Clean Hands Webpage for more information.
  • Ensure individuals have ready access to hand sanitizer and sinks with water, soap, and paper towels to promote proper hand hygiene.
  • Politely ask individuals to leave if they are sick and coughing.
  • Prioritize that all frequently touched surfaces throughout the venue are properly cleaned prior to the event with approved disinfectants and that adequate cleaning supplies are available for use during the event.
  • Engage in “touchless” greetings instead of, for example, shaking hands. 
  • Follow Oregon Health Authority recommendations for events hosting vulnerable populations (dated March 15, 2020).​

​​​Travel and Study Abroad 

Last updated March 20, 2020

Should staff or students delay or suspend travel to affected areas?

As of March 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. Per the travel advisory, U.S. citizens who are currently abroad and live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. Additionally, U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel. Up to date information on travel advisories can be found here.

For guidance for students, staff, or faculty who have recently traveled to areas with high risk of COVID-19, refer to CDC’s FAQ for travelers and Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel websites. 

Should colleges postpone or cancel foreign student exchange programs?

On March 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. Per the travel advisory, U.S. citizens who are currently abroad and live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. Additionally, U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel. Up to date information on travel advisories can be found here

On March 1, 2020, CDC issued specific guidance to higher education institutions to consider postponing or cancelling student foreign student exchange programs. Read the Guidance for Student Foreign Travel for Institutions of Higher Education here. This guidance shows:

  • CDC recommends that institutions consider asking current program participants to return to their home country. Those overseeing student foreign exchange programs should be aware that students may face unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, challenges in returning home or accessing health care while abroad.
  • CDC further recommends that institutions consider asking students participating in study abroad programs to return to the United States. Institutions should work with state and local public health officials to determine the best approach for when and how (e.g., chartered transportation for countries or areas assessed as high-risk for exposure) their study abroad students might return. All plans for returning study abroad students should be designed to protect participants from stigma and discrimination.
  • ​Given the speed of spread and the number of countries experiencing person-to-person transmission, higher education institutions should evaluate the risks associated with choosing to maintain programs abroad and take the appropriate proactive measures. Higher education institutions that continue to maintain programs abroad should monitor the CDC website for additional information.

What guidance is available for staff or students returning from affected areas?

A list of countries and their risk assessment level for COVID-19 can be found on the CDC webpage: Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel. Guidance differs by country risk assessment level.

This website has relevant information for students, staff, and faculty who have recently traveled back to the United States. CDC guidance for high-risk countries with widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission can be found here.

Decisions on Keeping Residence Halls in Operation 

Last updated March 20, 2020

Residence halls shall continue to be open only if deemed critical operations in accordance with Governor’s Executive Order 20-09.  If deemed critical, the following recommendations should be followed:
  • Single occupancy rooms used to the greatest extent possible;
  • Common spaces reconfigured to prevent social interactions by residents; Examples include removing furniture from lounges or closing lounges;
  • Signage in the residence halls promoting social distancing and hand washing practices and other public health directives and guidance.

Why might colleges and universities need to keep residence halls open?

Each college and university has a unique student population with unique needs. In addition, the flexibility for institutions to respond to the pandemic varies from campus to campus.    
  • Some facilities are better designed to maintain strict social distancing measures and the public health requirements when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Colleges and universities need to prepare for the health and well-being of diverse student bodies and should consider the numbers of:
    • ​Students whose programs of study are exceptions to the remote learning requirement, and will continue to hold in-person classes or labs.
    • ​Students who are at risk to become homeless if they are required to leave their residence hall.
    • ​Students for whom travel restrictions, travel safety, or cost would prevent them from travelling home.
    • ​Students who demonstrate that they would face greater health risk at home than in the dorm.

How should we determine when keeping residence halls open is critical?
In general, colleges and universities should advise students that it is best to vacate their residence hall and return home.  Circumstances that may warrant students remaining in the residence halls include but are not limited to:
  • Students whose programs of study are exceptions to the remote learning requirement, and will continue to hold in-person classes or labs.
  • Students who are at risk to become homeless if they are required to leave their residence hall;
  • Students for whom travel restrictions, travel safety, or cost would prevent them from travelling home;
  • Students who would face greater health risk at home than in the dorm.

