May 7, 2020
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act took effect on March 27, 2020, and includes the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. The CARES Act authorizes institutions of higher education to serve as trustees in providing eligible students whose lives have been disrupted as a result of COVID-19 with emergency financial aid grants.
SFA has been diligently working to create an awarding process that applies Department of Education guidelines in distributing CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds to our students. Correspondence will be sent directly to each student’s SFA email address with eligibility information and directions regarding applying for funding. SFA will coordinate three phases of awarding CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds, beginning with Spring 2020 enrolled students, followed by Summer 2020 students, and then Fall 2020 students.
We ask that students monitor their SFA email regularly. If you have any questions, contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships at firstname.lastname@example.org
CARES Act Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund?
A. Federal funding that has been entrusted to higher education institutions in order to provide emergency grant funds to eligible students who experienced a financial hardship caused by the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. View our HEERF Reporting information.
Q. Who is eligible to receive emergency funds?
A. Per the U.S. Department of Education, eligible students are those who filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or who are eligible to file a FAFSA.
Q. Who is not eligible to receive CARES Act emergency funds?
A. Per the U.S. Department of Education, international, dual credit, non-U.S. citizen students and students enrolled exclusively in online courses prior to March 13, 2020, are not eligible for CARES Act funding.
Q. How does a student apply for these emergency funds?
A. Students must complete an online application to be considered for CARES Act funding. Access to the application is available to eligible students on their mySFA account, under the Important Notifications tab. The U.S. Department of Education guidelines require documentation indicating that a student has experienced a financial hardship caused by the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. A CARES Act introduction letter is being sent to students' SFA email with information on eligibility and directions on how to apply.
Q. How much will eligible students receive?
A. The amount provided to each student will vary depending on his or her need and funding availability.
Q. How long will it take to receive my funds after the application is completed?
A. Students will receive an email notification once the application is received and another once funds have been released. It could take up to five business days after funds are released to receive the funds.
May 7, 2020 - An End of the Semester Message to Students
April 16, 2020 - Residence hall move-out announcement
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we have worked to reschedule our residence hall move-out process. We recognize that this is a difficult time for our students and their families and know that the evolving nature of this issue has been frustrating.
Our rescheduled move-out process will begin Saturday, April 25, with timeslots available all the way through Monday, June 1.
In collaboration with our campus medical director and our Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management Department, and with guidance from the State Office of Risk Management, the Texas Department of Emergency Management and the Texas Department of Health Services, we have designed a systematic, sequenced, minimal touch move-out process that facilitates safe social distancing and maintains a very low number of people in each hall during each scheduled timeslot. Custodial staff will be present in the common spaces in each hall, sanitizing common touch points like elevator buttons and doors. Signage is prominently displayed in each building with reminders to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance.
During your travels, and when you are on campus, please follow all the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control related to COVID-19, including wearing a face mask/covering when in public. Other guidance is available at https://www.cdc.gov.
To choose the date and time of your move-out, log into your mySFA account, navigate to Campus Life and click the Schedule Move Out link to sign up for a move-out time between April 25 and June 1. If you and your roommate or suitemate(s) choose the same date/time, you will see an alert and can plan accordingly to arrange different move-out appointment times. If you had previously selected a time slot that occurred on or after April 25, your same appointment has been reserved.
- We ask that you bring no more than two additional people to assist you.
- You will have three hours to complete your move. You will not be able to spend the night in your room.
- You will need to bring your own packing supplies. Carts and dollies will not be supplied.
- Don’t forget your key and your University ID Card!
- Make sure to remove all of your belongings, including trash, before you leave.
- In order to make this a speedy process for you, you are not required to vacuum, mop, sweep or clean your sink.
- Even though cleaning charges will be waived, damages to the room will be assessed and charged accordingly.
- Empty your refrigerator, but do not unplug it.
Express check-out/key return
You will not check out with a staff member. Instead, you will follow the move-out steps and return your key in an Express Check-Out envelope. You will see an envelope under your door or you can find one at the front desk. After you have removed everything from your room, fill out the information on the envelope, place your key in the envelope and drop it in the Express Check-Out box at the front desk. You may want to bring your own pen! Please view our move-out video for more information.
If you have already removed everything from your room but still have your key, please make sure to include your name, CID, building and room number, and mail to:
Residence Life Department
P.O. Box 13054 SFA
Nacogdoches TX 75962.
You may park in any spot that is not marked handicap, reserved, or no parking. Parking in the Village parking garage is limited to level 1.
Be sure to print your confirmation page and have it with you while you travel to campus. We appreciate your patience and cooperation during this time and wish you the very best during the remainder of the spring semester. Feel free to contact the Residence Life office if you have questions or concerns at email@example.com
April 6, 2020 - Confirmed COVID-19 case
The university has been notified of the first confirmed COVID-19 case among the university community. The person who tested positive has not been on campus since March 27 and had limited contact with the university community. The university will not release the individual's name in compliance with federal law that protects health information privacy.
