COVID-19 Updates

Friday, March 27

University officials have confirmed the first cases of COVID-19 within the HBU community. Two HBU students, in completely separate situations, have been officially diagnosed with COVID-19. One student has not been on campus since March 4 and lives alone off campus in an apartment. The other student has not been on campus since March 6 and is currently being treated at the hospital. Because these students have been away from campus for more than the 14-day incubation period, the rest of the HBU community should not be alarmed or at risk. We are staying in touch with both of these students and we are asking the HBU community to pray for both of them and their families.

Pass/Fail Policy
Students currently enrolled in Spring 2020 semester, for the 16-week term and 2nd eight-week online term, will be provided the option to choose whether to continue forward with a letter grade option or to select a pass/fail option for currently enrolled courses. Students will be provided this choice for each of their courses through the Blackboard learning management system. Students who choose not to complete the questionnaire will default to the traditional letter grade method. Students wishing to avail themselves of the pass/fail option must make this selection within their Blackboard course(s) on or before April 20, 2020.

Students who wish to utilize the pass/fail option will receive an end-of-course grade of either a P or an F based on the performance in the class. The published undergraduate and graduate course requirements will determine the equivalent score required for pass/fail.

Students are strongly encouraged to confer with their advisors prior to making a decision to choose a pass/fail option, as there could be implications for financial aid, scholarship benefits, veteran’s benefits, and admissions or programmatic implications for certain selective undergraduate, graduate, and professional school programs.

Housing Refunds
Houston Baptist University will provide a prorated refund for the period of time room and board were unavailable during the spring term due to the COVID-19 crisis. For students who did not apply to remain in campus housing during the campus closure, a refund amount will be calculated and applied to the student’s account no later than April 20, 2020. Financial aid will be adjusted for those students who have scholarships or grants that cover room or board.

If the adjustment results in a credit balance on the student account, the student will be provided the option to receive a cash refund or maintain the credit to apply toward a future semester bill. If the student is on a payment plan, the payment plan will be recalculated such that the total of the future payments will be reduced by the amount of the credit. Students will be notified when all of the adjustments have been made. Residential students impacted by this process will receive a separate email with more details. Thank you for your patience as HBU works through this process.

HBU Summer Courses Moved Online
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the CDC’s recommendation to continue social distancing in the near future, Houston Baptist University will provide all summer courses in an online/remote format. Classes will be offered in 5-week, 8-week, and 10-week formats. The summer course schedule is being finalized for students to begin registering as early as Thursday, April 2. HBU will resume on-campus classes in August for the fall 2020 semester.

As always, our goal is to provide our students with a flexible, affordable, high-quality Christian education to help them achieve their goals.

June 1 Deposit Deadline Extension
Undergraduate Admissions has extended the May 1 deposit deadline to June 1, 2020. Traditionally, the national candidate reply date of May 1 is when new incoming students are expected to commit their enrollment intentions for the following fall with a deposit. Because of COVID-19, we are giving new incoming students for fall 2020 the opportunity to commit to the university as late as June 1. This also means that any deposit paid for summer or fall 2020 will be fully refundable through June 1.

Stay Home, Work Safe
In the meantime, we are encouraging the HBU community to continue to attend classes and work from home as well as to be vigilant about practicing social distancing. Health officials continue to advise us to wash our hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer which contains at least 60% alcohol can be used. Additionally, remember to avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Surfaces that are touched often, like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs should be cleaned with household cleaning sprays or wipes.

As we continue to learn and work together virtually in fulfillment of the HBU mission, we pray for the success of each student, faculty, and staff member, as well as each family member within the HBU community.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

© 2020 Houston Baptist University