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March 12 FAQs for Undergraduates Leaving Campus and Registering to Remain on Campus

Logistical Questions

When do I have to be out of my dorm room if I'm not allowed to stay on campus? 

Students must move out of their dorm rooms by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 19.

I meet one of the criteria for students who can register to remain on campus. When should I apply and when will I hear if my registration is confirmed?

Students who meet one or more of the stated criteria must apply to remain on campus no later than 12:00 noon on Friday, March 13. Applications will not be considered after that time.  If confirmed to remain, students will receive additional guidance by 9:00 p.m. on Friday, March 13.

What should I pack and what support is there for moving out?

Try to pack in ways that will allow you to leave campus yourself, rather than requiring family members to assist you.  Our goal remains to limit the number of people on campus.  

Pack and take your clothing and essentials including medications, perishable items, personal electronics, legal documents (e.g. passports) and any items you will need to support continuing coursework online without returning to campus (textbooks, notes, course materials, etc.).

The University will supply boxes and packing tape for this purpose.  Students will be able to obtain free packing supplies (4 boxes per student and 2 rolls of tape) at Dillon Gym beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 12.

Students should make every effort to empty their rooms, but for those unable to do so they may leave unwanted items in their rooms. These items should be marked “Donation” so that they can be recycled or reused or “Unwanted” to be disposed of.

Students may also use University-approved external moving/storage vendors (Campus Storage, Storage Squad, and Bohrens) for their storage and shipping needs.  Students wishing to store their bikes may use these vendors as well. Note that these vendors provide packing supplies as part of their moving/storage/shipping services and their standard rates apply.

Students on aid will each receive a $150 credit to their student accounts to help with the expense of moving out.

If students leaving campus face financial hardships that aren’t compensated by the room and board refund, you can apply to the Office of the Vice President for Campus Life, which is able to provide limited assistance to high financial need students who are suffering severe hardships. If you would like to be considered for this emergency funding, please submit this form.

Students should sign-up for these outside vendors services via the Campus StorageStorage Squad, and Bohrens websites.

Campus Storage and Storage Squad will be on campus at Dillon Gym beginning Friday, March 13 to receive items for storage/shipping.

The University will coordinate with Student Agencies and other relevant outside vendors to arrange pick up of rented items, such as mattresses, water coolers, and micro-fridges.  These items should be left in the room and there is no need to add any additional labels.

I’m a student who is currently away from campus.  If I can get back to campus by March 19 to pack up my belongings, may I still do so? 


I can’t pack up all of my things prior to the March 19 deadline; may I have an extension?

All students who are not registered to remain on campus must leave by the deadline; students will not be granted extensions. If you are not able to pack up your belongings before then, you will need to do your best prior to that date. See the instructions above for how to pack up your belongings and leave them in your room.

How do I register to remain on campus?

Please use the form on this website to register to remain on campus.  We’re asking all students to examine very closely whether they absolutely need to stay. You are permitted to remain living on campus only if you meet one or more of these criteria. You are:

  • A senior who must conduct lab or other Princeton-based research on campus that’s required for your senior thesis (please check with your department);
  • A student who faces housing insecurity (homelessness or a precarious living situation);
  • A student who faces financial insecurity;
  • A student previously certified “independent for the purposes of financial aid”;
  • Currently residing in “family housing.”
  • An international student may fall into any of the categories above. Other criteria for international students include those: 
    • Who have immigration, travel, and/or visa restrictions;
    • Whose home is in a country currently designated at a Warning Levels 2 & 3 and USDOS Levels 3 & 4 for COVID-19.
    • Whose home is in an area with extremely limited internet connectivity.

If you meet one of these criteria, you must register to stay on campus to ensure that you have the necessary support and accommodations during this period. 

Can I stay on campus if there is sustained community transmission of COVID-19 at home or in the community where I will be living? 

No, this is not one of the criteria for remaining on campus.  We urge you to consult with your local or state health department for guidance on any additional precautions and preventative measures. 

What is the definition of “financial insecurity”?

There is no single answer to this question. But we are asking students to remain on campus only if it is absolutely necessary, that is, if they will face housing/food insecurity if they return home. If you have the ability to leave campus, please do so; it is extremely important to reduce density on campus so that those with absolute need to stay can do so more safely.

Here are a few resources to consider:

  1.  Remember, students who leave campus will be receiving pro-rated refunds for their room and board. Since the aid package will not be adjusted, students on financial aid will likely receive a refund in their student account for this amount. Students off-campus can and should use this funding for their living expenses during the spring semester.
  2. Emergency funds are also available to assist with flights, technology, and other necessities to ensure that you can continue your work as a Princeton student at a distance. Short-term financial needs or lack of funding can be addressed through the emergency funding system. 
  3. Please remember that campus employment is not a reason to remain on campus. We are not sure how long, in fact, campus jobs will continue. We are considering accommodations for students who hold spring term campus jobs and who expected to continue receiving wages from their employment. Please bear with us as we assess how best to provide these resources.

Please make your calculations about your financial situation with these resources in mind. 

If you do not receive full financial aid (“zero parental contribution”) from the University and do not have any other extenuating circumstances, it is unlikely that you need to remain on campus. Receiving full financial aid does not in and of itself mean that you have financial insecurity, since you will be receiving a refund that can support your spring semester living costs. Please consider these issues before you apply to remain on campus; remember, we want to make campus safe and healthy for those who really need to stay.

If you have questions about how to proceed and about the choices confronting you, please contact your DSL or Dean Khristina Gonzalez ( to discuss.

If you have questions about how to proceed and the choices that you are making, please contact your DSL or Dean Khristina Gonzalez ( to discuss.

What restrictions will be placed on students who are registered to remain on campus? Will they be able to come and go as they please?

Students remaining on campus must adhere to social distancing protocols at all times. 

If my department determines I must stay on campus to complete my senior thesis, do I have to leave campus immediately after it is due?


If I qualify to stay now, can I change my mind and leave campus later?


If I leave campus for spring break but qualify to be on campus, can I come back?

No, once students leave campus they will not be eligible to return for the remainder of the semester. 

Financial Questions

Will I get a room and board refund to the period I'm away from campus?

Both aid and non-aid students will have their room and board charges (if they have a room or board contract) reduced by a pro-rated amount for the remainder of the term. Financial aid credits will not be reduced – students will retain their aid. The reduction in charges will result in a credit on the student account, providing the account balance is zero. Students may access their credit balance in the usual way.

I have a campus job.  What will happen when that work is cancelled or postponed?

We are considering accommodations for students who hold spring term campus jobs and who expected to continue receiving wages for their employment.  We will update this response once we assess how best to provide these resources. 

Will there be emergency funds to cover unanticipated travel, airline change fees, technology required for online instruction, or other expenses not in my budget?

Financial aid awards included an allowance for a return trip home at the end of the year. If you are booking now, fares are at all-time lows. If you already booked a return flight for May and face challenges changing the travel date, the University is prepared to assist. In addition, all aid students will receive a $150 credit to help with potential storage and shipping expenses.

If students leaving campus face financial hardships that aren’t compensated by the room and board refund, you can apply to the Office of the Vice President for Campus Life, which is able to provide limited assistance to high financial need students who are suffering severe hardships. If you would like to be considered for this emergency funding, please submit this form.

What happens to my student health plan insurance?

The Student Health Plan coverage remains in effect and is available for all students who are on campus as well as those students away from campus, so long as they remain fully enrolled Princeton students.   We have eliminated the referral requirement for all students during this time.  If you have any questions about referrals or your Student Health Plan coverage, please contact Aetna Student Health at: 1.877.437.6511.  

Please continue to check University Health Services website under News/Events for the latest information on services and the Student Health Plan.    

If I have to stay on campus and my eating club is closed, will there be a way for me to get meals?

All eating clubs and co-ops will be closed. If you are a member of a club or a co-op, you will be able to eat meals from the serveries on campus.

To promote social distancing, meals will be available from campus serveries to box up and take back to your dorm room or to eat on site.  Whether or not you are on a meal plan, if you must remain on campus, these meals will be available to you at no charge.

The Whitman dining hall will be open for brunch (10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.) and dinner (5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.).

All undergraduate students living on campus will use their PUID and sign in to access the dining hall. For additional details, please see

Course-Related Questions

Do I have to take midterms if I'm trying to pack and move out?

Yes, but if you feel unable to complete your midterm exams, we encourage you to write to your instructor to request a postponement. We recommend you cc: your residential college Dean or Director of Studies.  Student-athletes should cc Dean Dun.  Dean Dolan has written to the faculty to urged those administering midterm exams to be flexible as we confront this crisis.  We asked them, if possible, to  

•    Administer the midterm exam online, using Blackboard or Canvas;

•    Allow students to pick up the exam and then take it elsewhere to finish and return it, under the auspices of the Honor Code;

•    Re-weight the mid-term examination in their grading rubric, to acknowledge student stress and confusion.

Other Questions

I'm feeling overwhelmed with the decisions I have to make this week.  Is there someone who can help me?

You may be experiencing stress related to concerns for yourself, your family, or your friends.  Please remember the many campus resources available to support you. 

Your residential college staff are always available to answer your questions and to talk through your distress.  College staff are currently working on ways to stay connected to their students remotely and will follow up with communications in the respective colleges. Staff in the Programs for Access and Inclusion and the Scholars Institute Fellows Program are also available to assist students. 

Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) can be reached at (609) 258-3141.  Virtual CPS counseling sessions are being offered as well.  Do reach out to our campus life centers, to the Office of Religious Life, and to other campus support resources.

Technical Questions

What should students do if they won't have access to high speed internet?

We recognize that not all students have reliable access to Wi-Fi away from campus. We will provide emergency funding for students who need to purchase a hotspot and a data plan to work from home. Please look out for an email with information about how to apply for this funding.  If there is no possible way to access Wi-Fi from your home area, even with a hotspot, you may register to remain on campus. Students who need a laptop or iPad are encouraged to use the Student Computing Initiative to acquire one. 

For more results, please use the Princeton University search page.