Frequently Asked Questions

Recently added or updated questions

May 28

May 26

May 22

May 18

May 14

April 28


What can I do to protect myself from this virus?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintain up-to-date guidance on steps you can take to protect yourself from coronavirus.

In general, all members of the community should practice proactive hygiene and make the following habits part of your daily routine:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after using the bathroom, before preparing or eating food, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and visiting or caring for a sick person.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes by using a tissue over your mouth and nose and then disposing of it. If a tissue is unavailable, use your sleeve, not your hand, which is more likely to transmit fluid droplets to others.
  • Don’t share food, drinks, dishes, glasses or eating utensils.
  • Avoid direct contact with napkins, tissues or similar items used by others.
  • Avoid close contact with others, especially if you are ill. A distance of 6 feet is recommended.

What steps are SUNY Cortland taking to help prevent the spread of the virus on campus?

The campus Incident Management Team (IMT) continues to help provide guidance to campus units in preparing for any potential future occurrence of the virus in the region.


Resources for Distance Learning Offices and COVID-19

How will distance learning work?

  • All classes resume on March 30.
  • Course instructors will contact students with details for each class.
  • Courses may meet online at their previously scheduled course time to avoid conflicts for students. For this reason, students should make no other commitments during their scheduled class times.
  • An instructor may tell you the class is asynchronous, which indicates there is no specific meeting time. Pay particular attention to assignment due dates and deadlines.
  • Classes will end May 15 and there will be no final exam week. Faculty will be able to give finals during the last week of classes.
  • A decision on grading options, including pass/fail options, will be shared with you in early April.
  • If you are having difficulty with technology, please see support information to help you navigate any problems you may be having. Access to Library services is also available at

Learn more in a letter from Provost Mark Prus sent on March 26.

Added 3/27/20

I've suffered an education-threatening financial setback. Can I request assistance?

SUNY Cortland students who have suffered an education-threatening financial setback because of the COVID-19 outbreak can apply for help from a new emergency fund recently established by the Cortland College Foundation. Learn more about the Student Emergency Fund.

Will the SUNY Cortland Cupboard be open this summer?

The cupboard will be open over the summer by appointment only. Students may email to schedule an appointment.

Added May 18, 2020

How do I sell back my books or return my book rentals?

Selling back books

Any non-rented books that students wish to sell back are shipped for free to Nebraska books. Sell back your textbooks on the campus store website.

Returning book rentals

Please follow the steps listed on the SUNY Cortland Auxiliary Services website to ensure your book rentals are returned on time. The student is responsible for any shipping costs incurred. Returns need to be post marked by June 15, 2020, to avoid any non-return or late fees.

Updated May 28, 2020

Has course registration changed?

The timeline for summer and fall registration has been adjusted.

Visit the Registration Calendars page for the latest information.

Added March 24, 2020

Can I take classes Pass/No Credit?

Yes, the university has developed temporary academic policies for this semester. More information can be found in the Temporary Academic Policy Changes COVID-19 (PDF).

Added March 31, 2020

How do I retrieve my belongings from my residence hall room?

As the university continues to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we are taking proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of the Cortland community.

If you have not removed your belongings from campus, please contact our office in order to make arrangements to retrieve your belongings. You should not return to campus to pick up your belongings until you are notified of your approval via email.

All residential students were asked to complete the checkout request form to notify Residence Life and Housing of their plans by Friday, May 15, 2020. This form is now closed. If you have any additional questions, please contact our office by email or via phone at 607-753-4724.

Updated May 26, 2020

Can I live on campus for the remainder of the semester?

Students requesting to live in campus housing need to complete the housing intent form. Only students who meet the following criteria will be considered.

  • International students and others for whom SUNY Cortland is their primary housing.
  • Students who do not currently have a safe or healthy home environment.
  • Students who have limited or no access to technology at home.

Do not return to campus for any reason unless you have been granted permission.

Be advised that the status of on-campus operations will be very limited for an indefinite period of time. Restrictions include:

  • Students permitted to remain in campus housing may be required to relocate in order to prevent the spread of illness or allow for the cleaning of rooms.
  • The Student Life Center is closed until further notice.
  • SUNY Cortland Auxiliary Services has moved to take out meals.
  • All campus activities and events are cancelled.
  • All Cortland winter and spring athletics have been cancelled.
  • Residential students will not be permitted to host guests and all visitors will need to be approved by hall staff.
  • You are not permitted to enter residence halls/apartments other than your assigned living space. Students from other residence halls and off-campus guests are not permitted to enter your residence hall.
  • No group gatherings of any size are allowed, including hanging out in lounges or common areas. To connect with friends or other students, please video chat, call, or text them.
  • If there is a university directive to remain in your room for an extended period of time, you must comply.

