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We are Prepared and Here for You

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.

Prioritize your wellness and recovery. It is important that you reach out via email to your faculty member and academic advisor to inform them of any illness that will impact your ability to complete your coursework. We are prepared to be flexible with you. Please communicate with your faculty member early and often to establish a plan of action. If you need to discuss a course extension, please contact your academic advising team at and they will be more than happy to assist you in the process. If you require academic accommodations based on a documented disability, please review the Student Handbook under Disability Accommodations for more information.
We take pride in having a large population of students serving on the front line as essential workers and as part of our nation’s healthcare system. We also understand the pull on those workers and their families. We understand and are prepared to be flexible with you. Please communicate with your faculty member early and often to establish a plan of action. To discuss a course extension, contact your academic advising team at They will be more than happy to assist you.
As with any illness or situation that might preclude a faculty member from being able to continue teaching a course, we have procedures in place to ensure that your course will continue as scheduled with a qualified instructor.

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.

Academic Impacts

  • 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.

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).

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Grant 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.

Students attending college or university entirely online are not eligible for these grants. Similarly, online only institutions are not eligible for these grant funds.
If you become sick with this or any other illness, please reach out to your faculty member and academic advisor to keep them in the loop about your circumstances. We want to work with you to help you manage your coursework so that your recovery is not hampered.
We understand that you may have school-age children who may be at home because a school or school district has mandated distance learning. We recognize that this will impact your time and energy when it comes to your own schoolwork. It is most important to keep in communication with your faculty members and advisors.

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.

Read her blog post here

We want you to be confident that your student experience and safety are our first concern, and that your courses will continue without interruption. Know that we are also committed to supporting the mental health of our students, alumni, staff, and faculty members during these stressful times. Your academic advising team is ready at to answer any questions you may have, or our university chaplain is always available, regardless of your faith or spiritual background.

Insights from University Experts

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