When a positive test result is received, the Texas Department of State Health Services will conduct a "contact investigation," and anyone who needs to self-quarantine should be notified. In this case, and with any future cases, if you are not personally notified, you are not considered to be at increased risk.
Anyone who may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should contact the COVID-19 Call Center at 936.468.4787 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
April 6, 2020 - A message from the faculty senate regarding grading and resources
April 2, 2020 - Residence hall move-out postponed
April 2, 2020
Residence hall move-out postponed
Due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 crisis, and in light of Governor Abbott’s Executive Order issued on March 30 to minimize contact with people who are not in the same household, we have made the decision to postpone the move-out process for residents until a new range of dates can be determined.
Our foremost goal is to support efforts to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 and contain the spread of the virus. We do sincerely regret any inconveniences caused by this change of plans and will notify you as we reschedule move out dates.
We will continue to safeguard your property with our utmost care. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 30, 2020 - Refund Information
Dear Campus Community:
I appreciate the patience and resilience our Lumberjack family has shown as we transitioned our campus to an online-only semester and want to share with you our plan regarding refunds for unused services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligible students will receive pro-rated credits or refunds on certain fees that they have paid. Using an effective date of March 15, these students will receive a refund equivalent to 49% of their semester costs for housing, recreation sports fee, and student center fee. Dining costs will be refunded at 48%. (This difference is due to Easter break, when food service is neither provided nor charged.) Resident, commuter, and student center garage parking permit costs will also be refunded on a prorated basis.
Credits will begin to be applied to students’ accounts no later than April 13. We will continue working diligently to complete this process as quickly as possible. If a refund is generated, it will be applied via BankMobile.
As the April 1 payment deadline approaches for individuals on installment payments, we understand that our students and their families may need additional time to determine what is owed. We are committed to supporting you during this disruptive and uncertain situation, and we are waiving any late fees associated with this payment deadline.
The SFA Call Center will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Simply call the main university number at 936.468.3401 if you have questions or concerns or if you need assistance.
I am grateful for your continued support and understanding as we deal with this unprecedented time. As we navigate this difficult situation together, I hope you are staying safe and healthy, and I look forward to seeing you back on campus once we can safely do so. Campus just isn’t the same without you!
March 27, 2020 - Video message from the president
March 26, 2020 - Coronavirus call and testing centers
The SFA DeWitt School of Nursing has partnered with Nacogdoches health care providers to establish coronavirus call and testing centers to screen patients by phone and refer those for testing who meet specific Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria.
Concerned residents can call 936.468.4787 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday for screening by a health care provider. Residents who meet the CDC criteria will be scheduled for testing at the remote site. This procedure will help provide safe and efficient testing away from emergency rooms and will aid in conserving valuable protective health-related equipment.
The call and testing centers are supported by Nacogdoches Medical Center, Nacogdoches Memorial Health and Excel ER in collaboration with other governmental agencies in Nacogdoches.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported Wednesday that one positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Nacogdoches County. While a shelter-in-place order has not been issued, social distancing and proper hygiene continue to be highly encouraged.
March 19, 2020 - Campus Community
Dear Campus Community:
We want to update you on the latest actions Stephen F. Austin State University is taking in response to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The challenges we have faced during the past few weeks will continue, but our primary goal is that our students complete the coursework necessary to progress in their degree programs. Our faculty members, staff, deans and university leaders will continue to work to accommodate student needs throughout these difficult times.
To protect the health and safety of all members of the SFA community, please note the following.
March 19, 2020 - Spring and Summer Instruction
We will continue to offer all classes in an online or distance format for the remainder of the spring semester. In some very specific cases, such as clinical placements leading to professional licensure, we will review instructional requests that adhere to social-distancing guidelines.
For summer session classes, we will be offering all classes in an online or distance-education format. Registration for summer will begin March 23. In very specific cases, we will review requests that adhere to social-distancing guidelines.
March 19, 2020 - Commencement
Due to the nationwide restrictions being recommended by the federal government and CDC, spring commencement ceremonies will be postponed. However, we are working on a virtual commencement ceremony and we will provide the opportunity for graduates to participate in a future in-person “traditional” commencement ceremony. In accordance with our standard operating procedures, the university will confer degrees and mail diplomas to graduates.
March 19, 2020 - Residence Halls
Residence halls will be closing for the remainder of the semester.
Residents who are currently living on campus should complete their move-out no later than Sunday, March 29. Information will be posted in the halls with check-out instructions. Emergency housing will be available on a case-by-case basis to students who have no other living arrangements. Students can request an application for emergency housing by emailing email@example.com.