The date at which students retrieve belongings has no impact on potential prorated room refunds or credits. For that purpose, the official move-out date for all non-returning students, regardless of when they return for personal property, will be March 19.

What is happening for students living off campus?

Many SUNY Cortland students who leased apartments off campus have returned to Cortland while finishing their academic work remotely. These students should be aware that they are expected to follow all social distancing guidelines outlined by Governor Andrew Cuomo in the 10-point New York State on PAUSE executive order.

Failure to do so will force the university to take disciplinary action, which could include immediate interim suspension. This was outlined in a letter to students from President Erik Bitterbaum.

Among other things, students:

  • May not host or attend gatherings of any number of people.
  • Must maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people.
  • Should limit outdoor recreational activities and not participate in contact or group sports.
  • Should limit use of public transportation.
  • May not have a congregation of people outside your home.
  • Should avoid contact with vulnerable populations
  • Should use precautionary sanitary procedures such as using alcohol wipes or hand sanitizer.

These restrictions are necessary not only to protect students’ health and safety during the COVID-19 outbreak, but also that of their friends, family and fellow Cortland community members. Students should be mindful that it is possible for people without symptoms to inadvertently spread the virus to others, some of whom may be older, have compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions that could make the disease fatal.

Off-campus students in Cortland should know that only essential university personnel are currently on campus, with the majority of faculty and staff working remotely. Campus offices and services are available but access to most of these is being facilitated through remote appointments. Campus amenities such as the Student Life Center are closed until further notice, and dining services have been reduced to take-out meals only.

Individuals living in off-campus dwellings should be diligent in maintaining safe distances from others inside the house or apartment. Those students should avoid gathering in groups in common living spaces. 

Updated April 3, 2020

Are computer labs open?

There are two computer labs open on campus Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Cornish Hall, Room 1310 (Mac)
  • Sperry Center, Room 103 (Windows)

These labs are cleaned frequently. Please follow sanitizing protocols posted in each lab.

Added April 8, 2020

What is SUNY Cortland doing about reimbursements?

Beginning May 18, students will see adjustments on their accounts for prorated on-campus housing, dining and several other broad-based fee charges incurred in the spring 2020 semester that were unused.  

Refund checks were processed and mailed Monday, May 18. Students with direct deposit should have received money in their accounts on Tuesday, May 19.

Vice President for Finance and Management Anna Addonisio outlined details in a letter to students and parents.

If you have questions, or have not received a refund, contact the Student Accounts Office.

If you have a critical financial need please contact the Financial Aid Office at 607-753-4717.

Updated May 22, 2020

What should student teachers do?

Many districts across the state are closing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and it isn’t clear when schools will be open again.

Because of the uncertainty in this situation, we are suspending field work for all student teachers until further notice. Student teachers should not report to their placements starting on Monday, 3/16, and should not return to their placements until instructed to do so by SUNY Cortland. 

However, student teachers may participate in remote instruction if they are invited to do so by their host schools. 

Student teachers should work with their supervisors to finish any written work or other assignments for the first quarter of their student teaching by March 20. This includes completing the online Student Teaching Self-Evaluation. Supervisors will assign grades for the first quarter based on observations and work completed to date. They will also submit an online Student Teacher Evaluation for each of their student teachers based on their work in the first quarter.

The Teacher Education Unit is in the process of preparing a number of different online activities for student teachers to complete their second quarter requirements, including support for student teachers to complete their edTPA. The second quarter of student teaching will run from March 30-May 15. Activities for this quarter will be available early in the week of March 30. Information for accessing these materials will be sent directly to student teachers and their supervisors and will also be posted on SUNY Cortland’s COVID-19 information page

What should students in teacher preparation programs do about their field experiences?

Instructors of courses that include a field experience are currently working on plans to assist their students in meeting the learning objectives of field experiences through distance learning activities. Instructors will be contacting students about these activities during the week of March 30.

How is the spread of COVID-19 affecting study abroad and international students?

The International Programs Office (IPO), in consultation with campus experts and SUNY System Administration, has been responding to the evolving coronavirus situation worldwide to ensure the safety and well-being of our study abroad and international students. Please visit the IPO coronavirus page for more information on the status of our study abroad programs and plans for supporting international students.

On March 10, 2020, SUNY instructed "all program participants in all countries to return to New York or to their home in the US immediately,” in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. All summer and fall 2020 study abroad programs have been canceled. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to elevate their travel warning to Level 3 for many countries and to Level 2: Practice Enhanced Precautions worldwide, and the U.S. Department of State raised their Global Travel Health advisory to Level 4. Since then, several national governments have restricted travel and border entry, and have implemented traveler health screening and quarantine protocols, while airlines have cancelled many international and domestic flights.  With so many uncertainties about health and safety, travel logistics, and timing of when we will return to normalcy, the university has therefore canceled all campus-sponsored and official campus international travel for faculty, staff and students.