​Residence Hall Public Health Guidance  

Last updated March 20, 2020

What are the state public health recommendations related to students in residence halls, when residence halls are deemed critical?  

Is it safe to go to class but wear a mask (reaction of classmates and professor?) 
No, if coughing, students and staff should stay home and should not attend classes, events or congregate areas of campus. If student is living in a dorm, they should wear mask while in the dorm.

Is it safe to go to dining hall but wear a mask? 
A student who is coughing or has symptoms should avoid congregate settings. If possible, have a friend bring food to their room in the dorm. If this is not possible, the student should wear a mask to the dining hall to get food to bring back to their room. In this case, it is best that the student not self-serve; however, with a mask in place and hand sanitizer at the beginning of the line, it may be considered.

Is it safe for a student with symptoms to return to the residence hall? 
The student and the school should consider whether there is an alternative setting(s) to the residence hall that is feasible to return the student to; for example, home; or other, less dense housing). If there is no feasible alternative, the student should return to the residence hall and wear a mask if they are coughing.

How many students can be placed in isolation daily? 
Self-isolation means limiting contact with other people as much as possible. This includes isolating yourself as much as possible from anyone living in your residence. There is no limit on the number of students who can self-isolate.

When should a student be sent to their home of record? 
If a student is coughing, and it is feasible and practicable to send them home without increasing risk to the individual or the public, this should be the first choice.

Are there any particular things that we should do with laundry, waste, meals?
Standard laundering will do the job of killing the coronavirus. People emptying waste baskets with used tissues should wear gloves and wash thoroughly when the task is complete. Standard food-handler hygiene applies to food waste.

What are the reporting and communication recommendations related to students in residence halls who are ill or symptomatic? 

Should a school/provider tell anyone in the residence hall that another resident is symptomatic or diagnosed with COVID-19? 
Healthcare providers are required to maintain the confidentiality of patients and should not report or broadcast patient information to anyone. The student will make their own determination of whether and how much to share.

Should the school share or report symptoms or illness of individuals to others? 
No, schools should not share or report symptoms or illness and should leave it up to the student to share if they wish to share. Students should not be advised or pressured to share confidential health information.

Should the school respond if a symptomatic resident discloses to their co-resident “they are checking for coronavirus, but don’t think I really have it.” 
Schools should leave it up to the student to share if they wish to share. Students should not be advised or pressured to share confidential health information.

Should a resident’s parents be told that their child is in a room with someone who is being monitored/is symptomatic for COVID-19? 
OHA cannot disclose any information about whom we are testing and for what. Many people are now being tested for COVID-19, and the vast majority do not have it. If your child is a contact of a known case, public health officials will be following up with him or her.

What is the best way to reduce stigma and support a logical and calm response among other residents and staff who may work in a resident hall where a person is being monitored? 
People do best when they have fact-based information about an illness and knowledge of what they can do to protect themselves and their families. Schools can pro-actively sharing information about COVID-19, share that flu is also circulating, and make clear in communications that many people with either flu or COVID-19 have mild illness. Anyone who’s sick should self-isolate and stay away from others until symptoms resolve. If some contact with others is unavoidable, spread can be reduced if the coughing person wears a mask. Sharing accurate information during a time of heightened concern is critical to keep rumors and misinformation from spreading. You can help by pointing people to reliable sources only such as the OHA or CDC.

How do we best manage the reaction of campus as word spreads that there are individuals in isolation on the campus? 
People do best when they have fact-based information about an illness and knowledge of what they can do to protect themselves and their families. Schools can pro-actively sharing information about COVID-19, share that flu is also circulating, and make clear in communications that many people with either flu or COVID-19 have mild illness. School leadership should regularly communicate with the campus community and parents about steps they are taking to keep their campus safe, and support those who may be self-isolated in residences. Sharing accurate information during a time of heightened concern is critical to keep rumors and misinformation from spreading. You can help by pointing people to reliable sources only such as the OHA or CDC.

​​​​​​​Guidance on In-person Program Offerings at Colleges and Universities during COVID-19 Outbreak  ​

Last updated March 20, 2020

This guidance is available in the HECC memo linked to here, and below.

