FAQ - Fall Semester

  View Slides from our Webinar on Fall Planning


What is the rationale for holiday/weekend classes?

There are several important factors in our decision related to holiday and weekend class.  First, we are required by accrediting agencies to deliver the standard number of course contact days, which these adjustments allow us to provide.  Second, in order to protect the IWU and Bloomington/Normal communities, we have a responsibility to avoid unnecessary travel into and out of Bloomington. By cancelling Fall Break day, and holding class on Labor Day and four Saturdays, we minimize travel throughout the fall and complete the semester several days before Thanksgiving. This will allow students to travel home for the winter holidays ahead of the crowds. We also hope to reduce the potential intersection of flu season and COVID-19. We added holiday/weekend classes at the beginning of the term when workloads are typically lighter and preserved full weekends later into the term. We recognize that Saturday classes add pressure to an already busy semester, but we believe this will benefit community health in the long run. We assure you that our Counseling and Consultation Services staff are prepared to assist students with this high-stress period.

What are the dates for holiday and weekend classes?  

You can view the updated Academic Calendar here

Tuesday classes will meet on Saturday, August 22
Wednesday classes will meet on Saturday, August 29
Thursday classes will meet on Saturday, September 5
Monday classes will meet on Monday, September 7 (Labor Day)
Friday classes will meet on Saturday, September 12
Friday classes will meet on Friday, October 16 (Cancelled Fall Break Day)
Note: Courses will meet at their normal time on these designated Saturdays. 

The Saturday classes were positioned early in the semester to minimize conflicts with athletics and to front-load our efforts so that students would have full weekends during the more intense, later parts of the semester.

What will happen if I get sick and need to miss class?
Although we are taking many steps to keep the IWU community well, faculty are prepared to support students who may become ill, either with virtual instruction/materials, extensions, or other appropriate accommodations.  Students who withdraw from all classes due to illness will follow our standard withdrawal procedures and refund policies. Special circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

What if I want a fully virtual schedule?
Students who elect a fully virtual course schedule will need to enroll in O and F courses for fall 2020.  If you need assistance with course changes, course planning or other academic decisions, we recommend contacting your academic advisor or academic department chair or director.  The Director of Academic Advising can also be reached at advising@iwu.edu.  Students who live at home will be granted exemption from the residency requirement for the fall semester only, or until we make decisions about spring course offerings.  

What do "P, H, O and F" mean on my course schedule? 
Course delivery will vary. When the revised course schedule is available in late July, individual courses will be designated as in-person (P), hybrid (H), online (O), or HyFlex (F).  We are working on the details of how that will be visible for students and will update in mid July.

  • An in-person (P) course will meet in-person during all of the scheduled hours.   
  • A hybrid course (H) will implement a mixture of in-person and online activities. Students would need to participate in some in-person activities to complete the course (e.g. classroom, lab, performance, clinical, etc. activities).  
  • An online course (O) will be carried out entirely online using either synchronous pedagogy or a blend of synchronous and asynchronous pedagogy.
  • A HyFlex (F) course will be designed so that students can fully participate either in-person or remotely and switch modes as needed. A student could take the course from any location, but would have opportunities to participate in-person if living in B/N.  

When will I be able to adjust my class schedule?
We are currently gathering the course designations from the academic programs and it will take us some time to arrange course changes. We anticipate completing changes to the program of classes and posting course delivery designations (P, H, O, F) in Banner by late July. Please check your IWU email throughout the summer as you may also receive communications from academic departments and the Registrar's Office about plans and changes. If you need assistance with course changes or decisions, please contact your academic advisor or email advising@iwu.edu. If you need your PIN to make changes to your schedule, please email registrar@iwu.edu.

What are the dates for the Fall semester?
You can view the updated Academic Calendar here

Where can I purchase my textbooks?
Once you have registered for your classes, you may secure your textbooks through the University bookstore. The Bookstore has undergone some changes and our new campus partner is ready to welcome and serve your needs. These changes include an expanded selection of rental textbooks, digital textbooks and price matching.  Textbooks are available for purchase at any time once you have registered. You may purchase books in-person at the campus store, online through the bookstore website or by phone, 1-309-556-3059. If you need special accommodations, please contact Chandra Shipley at 309-556-3231 or cshipley@iwu.edu.

What are the course meeting times for Fall 2020?

Scheduled classes for the fall 2020 will meet according to the following schedule:

8:00-8:50 a.m.
9:05-9:55 a.m.
10:10-11:00 a.m.
12:50-1:40 p.m.
1:55-2:45 p.m.
3:00-3:50 p.m.
8:00-9:15 a.m.
9:30-10:45 a.m.
11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
1:05-2:20 p.m.
11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
2:00-3:15 (or MW) p.m.
6:15-8:55 p.m. 6:15-8:55 p.m.


Gateway & First-Year Experience Courses
All GW and FYE courses for the fall semester will be scheduled in the following time periods:

MWF 10:10-11:00 a.m.
MF 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Financial Questions

Is any money that I pay on my tuition bill right now refundable?

All money paid towards your fall tuition and fees will be fully refundable until the first day of class. Once the semester has started we will follow the normal refund policy.

If I commute from home will I lose all of my financial aid?

Most aid is available to students who commute. You would not be eligible for the IWU Residential Grant, IWU Residential scholarship, IWU McLean County Scholarship, or need-based student employment (exceptions can be made to student employment). However, even with this change, we can guarantee you that your net payment to IWU will be less than living in a University-owned living unit, based on the elimination of room and board charges.

Events & Activities

Convocations/Lectures/Panels:  Although we are still exploring many of these events, we are committed to continuing important intellectual activities in support of your education. We anticipate that most convocations, large lectures and panels (like career panels) will be delivered virtually. Our spring experience suggested that attendance at many of these types of events actually increased as students had greater opportunity to maximize their time.

Theatre/Music EventsTheatre productions and music recitals are an integral part of an active arts program; unfortunately, health guidelines and audience size restrictions will change participation. For spectators, we anticipate that many of these events may be presented both in-person with restricted audiences and virtually (when contracts/licenses allow) which will provide opportunity for a global audience. Check out the School of Theatre Arts (SoTA) social media for their newly announced season! SoTA in-person audiences will be limited to theatre students only, but we anticipate virtual opportunities to view performances. For music performers, ensembles will be small, have physical partitions that limit droplet spread, or will continue virtually. Your friends and family may be able to see performances virtually that they might not otherwise have been able to attend.

Athletics Events: School spirit manifests in our support of intercollegiate athletics. Outdoor athletic venues may host spectators up to 20% of their capacity. We hope to accommodate students and families at sporting events. We are working through the details on ticketing and participation for athletic events. In accordance with state guidance, tailgating is prohibited. Student athletes will receive sport-specific guidance from Athletic Director Mike Wagner and coaches.

Fitness Center/Intramurals: The Shirk Fitness Center will be available to all students for recreational fitness and approved activities. Capacity will be limited in all areas, which may require adjustments to operational hours or scheduled workout times. Intramural sports are currently being re-evaluated. You should receive a survey soliciting your opinion on intramural opportunities, so please be sure to fill it out. The current plan is to provide intramural opportunities in the fall and winter that will still allow for physical distancing during competition.

Hosting a Campus Event or RSO Meeting: We appreciate that many departments and registered student organizations host events as a big part of developing community on campus.  In order to facilitate these events, each group or department will participate in training regarding campus protocols and procedures prior to hosting an event. Adherence to health protocols is critical to event and meeting planning. Scheduling will accommodate a 30 minute change-over period to allow for cleaning; reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance.

Planning for Group Meetings: Meeting room occupancy limits have been revised in our reservation system, 25Live, to reflect the need to allow 6 feet of physical distance between attendees. Please check your RSO reservation to ensure that the place you’ve reserved will accommodate your membership, if you decide to continue meeting in person this fall. If you decide to meet virtually, Google Hangouts is operational now and we are hoping to offer an institutional Zoom license to better facilitate meetings. When making your reservation, the type of meeting (in-person, virtual or hybrid) can be included in the campus e-weekly and event announcements.

Event Participation Tracking: When someone contracts COVID-19, the McLean County Health department will begin a process of contact tracing to determine who else may have been exposed through sustained contact, like attending events. Part of our obligation to assist with contact tracing is tracking in-person event participation. Students may be asked to register for an event and/or sign-in upon arrival. We do not want participation tracking to infringe on privacy and will continue to work through these details with groups.



  • Will fraternities and sororities still have parties? Small group social events are encouraged, in accordance with inter/national policies, campus policies and health expectations. Large events will not be possible. Chapter leaders will receive further guidance on practices and policies to continue enhancing social connectedness and meaningful membership experiences. All approved social events will be substance-free.
  • Can off-campus parties still occur? Again, small group gatherings are encouraged. We expect students to be vigilant and to use good judgment in support of public health, both on and off campus. Students who recklessly endanger public health may face student conduct consequences.
  • Are non-IWU student guests allowed on-campus? Non-student guests are not permitted in the residence halls for at least the first four weeks of the semester, but are permitted to visit campus in designated places (outdoors, other spaces where social distancing is possible). All students should think critically about reducing sustained contact with others in appropriate ways and limiting the traffic in our residential spaces. In order to prevent the spread of illness, we need to think of campus as a new kind of ecosystem and do all that we can this fall to make it viable.
  • What will I do on campus during the two-day isolation period following testing?
    Our testing implementation team is working on addressing the specifics that our 2-day testing and isolation protocol will entail, including roommate accommodations and students traveling from hotspots. We will share this information in detail just as soon as we are able. Our staff Is already planning fun, substantive and meaningful opportunities for virtual connection throughout the mandatory isolation period and meals will be provided during this time. We will then be ready to welcome students into more active, in-person, and social distanced activities as we prepare to begin the semester.