Frequently Asked Questions

Berea College Campus Closure

On Tuesday, March 10, Berea College President Lyle Roelofs announced that the College would cease on-campus instruction at the end of classes on Friday, March 13, as a preemptive measure in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. As of March 21, Madison County, where Berea is located, confirmed its first case of COVID-19.

We have developed this list of frequently asked questions to help our students, faculty, staff and members of the community navigate all aspects of the campus closure process. We will continue to update this page as we receive additional questions/have new information to share.

For All

Any campus community member contacted by the media should reach out to Tim Jordan at first, before answering any questions from the media member.

Alumni Relations has canceled all events planned March through June, 2020, including Summer Reunion. If you have submitted payment for an event that is now cancelled, please email to request a refund. Here is a complete list of the cancelled events:

March 2020

  • Student Philanthropy Week, March 16-20
  • Grad Finale, March 23
  • Berea Day at Cincinnati Zoo, Saturday, March 28 ­­­
  • Labor Day Senior Event, Tuesday, March 31

April 2020

  • Berea Day at Zoo Louisville, Saturday, April 4
  •  Alumni Day at Keeneland, Wednesday, April 8
  • SAC/Non-Trad Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday, April 11
  • Regional Alumni Gathering, Saturday, April 25 in Columbus, OH
  • Senior Celebration, Monday, April 27
  • Bereans in the Bluegrass, Thursday, April 30 in Berea

May 2020

  • Commencement, Sunday, May 3rd
  • Regional Alumni Gathering, Sunday, May 17 in Lexington
  • Berea Day at Dollywood, Sunday, May 31st

June 2020

  • Summer Reunion, June 12th-14th

The Legacy Celebration event scheduled for Thursday, June 11, 2020 has been canceled.

For Students

No. In-person instruction will end on Friday, March 13. Students will continue to complete assignments and submit them via email as directed by their instructors. The academic semester will officially end on April 30.

Dining Services will be open on a modified schedule with a limited menu to ensure students who remain on campus have access to meals.

Students should communicate directly with their instructors for guidance on completing assignments and submitting them in a timely manner.

IS&S is completing all student laptop repairs immediately before students leave this weekend.  If a student’s laptop is not repaired before Friday, we will issue a loaner laptop for an extended time at no charge.

IS&S is extending the password expiration from 120 days to 270 days.  Students can contact the IS&S Helpdesk for any IT related issues, including assistance with your password. Please contact us at (859) 985-3343 or  Students can also manage their password online by visiting the Passphrase website.

Berea College has an extended warranty program that, in some cases, Dell will send a technician to your location and fix your laptop.  Please contact the IS&S Helpdesk if you need assistance.

Berea College is not approved by its accrediting agency to offer online courses. Additionally, many students will be returning to areas where they do not have adequate internet access to participate in online courses.

Students who remain on campus will be expected to report to their current labor assignment or the new assignment they are given as a result of the campus closure. All students—whether they remain on campus or return home—will be paid their student labor payments through the standard end of the semester.

If a student departs campus before Saturday, March 14, he/she will be paid for the hours worked up until that time.

All contracts will be paid by direct deposit or by check forwarding. Please fill out this form if you do not have direct deposit. Students leaving campus will be paid according to their regular academic pay rate based on the current pay schedule. Students with 10-hour contracts will be paid for 10 hours per week, 15-hour contracts will be paid for 15 hours a week, etc.

Yes. Secondary positions will be paid at 5 or 10 hours per week depending on the contract.

Students staying on campus should be in communication with Student Life. All students staying on campus should expect email communication from the Labor Office no later than the afternoon of Monday, March 16, with information regarding labor assignment.

Yes. However, all students will be performing essential labor. You can anticipate being moved into a new department by the Labor Program Staff.

Students who are currently on Labor Probation will remain on Labor Probation through the Fall 2020 term. Students currently on Labor Probation are aware of their status. If you are not currently on Labor Probation, you will not be placed on Labor Probation for lack of hours for the Spring 2020 term.

Yes, we are planning to continue the application process for Off-Campus Summer Labor. Look for more information concerning OCSL in the coming weeks.

Feel free to contact departments you are interested in working for. The Labor Program Office will also have a list of vacancies for students to reference.

Students are still expected to complete the LEE.

Yes. You will be evaluated on your work performance prior to your departure from campus. The due date for evaluations has not changed.

Yes, if you are no longer physically working on campus, you may search for a job. Please remember: any funds earned while away from campus will be reported as taxable income and may affect your next term bill. Students physically working in the Labor Program during this time are not eligible for off-campus employment.

The Administrative Committee has authorized a refund of $1,000 to residence hall students who have left campus.  The refund will be applied to the student account; if that creates a credit balance on the account, a check or direct deposit in the amount of the credit balance will be issued to the student. Students continuing to reside on campus will not be reimbursed for room/board but will continue to have access to their existing meal plan from the Dining Hall.  Students working on campus voluntarily and not residing on campus will not be eligible to continue to use their meal plan from Dining.  Students working, but not residing on campus, do have the option to eat from Dining by paying the daily door rate for walk-up customers.

The College is exploring ways to provide financial assistance to ensure students are able to travel home on Saturday.

Yes. Please contact Student Life for more information on securing a ride to Blue Grass Airport on Saturday.

The Internship Office will work remotely with students through phone appointments, email and Handshake to provide assistance, review offers and process requests for credit and funding. Under the circumstances, their guidelines have been modified.

