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Coronavirus Updates and Resources

SAU’s Coronavirus Planning Team is meeting regularly to review the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of State and public health organizations. SAU is proactively implementing measures to safeguard the campus community. We continue to monitor the situation carefully and will update this page regularly as new information becomes available.

Academic Calendar 2020-2021

In preparation for the Fall semester, we have made revisions to the 2020-2021 Academic Calendar that will allow us to provide the best and safest learning experience for our students. The revised version of the 2020-21 Academic Calendar for Campus Undergraduate Programs is now available here.  

The first day of classes remains Tuesday, September 1, but the semester will end one week earlier on Friday, December 11. There are a few more notable changes for the days in-between that we wanted to bring to your attention:

Hands-On Learning Days

We are designating two Saturdays in September, 9/12 and 9/26, as “Hands-On Learning Days.” Selected labs and other hands-on learning activities that would normally be held later in the semester will be moved up in September to front-load these activities as early in the semester as possible. A schedule of the specific labs and classes that are impacted will be made available by August 24.

Breaks Adjusted

In an effort to end the semester earlier, we have shortened and/or adjusted some break times. The following alterations will allow us to end the Fall semester one week earlier, on December 11.

  • Labor Day – Classes and labs will be held (though offices remain closed).
  • Fall Break – Instead of a 2-day Fall Break, we will have a September Break Day on September 30 and an October Break Day on October 27 with no classes planned for those days. These are designed to give students and faculty a brief break more spread out throughout the semester.
  • Thanksgiving Break – will be reduced to Wednesday through Friday of Thanksgiving week, instead of the full week. Note: the residence halls will remain open throughout Thanksgiving Break.

Post-Thanksgiving Instruction

After Thanksgiving Break, the residence halls, dining facilities, and other support offices will remain open, but the final two weeks of classes and final exams will be held remotely via Zoom (except for selected nursing clinicals). More information will be provided from Residence Life for those students who plan to complete the semester remotely and not to return to campus between Thanksgiving Break and Finals.

No changes have been made at this point to the calendars of the Interim or Spring semesters.

For questions about the revised academic calendar, please contact Kathryn Stolz in Academic Affairs at

SAU Spring Semester Update For Traditional Undergraduate Students

Face-To-Face Courses

The primary mode of instruction will be face-to-face, as it was at the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester. There will continue to be Zoom options and recordings similar to this past Fall to accommodate remote instruction for those with explicit permission to do so. Classroom occupancies will continue to be reduced and desks will be spread out to accomplish social distancing in every space. Face coverings will continue to be required–regardless of whether you have had COVID or have been vaccinated.

For questions on learning accessibility and official semester-long Zoom accommodation for at-risk individuals, please email the Director of the Academic Support Center, Manda Kelly at Otherwise, it is expected that students will participate in-person unless unable—due to quarantine (COVID exposure), isolation (COVID-positive), or other illness that is discussed in advance.

Covid Testing

It is encouraged that all students, faculty, and staff arriving for the Spring Semester demonstrate their commitment to the safety of our campus by (1) being symptom-free before returning to campus, and (2) through one of the following other methods:

  1. A scheduled PCR test from our campus health center
  2. A negative PCR or rapid antigen test administered within 5 days of returning to campus
  3. A positive COVID diagnosis within the previous 90 days
  4. A positive antibody test within the last 30 days
  5. Proof of vaccination

Faculty, staff, and students may sign up here for an appointment to receive a free PCR COVID test at the Holton Health and Wellness Center. Appointments are available each business day beginning tomorrow (Thursday, Jan 21) and the first day of class (Wednesday, Jan 27). After that appointment window, the SAU community may visit Holton Health and Wellness (the first floor of the Kresge Student Center) Monday through Friday, between 9 am – 1 pm to receive a free COVID test.

Depending on the status of the coronavirus in our region and on our campus, there may be times throughout the semester where we request continued rapid antigen or PCR testing of individuals learning and teaching on-campus. This may occur as part of official educational or athletic travel, as a response to COVID exposure, or as part of random surveillance testing.

Full Disclosure of Covid Status

Michigan legislation requires employees to inform their employer of COVID exposure or positive diagnosis. Similarly, it is an SAU policy that all students must also communicate exposure to COVID or a positive test to (or through Health Screening tile on the mobile app). Doing so will ensure we can provide you with all academic support and resources available to those disrupted by this virus.

