Coronavirus/COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

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Last update: 8/6/2020 @ 9:29 a.m.

Below are answers to some of the most common questions we have heard from students, faculty and staff at UW Tacoma. If you have question that isn't answered here on the other UW FAQs, please let us know at

Other UW Coronavirus FAQs

Academics and classes

Can I still come to the UW Tacoma campus? Can I attend classes if I live near to campus?

At this time, campus buildings, including the library, are only open to faculty and staff who have been deemed “critical” personnel.

Will classes be held on campus in the Fall?

In light of current and expected coronavirus case counts in Washington, 85% of all class sections on the Tacoma campus will be held online. Only those classes that cannot be taught remotely will be held in person, with all appropriate safety measures and physical distancing in place. The UW Tacoma time schedule has been updated and indicates whether courses and sections will be taught in person or remotely. A few additional changes may occur to accommodate in-person final exams, and these will soon be updated in the time schedule.

Further revisions to our plans could occur if, for example, state or local governments re-introduce more restrictive health measures.

How do I access my courses remotely?

Students can access courses in Canvas by visiting or by clicking on the Canvas LMS link in the Quick Links box the MyUW site. Additionally, we recommend downloading the Canvas app from the App store on your mobile phone. Faculty members not using the Canvas learning management system will contact students with instructions.

Where can I access resources for online learning?

There is a great page of resources and tips published by UW Tacoma's Digital Learning office:

Student Online Support

How can I purchase the textbooks I need for classes?

Students should check with their instructors first on the materials required for class. Many instructors are choosing e-books and other online materials this quarter, however not all texts are available as e-books. The UW Tacoma Library is also proactively purchasing e-books for course texts, when available, but there may be limits on the number of simultaneous users. If you require a physical copy of the book, you can order from the University Bookstore which is offering free shipping.

What options are there for students who don't have access to technology at home?

Currently enrolled students may borrow laptops, wifi hotspots and other technology by contacting the UW Tacoma IT Helpdesk.

Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid

How is money from the federal CARES Act (Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund) being distributed?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund and sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. For more information about the UW disbursement of these funds, see the UW CARES Act FAQ.

Phishing emails are being received regarding CARES funding, do not provide personal information like your Social Security number or bank account information. You should only provide or update personal information through MyUW. The UW will use the information you have provided in MyUW to communicate with you or disburse aid to you.

Do I still need to pay the UW Y fee?

The UW Y fee supports the University Y Student Center. For spring 2020, the University waived this fee for all students since the University Y was closed for the quarter.

For autumn 2020, the University Y is planning to reopen with precautions in place to prevent the spread of disease. You can learn more about using the University Y Student Center here. The UW Y fee will be charged for autumn quarter as long as the facility remains open.

Do I still need to pay the U-PASS fee?

In consultation with ASUWT, the University has waived the universal student U-PASS fee for summer quarter 2020.

With the waiver of the fee, your U-PASS will be deactivated* for summer quarter.

More information is available here or contact

* Academic Student Employees will continue to have an active U-PASS under the terms of their collective bargaining agreement.

What resources are available to help UW Tacoma students who may be experiencing financial hardship?

Students experiencing hardship are encouraged to connect with the UW Tacoma Office of Student Financial Aid, and to review the comprehensive financial aid FAQ published by the UW in Seattle. Emergency aid is available to help enrolled students with unexpected needs such as emergency medical costs, housing expenses, family emergencies, loss of income, and other situations.

Are there fees for paying tuition online?

There are two ways to pay your tuition online: webcheck or credit/debit card. Webcheck comes directly from your bank account and there is no fee for this service. Paying with a credit or debit card is done through a third-party vendor who assesses a 2.24% convenience fee. This fee cannot be waived.

Housing and Student Life

Can I still live on campus at Court 17 Student Housing?

Court 17 Apartments will be open and will welcome a limited number of students with reduced capacity to facilitate physical distancing. Students who have applied to live on campus will receive communications regarding next steps in the assignment process from Housing & Residence Life, including information about room assignments and the use of community spaces.

How do new UW Tacoma students get their Husky cards?

New summer or autumn quarter students can get their Husky card through the UW Tacoma Online Husky Card Submission Portal

Follow the instruction to upload your photo, documentation and personal information. Husky Cards will be printed and mailed to the address provided within 10 business days.

To get started you will need: Name, Student ID number, Current mailing address, email, color photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc), current color photo for ID.

For questions contact the Office of the Registrar at

Is the Pantry still open for students who need food assistance?

Yes. The Pantry has implemented a pre-order, pre-packaged bag model that is in alignment with the practices of other local food banks and food pantries. In addition, to better meet the needs of our students in this time, pre-packaged bags will include 15 food items instead of the usual limit of 10 food items.

Students should order online ahead of time for pre-packaged bags to be picked-up at set times on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Students can pre-select omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and kosher bags and provide any specific instructions regarding food allergies or a desire to also receive hygiene items. Delivery may be available within a 10-mile radius of campus.

Teleworking and time off

What is the policy on teleworking?

The UW is currently in Phase 2 of its return to campus plan. This means that telework is still strongly encouraged for all non-critical personnel. Non-critical personnel may return to worksites if work can be performed safely and is absolutely necessary to maintain unit operations. Telework is required if employee cannot return to work safely.

How can I remotely access my UW Tacoma office workstation?

Most UW Tacoma-owned Windows and Apple workstations can be configured for remote access. To access your workstation remotely, you must first request access. Once the request has been made, a technician will configure your workstation and provide instructions on how to connect remotely.

Can I access my office files remotely, without remotely connecting to my office computer?

To access your files located on the H: or S: drive, you can log onto the Remote File Access system. Please use the following format for your user name when logging in: Your password is the same password you use to log into your workstation.

How can I forward my desk phone to my personal cell phone?

You can forward your office phone to another phone by dialing *72 9 + [your phone number starting from area code].  For example, *72 9 253 123 4567.  You can see more detail on call forwarding here or a Youtube video here. Alternatively, you can set email notification so that you receive an email if someone leaves a voicemail. To do so, please visit Web Access to Mailbox and Functions.

I need to schedule a meeting remotely. How do I use Zoom?

Zoom has been made available at no cost to all faculty, staff, and students, and will allow for meetings of up to 300 attendees. Instructions on how to access and use Zoom can be found here.

What if I need to come to campus?

Before coming back to campus for the first time, all employees must complete the 20-minute online training video on COVID-19 prevention developed by UW Environmental Health & Safety. After you finish viewing, you and your (Workday) supervisor will receive emails confirming that you have completed the required training.

Staff should check with their supervisor before coming to campus unless they are considered critical personnel. All faculty and staff needing to access campus facilities must follow these procedures every time they visit. Buildings are accessible only during the hours of 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday, and only with your Husky Card.*

  1. On the day of your visit, email with the location on campus you will be visiting and the approximate time and duration of your visit so that they can plan resource use and cleaning protocols around your visit.
  2. On the day of your visit, complete the Workday attestation to confirm you are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Please don’t come to campus if you are not well or think you’ve been exposed to illness.

*Carlton Center requires keys to access. If you do not have a key, contact Campus Safety.


Does access to Zoom Pro continue through summer quarter? Do students have access?

Yes, UW Zoom Pro accounts will be available through summer quarter, and they are available to all instructors, staff and students at no cost. You can access Zoom using your UW NetID at

How will students and instructors access specialized software that is only available on campus computers?

UW Tacoma IT has developed several remote-access and cloud-based “virtual lab” environments to accommodate courses with specialized software needs. Contact your instructor for specific information about how this will be accomplished.