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Message to Students: Resources for the Transition to Remote Learning

Dear students,

As you know from last evening’s message in response to the health risk posed by the spread of COVID-19, the University is moving to remote learning for the start of the spring term. It is our hope to have as many students depart campus as possible in an effort to de-densify University buildings, which is in alignment with the recent recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For those of you on the quarter calendar, Spring Break now will occur from March 21 through April 5, with classes beginning remotely on Monday, April 6. [Editor's note: Some schools with weekend programs will start Saturday, April 4.] This altering of the academic calendar brings with it questions related to campus housing, travel, logistics and other unforeseen needs you may have. As you navigate these next days and weeks and plan for remote learning, we want to provide you with resources and helpful information. 

Campus Housing and Dining

As soon as students complete their exams, those who live on campus are asked to depart as soon as they are able, as this is in the best interest of both your individual health and that of the campus community. If you are not in a position to leave during the extended break and/or from the start of the spring quarter (April 6 through the first three weeks of remote coursework, April 26), University residences will remain open for those who need to stay. Should you need to remain in housing, we ask that you complete this form as soon as possible, so we can better assist you and provide campus dining, which will remain open (with the possibility of reduced hours/locations). Other services also are available for you.

Financial Concerns

We know that this change can put additional stressors on those who face financial pressures. For students who need funding assistance with items related to travel, technology and other expenses, requests can be made on the Funding Request Form. 

For students who receive financial assistance, we do not anticipate any delay in the disbursement of your aid. 

Ordering and Shipping Textbooks

We want to make sure that you receive course materials where you will be staying during the virtual instruction time period. You can order your textbooks through the Northwestern Bookstore with free shipping to wherever you are staying. Please visit Learning Remotely for details specific to the Evanston and Chicago campuses. Students who are part of programs that cover textbook costs will receive a separate email in the coming days.

Information Technology

In order to help students adjust to remote learning, Northwestern University Information Technology is providing additional online resources. Help for students participating in remote classes is available on Northwestern's Digital Learning website

Other University Services

We are working now to provide additional information on student services as you participate in coursework remotely, including access to mental and physical health resources, dining and financial services. For students remaining on campus, both CAPS and Health Service are open and providing regular service. We also know that students have questions about the Student Health Insurance Plan (NU-SHIP). You can find additional information about NU-SHIP at this time at Health Coverage for Students, Faculty and Staff.

Moving forward you will hear from us and others at the University as we clarify additional information and offer assistance and support. In the meantime, please visit Northwestern’s COVID-19 site regularly, as it is updated with new information and is home to valuable services, resources and guidance.

Undoubtedly we are experiencing an extraordinary situation, and we need to take care of ourselves and each other. We deeply appreciate the work of so many in our community who have responded thoughtfully to this public health emergency. The Wildcat community is caring and resilient, which can be seen all around us right now. 

Please don’t hesitate to connect with our COVID-19 resource center at and 847-467-4111 if you have questions. Thank you as always for your flexibility and support as we work together to navigate this evolving and challenging time.


With gratitude, 

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs 

Todd Adams
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students