The university is working with exchange and matriculated international students as they make their plans to return home or remain on campus. International Programs advisors continue to be available to advise and support international students throughout this crisis.

The International Programs Office staff are available to answer your questions by email, phone, or virtual meeting. To schedule an appointment or ask a question please send an email to or leave a voice message at 607-753-2209. Someone will respond during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Updated May 14, 2020

What are the dining facilities hours?

Neubig Dining has adopted a social distancing best practice and will serve boxed meals from the lobby of Neubig Hall to the students approved to stay by Residential Life and Housing Office.

Boxed meal pickup times Monday through Saturday are:

  • Breakfast, 9 to 10 a.m.
  • Lunch, noon to 1 p.m.
  • Dinner, 5 to 6 p.m. 

Please note that Sunday meals are provided at Saturday Dinner Pickup.

Regrettably, our dining units are closed for normal business until further notice.
If you have any questions or dietary restrictions, please ask for a Neubig dining manager or contact Jeff Scott at 607-753-2424

Updated April 9, 2020

How do I cope with the emotional and mental stress caused by this rapidly changing situation?

The current outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) may be stressful for many people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.

Services for students

More information is available on the Counseling Center website. Phone consultations with a therapist are available for all students.

Conley Counseling and Wellness Services suggests the following resources:


Keep Working/Teaching Human Resources FAQ page Travel Reimbursement

What should faculty and staff do?

Governor Andrew Cuomo directed all New York state employees designated as non-essential to work from home starting Tuesday, March 17. SUNY Cortland has extended the directive for non-essential employees to work remotely and not report to campus through June 5. All existing remote work plans are considered extended through that date. Supervisors are responsible for making any necessary changes or adjustments to ensure continuity of work and best support the operating needs of the department or office.

SUNY Cortland employees also are encouraged to consult the COVID-19 Human Resources FAQ page. Employees who have work-related travel plans impacted can consult the COVID-19 Travel Reimbursement page.

Updated May 14, 2020

Have academic policies changed?

Yes, the university has developed temporary academic policies for this semester. More information can be found in the Temporary Academic Policy Changes COVID-19 (PDF).

Added March 31, 2020

Have financial policies changed?

The crisis has created fiscal uncertainty throughout higher education. Although SUNY Cortland has always been fiscally responsible, the current situation requires us to be exceptionally good stewards of our resources. 

As we plan for the upcoming months and beyond, we are implementing a number of measures to reduce expenditures and limit major new obligations.

Learn more about measures to manage COVID-19 financial impact.

Added April 24, 2020

What is happening with paychecks?

Beginning on the April 1 pay date, paychecks will be mailed to the address that is currently on your paycheck. It is vitally important that you have the correct address on file with the Payroll Office. Address changes must be made by Tuesday the week before the affected check date. A change of address can be made on the SUNY Employee Portal. or email For those of you who are not currently enrolled in Direct Deposit (PDF), we strongly encourage you to sign up.

Added March 24, 2020


What is SUNY Cortland doing about reimbursements?

Beginning May 18, students will see adjustments on their accounts for prorated on-campus housing, dining and several other broad-based fee charges incurred in the spring 2020 semester that were unused.  

Refund checks were processed and mailed Monday, May 18. Students with direct deposit should have received money in their accounts on Tuesday, May 19.

Vice President for Finance and Management Anna Addonisio outlined details in a letter to students and parents.

If you have questions, or have not received a refund, contact the Student Accounts Office.

If you have a critical financial need please contact the Financial Aid Office at 607-753-4717.

Updated May 22, 2020


What is happening to campus events?

In-person campus events and activities are cancelled through July 31, 2020. More details are available online.

Prospective students can learn more about Admissions Office events on the COVID-19 Spring Visit Update page.

Updated April 21, 2020

What is happening with Commencement 2020?

SUNY Cortland's Spring 2020 Commencement will be postponed. No date has yet been set.

Please read President Bitterbaum's message regarding Commencement for more information

Are SUNY Cortland athletic events still being held?

    The COVID-19 outbreak continues to lead to a number of changes to SUNY Cortland Athletics schedules and travel plans. As of 6:45 p.m., March 12, all Cortland winter and spring contests have been suspended for the remainder of the 2020 spring semester.

    The NCAA released a statement earlier tonight canceling all winter and spring championship competition throughout all divisions. The statement is posted below:

    "Today, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men's and women's 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.