Coronavirus: How We Are Responding
We Continue to Serve All Our Students
As news continues to emerge about the coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to take this opportunity to let you—our student—know that your health and well-being are of utmost concern to us at American Public University System.
We again want to reassure you that your student experience will continue without interruption. All of our faculty and many staff already work remotely every day. In-office staff members have been provided with the resources needed to perform their jobs from home, which means you should experience the same attentive service you have come to expect from the American Public University System. Doctoral Students, please visit the doctoral page for updates specific to your program.
These circumstances are extremely stressful—testing everyone’s will and endurance.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic requires that we all take health and safety precautions necessary to combat the disease. APUS encourages you to obtain additional information from health care providers, state health authorities, and the CDC’s COVID-19 website.
Frequently Asked Questions
We wanted to also address some questions we have been fielding through our student-facing teams and share these responses in case you have the same questions.
If circumstances prevent you from completing a course in which you are registered, you may consider requesting a course drop or withdrawal. If you are having difficulty finishing a course, you also have the option of extending the course rather than withdrawing.
If the withdrawal or drop is related to the Coronavirus Pandemic, please select the “Personal or Family issues related to Covid-19” reason on the Course Drop/Withdrawal form.
See below for academic and financial impacts to dropping or withdrawing.
- Dropping a Course: Classes you drop do not impact your GPA. You will see a "DP" for the course when viewing grades inside the e-campus. Dropped courses do not count as “attempted” in Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) calculations used to determine eligibility for Federal Student Aid or for graduation eligibility.
- Withdrawing from a Course: The academic consequences for withdrawing include receiving the grade of "W" for the course, which will appear on any unofficial or official transcripts. A grade of "W" will not impact your GPA and does not count as completed credit toward your degree. Withdrawn courses do count as “attempted” in Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) calculations used to determine eligibility for Federal Student Aid or for graduation eligibility.
Financial Impacts – Institutional Refunds
- Dropping a course: Drops must occur before the deadline, 11:59:59 PM EST on the first Sunday of the course (week one), to receive a full institutional tuition refund.
- Withdrawing from a course: You will only receive a tuition refund based on the APUS Tuition Refund Schedule.
Financial Impacts – Federal Student Aid (FSA)
Drops and withdrawals can affect student aid eligibility. Students who are deemed eligible for federal aid must maintain a certain number of credits and successfully complete the payment period to continue to be eligible for aid. If enrollment changes, aid may be subject to recalculation and adjustment(s).
- Pell Grant recalculation for dropped courses: Pell recalculation is setting a date each semester for which enrollment status will be locked for the term for purposes of determining Pell for the semester. APUS establishes the Pell recalculation date (census) as the day after the first drop period of each semester. Students who drop courses for which they received Pell, are subject to a Pell recalculation.
- Return of Title IV (R2T2) recalculations of aid for dropped or withdrawn courses: If a student packaged with, or otherwise determined eligible for, FSA does not complete all courses they were scheduled to attend, the Return of Title IV (R2T4) rules apply. APUS will perform a calculation to determine how much financial aid the student has earned and notify the student.
There are three provisions for emergency grants as follows:
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Grant (HEERF I)
The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020 and addresses some economic issues related to the Coronavirus Pandemic. There are several impacts to Higher Education including the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF I).
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Grant (HEERF I) is designed to assist Institutions of Higher Education and students with the Coronavirus Pandemic. These grant funds are designed to directly support students who had sudden costs associated with moving off-campus, loss of housing, meal plans, and other campus-based support.
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II)
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) was authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), and was signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020.
HEERF II provided allocations for students enrolled in exclusively distance education courses and allowed exclusively online institutions that were ineligible for funding under the CARES Act to apply for grant funds. Amounts apportioned for students enrolled in exclusively distance education courses may be used only for financial aid grants to students. Information on CRRSAA (HEERF II) Reporting can be found at AMU or APU.
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III)
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF III) was authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) signed into law on March 11, 2021 and provided funding to institutions of higher learning to serve students and ensure learning continues during the Covid-19 pandemic. ARP funds were in addition to funds authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260 and the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136.
Under HEERF I, students attending college or university entirely online are not eligible for these grants. Similarly, online only institutions are not eligible for these grant funds.
HEERF II provided allocations for students enrolled in exclusively distance education courses. Eligible students were notified and provided directions for receiving the funds. All HEERF II funding was delivered to eligible students. Reporting can be found at AMU or APU.
HEERF III provided limited funding for students with exceptional need. Eligible students were notified and provided directions for receiving the funds. All HEERF III funding was delivered to eligible students. Information on HEERF III Reporting can be found at AMU or APU.
Your personal work situation may warrant the need to work remotely, possibly introducing a new dynamic in your professional life. You may be interested in some tips shared by Dr. Cali Morrison, our associate dean of alternative learning.
Insights from University Experts
Stay informed with relevant insights from our academic and industry experts from around our university community: