Frequently Asked Questions
With the university’s transition to online learning, we want to provide as much information and support as possible to our Longhorn community.
As part of the Fall 2020 planning process, the UT course schedule will continue to change as we head into the fall. These changes may affect the instructional mode, instructor, time or location of some classes. We strongly encourage you to review your course schedule regularly throughout the rest of the summer for additional updates.
Please feel free to contact us by email if you have additional questions.
I have a Perkin’s loan. What are my options right now given the COVID-19 issue? (April 3)
The Federal student loan interest freeze implemented by the President of the United States only applies to loans that are directly held by the Department of Education. If you make your Perkins loan payments to UT-Austin, your loan is NOT directly held by the Department of Education. Therefore, an interest freeze and an automatic forbearance will not be applied to your Perkins student loan(s). You are required to continue making your Perkins loan payments as scheduled.
If you are experiencing financial hardship, you may be eligible for an Economic Hardship Deferment, Unemployment Deferment or Forbearance for your Perkins loan(s) depending on your circumstance. Please contact The Perkins Loan team for further details at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to take advantage of the Federal loan interest freeze benefit and currently have a Federal Perkins loan serviced by the University of Texas at Austin, you may consolidate your Federal Perkins Loan into a Direct Consolidation Loan held by the Department of Education. Please note that you may lose certain loan benefits if you consolidate a Federal Perkins Loan. For more information about Direct Loan Consolidation go to: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/consolidation.
Am I still accruing interest on my institutional/cash loan? What if I am in repayment and cannot pay? (April 3)
If your loan is a cash or short term institutional loan, your interest is currently being waived through September 30, 2020.
How can someone who is not part of the UT Zoom system (family, friends, or coworkers who do not attend UT) access a personal Zoom meeting? (April 3)
Under the high-security Zoom configuration that was implemented on 4/1/2020, there are three things to know to do this successfully:
- Anyone coming in to the Zoom meeting must have a Zoom account. It can be an account from another entity, or it can be one of Zoom’s free accounts. The person just has to set up a Zoom account before the meeting so that he or she is recognized by Zoom and can log in.
- Only those with UT Austin Zoom accounts (available to faculty, staff, and students only), who are using a Zoom application on their local device, will directly enter the meeting.
- If the guest’s Zoom account is from any other entity, or a free account, he or she will be placed into the Zoom Waiting Room to be let in by the moderator.
These changes are part of the president’s zero-tolerance initiative to prevent abuse of any members of our community by intruders (or zoom disruptions).
I need to request flexibility regarding a class assignment or when I am unable to remote into a class? (April 3)
Please communicate directly with your faculty to find a solution. During this unprecedented change to remote learning, The University of Texas at Austin has requested that faculty work directly with students to meet their needs. If there are additional concerns or an emergency is impacting your academics, please connect with Student Emergency Services in the Office of the Dean of Students.
Will there be any delay in certifying spring degrees this year? (April 2)
The Graduate School is currently working with the Registrar on the timeline for certifying degrees and will update this page soon.
I am a faculty member and received a Graduate School Faculty Travel Grant (FTG) to present at a conference that has been cancelled due to COVID-19? What will happen to my award? (April 2)
Please see the travel reimbursement policy from Travel Management Services.
Will the Graduate School provide refunds to graduate students who had to cancel conference and research trips due to COVID-19? (April 2)
Students should first contact airlines, conference organizers and accommodation providers to request refunds. Many conference organizers and accommodation providers are providing refunds, along with many airlines. Some airlines are providing passengers with credit toward future flights. Graduate students who have Professional Development Award (PDA) travel funds from the Graduate School for a conference that has been cancelled should contact the Graduate School’s fellowship office to explain the situation and provide documentation in writing for any non-refunded expenditure.
What impact will COVID-19 have on the implementation plan for the Graduate Education Task Force? (April 2)
The COVID-19 crisis has introduced new challenges to developing the task force implementation plan. However, the Graduate School is still on track to address many of the recommendations, such as insurance, TRB, mentoring and TA/AI salaries. As the university transitions to online course delivery, the Graduate School is resuming discussions and will submit the plan to the provost soon.
If I am unable to access facilities and materials to finish my thesis or dissertation, will I have to pay tuition for future semesters? (April 2)
The Graduate School is currently working with units across campus to develop policies and plans for students who are forced to prolong their degree plans due to COVID-19. More information will be provided on this website in the coming days and weeks for students in these circumstances. Students who miss the May 8 deadline for submitting final materials may register in absentia for the summer semester if they can submit materials by June 3. The cost of in absentia registration is $25.
I can’t access labs or facilities to complete my thesis or dissertation to graduate. What should I do? (April 2)
The Graduate School recognizes that student access to labs, libraries and other facilities is an issue and is working with the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and leadership across campus to determine how to provide safe access for students. Graduate students should discuss their specific needs with their advisers. Additionally, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research has compiled policies and resources for students and will continue to provide updates on their website. Additionally, UT Libraries has extensive online resources for students, including access to its digital collections.
Will the Q-Drop deadline be extended? (April 2)
Yes. The Q-drop period requiring only the graduate adviser’s signature has been extended to May 29, one week after all instructor grades are submitted. Before deciding to drop a course, graduate students must discuss the change with their graduate advisers.
May students change the grading option in their courses from a letter grade to Credit/No Credit, or from Credit/NO Credit to letter grade? (April 2)
Students may switch to the Credit/No Credit grading option in courses where that was not previously allowed. Students may also change from Credit/No Credit to letter grade, and may make that change up to May 29, one week after instructor grades are submitted. Before deciding to change the grading option for a course, graduate students must discuss the change with their graduate advisers.
Have the submission deadlines for submitting graduation materials been delayed? (April 2)
No. At this time, the university has stated the semester will end as scheduled, and the final submission deadline for reports, theses and dissertations remains May 8. However, Graduate students who were on track to graduate in May but whose progress was delayed by COVID-19 may petition to register in absentia during the summer 2020 semester. Please note that in order to register in absentia for summer, students MUST apply to graduate during the spring semester and submit their programs of work before April 24. The deadline to petition is May 1. Students registered in absentia will be able to graduate in the summer 2020 semester if they submit all graduation materials to the Graduate School before 3 p.m. on August 14.