Learn more about Dean College's move to online learning for the Fall 2020 semester.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit the below drop down list of frequently asked questions by category to learn more about the fall 2020 semester at Dean College.

Learn more about Dean's move to online learning for the fall 2020 semester, including who to contact with additional questions.

We encourage you to reach out to Dean College for further information. We are happy to answer any questions you may have. 

Who should be contacted with further questions?

Is Dean College closing its campus?

  • No. We are moving to an online learning and support services environment for the Fall 2020 semester. Though classes will not be meeting in person during this timeframe and students will not be residing on campus, the College is open and available for campus tours. Dean Online will include all the services our College is known for including learning support, academic coaching, robust student life opportunities, cutting-edge academic experiences, NCAA athletic teams and a vibrant community. We look forward to welcoming students back to campus as soon as possible. 

Learn more about the academic calendar, class formats and schedules.

What is Dean’s Fall 2020 academic calendar?

  • Bulldog Beginnings for new students will take place on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Classes will begin on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. The semester will conclude on Thursday, December 17, 2020. 

Why did you move your academic calendar back to September 8, 2020?

  • Dean moved its start date earlier to accommodate an on-campus model to have students arrive early to leave by Thanksgiving. Now that we are online for the semester, we felt it better to move back to our original academic calendar.

What are synchronous vs. asynchronous classes?

  • An asynchronous class is one where instructors provide materials, lectures, tests and assignments that can be accessed at any time. Synchronous classes have students and instructors online at the same time where lectures, discussions and dialogue occur live at a specific time and day each week. Dean’s Fall courses will be a robust combination of both to maximize the learning opportunities for students. 

How will classes work in this format?

  • Classes will be delivered mostly in a synchronous format. This means that instructors and students will meet live virtually at designated class times so that students will be able to engage in real time with peers and faculty for interactive instruction, project work, guest speakers and discussions. The goal is to create community, have fun, and bring the Dean classroom alive! Students will work within MyCourses, the Dean College learning management system, to access course sites which will include assignments, course resources, individualized feedback, spaces for collaborative projects and discussion sites. Academic support services are also available. 

What happens if I am in a different time zone and in a synchronous class?

  • Posted class times will be based on Eastern Standard Time. Students are encouraged to work with their Success and Career Advisors to adjust their schedules so that they are registered in courses that allow for the student’s live participation at the designated class time.  Attendance policies will apply. Although class sessions will be recorded and available for students’ review, a thriving online classroom experience requires full participation from all students enrolled in the class.  

How will students communicate with faculty?

  • Students will meet with faculty live during virtual classes at designed class times. In addition, faculty will be offering virtual office hours at regular times posted in their syllabi and will be available by appointment. As always, Dean faculty are highly committed to being responsive to our students.  Email communication with faculty is always encouraged.

Will schedules stay as they were when we planned them, or will they change for smaller classes?

  • Times of classes will remain mostly the same. In some cases, we are reducing number of students in classes to make sure faculty are able to effectively support each student in the online environment.  Please contact your Success & Career Advisor to talk about your classes. All students will be able to view their schedule during the first week of August.

What if a returning student wants to take a semester or year off?

  • If a returning student is thinking of taking the semester or year off, please work with your Success & Career Advisor. Options could include taking part-time classes at Dean or another institution. In order to transfer classes back to Dean, students will need the registrar to approve the transfer credit. If a student decides to return to Dean for Spring term or Fall 2021, they will only need to complete a readmit form and will then be reinstated. Their Success & Career Advisor will then work with them to register for classes.

Learn more about fall 2020 athletics.

Will athletic teams be able to work with coaches? 

  • Dean College is working with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and our athletic conferences in developing a plan regarding ways in which coaches will be permitted to interact with their teams. We plan to provide opportunities in the fall for our coaches to work with their student-athletes in some capacity. 

When will decisions be made about winter and spring sports?

  • Dean is planning to have winter and spring sports. Further details will be provided as soon as possible. 

