Moving Forward and Preparing to Reopen
Friday, April 24, 2020
All of us have been affected by the recent, global pandemic, either directly or indirectly. For HBU, it meant we were required to quickly transition the mode of instructional delivery and the way we serve students. We’re humbled by so many learners who responded with optimism and eagerness to move forward with the new plans in place. We continue to pray for our HBU family and our world. As an institution that has grown and thrived for 60 years, we’ve dealt with trials and setbacks before. By God’s grace, we believe we will emerge from this season stronger. Our hope is in the Lord, and we know that this, too, will pass. Around us, there are emerging signs of normalcy returning. We are preparing for what lies ahead and moving forward as we plan to be back together again for Fall 2020.
These are a few things we are diligently working on in preparation for the fall:
Husky Strong Task Force
Dr. Sloan is creating the Husky Strong Task Force to prepare the University to reopen this fall. Its charge is to think creatively to develop a plan that will accommodate students in classrooms on campus with physical distancing in mind. Options may include smaller class sections, the utilization of larger classrooms and event spaces to allow students to spread out, as well as leveraging technology to utilize creative teaching modalities.
We are stronger together! Therefore, we are working aggressively to safely bring everyone back to campus as soon as possible.
Pay it Forward Fundraising for Students
On April 28, the University, through the Office of Alumni Relations, will be asking alumni who received assistance as students, to give on National Pay It Forward Day in an effort to raise funds to meet the greatest needs of the University. All proceeds from this campaign will go to the HBU Fund, which will benefit institutional student aid, operational essentials, and emergency funding. Visit HBU.edu/GiveNow to support this effort.
Distributing CARES Act Funds
Congress has allocated $2,615,603 to HBU, half of which will be awarded as emergency financial aid grants directly to students, through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Our Office of Financial Operations has outlined criteria for the grant funding per the U.S. Department of Education’s guidelines. Students with the greatest demonstrated need based on their current FAFSA applications and unmet need will receive a grant. We have identified more than 1,000 current HBU students — both undergraduate and graduate — who meet the initial criteria.
HBU completed the application process for the student portion of the funds on April 12. The funds have not yet been released to HBU, but we expect them within the next week. Students will be contacted alerting them of their eligibility, and the Cashier’s Office will disburse funds directly to students beginning in mid-May. The CARES Act funding is provided to students for expenses related to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus.
Accommodations for Future Students
In an effort to accommodate students who have been (or will be) unable to take the SAT and/or ACT exams, HBU is waiving the standardized test score requirement for current applicants, as well as those applying for Summer or Fall 2021. Applicants who choose to opt out of submitting a standardized test score will be considered holistically for admission to HBU, with the majority of the weight on the high school transcript. However, all applicants will still be considered for scholarships whether they submit a test score or not.
International applicants will still be required to meet English proficiency requirements as listed under HBU’s international admissions policy. Our intention with this temporary test-optional policy is to make the application process as seamless and stress-free as possible in light of challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
Additionally, all of our Get Oriented (GO) orientation events for new, incoming students will be conducted remotely as opposed to being on campus this summer. We will be using newly created content for orientation online, as well as live web streaming and other remote delivery options. Check your inbox for more information, the hbu.edu/orientation web page and/or feel free to contact us at Admissions@HBU.edu, or by calling 281-649-3211.
For many of us, this great interruption in our lives has been an opportunity for a reset, causing us to reevaluate our priorities and goals, and more greatly value that which is most important. Similarly, HBU has revisited how we can better serve students, and how faculty and staff can be more effective at providing an unparalleled higher education experience. Ultimately, we don’t want to just return to normal; we want to become better. We are Husky Strong, and we look forward to having you with us as you complete your educational journey. All of us at HBU are eager to welcome you back on campus for Fall 2020. #DawgsUp