Per Executive Order No. 20-09:  

          2….it is ordered that colleges and universities shall be prohibited from conducting in-person classroom, laboratory, and other instruction form March 21, 2020, through April 28, 2020 (“effective period"), unless that period is extended or terminated earlier by the governor.

          3. Colleges and universities are exempt from the requirements of paragraph 2 of this Executive Order for the purpose of providing clinical, laboratory, or other in-person instruction associated with courses required for the completion of a health care-related certificate, license, or degree or other certificates, licenses, or degree that are essential to emergency response and resiliency efforts, where no remote or online alternative is practicable. When conducting any in-person instruction permitted under this paragraph, colleges and universities should employ social distancing measures, consistent with guidance form the Oregon Health Authority.

This guidance applies due the duration of Executive Order 20-09 (through April 28, 2020) and will be updated as needed.

While recognizing that decision-making authority around what programs are “essential to emergency response and resiliency effort" resides with individual colleges and universities and their boards, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission is providing the following guidance about face-to-face program offerings during the COVID-19 outbreak to help inform decision making.

If you cannot answer “yes" to the questions below, the program should not be offered face to face.

  1. Are skilled workers in the field essential to maintaining the health and safety of Oregonians? In addition to the provision of direct medical and public health services, are skilled workers in this field providing direct support to individual Oregonians or businesses to help people meet essential needs such as food, access to medical or other critical supplies, shelter?
  2. Is the program in a high demand field with an immediate or projected need in your region for graduates between today and July 31, 2020? Have you identified and documented the need with support letters from employers, local or state workforce boards, guidance from state agencies, other?*
  3. Many testing centers are closed. Are the certification exams required to enter employment available for students?
  4. If you are enrolling new students, can you ensure they will complete their credential by July 31, 2020?
  5. Are you able to provide face-to-face training that conforms to guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) around mitigation and social distancing?

Students conducting supervised research in laboratories, observing proper social distancing measures, is not considered in-person classroom, laboratory or other instruction under paragraph 2 of the Executive Order.

The safety of students and instructors and reduction of COVID-19 transmission are of paramount importance. No program should operate that cannot protect the safety of students and instructors.

​* The Oregon Employment Department is identifying in-demand jobs and that list will be made available as soon as possible and updated as new information is available.

​Dining Halls  


Dining Halls:
Dining hall services shall continue only if deemed critical in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order 20-09. 

Why might colleges and universities need to keep dining halls open?
Dining hall service would need be provided to students if keeping residence halls open is deemed critical. Dining services also provide food to critical staff who continue to work on campus. Dining halls may remain open to resident students and critical staff.

How should we determine if keeping dining halls open is critical?
If residence halls are open, then some dining halls services is  necessary, provided it can be meet the expectations for social distancing, take out option, and other mitigation measures.

If the services are deemed critical, what should we do to mitigate risk?
​All campus dining halls that are kept open should shift to only carry-out and delivery.

​​​​​​​​​Resources for Shifting to Remote or Online Teaching and Learning

​​

Free and Open Educational Resources for Colleges: Below are some places to start finding free and open resources. Instructors and administrators are welcome to contact Amy Hofer at hofera@linnbenton.edu for help finding and using open educational resources, or can use the Open Oregon FAQ to get started on their own.
  • Open Oregon Resources page: Search for free resources being used by college and university instructors across the state.
  • Open Textbook Library: Read peer reviews and access open textbooks being used across the world.
  • Openstax: High-quality, peer-reviewed, open textbooks on introductory topics with quiz banks, slides, and other ancillaries freely available for instructors who sign up with them. OpenStax Allies offer competitively-priced homework platforms that work with OpenStax books, and many of them are waiving costs right now.
  • Lumen Learning: Offers a wide array of open content that you can access for free. Their Waymaker and OHM modules are low-cost homework platforms that can be integrated with Moodle.

​In addition to these ongoing free resources, some companies have offered temporary free resources (for example, free digital text books offered through May 25 through VitalSource​).

​Sports and Recreational Facilities 

Last updated March 20, 2020

Campus operations shall continue to be open only if deemed critical operations in accordance with Governor’s Executive Order 20-09.  

