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Admitted Student Questions: COVID-19 Response

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We know you have a lot of questions around the coronavirus. We are here to help. This remains a challenging time for all of us and we appreciate the spirit with which the PSU community has continued to adapt. We will continue to monitor guidance from public health officials and the governor’s office.

Here are some questions we’ve received recently around COVID-19 from incoming students like you. For detailed information about PSU's response to COVID-19 is available at on our Coronavirus Response site. Continue to send specific questions to coronavirusresponse@pdx.edu.

For the fall term, if COVID-19 isn't an issue when does school start?

The first day of the fall term for 2020 is September 28th. This will be the first day of the term if the campus is permitted to be open for in-person instruction or for virtual instruction if safety measures are still in place. You can find the class schedule for the full year on the Office of the Registrar’s calendar

How will final transcript submissions work now that many students in Oregon will not be returning to their school?

Currently, we are accepting unofficial transcripts for admissions decisions. However, final transcripts will be due August 1st. Transcripts are to be submitted as listed in our policies. If you are having an issue receiving a response from your school for final transcripts in time to meet the deadline, please contact your admissions counselor

If COVID-19 does not disrupt the beginning of fall term, what day is move-in day?

Move-in weekend for the fall 2020 term is September 24th and 25th. Each building has a scheduled move-in day in time during that weekend. You can find the various assigned move-in times in our fall move-in guide.

How will majors that require you to be in person for some classes be affected by the possibility of Portland State being remote learning in fall? What steps have been taken for those classes this year and what plans are in place for next year?

Portland State University is following the guidance of public health officials and the governor’s office regarding instruction. As such, PSU has made the spring and summer terms completely virtual and online. Faculty and staff have been following these online teaching methods to keep students in our community connected to their academic paths. An official call has not been made about the fall term at the time of this blog being published, but you can find all of the latest announcements at pdx.edu/coronavirus-response

At what point will we know if fall will be remote learning or not? 

An official announcement has not been made about the PSU campus opening for the fall term of 2020 as of the publishing of this blog. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued an executive order that extends the suspension of in-person educational activities at all of the state’s higher education institutions through June 13. PSU will follow the guidance from local health officials and the governor’s office. You can find all of the latest announcements at pdx.edu/coronavirus-response

How does COVID-19 affect housing for the next academic year?

Check out our Q&A about housing.

I know that normally taking online classes cost extra. Will that still be the case with the COVID-19 forcing us to take online courses?

No. Remote learning is our response to the threat of COVID, and these classes are different from traditional online courses. Remote learning does not have additional fees. There are two types of virtual classes happening during this time of COVID-19:

  • Online courses that were intentionally designed for complete digital interaction, at a distance. These courses were designed and facilitated according to evidence-based practices for online teaching and learning. They were advertised in the PSU Schedule of Classes as being fully online, and they continue to be offered as planned without modification and will be charged the regular Online Fee. The online fee at PSU is used to support the purposeful design of online programs and courses, and the delivery of online student services including library, advising, learning center, and IT helpdesk.
  • Remote courses using a strategy of moving content designed for face-to-face instruction to a digital format for limited or one-time-only course instruction, as in our response to the COVID-19 disruption. No remote fees are added to these remote courses.

Are scholarships still being evaluated due to coronavirus?

Yes, scholarships are still being evaluated. You can learn about scholarships and how to apply for them at on our website. Most students who have applied for scholarships have been notified about their scholarship application. Everyone who applied will hear back from PSU by mid-May.

Are the PSU clubs going to be active next fall term? If so, how can I join them?

Most of the PSU clubs are still active during this time of quarantine. Many are hosting online zoom chats and Google Hangouts. You can find a list of clubs in our directory as well as find upcoming online events. There are broadway sing-alongs to join, political debates to listen to and engaging interviews with academics just to name a few.

Can we schedule a meeting with an advisor through a Zoom meeting since COVID-19 is going on? And if so, how do we know who our advisor is?

Yes, you can schedule a virtual meeting with an advisor. While physical locations are closed, staff are working remotely. Advisors continue to be accessible via email and are available for phone and video conference appointments. You can find your assigned advisor by logging into your student account.

With this virus keeping us inside, are incoming freshmen still required to live on campus the first year?

In general, incoming freshmen are not required to live on campus during their first year, and fall 2020 is no different. We always recommend living on campus as it keeps you connected to your studies and your community. 

Are colleges changing to pass/no pass because of COVID-19? 

Portland State is currently offering students the option to take classes as Pass/No Pass. This is currently in effect for spring and summer 2020 terms. We haven’t released an official announcement about fall 2020 at the time of this publishing. The Office of the Registrar has developed a comprehensive guide to help you determine whether you want to pursue the Pass/No Pass option for a course grade.

I haven’t taken the SAT yet, however I had one scheduled before COVID-19 shut them down. How will this affect me enrolling into PSU?

Submitting test scores to Portland State University is optional. If you have already been admitted to PSU, you do not need to submit test scores. 

Portland Public Schools (PPS) recently announced that no one will be receiving letter grades for the rest of the year. This keeps a lot of us from being able to raise our GPAs. Is there any discussion in regards to maybe working with PSU to still qualify for 4 Years Free if we’re unable to meet the minimum GPA that was set before the whole COVID-19 situation?

We want to do as much as possible to support you through this difficult and confusing time. We know that many high schools have transitioned to Pass/Fail grading for the duration of the 2019-2020 school year. Therefore, Portland State University has adjusted the GPA requirement for Four Years Free: The qualifying GPA for Four Years Free has been changed from 3.20 to a cumulative, unweighted 3.08 for high school seniors admitted for fall term 2020.

Can’t find an answer to your question? Reach out to your Admissions Counselor to schedule an appointment or get more information.

freshmen, Portland State University, Transfer Students, Coronavirus, COVID-19