Learn more about financial aid, financial planning, work-study and more.

How will charges be adjusted for the fall semester?

  • Room and meal plan, parking fees and lab fee charges will be removed from the fall bill. Additionally, the student activity fee will be reduced by 50%. 

Will tuition be reduced now that classes are online?

  • No, tuition remains at the same rate. Although your experience will be online, you will still receive the same quality education, faculty, services, support, community and everything that makes up The Dean Difference. While the experience will be different, it will not be any less than what you would have had on campus. Remember, different, but the same high quality and value. This online experience will prepare you well for the future.

Will my scholarship and financial aid be adjusted for the fall?

  • Yes. Both your financial aid award letter and your scholarship notification indicate that your scholarship and financial aid is dependent on your residency status. This is because resident students receive larger scholarships than commuter students to reflect the additional cost of housing and meal plan. Therefore, since we adjusted charges for the fall semester, a corresponding reduction in Dean funding is necessary. 

How will my financial aid be adjusted for fall?

  • The cost of housing and meal plan is equivalent to approximately 30% of the total cost for the fall. Therefore, we will reduce your total Dean scholarships, awards and grants by 30%. This reduction will be reflected in a reduced scholarship amount.

Example Table:

  On Campus Fall 2020  Remote Fall 2020 Reduction

Total Charges


$29,483 $20,609 30%

Total Dean Aid


$13,000 $9,100 30%

Out of Pocket Expenses


$16,483 $11,509 30%

The total reduction in Dean Aid will be deducted from your fall scholarship amount. 

I was already a commuter student. Will my scholarship and financial aid be adjusted?

  • No, your scholarship and financial aid are not affected by the change to be online this fall.

When will bills be due?

  • Dean’s move to fully online for Fall 2020 requires us to adjust your student account. Charges related to room, meal plan, parking, student activity fee and course/lab fees are being adjusted accordingly. We anticipate a new bill will be available on dean.afford.com on July 31 and the bill will be due on August 14.

What if I have already paid based on living on campus for the fall? 

  • If you have already submitted payment for the fall, you may request a refund once revised bills are released on July 31. Refunds may take up to 2 weeks to process. You may also elect to leave your payment on your student account and have it credit your anticipated spring charges.

What if I already borrowed a loan based on living on campus for the fall?

  • If you borrowed a loan to help cover your fall out of pocket costs, your loan will be reduced for the fall to reflect the lower costs associated with attending remotely.

What if I already arranged to make monthly payments based on living on campus for the fall?

  • If you arranged to make monthly payments, we will provide you with options to adjust your payment plan once revised bills are released on July 31.

What if I have already paid and now want to defer to Spring 2021?

  • If you have elected to defer your enrollment to the spring 2021 semester you will receive a refund. Refunds will be processed after July 31 and may take up to 2 weeks to process. You may also elect to leave your payment on your student account and have it credit your anticipated spring charges. Your fall scholarship, and any other fall financial aid will be canceled. You will still receive your spring scholarship and financial aid. If you borrowed a PLUS loan or other private loan, this loan will be cancelled, and you may reapply for this loan before the spring semester. 

What if I decide to attend Fall 2020 and choose to withdraw after the first day of classes?

  • If you enroll and leave after the first day of the semester, your charges and financial aid will be prorated accordingly per the College’s refund policy.

Assuming we return to campus in the spring, will my scholarship and financial aid return to the original amount I was awarded?

  • Yes, your spring scholarship will return to the amount you originally received. Other financial aid will also return based on your spring eligibility for financial aid, including grants and loans.

My family’s income has been impacted by COVID-19. Can I be considered for additional financial aid?

  • Yes. Submit an appeal letter explaining your family’s circumstances to the Student Financial Planning and Services office. You may email this to  Student Financial Planning and Services. For more information on how to appeal call 508-541-1518.

Will remote work-study jobs be available?

  • We are working to convert work-study jobs from on-campus positions to remote positions. We anticipate posting remote work-study positions soon. Please note that remote work-study positions may be limited for the fall.

