On this page

Move-in Schedule

The safety of our community is our utmost priority and onboarding testing is a crucial measure to limit potential exposure and spread of COVID-19 within our community. Our move-in schedule began on August 17 and allowed for a gradual re-population of campus. More details on the move-in schedule and arrival process was communicated directly by the Office of Residential Life on July 31, which also included a Fall 2020 Packing Guide to help students determine what to bring to campus.

  • August 17-23: Residents were able to begin moving back to campus. Priority was given to returning student leaders who needed to return to campus to begin limited in-person training and preparation to campus prior to the start of the semester. Additional priority was given to New Students who participated in the optional Early Arrival Programs and the mandatory Fall Orientation program.
  • August 24: First day of classes. Returning students who did not have class on this day were allowed to arrive on this day. Others who had circumstances impacting their travel to campus received information regarding arranging a later arrival to campus.

Student Housing

On-campus student housing is limited to single and double rooms to allow for adequate social distancing within the residence halls. Additionally, residence hall occupancy was adjusted to account for potential medical needs of high risk students and to create necessary isolation and quarantine spaces.

Students are encouraged to carry out as much of their responsibilities via virtual means, reduce in-person contact with other students, and to limit travel off campus. The use of common areas will be limited to the residents, and the use of restrooms will be limited to those on their floor, house or suite of the building, for the course of the entire semester. Students being picked up by a parent(s), guardian(s), or friend(s) must meet them outside. Visitor guidelines are subject to change.

Starting Monday, October 5, 2020, on-campus residential students may have any on-campus residential student as their guest in their private bedroom area of their assigned residence hall, house or suite. Residential students are not permitted to have guests that live off-campus or others from outside the Wheaton community, including family members in a residence hall at any time. At this time, due to the nature of the necessary COVID precautions, “overnight“ guests are not permitted.  A guest would be classified as “overnight” if they are present in the room when any room occupant is sleeping regardless of when they arrive or depart the room.

The maximum occupancy of a room with one resident is two people and the maximum occupancy of a room with two or more residents is four people. Each room resident is able, and limited, to host only one guest at a time. All instances of a guest visit must receive approval from both roommates.  Approval can be revoked by either party at any time.

Guests are not permitted in residential common areas of any hall, suite or house because common areas are reserved for the residents of that building, suite or house. Common areas include lounges, bathrooms, kitchens, private living rooms (in the case of houses and suites), etc.

Clearance on the CoVerified app is required for guest privileges. Both the host and the guest are responsible to confirm that they are “Cleared” through CoVerified. While guests are in a room, face coverings must be worn at all times and proper social distancing is required. In circumstances where room size or layout does not allow for proper social distancing, guests are not permitted, regardless of the capacity limits listed above.

To respect the principles of college residential living, Wheaton will not be regularly monitoring guests.  Access to residence halls is only provided to residents and it is incumbent on the community to self-monitor and ensure compliance with these guidelines. Failure to comply with the guest policy will result in removal of guest privileges and may result in removal from housing.

All on-campus residents are strongly encouraged to minimize travel off campus. Travel should be limited to essential needs such as attending medical appointments or work. It is expected that all residents abide by current college policy regarding off-campus or out-of-state travel and the subsequent requirements for self-isolation.

Changing Your Fall Residency Status

As more information is becoming available about campus life and classes in the Fall semester, and in the context of the national picture related to COVID-19, we have received a growing number of requests from students to switch from being on-campus to studying remotely. We will continue to provide flexibility in terms of the timeline for making that decision. For anyone looking to make this change, please utilize this Fall Semester Status Change form. If you have any questions about how your student status may affect your billing, please contact Student Financial Services at sfs@wheatoncollege.edu.

Living Off-Campus and Commuting to and from Campus

Everyone on campus or coming to campus on a regular basis will be required to be a part of our testing protocols since this is critical to protecting the entire community. Thus, commuting students will still undergo testing and the frequency will depend on how often they are coming to campus. Those not living on campus will need to adhere to all campus protocols and guidelines as they travel on public transportation, interact with those at home, with employers and with co-workers at their jobs and internships.

Isolation and Quarantine Housing

Students who are symptomatic and awaiting test results, or have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, are required to isolate as required by the Massachusetts Department of Health and the American College Health Association (pdf).

Students who have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have traveled from areas where quarantine is encouraged by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health or CDC, will be required to quarantine in accordance with American College Health Association (pdf).

The college will designate specific residential spaces for use by students who have been directed to isolate or quarantine. The college has developed a comprehensive protocol for isolation and quarantine housing that includes staffing to support students in the transition to and while in isolation and quarantine, including meal delivery and cleaning procedures.

Students may also choose to return home or to another off-campus location for this duration of their isolation or quarantine. Families and caregivers should take note of the potential risks of transporting and housing students in isolation and quarantine. More information can be found at CDC’s Considerations for Higher Education.


We are committed to providing a robust dining experience for our community. There will be modifications in all dining locations on campus, including but not limited to enhanced cleaning, physical distancing practices for staff and diners, no buffet style or shared food service, change traffic flow patterns, social distancing signage, and increased grab and go options.

Starting Friday, September 4, tables and chairs were added to the tent outside of Emerson Dining Hall as well as the Pine Hall, Balfour Hood, and Admission patios to allow for outdoor dining.  It is expected that students will adhere to the policies and expectations of such seating and continue to maintain 6 feet of distance from others.  As such, many of the patio tables have been modified to a seating capacity of four. Please note that you are only permitted to take your mask off when eating.

Additional dining guidelines will be developed in accordance with emerging state and federal guidelines.

Student Support Services

The college is committed to providing inclusive mental health and student support services for students both on and off campus. The Counseling Center staff will be on campus for the fall semester to offer services to students who are on campus. Additionally, students have 24/7 access to the After Hours Counseling Support, regardless of their location at 508-286-3905.

The college is also exploring other options for student support, including tele-therapy, off-campus referrals, and peer support options. A cross-campus collaborative working group has been developed to prioritize this planning through the summer and leading up to the start of the semester.

Student Billing

Given that our fall semester will be slightly shorter than originally planned, students living on campus will receive a $500 one-time room and board credit. Additionally, if you choose to live off campus your merit aid will be applied in full to your tuition. Need-based aid will need to be recalculated based on your revised cost of attendance. If you have any questions about your cost of attendance, please contact Student Financial Services at sfs@wheatoncollege.edu. We will also adjust our normal Refund Policy for students who withdraw or move off campus after the semester begins to provide more flexibility given the uncertainties. Please see the Refund Policy on the Student Financial Services website for more details.