Fall Semester (COVID-19) Updates

Updated: May 21 at 3:30 PM

Status of COVID-19 in New York City

The King’s College Emergency Operations Team is closely monitoring the rapidly evolving COVID-19 (Coronavirus), both nationally and within New York. The health and safety of our community remain our highest priority, and we are committed to providing updates regarding our remote operations. Prayers for our community and those affected by the virus are greatly appreciated during this time.

Planning for Fall 2020

While the students, faculty, and staff of The King’s College adapted exceedingly well to the distance learning format we were forced to adopt in the spring 2020 semester, this is not what most of us want from an education at The King’s College. The in-person exchange of ideas and debate, experiences only New York City offers, and encouragement gained by interacting with others at the College are exceptionally important and were deeply missed in the later half of the spring semester.

As we look ahead to the fall semester, we are cautiously optimistic about teaching in-person and are preparing to abide by state health and safety procedures once they are finalized. (We expect the need to conduct routine health screenings, contact tracing, and maintain capacity for isolation should someone become ill, for example.) Governor Cuomo has asked each college to build out a plan for reopening in the fall, and we are proactively planning for various learning formats. Our aim remains to provide students with an outstanding education, delivered by our world-class faculty, while meeting students and their families where they are. To that end, King’s is collaborating with other schools across the state to exchange ideas and best practices. As we’re permitted to do so, The King’s College will be open for in-person classes for the fall semester.

May 15 Update from President Gibson

Dear students, staff, and faculty,

Congratulations to all of you for reaching the end of the semester! I hope you take some time to rest and reflect on the hard work you’ve put in this year. Reaching the finish line during this pandemic is a feat in itself. Students, you persevered and focused on your studies even when routine went out the window. Faculty, I applaud you for faithfully adapting courses that were not designed for an online format. Staff, thank you for innovating new systems to support our community’s unique needs. I am proud of all of you.

My special congratulations to the Class of 2020. I wish we could have celebrated you together in person last weekend. Still, it was a joy to reflect on your accomplishments at the 4th Annual Award Ceremony and during the 72nd Annual Commencement Exercises.

As I mentioned in last week’s Community Update, we are cautiously optimistic about teaching in-person during the upcoming fall semester and are preparing to abide by state health and safety procedures once they are finalized. We are proactively planning for various learning formats and are committed to keeping you updated along the way. Our aim remains to provide students with an outstanding education delivered by our world-class faculty, with all the best practices available to us, while meeting students and families where they are. To that end, we will provide consistent updates this summer regarding the fall semester; you can expect the next one from me the first week of June.

Students, thanks to the generous support of the King’s community as well as additional funds provided by the CARES Act, the King’s Community Fund is available to offset financial hardship as a result of the novel coronavirus. I encourage you to request funds today should you find the need to do so.

Thank you for being part of this community and for your diligent pursuit of what is good, brave, and ready. Stay safe and healthy this summer. I pray the benediction from Hebrews 13:20-21 for you:

“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Yours in Service,
Tim Gibson

Fulfilling the Mission

As colleges around the world respond to the widespread economic impacts of COVID-19, The King’s College is profoundly grateful to the Board of Trustees for their fierce devotion to the College’s mission and financial stability. Throughout our history, God’s faithfulness is evident.

Delivering on the mission of The King’s College is not inexpensive. Being a Christian presence in the heart of New York City, offering excellent housing options, and maintaining a low faculty-to-student ratio with renowned professors, who support our core curriculum of politics, philosophy, and economics, are a few commitments that make The King’s College education so valuable. Since our founding in 1938, we have relied on the generous support of charitable foundations and donors who partner with us in our mission. As a non-profit without a large endowment, philanthropic support makes King’s financially accessible to students, the majority of whom receive some form of institutional aid.

Beyond that, diversifying revenue streams is a key part of the next evolution of the College. One of the first steps on that journey was the 2018 purchase of DeVos Hall, a residential property within easy walking distance of our Financial District campus. Through a diligent, multi-year capital campaign we were blessed to acquire the property without a mortgage, allowing the College to maintain zero debt. God’s provision enhances the school’s financial health and sustains our ability to serve students and families well.