What will happen to the Boomer’s Bucks I had that carried forward from Spring 2020?

  • We will be contacting students who had a Boomer’s Bucks credit from Spring 2020 and will provide a way to receive either a refund or an opportunity to roll those funds forward to Spring 2021.

Learn more about student activities, health insurance and counseling.

What will student activities and peer interaction look like in an online environment?

  • Students will have the opportunity to join one of our many student run organizations as well as take part in a diverse calendar of virtual programs. There will be interactive programming such as contests, live entertainment, leadership activities, wellness events throughout the semester. Specific emphasis will be placed on relationship building activities for first year students.

What is the College offered health insurance plan and how do I waive or enroll for 2020- 2021?

  • The College will offer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts through Academic Health Plans. The cost of the insurance for the full academic year is $1919 and will be active August 1, 2020 through July 31, 2021. 

All students MUST either enroll or waive the student health insurance for the fall semester.

  • The charge will remain on the student’s bill until action is taken. You can waive or enroll in the insurance at dean.myahpcare.com. The link will be available until September 15. As Dean College will be in a virtual environment for the fall semester there will be additional flexibility in standards for waiving the insurance so long as the student has comparable QSHIP coverage in the location in which they are studying. 

Comparable coverage as defined by the Massachusetts Health Connector is defined as (1) “reasonably comprehensive coverage of health services, including preventive and primary care, Emergency Services, surgical services, hospitalization benefits, ambulatory patient services, mental health services, and prescription drugs”; and (2) access to those covered services is “reasonably accessible to the Student in the area where the Student attends School.” See 956 CMR 8.05(2)(a)

*Dean College will reopen the opportunity for coverage for the Spring semester as a ‘qualifying event’. There may be students that will need to enroll in the coverage when living on campus. The cost of the spring semester coverage is $1119 and will be active January 1, 2021 through July 31, 2021.

If you purchase the College’s health insurance, a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, and live outside of Massachusetts, how do you access medical care?

  • If you reside outside of Massachusetts, you can find a health care provider by accessing www.bcbs.com or calling 1-800-810-BLUE. If you are outside of the United states, please visit www.bcbsglobalcore.com or call 1-800-810-BLUE (2583) for a list of BlueCard (national network) or BlueCard Worldwide participating providers. For additional information on insurance benefits please visit dean.myahpcare.com
  • As a member of BC/BS there is a 24/7 Nurse Care Line – 1-888-247-2583 and Well Connection 24/7, which is a telehealth service offering live video visits using your smartphone, tablet or computer for Medical and Behavioral Health appointments. 

Are health forms still due by August 1st?

  • Please continue to complete the health forms as the College plans to be residential in the spring. Students will not be placed on hold for the fall semester if health forms are incomplete.

Do I need to waive or enroll in the college offered health insurance as a returning student?

  • Yes, all students must waive or enroll in the college offered health insurance before each academic year.*

Will I have access to Counseling Services?

  • Yes, counseling will be delivered to students via telehealth during the fall semester. Counseling Services will also provide newsletters for student and families as well as programming for students on a variety of mental health topics.

What if I had items already shipped to the College? 

  • The College will work with students who have already sent belongings to campus. The Office of Residence Life will work directly with On Campus Marketing and families regarding purchases of bedding and/or supplies. Contact Residence Life for more information. 

Learn more about support services available to students.

What support is available to assist students with online classes?

  • Success and Career Advisors provide ongoing support for students with online learning. In addition, all Dean students can schedule a meeting with either the Director or Assistant Director of the Morton Family Learning Center for additional support.  The staff is looking forward to working with students to help navigate and access platforms to achieve success in their online classes.
  • Peer tutoring, the Berenson Writing and Math Centers, Study Labs, workshops and Accessibility Services, for those students who qualify for accommodations, will all continue to be offered to all Dean students in a remote learning environment. 

How will the ARCH program work with remote learning?

