FAQ for Students
Are classes being offered this summer?
Rider is offering a variety of summer courses this year regardless of your educational goals. Current and visiting students at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels are welcome. Individuals looking for personal or professional development during this period of isolation will also find several enriching experiences.
You can find Summer course offerings on Rider’s website. All courses are being offered remotely. Summer I runs from Monday, May 18, through Wednesday, July 1. Summer II runs from Monday, July 6, through Tuesday, August 18.
What is happening with spring classes?
As announced on March 17, all classes scheduled to begin or resume after the extended spring break move to remote and alternative instruction (instruction other than in-person classes) beginning March 30 and continuing through the end of the spring semester including the exam period. View the OIT Connect remote access guide for help with video conferencing, file sharing, and more.
Courses that have been delivered online since the beginning of the spring semester will continue to be delivered online and will not be operational during the week of March 23-27. Late-start classes will be delivered remotely, beginning March 30.
What do we mean by remote or alternative instruction?
Remote or alternative instruction means something other than in-person classes. Remote and alternative instruction begins on March 30 and runs through the end of the spring semester including the exam period.
Remote or alternative instruction will vary by class and faculty. Some faculty will utilize Canvas, others another form of online instruction. Still, other faculty may utilize email to provide assignments, reading, and other content and through which you will send completed work or assignments. Essentially, instruction during these two weeks will be managed in a way that makes the most sense for the instructor, students and subject matter.
Be sure to check your Rider email regularly for information related to the semester in general and specifically related to your classes from your dean and faculty.
How will I know what’s happening with my specific classes?
The academic deans have begun communicating with you via email. Be sure to keep checking your Rider email for further information from your dean and faculty.
What about theatre, musical theatre and choir performances, dance performances, recitals and other performance-based events?
As per Dean Onofrio’s email of March 13, the following is in effect:
All non-Conservatory events on our performance calendar between March 14 and April 10 are canceled.
Between March 14 and April 10, per agreement of the student, applied teacher and accompanist, student recitals may occur at an off-campus venue. Performance Management will assist students if they wish to reschedule an on-campus recital or to obtain a list of possible off-campus venues.
Department chairs, associate deans, and I will be working to determine options for events scheduled between March 23 and April 10. Any further questions related to performance-based events should be directed to the dean’s office of Westminster College of the Arts.
Will students have the option to choose pass/ no credit option for the spring semester?
Rider will offer its undergraduate students the option to convert any of their spring courses to pass/no credit, subject to the following conditions:
The lowest grade that would constitute passing would be a “C.”
Courses converted to pass/no credit and for which a pass is earned will count toward graduation requirements.
If a grade of “no credit” is issued, the transcript will read “no credit” and the course will not count toward graduation requirements.
Pass/no credit grades are not included in the calculation of the semester or cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA).
Students must contact their Dean’s Office in order to request a change to pass/no credit status. The first date to request this change is Tuesday, May 12, 2020. The last date to request this option is Friday, May 29, 2020. This decision cannot be changed once it is made.
Grades of “pass” will count toward meeting minimum grade requirements in sequential courses.
In the case of a repeated course, the new grade will replace the previous grade. For a course converted to pass/no credit, the new pass/no credit will replace the earlier letter grade.
If an instructor grants a request for an incomplete, the student will have one week after the “I” is changed to a final grade to make a decision regarding pass/no credit.
For specific questions, please reach out to your Dean’s office.
What about science and research labs during remote instruction?
Dean Bidle will be in touch via Rider email with more information. In the meantime, you are encouraged to read her March 13 email.
What’s happening with student teaching during the extended spring break and two weeks of remote instruction?
Please see the March 13 email from the College of Education and Human Services for information regarding student teaching.
What will happen with internships, co-ops and other experiential arrangements during remote instruction?
Students who are completing an internship, co-op, or other experiential arrangements should work with their site supervisors and faculty sponsors to determine how to appropriately proceed. Please see Dean Kutcher’s March 13 email for more information in the meantime.
