Coronavirus FAQ: Students

Answers to COVID-19 questions commonly asked by students regarding school closings, commencement, international student status, study abroad courses and course credits.

For Student Employees Still Currently Working:

There is no change to your payroll process or payment schedule. Those students that enter their hours worked into the e-timesheet system each pay period will continue to do so, and those students that were paid on a contract basis will continue to be paid in the same manner.

The university continues to discuss what additional measures may be implemented to recognize the efforts of those still working.

For Student Employees Who Were Scheduled to Work, But Are No Longer Working:

The university is implementing a process whereby student employees may continue to be paid for scheduled work hours from March 18th through the end of spring semester if they are unable to work because of one of the following criteria:

  • Inability to work due to the university moving to online education and the student employee’s ability to fulfill the responsibilities of the position has been reduced or eliminated as a result.
  • Inability to work because they are ill with COVID-19 or quarantined.
  • Inability to work because they are caring for someone that is ill or caring for children 12 years or younger that are now out of school due to COVID-19.

Student employees not currently working do not need to do anything else at this time. Your supervisor will process your scheduled hours for payroll processing.

At a state level, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan have launched a Discrimination Helpline at 1-833-454-0148.

Discrimination Helpline: 1-833-454-0148

This helpline reinforces the state’s efforts to protect the civil rights of Minnesotans. It allows those who experience or witness bias and discrimination to report incidents to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

The creation of the Discrimination Helpline comes at a time when there's continued reports from Asian American community members who are experiencing heightened fear and backlash due to COVID-19. One of the disconcerting aspects of the COVID-19 crisis is the continued rise of xenophobia and racism. 

Every Minnesotan can call the Discrimination Helpline at 1-833-454-0148 or complete and submit the Discrimination Reporting online form. The helpline is staffed Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Interpreters are available. 

Translation services are available and information about the helpline is available in 17 different languages

As this situation continues to rapidly evolve, fears tend to rise to the highest level, which may influence how people perceive and treat others. We are committed to an environment free of discrimination and to ensuring that all members of our community conduct themselves with integrity and respect, as per our Core Values.

Please remember to treat others kindly and respectfully and do not make assumptions about COVID-19 exposure or other discriminatory comments based on perceived race, color or ethnic origins. It is important to be informed of accurate information and not rely on rumors or speculation that leads to misinformation. You are encouraged to review the FAQs listed here, as well as the Helpful Resources, to obtain the most accurate information.

Additionally, the deadline to add or drop a short-session course that was originally scheduled to start after spring break has been extended. The registration window for early and priority registration has also been extended.

More information is available on the Registrar's website.

Visit our main advising web page to find the college associated with your major.

If you’re undecided about your major, or don’t know where to go, email with your concern, and we will get you connected with the appropriate resource.

Students who are registered to walk in the spring ceremony will receive more communication on this evolving situation, and any apparel you purchased through your online registration will be refunded.

The Campus, Facilities and Operations link on this web page will have the most recent information.

In addition, free food is available for students experiencing food insecurities. Campus Cupboard at the Crossroads Center, 331 Dillon St. in Mankato, offers food from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Campus Kitchen, which provides food throughout the community, will have information on its Facebook page.

We recognize that some accommodations may not easily or reasonably translate to online formats. We commit to working with you to meet your access needs.

We also understand that additional accommodations in online environments may be necessary. Staff in the Office of Accessibility Resources are contacting your instructors to help them design the course to accommodate your needs. 

We ask that students connect with Accessibility Resources remotely by phone, email, or video conference (Zoom) at this time.  If you had a meeting scheduled with a staff member in this office, they will be in touch with you to identify your preferred method of remote connection.

As instructors adjust course content to online and alternative learning formats, they will be providing you with additional information about potential changes to exam administration.

For students who completed and submitted Alternative Test Agreement form(s), while faculty have previously received a copy of this, we additionally have notified each of the professors this week to remind them of your testing accommodation. 

Even so, offering a reminder of this accommodation to your professor will be helpful.  Please notify Accessibility Resources staff right away if you are eligible for a time extension and the time is not being calibrated out. 

For students who are eligible for alternative testing accommodation (e.g. time extension) and still desire this accommodation, please complete and submit the Alternate Test Agreement form and return it to  

Students who need other accommodations related to testing should call or email Accessibility Resources staff.  

  • You may wish to continue receiving peer notes while classes are held online, or you may find that online delivery decreases or eliminates your need for peer notes.
  • Remember that you can start and stop recorded lectures as needed, or replay information as needed, which will increase your capacity to take notes.
  • We recognize that there may be some classes in which access to class notes is still necessary.  Please contact your primary accessibility advisor further to discuss details specific to your need.

One is for the Vital Source Helps login page. The second is a link to online tutorials previewing how to access books in Vital Source and FAQs for faculty and students. Where needed this is an incredible no charge resource for students the balance of the semester. 

Link to FAQs for Students and Faculty (including video tutorials on accessing via institutional account or creating your own)

Direct link to the Vital Source Helps website

International students who are no longer in the United States can also complete a rental buyout at a reduced rate and then try to sell back the book when you return to campus.

Shipping labels and more information about rental returns can be found here.

Please contact the Kearney Center with your questions or concerns.

Continue to check the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website for up-to-date information.   

If you are leaving the U.S. to finish your semester studies online, please complete this form and contact your immigration advisor for a travel signature for your I-20. 

If you are graduating in May and have questions about Optional Practical Training (OPT),  please contact your Immigration Advisor. 

Instructors who were planning to lead student groups should design lesson plans, activities, and assessments that address the course learning outcomes.

We are encouraging faculty to design alternate learning experiences within the existing framework of the course to help students balance the course with other full-semester courses.