  • Given the uncertainties that employers are facing, as well as those related to travel, internship start dates should not be earlier than June 1, except by specific exception granted by the Office of Internships. The June 1st start date will provide some time for employers to adjust and allow 4-6 weeks for interns to make their housing and travel plans after receiving any applicable funding (between April 15th and May 1st).
  • This year, students should submit their offers via email to by March 31, and then they will have until the April 14th deadline for internship proposals (which has remained unchanged) to complete the rest of the process.
  • The Internship Office encourages students who have applied for internships and are waiting to hear back, to reach out to the employer, inquire about their status, and let them know that, because everything is being handled remotely, offers are required by March 31st.

For Prospective Students

Please be aware the March 31 deadline has passed. The Admissions office will continue to work closely with students, families, and school personnel on a case-by-case basis. We recognize circumstances outside of your control may have impacted your completion. If you have specific questions, please contact an Admissions Counselor.

We recognize things are uncertain right now, but one thing is certain – Berea College still cares about you and wants to celebrate you, now and in the future! We look forward to you joining our vibrant and diverse college community in the fall. Admissions Counselors are available to speak with you regarding your enrollment, financial aid package, or any questions you may have. Please contact your Admissions Counselor today if you need their assistance.

We have waived the $50 enrollment fee! Our community is full of alumni and other individuals who want to help celebrate your acceptance by making your transition to Berea a bit easier. They’ve come together to eliminate your enrollment fee so that you and your family have one less thing to worry about right now. If you have already paid it, we will refund it when you enroll this fall. Admissions Counselors are available to speak with you regarding your enrollment, financial aid package, or any questions you may have. Please contact your Admissions Counselor today if you need their assistance.

At this time, our office is closed to visitors until further notice. We will resume visits when permissible and recommend you check here for updates. If you would like us to contact you when in-person visits become available again, please fill out our Campus Visit Request Form. You can also access a virtual tour. 

For Graduating Seniors

No. At this time, the Administration has decided there will not be a Commencement service on Sunday, May 3, 2020. If a plan to have a celebration later develops, the Office of Academic Services will be in touch with all graduates with detailed information.

Yes. If you complete all pending degree requirements, your degree will be conferred as of May 15, 2020. Commencement is canceled. The College will mail degrees to students.

We are not ready to make a decision about summer. A decision will be made and communicated as soon as possible. Students enrolled in summer courses should still plan to complete the coursework. More information will follow from our Administration when a decision has been reached.

May graduates will receive their diplomas through the mail in early June. Please provide the Registrar’s Office with your permanent mailing address (we cannot send a diploma to the CPO). REMINDER: You must have a $0 balance, and no holds on your student account before your diploma will be issued.

Yes! Caps, gowns, tassels, and blue stoles will be distributed in the lobby of Lincoln Hall on Thursday and Friday, March 12 and 13, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

In a few weeks, each graduate will receive a USB in the mail with instructions on how to load the new operating system (an exact date has yet to be determined. I will send a follow-up when I have more information).

Please visit the CPO window during open hours and fill out a change of address form. Mail received at the CPO will be forwarded to you at the address on the form.

For Faculty

The most significant impact for graduating seniors is the potential cancellation of commencement on May 3. If the conditions make it safe for graduates, their families and the campus community to gather for the ceremony at a later date, the College will reschedule commencement.

Faculty members are encouraged to review their expected learning outcomes and design activities for students to achieve those outcomes remotely, if possible. Students should communicate with his/her Department/Division Chair to ensure they are able to complete their labs/studio requests.

Faculty are encouraged to review their expected learning outcomes and design activities to achieve those outcomes remotely, if possible. Students should communicate with his/her Department/Division Chair to ensure they are able to complete their performance requirements.

The College is working on solutions to these challenging situations. Please work directly with the Matt Saderholm, dean of the faculty.

It is important that all students have access to materials and communication to support course completion. Therefore, it is critical for faculty members to determine if students will have sufficient internet access for required assignments and/or activities. If this is a challenge, inform us so we may be of assistance or change your course completion plan accordingly.

For Staff

Effective Tuesday, March 17, all staff who can complete their work responsibilities from home and who have adequate Internet access at their home, will be encouraged to telecommute.  This follows guidance from public health officials and our state government in seeking to minimize the number of staff on campus, thus protecting all of us.  If you need guidance on whether your particular job responsibilities are such that you can telecommute, your vice president will be available to work with you.

Please see the March 15 email from President Roelofs for more detailed information.

Staff should absorb tasks previously assigned to students if they have the capacity to do so.

For the Public

Unless otherwise directed, contractors will continue to work on campus and fulfill their contracts.

Following the guidance about gyms and the need to practice social distancing, Seabury Center will remain closed indefinitely.

As mandated by Governor Andy Beshear, all daycare centers in Kentucky must close no later than this Friday.  The CDL will close at the end of the day on Friday, March 20.

The Admissions office has canceled all campus visits and tours for the foreseeable future.

Because larger groups than the current recommended limit of 10 sometimes visit the Forestry Outreach Center and because it is not possible to clean adequately after each visitor, the Forestry Outreach Center will be closed to the public. The staff does plan to continue to offer hikes for Berea College students when the weather permits.  Regrettably, because of theft of bath tissue and subsequent unfortunate behavior, the public restrooms outside the Center will be closed.