It is important that you are also open and honest with all contact tracing questions.

Academic Calendar

There are no adjustments expected for the Spring 2021 academic calendar. This means you can plan on the regular week-long Spring Break the first week of March and Easter Break in early April. As you map out your personal plans for the semester, please consider the safety of our campus community. You may also request a test from HHWS upon your return and semi-quarantine while you await results.

Events and Activities

MDHHS Emergency Orders issued January 13 continues to create some distance in environments throughout Michigan in order to reduce the risk of spreading COVID. Those orders will be updated for January 31, and we anticipate some relaxing of those orders to allow more gathering – at restaurants, in dining halls, and in residence halls.

However, the emergency orders do allow for certain activities “sponsored by the institution.” With that in mind, you will see some gatherings allowed right away when you arrive for Spring, and even more (including Chapel) as things open up after that. This includes socially-distanced attendance at athletic events, as well as campus activities planned by SGA and Residence Life staff. We are excited to begin to return (safely) to some of the activities that build community and further campus traditions that make SAU the special place it is. Stay tuned to future announcements in emails and on the mobile app related to the return of in-person Chapel, spiritual life activities, and various campus events.

Commitments to Safety

Throughout the semester, we ask that you remain committed to the “Community Care Covenant” and “Safe 8 Guidelines” to keep our campus safe. That means considering the needs over the community over your own personal comfort, and the following:

  • Wear your mask, a face covering that covers your entire nose and mouth any time you’re indoors or in a group.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Watch your distance, ensuring there is an appropriate social space around you.

Please submit any questions you have about the return to campus for Spring 2021 to, and we will do all we can to help.

SAU Fall Semester Update For Traditional Undergraduate Students

Spring Arbor University is excited to have our students back this fall. As our traditional undergraduate students return this fall you will notice just the right balance of changes on campus that will help us care for the health and well-being of our campus community and still enjoy what makes SAU special. We remain fully committed to providing a Christ-centered and transformational education to our students in a community that considers the value of each and every individual: the students, the faculty and staff, and our neighbors.


SAU will be providing COVID-19 testing for students on their arrival to campus. Testing will take place before classes begin. We are offering the FDA-approved Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) which boasts a 99 percent accuracy rate of whether the virus is currently present. The PCR test is a gentle swab of the nostril rather than the more invasive nasopharyngeal procedure that some have heard about or undergone. SAU will also offer group testing dates throughout the summer to meet the needs of athletic teams and student leaders when they arrive at their predetermined time.

Students will be asked to complete online health screening each day before arriving on campus or leaving their residence hall; If a student identifies COVID-19 symptoms, it will be reported through the screening, and a Holton Health and Wellness Services professional will make contact and provide direction. Any student feeling unwell must commit to staying home or in their room. Students with symptoms will be asked to complete a COVID-19 test in the Holton Health and Wellness Center or with their healthcare provider and avoid campus until further notice.


SAU will resume in-person classes. Occupancies for classrooms and labs have been reduced, and the arrangement of tables, desks, and seats are being adjusted to maintain social distancing. With these adjustments, all students will be allowed to attend all face-to-face class sessions physically, unless they are unable to attend due to illness or COVID concerns. If a student is quarantining they will be expected to attend class via Zoom. If a student is unable to attend due to illness, they may view the recorded classroom session later online if needed. Technology in classrooms, including webcams and microphones, is being enhanced to allow for this approach. 

In light of the Executive Order made on July 13, we expect faculty and students will be required to wear a mask when they are in classrooms and labs. Students who are unable to wear a mask due to medical reasons may contact the Director of the Academic Support Center, Manda Kelly, at

Some learning activities will be done via Zoom or online. Handouts and course materials will be distributed online, and students will submit assignments online. Longer class sessions will be shortened, with some instruction moving online or to Zoom. Evaluation is underway to determine how hands-on learning activities such as labs can best be accomplished with adjustments. We are committed to ensuring the high-quality learning experience and personal attention from faculty that SAU is known for. 


Most residence areas on campus will continue to house two students per room, but a limited number of single rooms will be available to students on a case-by-case basis. The move-in process will be modified with options added to provide a safe, socially-distanced experience. Revised occupancy levels and protocols for residential lounges and kitchens will be posted. 