This unprecedented season will be no different. We trust God will continue to provide and we are excited to see how He leads our community in this time.

Housing Move-Out Date Extended For Those Not In NYC

In order to accommodate students who may have difficulty returning to New York, we extended the spring move-out date to Friday, May 29. Read full details for students in campus housing.

Community Fund

The King’s College Community Fund provides short-term relief for students who rely on income from jobs or services that have been lost or suspended as a result of COVID-19. To apply for a Community Fund Grant, students may submit an appeal for short-term essential needs (groceries, rent assistance, etc.). A committee of staff review all appeals, and students are asked to provide specific details of their needs. Resources are limited but we will help as many students as we are able.

Information for Prospective Students

The admissions office seeks to serve those affected by travel interruptions, standardized test cancellations, or other complications resulting from COVID-19. We are able to extend deadlines, make accommodations, and offer alternatives for completion of applications. Please contact your admissions counselor for additional information.

Get to know The King’s College at our Virtual Visit page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should I contact with questions?
What is The King’s College doing to minimize the community’s exposure to COVID-19?
  • To care for the well-being of each member of the King’s community, The King’s College will continue remote teaching and operations through the end of the spring semester, Friday, May 8. Campus housing remains open for those who prefer to stay until Move Out Day on Monday, May 11.
  • The Emergency Operations Team is meeting regularly regarding COVID-19, and our emergency notification system is prepared with student contact information.
  • Facility workers use industrial detergent-based disinfectants, are increasing campus cleaning rotations, and stocking more disinfectant supplies.
  • The Emergency Operations Team has emailed students, staff, and faculty and displayed reminders to increase personal hygiene.
  • Student Development members, who hold the emergency phone, are equipped to respond, should students call with COVID-19 symptoms or concerns.
  • The Emergency Operations Team is in consistent contact with the New York State and New York City Departments of Health, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and New York City Emergency Management for the latest information and advice.
What personal prevention recommendations should I take to protect from COVID-19?

We reiterate the CDC’s recommendation that common sense preventative measures are the best line of defense against COVID-19.

If students, staff, or faculty develop flu-like symptoms such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath for more than 48 hours AND have recently traveled internationally OR have been in close contact with someone suspected of having COVID-19, they should call the COVID-19 hotline at 646-697-4000 OR NYC Health Department Hotline at 888-364-3065 OR King’s Care AND the College emergency phone at 646-242-4411, so we can keep tabs on their condition and others with whom they may have interacted. Providers will work with the Department of Health to determine if testing is needed.

Why did the College keep campus housing open while the main campus is operated remotely during the spring semester?

The College did not close campus housing. Unlike dormitories with shared bathrooms and dining where viruses spread quickly, all King’s housing units are apartments with private restrooms and kitchens. This security allowed residents to control who comes and goes and keep their space clean and disinfected.

If I left my belongings in my campus apartment and travel restrictions are in place when it is time to move out of housing in May, how will I get my belongings?

In order to accommodate students who may have difficulty returning to New York, we extended the spring move-out date to Friday, May 29. Read full details for students in campus housing.

Do students qualify for housing refunds if they choose to leave campus housing or if they have to self-quarantine off campus after returning from a high-risk area?

No, the College is not offering housing refunds. While campus housing remains open, students have the choice of whether to leave or remain in campus housing, and we encourage students to communicate with their parents and families as they weigh their decisions. Students who travel to high-risk areas during the Spring 2020 semester will be required to self-quarantine at their own expense.

Is mental health counseling still available during remote campus operations?

Yes, our licensed Counseling Services staff are offering virtual (video) counseling for King’s students via VSee. Please be advised that counselors will need to verify with a student’s state (other than New York) whether or not out-of-state counselors are permitted to provide telehealth services. Though many states are relaxing regulations regarding out-of-state providers, there are a few that only permit their state providers to utilize virtual counseling. Counselor Services will continue monitoring the situation as some states have advised that regulations may change given the impact of COVID-19.

King’s Care also provides 24/7 mental health counseling for King’s students, all in their respective states. If students just want to talk with a staff member about how they are being affected by the coronavirus situation, they can reach out to their House Advisor or Housing Director.

View more counseling resources.

What should students, staff, or faculty do if they experience symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath)?