I still need to course select. What do I do?
Fall 2020 course selection has been extended one week with the next group of students to register beginning on March 30. An updated course selection schedule is posted on myRider and the Registrar’s webpage. Faculty advisors will continue to greenlight students via myRider. Students who have not been greenlighted or who need advisement are encouraged to reach out to their faculty advisor via email.
Are we doing anything differently with course withdrawals given the remote and alternative instruction?
Course Withdrawal I is extended to Friday, April 17, where students can withdraw from a spring course without the instructor’s permission. Students should download and complete the course withdrawal form from the Registrar’s webpage and email it back to the Registrar’s Office at [email protected] as an attachment.
What academic support is available during this period of remote and alternative instruction?
Tutoring and writing studio appointments are still available for students on both campuses, transitioning to virtual forms of engagement. Information has been sent via Rider email with details on how to make your appointments.
If you have questions about how your academic accommodations translate into remote and alternative instruction, contact the Student Accessibility and Support Services office.
We also encourage you to be in touch via email or Canvas with your faculty and/or dean’s office with academic related questions or concerns.
I still need to apply to graduate this May. What do I need to do?
Students planning to graduate in May can apply to graduate online through Friday, May 15. Please note that students who submit degree applications on or after April 1 may not be listed in the Commencement book.
Has any decision been made about Commencement for both campuses?
With the input of student leaders on both campuses, We have planned two in-person commencement ceremonies for our Lawrenceville and Westminster Choir College graduates.
The Lawrenceville Commencement is planned for Sunday, November 1, at 1 p.m. at the Cure Insurance Arena in Trenton. This will be a combined undergraduate, graduate and doctoral ceremony as originally planned. This date was chosen to coincide with our annual Homecoming and Family Weekend. On-campus college-based receptions will be held the morning of commencement as originally scheduled, as well as many other events throughout the weekend to connect with classmates.
The Westminster Choir College Commencement is planned for Saturday, December 12 at 2 p.m. at the Princeton University Chapel. The pre-ceremony music will begin at 1:15 p.m. The commencement ceremony will replace the afternoon performance of Readings and Carols. Readings and Carols performances are planned for Friday, December 11, and Saturday, December 12, at 8 p.m. at the Princeton University Chapel.
These in-person commencement ceremonies have been planned with the assumption that we are able to return to large in-person gatherings by that point in time. Should the coronavirus pandemic continue into the fall, we will need to re-evaluate this once again.
Students’ rider.edu email stays live forever, so please continue to check it for information and updates regarding the rescheduled ceremonies even after this academic year ends. Information will also be shared on the University’s web site. Specific questions can be directed to [email protected].
When will I receive my academic attire? When will I receive my diploma?
We will distribute academic attire to those who plan to attend commencement as we get closer to the rescheduled dates. Also, graduating students will receive their diplomas in padded diploma covers in the mail this summer.
Does that mean nothing is happening on May 15 and 16, the original dates for Commencement this year?
No. We are happy to announce that we will premier celebratory videos honoring the Class of 2020 on both campuses on the original Commencement dates. More information regarding the videos is forthcoming via your Rider email.
I don’t have access to technology at home. How can I complete my studies remotely?
We understand that some students may have concerns related to remote instruction based on lack of access to appropriate technology that may be required for some classes. If this is a concern for you, please complete this technology request form, so we can work with you to identify the resources you need. Once you complete the form, you can expect to hear from OIT via email (or phone if specified) within five business days of your request.
In addition, Comcast is offering free and low-cost internet access during the outbreak. For additional technology-related questions, please contact OIT at 609-219-3000.
What services are being provided on campus during the extended spring break and during remote/alternative instruction?