In order to minimize the potential impact of COVID-19 on our community, guests (people who are not members of the SAU community) will not be allowed on campus or in the residence halls. SAU students may visit each other in the residence halls, with appropriate social distancing and face coverings, but not in individual rooms. SAU will provide each student with a mask; additional masks are the responsibility of the student.

For questions on learning accessibility and residential accommodation for at-risk individuals please e-mail the Director of Academic Student Connections, Manda Kelly at


SAU will also be implementing minor changes within our dining facilities and food service procedures, depending on the state requirements at that time. You will notice increased spacing throughout the dining area, and food will be served to students to minimize the spread of germs. There will be regular and increased cleaning of public spaces to follow the CDC-recommended standards with special attention on high-traffic intersections and high-touch areas. Occupancies for auditoriums and athletic facilities will be reduced for appropriate spacing.


As a campus community, we will abide by a new set of practices to ensure the safety and well-being of our campus community. Students, faculty, and staff will be asked to follow the 6’ physical distance in navigating the campus and in all public spaces, including the library and dining facilities. We are encouraging individuals to greet one another with social distancing in mind. We ask that all individuals on campus wear a mask in accordance with the current executive order which includes being inside a public space where 6’ social distancing is not possible. We are also encouraging everyone to practice frequent hand washing and respiratory hygiene practices.


  • We will follow current state guidelines regarding public gatherings (assuming our area of Michigan is in Phase 4 at the start of classes)
  • Chapel programming will be adjusted to accommodate social distancing
    • SAU Chaplain Brian Kono and Student Development are developing a Chapel experience that meets our community’s desire for worship together and incorporates the appropriate safety requirements. The attendance requirement may be adjusted as needed to recognize the unique setting of and opportunities within the large group and small group activities
  • Athletic practices, competitions and travel will be adjusted according to guidance from the NAIA, CDC and other relevant authorities.
    • Athletes and coaching staff will participate in a health screening (including having their temperature taken) before practices and competitions

Any students who have concerns or reservations may direct those questions to Student Development and Success ( to review options.

For more information on our full community preparedness plan, please review the document below: 

For more information on protocols and health screening for employees visit

SAU Fall Semester Update For Adult & Professional and Graduate Students

Spring Arbor University’s COVID Planning Team has been working diligently to determine the best plan for instruction this Fall in each learning modalities. This content outlines details for our graduate and nontraditional students whose cohorts normally meet in the evenings at our regional sites. We remain fully committed to providing a high-quality Christ-centered education while caring for the health and well-being of our students and faculty.

Based on the latest information that we have from the CDC and the State of Michigan, face-to-face instruction held over a four-hour span in an enclosed classroom is an activity with a greater level of risk related to COVID-19, even if all those participating were to wear masks and participate in social distancing. We have determined that the best option to ensure the highest quality instruction possible without changing students’ schedules is to provide the scheduled classroom instruction for graduate and nontraditional programs via the synchronous Zoom format for the Fall semester. We will continue to monitor the outbreak closely to determine our approach for the Spring semester. When the current restrictions lift, we will re-evaluate this decision related to our instructional delivery and inform you of any adjustments to be made that will impact your educational experience.

We understand the disappointment that comes with this notification, and we regret we cannot hold those classes face-to-face. We will provide updates as soon as we are able to return to face-to-face instruction safely.

Any student questions may be directed to your Student Success Advisor.

Admitted and Prospective Students

Visiting Campus

With guidance from campus leadership and in compliance with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order, SAU has decided to suspend all campus visits until further notice. In the meantime, we encourage you to connect with your admission representative and take a virtual tour of our campus!

Financial Aid

Our Financial Aid office is serving students and their families through our financial aid phone line which is open from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Students with financial aid questions can call 517.750.2900 or e-mail

Class Registration 

The class registration process has been significantly altered to better serve students during this time of disruption. Our first two large group registration events that were scheduled for March 28th and April 18th have been canceled. In their place, we are scheduling individual registration appointments where students meet remotely with their advisors for a one-on-one registration. Orientation will take place at a later time, and will be communicated by the Admission Office and the Office of Student Life. Please visit to sign up for individual registration or e-mail with any questions you may have.

Symptoms and Prevention

Tracking the Illness

If you (1) are showing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, dry cough, and body aches), (2) have been exposed to someone who may have COVID-19, or (3) have reason to believe you are at risk. 