Call The King’s College emergency phone at 646-242-4411 to receive advice about what to do and to keep us updated on your situation. If you have had these symptoms for more than 48 hours, call the COVID-19 hotline at 646-697-4000 or NYC Health Department Hotline at 888-364-3065. Hospitals will only conduct a COVID test if the patient has called 911, the COVID-19 Hotline, or the NYC Health Department Hotline and has been instructed to go to the ER to get tested. The following NYC hospitals can test for COVID-19: NYU Medical CenterNew York Presbyterian Lower Manhattan HospitalNew York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.

The King’s emergency phone is manned 24/7 by staff trained to assist in the event of an emergency. However, due to the current COVID-19 situation, New York City hospitals do not allow those being admitted to be accompanied or visited. In the event that a student needs to go to the hospital, staff will be available to assist via phone or video.

What flexibility do F-1 Visa students have due to COVID-19?

The current temporary adaptation is that F-1 students who depart from the U.S. to continue their studies online in their home country will remain in “Active” status in SEVIS. This means that international students will be able to maintain their visa status if they choose to complete their studies online at home. To speak directly to a SEVIS Representative, international students may call the SEVIS Help Desk at 1-800-892-4829 or visit Study in the States. 

  • Currently, there is a strict rule that if an F-1 student is out of the country for more than 5 months their I-20 record is terminated. However, SEVIS will be handling these situations on a case-by-case basis. International students may want to consider returning to the U.S. within the 5-month time-frame so as not to risk needing to reapply for an I-20 (and potentially an F-1 visa). 
  • Maintain international student status and follow regular rules as far as class attendance, no working off-campus in the U.S., full-course load, and all King’s-specific course expectations. International students should keep the DSO team informed of any changes to academics, address, etc.
  • We cannot guarantee what travel will look like over the summer- stay safe and informed. Continue to watch announcements from Study in the States, the CDC, State Department, and The King’s College. 
What steps should students take to minimize exposure to COVID-19 while living in campus housing?
  • Limit travel on the subway, especially during rush hour.
  • Avoid large public gatherings.
  • Limit get-togethers in each others’ apartments. Practice social distancing.
  • Disinfect your apartment daily, especially high touch surfaces of counters, kitchen areas, bathroom sink, etc.
What is the difference between a self-quarantine and a self-isolation?
  • Self-quarantine is required for a person who displays COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath, who has recently traveled from a high-risk location or has been in close contact with someone suspected of having COVID-19.
  • Self-isolation is required for a person who IS NOT displaying COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath, but who has been in close contact with a self-quarantined person.
Do faculty and staff need permission to work from home?

No, all employees are encouraged to work from home for the remainder of the semester.

CARES Act HEERF Allocation

On April 28, 2020, King’s received access to almost $200,000 in CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) earmarked for student aid. We immediately began publicizing to students that these funds would supplement the College’s Community Fund we had already established. Through the HEERF funds, eligible full-time students began cash grants up to $1,000 to offset financial hardships due to COVID-19.

Disclosure Information

1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

The King’s College has signed and returned the Certification and Agreement required under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act

2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

$198,371 received on April 28, 2020

3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

$58,473 has been awarded as of May 27, 2020

4. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

479

5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

81

6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

Students are required to complete an application, which can be found here. Each application is reviewed by a committee of staff members using the following guidelines:

  • Students must experience financial hardship due to circumstances linked to COVID-19 to be eligible
  • Funds granted are for expenses deemed essential (groceries, housing, etc.)
  • Students must fill out an online request form and verify any grant they receive will exclusively be used for COVID-19 related relief.
  • $1000 limit per request
  • Only one request per student will be considered every 30 days
  • Awards will continue to be granted until fund is depleted

7. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Students received the following information through our regular King’s Weekly email. The information was also communicated through weekly, virtual community updates provided by the Dean of Students.

As part of the CARES Act, the College received funds to be dispensed to students facing financial hardship resulting from COVID-19.If you are having trouble paying rent, affording groceries or covering other essential needs, please fill out a request form to be considered for disbursement. You will need to verify that any received funds will be used only for expenses deemed essential. This fund will remain open to students throughout the summer so please inquire if you have need.