While many of our faculty and staff are working remotely, Rider remains open and maintains normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) until further notice. Please leave a voicemail or email message for any office and they will work to respond within the day. All dining has been consolidated in a grab-and-go manner for residential students to Daly Dining Hall. The library, recreation center, and computer labs are closed until further notice.
Please also see the following webpages for more information on:
The Student Health Center staff will not facilitate in-person appointments, but are accessible by phone. The office will monitor voicemail and email Monday-Friday 8:30 am- 5:00 pm. If you are in need of medical assistance, please leave a voicemail and one of the nurses will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours. The Health Center staff can be reached at 609-896-5060 and [email protected]. If you are experiencing a medical emergency and are on-campus: call Public Safety at 609-896-5029, or are off-campus, call 911.
Counseling Services will not facilitate in-person appointments, but are accessible by phone for students who are residing on campus and have urgent care needs. Students must call 609-896-5157 to schedule an appointment. Providers will conduct telephone screenings and offer instructions over the phone. Students who live off campus are encouraged to contact their primary care providers first and seek treatment close to their current locations. This resource can help you identify treatment facilities and community therapists in the area. Telephone consultations will be available to assist students in finding local providers. If you or someone you know is experiencing a psychological emergency, contact Public Safety at 609-896-7777 or go to your local emergency room.
I need help with food and other resources. Is the Rider Resource Pantry open and available?
As of April 6, access to the Rider Resource Pantry is as follows. Adjustments have been made to the schedule to maximize efficiency as we accommodate demand.
We will operate as Pick Up by Appointment on Thursdays ONLY between 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM until further notice.
Orders must be placed by 12:00 noon on the Wednesday before the Thursday pick up.
Students will receive a confirmation email and be assigned a Thursday pick up time.
If you are unable to pick up at your assigned time - please email [email protected] immediately!
Staff will work with students unable to pick up on Thursdays.
Please be mindful that the scheduled pick up times are intended to enforce social distancing and ensure the health and safety of students and staff.
Please do not show up to the Pantry without a scheduled appointment time.
If you miss your scheduled pick up time contact [email protected] to reschedule
Students needing to access the Rider Resource Pantry will still be able to select food and personal items from this Rider Pantry Order Form. Students may submit an order each week until the Pantry returns to its regular schedule.
*Due to limited resources we will do our best to fill all orders. Our goal is to make sure that everyone gets some of the things they request.
The Rider Resource Pantry is located in the Vona Center Room 23. If you have any questions or want more information, please contact [email protected].
What about counseling services? Do I have access to them during remote instruction?
Counseling Services will not facilitate in-person appointments, but are accessible by phone for students who are residing on campus and have urgent care needs. Students can call 609-896-5157 to schedule an appointment. Providers will conduct telephone screenings and offer instructions over the phone. Students who live off campus are encouraged to contact their primary care providers first and seek treatment close to their current locations. This resource can help you identify treatment facilities and community therapists in the area. Telephone consultations will be available to assist students in finding local providers. If you or someone you know is experiencing a psychological emergency, contact Public Safety at 609-896-7777 or go to your local emergency room.
Has Rider adopted any guidelines for student workers and graduate assistants?
Student workers and graduate assistants who are in a position to work remotely, as approved by their supervisor and division head/dean, will be paid for the time that they do so. You should contact your supervisor to discuss whether your position is approved for remote work. Regretfully, we will be unable to continue to pay students whose work does not lend itself to remote options. Tuition remission will remain intact for the spring 2020 semester for all graduate assistants, including those whose assistantship does not lend itself to working remotely.
We understand that many students rely on their on-campus employment both financially, and as practical experience, and wish we were in a position to continue to offer you continued employment. Many of the unprecedented and unforeseen extraordinary circumstances caused by COVID-19 such as the issuance of government orders, the shutting down of key university facilities (i.e. residence halls, computer labs, dining locations, etc.) and other instances beyond the University’s control have prevented normal University operations.
I am a resident student. Can I stay on campus?