Students who are not currently residing on campus will need to schedule a future check-out date. These dates will range from April 4 until May 9. Information about this process will be e-mailed to residential students no later than March 25.
Pro-rated room and board credits with a start date of March 15 will be applied to the student’s account. These credits will be coordinated with the student’s financial aid package. Further details will be announced in the coming weeks.
March 19, 2020 - Refunds and Credits
The university will offer pro-rated credit or refunds on housing, dining contracts and some fees. Additional information will be provided in the future as we must coordinate those decisions with individual financial aid packages and federal and state guidelines.
March 19, 2020 - Campus Operations
Starting at 5 p.m. on March 20, we will begin the process of making most buildings on campus accessible to only those who have card or key access. University Police will make contact with building managers to help facilitate this change.
Steen Library will remain open on a modified schedule – check the library website for updates.
The SFA Post Office, as an official US Postal Service facility, will remain open until further notice. The Post Office can be accessed through the marked doors on the Vista Drive entrance side of the Student Center. The Post Office will be open normal days and hours with the addition of two special Saturdays – March 21 and March 28 – from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. to facilitate package pick-up.
March 19, 2020 - Meetings and Events
Until further notice, all on-campus programs, gatherings and events will be canceled, postponed or moved online to a virtual setting. These include office or faculty meetings, student programs and community events, in addition to all athletic events and public performances.
The university will continue to keep you updated during this difficult and fluid public health situation. Please continue to check our COVID-19 highlighted area on our website regularly to stay informed.
March 19, 2020 - SFA Call Center
The SFA Call Center will be open for questions, concerns or if you need special assistance.
Thursday, March 19: Available until 7 p.m.
Friday, March 20: Available 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
March 23 - March 27: Available 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
In addition, the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs is standing by to assist students who have questions or concerns, or who need special assistance. They can be reached at 936.468.7249 or by email at DOSA@sfasu.edu.
March 16, 2020 - Student Recreation Center
Due to updates in public health guidance and tightening restrictions on public gatherings the Student Recreation Center will suspend operations beginning March 17 until normal campus operations resume.
March 16, 2020 - University-sponsored Travel
All university-sponsored student and employee international and non-essential domestic travel is suspended indefinitely. All university-sponsored student and employee essential domestic travel must be approved in advance by the appropriate vice president.
March 15, 2020 - General Information
Given the ongoing global concerns around COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, we want to do our part to keep our entire campus community safe and to contribute to the management of this growing public health crisis.
We currently have no confirmed cases on Stephen F. Austin State University’s campus, but several cases have been confirmed in Texas, including East Texas. Moreover, a large number of our students and faculty are currently engaged in personal travel to a number of domestic and international locations for Spring Break.
Wherever you are, we encourage all members of the SFA community to be conscientious in following CDC guidelines for staying healthy.
Given the potential for exposure and CDC recommendations for social distancing, SFA has made the following decisions:
- Spring Break for students will be extended through March 17, with no academic activities taking place for students.
- Beginning Wednesday, March 18, all classes will resume in an online-only or other distance-education format until April 6.
- Faculty will be able to utilize March 16 and 17 to prepare to deliver classes online or in other distance-education formats.
- All staff will report as normal on March 16 unless notified otherwise.
We like talking to you! So, our Call Center will remain open daily through March 20. You can call us at 936.468.3401 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. with your questions.
In addition, the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs is standing by to assist students who have questions or concerns, or who need special assistance. They can be reached at 936.468.7249 or by email at DOSA@sfasu.edu.
- Our current plan is to begin in-person instruction again on Monday, April 6. We will closely monitor this dynamic situation and could possibly extend further the date for resuming in-person classes. Students will receive information from their respective colleges and faculty with details regarding how course work will be conducted.
- All on-campus events scheduled through April 5 will be canceled or postponed. Event planners will be contacted by the reservation specialist starting on Monday, March 16.
- Showcase Saturday, scheduled for March 28, will be rescheduled. Campus tours may still be provided, but will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
- Student athletes will receive additional clarification related to team activities from the Athletics Department and their coaches.
- In order to catch up on lost class time, Easter break will be canceled, and classes will be held April 9, 10 and 13.
- Students are asked to remain off campus until in-person classes resume.
- Any student or employee who is ill or who believes they may have been exposed to coronavirus cannot return to campus and should follow CDC guidelines for self-isolation. If any student or employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, it is requested that you notify the university at www.sfasu.edu/COVIDabsence.
- All university-sponsored student and employee travel, both international and domestic, scheduled for March 16 through April 1 will be canceled unless approved by the respective Vice President (domestic) or President (international).
- May commencement exercises are expected to continue as scheduled.