  • The Arch Learning Community will continue to provide support by hosting regular virtual, one-on-one Success and Career Advising meetings with students; continuing to offer Academic Coaching through our online delivery systems; and helping students every step of the way navigate through their online classroom experiences. We are committed to staying up to date by offering the latest technological aides, while always maintaining the strong personal connections that define the Arch Learning Community.  
  • Regular Arch programming will be offered remotely in group format with a focus on building and maintaining strong social connections while fostering peer support. Our already established strong relationships between advisors, academic coaches, and faculty will continue to be leveraged as we support Arch students in a remote learning environment. 

How will students work with academic coaches?

  • Students will continue to connect with their academic coaches through our virtual platforms. Our coaches are experienced and skilled with screen and document sharing and will support and teach students all the necessary skills they need to access and complete their work in an online setting. Most importantly, our coaches are skilled at relationship building; they instill confidence and build on strengths while effectively addressing areas of challenge. 

How will academic support services such as the Berenson Writing and Math Center as well as tutoring programs and services?

  • All our academic support services will continue in a remote learning environment. The Berenson Writing and Math Center, and peer and professional tutoring will be offered through one-on-one, scheduled appointments; students will be able to self-schedule or drop in during posted times. Professional and peer tutors have been trained to provide students the support and feedback through screen and document sharing. 

Will there still be an orientation program for new students in the Arch Learning Community?

Yes, there will a virtual Arch Learning orientation program for new students in the Arch Learning Community. It will occur online August 27, 28 & September 3, 2020. Additional information will be emailed to students at their Dean College email address.

Information for students new to Dean College.

Will I still be notified of what my housing was for the fall? Do I need to complete the housing application again for the spring?

  • The Office of Residence Life will reach out to students regarding housing assignments once a decision about the spring has been reached by the College. Most students will NOT need to complete a new housing application.

Will we still be able to meet our roommate?

  • Students will be connected by their Color Groups from New Student Orientation and placed into smaller residential groups that will have focused relationship building activities. 

How will first year students be able to connect during the fall semester? 

  • The College will provide a multitude of opportunities for first year engagement, starting with Bulldog Beginnings. The Offices of Student Activities and Leadership and Residence Life will have specially targeted programming for relationship building and social events by staff and student leaders. Additionally, there will be a plethora of large- scale programming such as contests, performers and student organization activities for the entire community. Students will be given the opportunity to opt-in and share their contact information during Bulldog Beginnings in order to stay in contact while in your current location.

Will student organizations continue to meet in an online environment?

  • Student Organizations will continue to meet online during the Fall semester. Students will have an opportunity during the Online Involvement Fair to learn more about each student run organization. All meeting dates, times and meeting links will be published on Today@Dean.

How can first year students find out about other first year students that live close to them?

  • Students will be given the opportunity to opt in and share their contact information during Bulldog Beginnings. 

Where will students be able to view the upcoming dates of social activities?

  • Events and activities will be updated regularly on the student portal, Today@Dean. Updates will also be sent to the student emails weekly and advertised on social media platforms.

Information for students returning to Dean College.

What if I had items from Spring in storage through Apple Box?

  • Apple Box storage will continue to store belongings, each student who worked with AppleBox has received an email from AppleBox directly regarding there process. For additional information please visit the Apple Box website.

Do we still get our rooming assignment at the end of the month for the spring? When do you want us to resubmit our roommate applications?

  • The Office of Residence will reach out to students regarding housing assignments once a decision about the spring has been reached by the College. Most students will NOT need to complete a new housing application.

What if I am a returning student and want to take a semester off?

  • Returning students looking to take a semester off should speak to their Success and Career Advisor in regard to their academic plan. Returning students who take a semester off will have their Dean aid reinstated when they return. Their state and federal aid will also stay the same if they return in Spring 2020. Returning students who return in Fall 2021 will need to complete the 2021-2022 FAFSA to determine their state and federal aid eligibility. Students and parents who have borrowed in prior years should be aware that they will go into loan repayment in November if they were last enrolled in May 2020.