On March 17, the University communicated the need to close our residence halls, effective March 29. We know that, for a variety of reasons, some students cannot return home. Students who have extenuating circumstances and may not be able to leave immediately, if at all, should complete the Spring 2020 residential remote instruction exemption form. Very limited extraordinary exceptions can be made in situations including students with housing or financial insecurity and students whose distance from home prevents them from traveling (e.g .international).
Students who have concerns about returning to campus to move out of the building can submit this Spring Closing Exemption to request to leave your belongings in your room. We will continue to communicate with you to coordinate options to later retrieve your belongings.
Please contact Residence Life at [email protected] or 609-896-5057 with additional questions.
What restrictions, if any, apply for those of us who remain living on campus for the rest of the spring semester?
We must all do our part to limit contact with one another and to prevent the spread of the virus by adhering to social distancing and other guidelines.
Keep your distance. No one is allowed to congregate in groups in any residence hall room, hall lounges or common areas. The number of people in any given location is important, but density is even more important. Respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze can travel up to six feet and be inhaled into the lungs of people within range. Protect yourself by staying out of range.
Make your meetings virtual. Or postpone meetings entirely.
Don’t hug or shake hands. If you have to meet with someone in person, find an alternative greeting; research has shown that fist bumps —and even high fives — dramatically reduce the transfer of bacteria during greeting exchange. But feel free to experiment with other options as well. Tip your hat, wave, or offer a friendly and welcoming squirt of hand sanitizer.
Make a conscious effort to avoid crowds. For example, with warmer weather upon us, think about walking or riding a bike instead of taking a bus. This recommendation relates both to keeping your distance and avoiding contaminated surfaces, because the more people, the more those common surfaces get touched.
If you go off campus, remember to socially distance yourself from others and to adhere to all travel bans currently in place.
Dining operations have been adjusted to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visit the dining webpage for ongoing updates.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Don’t touch your face. This is a lot harder than it sounds and requires conscious effort. The average person touches their face 23 times an hour, and about half of the time, they’re touching their mouth, eyes, or nose — the mucosal surfaces that COVID-19 infects.
Cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow or upper arm.
Our biggest priority is that you remain healthy. If you are not feeling well or you require medical assistance, please call first to the Student Health Center at 609-896-5060 Monday – Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm and Public Safety at 609-896-5029 all other times.
In addition, the following restrictions apply:
No guests are allowed in the residence halls during this time.
Campus is dry (no alcohol or drugs permitted).
Please contact Residence Life via email at [email protected]. For situations that need an immediate response, please call the Residence Life staff on duty at 609-273-6939.
I already moved out but have to return my keys. What do I do?
Students who have already completed the move out process but have not yet returned their keys should complete the Spring 2020 Residential Closing form, indicating they have moved out.
Please mail all keys back in a padded envelope to ensure a safe delivery to: Rider University Residence Life, 2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.
Why are remaining resident students being asked to move to another room?
We understand that moving to another room may be disruptive but it is a necessary step to continue to provide support to you throughout the spring semester and to maximize how university resources are allocated and utilized.
We will begin the process of consolidation the week of March 30. Further information will be provided shortly. Once we have verified that spaces have been cleaned and are ready to be occupied, students will be notified of their new assignments and instructions for completing their moves.
Please contact Residence Life via email at [email protected]. For situations that need an immediate response, please call the Residence Life staff on duty at 609-273-6939.
What is happening with room selection for the fall?
In an effort to ensure that we provide the most accurate information, the room selection schedule for 2020-21 will be pushed back. A new room selection schedule will be emailed to students the week of March 30. Room selection will continue to be managed online via the housing portal through myRider. Students who have not yet paid their housing deposits are still able to do so online. We encourage students who have not started their housing application to do so at this time.
TRAVEL, ATHLETICS AND EVENTS
Are there any restrictions on travel?