These plans are evolving, and we wanted to inform our community as quickly as possible to enable you to begin making your own arrangements. We realize you may have questions that are not addressed here. Please know that our team is working diligently to accommodate this transition for our campus, and we will provide additional information as soon as possible.
- If your questions are not urgent, we ask you to wait for further communication that may address your concerns.
- In addition, please continue to monitor your campus email and this website. This site also offers additional information on the virus, travel advisories and prevention that may be helpful.
- The university will be maintaining a call center from Thursday, March 12th until Sunday, March 15th. The center will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day. If you have questions or special needs, please call the main university phone number at 936.468.3401.
Finally, we ask that you try to understand how difficult it is to make these decisions and request your patience as we seek to make the best decisions possible to keep everyone in our community healthy and safe, to do our part to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and to continue the university’s mission to provide excellence in higher education.
March 11, 2020 - General Information
Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) is closely monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). SFA is committed to the health and safety of students, faculty and staff and will be continuously reviewing this evolving situation.
We will keep the entire campus community updated on our website. We anticipate an announcement on Thursday, March 12, at 3 p.m. regarding operations.
March 5, 2020 - Resources and Prevention
The health and well-being of the SFA community is very important, and the evolving COVID-19 issue can be concerning. While the number of confirmed cases of the virus in the United States is still relatively low, as testing for the virus becomes more widespread and robust we would expect to see higher numbers in the coming days.
To address the SFA response to this issue, a dedicated team of university officials and medical personnel is monitoring the COVID-19 situation and is following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as other official sources of information. This team has been proactively planning for and assessing the impact to both academic and business continuity on the SFA community as the situation evolves. In addition, our staff is participating in regular calls with the Texas Department of Health Services and in professional association webinars and is communicating with colleagues from around the state and the nation to receive the latest information available and learn of best practices that can be brought to our campus.
For some, navigating the uncertainty caused by the national story regarding the virus can be personally and emotionally challenging. SFA Counseling Services is available as a resource for students, so please do not hesitate to reach out if you need help.
Above all else, the tried and true prevention measures below still hold for this virus:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Stay home when sick.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Don't share food, beverages or smoking devices with others.
If you are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, call SFA's Health Services at 936.468.4008 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
If you have an emergency, call 911.
We will continue to update you on this website as the situation evolves.
March 5, 2020 - Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Coronavirus
What are symptoms of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and sore throat. For most people who have had the illness, symptoms were mild and resolved after several days.
What happens if the SFA Student Health Clinic suspects that a student has COVID-19 infection?
The staff will consult with the Texas Department of Health Services to determine whether testing the patient for the coronavirus is indicated. To date, no SFA patients have met the criteria for testing. If testing is done, results will be communicated to the Clinic staff by the TDHS, and the staff will inform the patient and follow appropriate protocols.
What happens to students, faculty and staff at the university if there is a confirmed case on campus?
There is a dedicated SFA COVID-19 Response Team monitoring the situation. Should a COVID-19 case be confirmed, all CDC protocols will be followed. Those who have had close contact with the patient will be contacted and monitored by the TDHS. The university will fully support and be in complete compliance with all public health protocols.
Will the university be able to provide information to the public about students, faculty or staff with possible cases or diagnoses of COVID-19 infection?
Due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and campus privacy policies, we are unable to disclose specific information (e.g., residence location or class attendance) for individuals with suspected infection. If necessary, however, people who are in close contact with a COVID-19-infected patient will be contacted and monitored by TDHS.
The university will make other appropriate notice to the public regarding possible cases or diagnoses.
Protocol for Students and Employees Who Visit an Area Classified as a Level 2 or Level 3 Risk Area by the CDC
Be aware of the most up-to-date travel advisories from the CDC by visiting: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers. If you travel to any of the areas listed as a Level 2 or a Level 3 risk, the CDC recommends that you stay home for 14 days after you return and monitor your health. Please inform us that you will be self-isolating by completing an Absence Notification Form. While this form is designed for students, employees can use the form as well or can notify their supervisor.
If I Need to Self-Isolate, What Do I Do?
Those who are self-isolating should:
- Monitor their temperature twice a day for fever. Fever is defined as temperatures higher than 100.4F or 38C.
- If a cough, difficulty breathing or fever develop during the 14-day period post-travel, do the following:
- Avoid contact with others. Follow precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.
- Call ahead before going to any healthcare facility.
- If you are an SFA student and experience symptoms of respiratory illness, call SFA’s Health Services at 936.468.4008 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. They may want to provide specific instructions about how to come to the clinic and where to go once you arrive to minimize the risk of exposing others, or they may give instructions for self-care at home.
- Employees should contact their personal physician’s office or visit a local clinic. It is also recommended that you notify them before you arrive so they can advise you if they have developed any special protocols.
- If you have an emergency, call 911.