Sporting events and recreational facilities in general should not be deemed critical operations, and should be suspended/closed, unless strict social distancing can be guaranteed, and other mitigation measures are in place.   

​​​Libraries and Other Community Settings

Last updated March 20, 2020

Libraries
Libraries shall continue to be open only if deemed critical operations in accordance with Governor’s Executive Order 20-09.  If deemed critical, in-person services should be minimized. Maintain strict social distancing and mitigation measures as recommended by OHA and CDC. 
 
Student Health Centers on Campus
Student health centers may be considered critical to be prepared to respond to the health needs of the faculty, staff, and students remaining on campus.

Transportation on Campus 
If deemed critical, transportation services offered on college campuses should follow current social distance and mitigation guidelines as well as guidance in item 6 of Governor Brown’s Updated Mitigation Measures for Coronavirus Response.

​​​​​Cleaning and Disinfecting​
Last updated March 20, 2020


What kind of routine environmental cleaning is recommended to prevent spread of COVID-19?

CDC recommends the following routine cleaning:
  • Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, countertops) with the cleaners typically used. Use all cleaning products according to the directions on the label.
  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (e.g., keyboards, desks, remote controls) can be wiped down by students, staff, and faculty before each use.

How are fa​cilities with students/staff identified with COVID-19 decontaminated?

If students and staff at a college or university develop the COVID-19 infection, cleaning with standard disinfectants is effective in killing the virus. A plan for cleaning campus facilities can be developed by the institution in consultation with local public health. Here are CDC’s Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations.​

Student Financial Aid during COVID-19


I heard that the federal government has offered student loan relief for some borrowers. Where can I find out more?

The CARES Act, signed in to law on March 27, 2020, provides some relief for federal student loan borrowers. The Federal Student Aid Coronavirus website includes key information for students, borrowers, and parents about several provisions of the Act.

Have there been any changes to state-administered financial aid in Oregon?

At this time, the HECC Office of Student Access and Completion has made some minor adjustments to some financial aid programs for Spring term 2020 due to COVID-19. OSAC staff are communicating any program changes through their website and through direct emails to impacted students and financial aid staff.  The most current information is at OregonStudentAid.gov.

Some financial aid programs require continuous enrollment. The HECC strongly encourages students to continue their enrollment in available courses at Oregon institutions during spring term and beyond to the greatest extent possible, as they navigate this challenging time. OSAC recognizes that during the COVID-19 crisis, students may face a variety of pressures and challenges.  Students, counselors, families, and partners should go to OregonStudentAid.gov and see the specific grant or scholarship program page for the most current updates on the program. 

Recent program changes related to COVID-19 are summarized below:  
  • Oregon National Guard State Tuition Assistance: The Spring 2020 application deadline has been suspended and applications will be accepted until further notice.
  • Oregon Promise: Due to numerous factors – including availability of courses – OSAC will provide some flexibility to Oregon Promise students during Spring term 2020. Please see the Oregon Promise Grant FAQs for more information.  
  • OSAC Scholarships: OSAC is working with scholarship donors to provide some flexibility to our scholarship recipients who are unable to meet the minimum enrollment requirements for Spring term 2020. Students who are not meeting the minimum enrollment requirements for a scholarship as outlined in our addendum should contact OSAC. ​

​​​​Information-Sharing Among College and University Leadership

Last updated March 20, 2020

How can colleges and universities learn from each other in Oregon as this situation evolves?

State and institutional leaders in Oregon have established a system for information-sharing between those involved with planning and decisions related to the novel coronavirus at Oregon institutions. Individuals who have questions about their institution’s participation on this resource should contact their college or university leadership. 

Key Links
​Information Hotline 
Call 211 in Oregon, if it is not easy for you to get the information online. They can give you general COVID-19 information. ​

Stay Home, Save Lives ​Outreach Resources

We encourage our partners to share information on how to stay safe and save lives. Please consider downloading and sharing these materials, unaltered, in any medium for any noncommercial use.  

Download Stay Home Stay Safe social media images in multiple languages

StayHomeSaveLives Dos and Don'ts