Until further notice, Rider has suspended all non-essential domestic and international university-sponsored air travel. For those of you with planned trips in the next few weeks, please contact the individual in charge of your trip or the Center for International Education. We also strongly encourage you to reconsider any personal domestic air travel you may be considering in the weeks ahead.
Students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to heed official travel warnings and guidelines of reputable international and federal agencies, including the CDC, the U.S. State Department and the World Health Organization, and follow official recommendations for the prevention and treatment of illness. You can find CDC’s travel information and warnings related to coronavirus at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
What about Rider’s athletic teams and sports this spring?
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and its Council of Presidents, in consultation with the league's Athletic Directors and Senior Women's Administrators, canceled the remainder of the men's and women's basketball tournament that was being held in Atlantic City, N.J. The MAAC also announced that it will cancel all spring sports effective immediately for the remainder of the spring semester.
Are any events happening on campus the rest of this semester?
All University events on campus are canceled or postponed for the rest of the semester.
The division of Student Affairs has created a list of Virtual Student Engagement Events and Programs to help you stay connected. For up-to-date event and program information, including Zoom links, visit broncnation.rider.edu and This Week at Rider newsletter sent to Lawrenceville student emails on Mondays and Thursdays and regular email updates from Dean Botti for Westminster students.
Many of our 150+ student organizations will remain active virtually throughout the semester — stay abreast of individual activities through organization pages on BroncNation and their social media sites. The Lawrenceville Student Government Association has also established a weekly update to keep you posted. The 107.7 TheBronc radio station and Rider News are still active digitally as well.
FINANCIAL RELATED INFORMATION
Will Rider issue credits or refunds for room and board?
The University will issue prorated credits and/or refunds for housing and meal plans for the period of March 23, the first day after the originally scheduled spring break, through Tuesday, May 12, the last day of the spring semester. Credits will first be applied against any past due student account balances for tuition and fees, etc. Students who received scholarship aid from Rider University for room and board will not be eligible for a refund.
Will graduating students receive a refund?
Graduating students with a remaining credit balance will receive a refund for the prorated room and board via e-Refund or a mailed check. No further action is necessary.
Will returning students receive a credit or a refund?
Returning students with a remaining credit balance may choose to apply the credit to any future university costs, or request a refund in the form of an e-Refund or mailed check. To apply your credit to future university costs, no action is necessary. To request a refund, email One Stop Services at [email protected].
What about Bronc Bucks?
Personal Bronc Bucks purchased outside of a meal plan will carry over for returning students and will be refunded for graduating students. Commuter meal plan credits and/or refunds will be based on any unused portion.
What do I need to do to receive a refund?
To expedite this process, we strongly encourage you to set up your e-Refund profile via the MyRider portal. Directions on how to enroll in e-Refunds can be found here. This will ensure you receive your refund faster and more securely.
When will I get my credit or refund?
We expect the housing and board credits to be applied to student accounts on MyRider on April 30 and refund processing will begin on or around May 7.
Can I donate my credit or refund to another student?
We have been humbled by the number of families who have inquired if room and board credits or refunds can be donated to deserving students. The answer is yes, however, to do so, a student or family must first request a refund and then make a subsequent donation to the University for its greatest needs. Further information regarding this process will be forthcoming from our Advancement Division.
What’s Rider’s plan to distribute federal funds from the CARES Act?
Rider has finalized its plan for the distribution of approximately $1.8 million received under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and expects the grants to be distributed beginning Tuesday, May 12. The money was made available to assist students with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations caused by coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care expenses.
How do I know if I qualify for CARES Act funding:
- Login to the myRider portal at and click on the “Student” tab.
- In the Student Finances section, select "iPay: Pay my Admission or Housing Deposit/University Bill" link. Click "Continue."
- Under Student Account, click “View Activity.” Please choose the term “Spring 2020” and if you qualify, you will see a description for the Federal Cares Act Distribution.