  1. E-mail (only): to address your concern. 
  2. Please identify a location for testing near you. Henry Ford Allegiance is now offering testing at One Jackson Square, 100 E. Michigan Ave, Jackson, Michigan. 
  3. Next, you need to notify that you are being tested, the date of the testing and the expected result date. Following your test, we are asking that you leave campus and go home until your test has come back as negative. If you are not able to go home, please contact your RD (via phone or email) or 

The CDC recommends not going to any health center initially, but e-mailing, calling and/or scheduling a virtual appointment with your healthcare provider.

Preventing the Illness

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Please visit The Center for Disease Control (CDC) for information on how to avoid being exposed to the coronavirus.

The CDC recommends the following:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick (recommended distance is remaining at least 6’ away from a person displaying symptoms).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. You must apply enough hand sanitizer to last for 10 seconds of vigorous rubbing on your hands.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. (LYSOL wipes or CLOROX wipe. Wipe the surface and let dry for 10 minutes).
    • Use credit/debit cards rather than bills/coins as cash circulates through more germy hands.
  • Practice healthy lifestyle behaviors:
    • Sleep 8 hours nightly
    • Eat a healthy diet and exercise
    • Hydrate with 80 oz of water daily
    • Support your immune system by daily taking a multivitamin, Vitamin C 1000 2000 mg, Elderberry (as directed on the bottle)

CARES Fund Disclaimer

Student Relief Funds

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided Spring Arbor University with $790,634 for Student Relief Grants. The funds are being distributed to students to help cover their expenses related to the disruption of face-to-face campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US Department of Education (ED) set specific criteria regarding our distribution of the funds and the criteria for eligibility. The requirements for eligibility based on ED’s guidelines include:

·   Student must have been enrolled in a face-to-face program as of March 13 that met at one of our regional sites or main campus. Programs that met online or through Zoom are not eligible for these funds.

·   Student must be eligible for federal student aid as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

·   If the student was in a face-to-face program and met the criteria above, and had not completed a 1920 FAFSA, a complete FAFSA must have been filed by Wednesday, May 27 in order to be considered eligible for these funds.

In accordance with the regulations set forth by the US Department of Education, 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.

All students were notified via e-mail on 5/22/2020 of the University approach to the disbursement of CARES Act funds. Students receiving a disbursement received a follow-up email from the Financial Aid Office providing specific details on how to receive the funds.

The process for distribution to qualified students is a block rate based on the combination of student experience (part-time, full-time, resident, and commuter status) as of March 13. As of May 31, 2021, the institution has disbursed $790,634 to 1,260 eligible students.

CARES Act Higher Education Relief Fund Reporting Disclosure 

This content provides the necessary information to comply with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (FFATA). 

Institution Name: Spring Arbor University
DUNS: 074215070
Date of report: July 9, 2020
Location of Entity: Spring Arbor, MI (Michigan’s 7th congressional district)
NAICS Code: 611310 

Funding Source: CARES Act
Funding opportunity number is ED-GRANTS-041020-003
Award Title: Higher Education Relief Fund Student Portion
Amount of Award Received: $772,875 

Funding Source: CARES Act
Funding opportunity number is ED-GRANTS-042120-004
Award Title: Higher Education Relief Fund Institutional Portion
Amount of Award Received: $770,000 

SAU CARES Act Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting [PDF]

Student Relief Funds (CRRSAA Funds Disclaimer)

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) provided Spring Arbor University with $790,634 for Student Relief Grants. These funds are to provide students with grants, which may be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or child care.

The US Department of Education (ED) set specific criteria regarding our distribution of the funds and the criteria for eligibility. The requirements for eligibility based on ED’s guidelines include:

·   The student must have been enrolled in the Spring 2021 semester. 

·   The student must be an eligible US Citizen or eligible Non-US Citizen for federal student aid as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

·   CRRSAA requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants, in awarding financial aid grants to students. 

All eligible students were notified of their eligibility via e-mail on 3/31/2021. That same communication included the details on how the students would receive their funds. 

The University communicated with all students whose eligibility could not be verified on 3/31/2021 and requested the student complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA by 4/9/2021.

The process for distribution to qualified students is a block rate based on the combination of student need (Pell eligible) and student status (part-time, full-time, resident, and commuter status) as of April 15, 2021. As of June 3, 2021, the institution has disbursed $705,900 to 2,382 eligible students.

SAU CRRSAA Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting [PDF]

Returning Student | Q&A Recording

New Student | Q&A Recording

Mental Health & Wellness During Quarantine