How do I view my 2019-20 Estimated Family Contribution (EFC):
- Login to the myRider portal and click on the “Student” tab.
- In the Student Finances section, select the “Accept My Financial Aid” link.
- Select Aid Year " 2019-2020” in the drop-down box. Click Submit.
- Click the “Award Overview” tab. Scroll down to “Need Calculation” and you will see “Estimated Family Contribution.”
Will students receive a tuition credit of some kind? What about fees?
Rider is committed to helping students complete their academic requirements for the spring semester through remote and alternative instruction which began on March 30 and continues through the end of the semester including exams. Therefore, no refunds will be given for tuition for the spring semester.
REDUCING THE RISK OF GETTING CORONAVIRUS
What can I do to reduce the risk of coming down with coronavirus?
We encourage all members of our University community to continue the preventive practices recommended by public health officials, such as those listed below, to help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like coronavirus (COVID-19) and the flu. Please see the following CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines and check out the CDC site for more information: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
What cleaning is being done to reduce the spread of the virus?
We are continuing our enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols overnight and throughout the day. We are utilizing disinfectants recommended by the CDC for killing viruses like coronavirus.
Additional cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted in the residence halls during the extended spring break. This includes individual residence rooms, common areas and bathrooms.
What are some common health remedies I should have on hand?
We recommend that students keep on hand common health remedies that can be taken to relieve fever (below 103 degrees), sore throat, minor cuts or scrapes, earache, headache, and vomiting, among other conditions students typically deal with each year. A student health/first aid kit should include pain relievers/fever reducers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, thermometer, cough and cold remedies, band-aids, antibiotic ointment, ice/hot pack, and medications for upset stomach or diarrhea. Of course, the Student Health Center also has these available for a fee should you run out of a particular item.
SHOULD YOU BECOME ILL WITH CORONAVIRUS
How will I know if I have coronavirus?
Current symptoms reported for patients with coronavirus (COVID-19) have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath. You will not know if you have coronavirus until you are tested. Please check the CDC website for more information at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
What should I do if I start experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness like the flu or coronavirus?
As per the CDC, call ahead first to your personal healthcare provider or the Student Health Center.
Students who live off campus are encouraged to contact their primary healthcare providers first. The Student Health Center will be available to provide guidance via telephone consultation.
Students who currently live on campus should contact the Student Health Center as follows.
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.: Contact the Student Health Center at 609-896-5060 for consultation by phone (no in person appointments)
Weeknights: Treat symptoms using your student health/first aid kit, drink plenty of fluids, and contact the Student Health Center as soon as possible the next day during regular business hours at 609-896-5060 (both campuses). If symptoms are severe, contact Public Safety immediately at 609-896-5029 after hours.
Weekends: Contact Public Safety at 609-896-5029. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, Public Safety will notify the local ambulance squad or appropriate Student Affairs staff. If symptoms are not severe, we will encourage you to remain in your room and monitor your symptoms.
What if I am confirmed to have coronavirus?
If you are confirmed to have coronavirus, stay home, take care of yourself and, as per the CDC, restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care as needed. Do not go to work, school or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis. For more specific information, see www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html.
Students who have been confirmed with COVID-19 should notify the Student Health Center at 609-896-5060 and [email protected] so we can best support you and members of the community with whom you may have had contact.
Resident students who are ill will be cared for in separate on-campus facilities in coordination with the Student Health Center, Student Affairs and Residence Life. Public Safety will transfer you to the appropriate site where nursing coverage and food, cleaning and other services will be provided. Student Affairs staff will help you communicate with faculty regarding your academic requirements.
If you are a resident student who becomes ill, please call the Student Health Center first at 609-896-5060 Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. All other times, call Public Safety at 609-896-5029.
What if I have additional questions?
Contact your dean’s office with academic-related questions. Contact the Dean of Students office at 609-896-5101 or email [email protected] with all other questions.
You are also encouraged to check out the following websites: