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Undergraduate FAQ, Spring 2021

Answers to your questions
Banner image featuring "I wear a face coving" banner hung above stair case as students walk up. Kimberly Heng and Amol Singh. Photo credit: Andrew Brodhead.

Undergraduate FAQ, Spring 2021

 Students in an outdoor classroom on stanford campus. Roger Randolph Cain

We are looking forward to spring quarter, and we hope you are too! We continue to summarize need-to-know information on the Re-Approaching Stanford website. We are following up on today’s message with these highlights.

Campus Conditions

Enrollment Information and Options

  • Image detail of the 'Enrollment Options for Spring and Summer' infographic. This image is clickable to reveal the full resolution downloadable PDF.
    Open enrollment begins March 7. All students will be required to complete the Quarterly Check-In
  • This infographic summarizes your options for spring and summer 2021, including information on experiential learning opportunities (ELOs), such as undergraduate research or service pursued during one’s Flex Term. Please reach out to your academic advisor for assistance with academic planning.
  • All international students, regardless of year, are welcome to apply to live on campus under the special circumstances provision. To be considered for special circumstances housing, please email and include an explanation of your current situation. All international students who began their programs at Stanford after March 9, 2020, and will be in the U.S. enrolled in spring quarter will need to be enrolled in at least one class with an in-person component.

Open virtually: Community Centers, FLI and OMAC 

All of our community centers, the Office of First Generation/Low-Income Students and the Office for Military-Affiliated Communities are open for students virtually, while their physical spaces remain closed until further notice. Their commitment to all students remains as strong as ever. We encourage you to check out their websites, where you will find information about events and support as we navigate this challenging time together. 

Image featuring aerial shot of the Stanford campus with a "Know Justice, No Peace" banner featured on one of the buildings. Photo credit: Andrew Brodhead.

Can Students Who Live Locally Come on Campus?

  • Undergraduates who do not reside on campus are not permitted on campus except when seeking medical services or participating in university-approved research.  Stanford plans to continue the research exception for juniors and seniors who live locally. Students who were granted the research exception during winter quarter do not have to reapply. Those approved students who come onto campus for research exceptions are required to adhere to established COVID testing requirements for visitation. 

Restricted Activity and Travel Quarantine

  • Students new to campus for spring quarter will be in a period of restricted activity from their arrival to April 7. Restricted activity means you can leave your residence for twice weekly testing with Verily, for medical care, to pick-up meals if you have a Stanford Dining meal plan or if you have groceries or prepared food delivered and solo outdoor exercise. 
  • Undergraduates who are currently residing on campus and will continue to live on campus for the spring quarter will start their period of restricted activity on March 28, ending on April 7.

Campus Life

  • On April 7, undergraduate students will be able to form households and will be able to gather indoors and outdoors with their households.
  • On April 14, if conditions continue to improve, we will begin to allow gatherings of up to 3 households with no more than 12 students (an increase from the 8 that we are allowing now). 
  • We plan to create additional guidelines for hosting gatherings as COVID conditions improve and the county and state become less restrictive. We do not know if this will be possible this spring.

COVID Testing 

  • Undergraduates living on campus this spring will be required to test twice weekly (once every three days). Newly arriving undergraduates will be provided access to an optional test-at-home service prior to campus arrival. Details will be emailed in early March. 
  • If you test positive before arriving, we will ask you to arrange a new arrival date. If you test positive after arriving, you will be provided on-campus isolation housing, meal delivery and medical care at no additional cost. 
  • After three missed tests, students will be subject to a Dean of Students administrative review for a Campus Compact violation and will lose access to Stanford locations that require a key card for entry, except your campus residence.
  • All testing is provided at no cost to students. 

Mental Health Resources 

  • For students residing on campus, the majority of Counseling and Psychological Services will continue to be offered via telehealth, but CAPS does have staff on-site to meet with students whose needs require an in-person assessment. For students outside of California, CAPS remains available for consultation on their needs.  
  • Well-Being at Stanford offers individual coaching services available to all students, regardless of location.

Housing and Dining

Photograph featuring an exterior photograph of EVGR-A. Photo Credit: Sean Mckibbon-Ray

When will spring quarter housing assignments be announced?
Students who applied by the spring quarter undergraduate housing allocation deadline of February 16 will be notified of their assignments by email on Friday, March 5.

What if I did not apply but now would like to live on campus during spring quarter? 

You may still submit a housing application in Axess if:
  • You are eligible to live on campus for spring quarter because you are a member of the junior or senior cohorts.
  • You are a first-year or sophomore who has been approved to live on campus due to special circumstances.
Important considerations:
  • Any student who is eligible and wants to live on campus for spring quarter, but who has not yet filed a housing application, should do so immediately. Space is limited.  
  • You will not be able to apply as a group with students who applied by the February 16 deadline. 

First-year and sophomore students can share concerns about their individual situations by sending an email to  

Will students already on campus need to relocate?
We understand the burden that comes with needing to change housing assignments.  We will make every effort to minimize the number of moves that need to occur; however, in order to ensure that requested friendship groups may be assigned together, some moves will likely be necessary. 

When will students be able to move into their spring quarter residences?
Students currently living on campus who need to move to a new assignment will relocate March 20 - March 22. Students arriving for spring quarter will schedule a move-in appointment for some time between March 24 and March 28.  

What if I am assigned housing and decide to cancel before I arrive?
If you are assigned housing and decide to cancel, you may do so in Axess without a fee. In order to help us accommodate other students and to ensure your student account is updated in a timely fashion, we strongly encourage you to cancel as soon as possible.

  • Log into Axess
  • Select Housing and Dining from the Student menu
  • Select Cancel Future Assignment 

What if I want to leave in the middle of the quarter? Will I be released from my housing and dining contracts? Will I have to pay a fee?
If you decide that you want to leave in the middle of the quarter, you must file a termination of occupancy form within Axess.

  • Log into Axess
  • Select Housing and Dining from the Student menu
  • Select Terminate Occupancy

You will be released without additional fees provided you do the following:

  • completely vacate your residence, including taking your belongings with you
  • return your keys to your housing front desk
  • work with your housing front desk to update your room condition report

If you do not complete these tasks, you will continue to be charged for housing and dining. If you do terminate your housing in the middle of the quarter, you will be charged a prorated amount for housing and dining based on your move-out date and will not be able to return to housing in that quarter.

What is being done to make housing and dining safe?
To support physical distancing, we have reduced the density of students in residence halls, by converting all rooms into singles. This means all students will be assigned to a single (private room) or a 2-bedroom apartment-style unit (each student in a private bedroom and sharing some common areas).

In residences with shared restrooms, the reduced density will limit the number of students that might need to use each restroom. Inside the restrooms, we have installed barriers between wash basins. We ask that you wear face coverings -- except when you are in the shower, brushing your teeth, etc. -- and that you maintain physical distancing by staggering restroom use when possible. The restrooms, and all common areas in residences receive enhanced cleaning and disinfecting twice daily, seven days a week. 

R&DE dining and retail locations have implemented a comprehensive CleanDining program to minimize the spread of COVID-19 to students and staff. Learn more by visiting the CleanDining webpage.

What should I do about my belongings in storage? 
The belongings of students who left campus during the 2020 winter and spring quarters are being stored by our vendor, Collegeboxes, in their Santa Clara warehouse. The university will support the cost of storage or shipping these belongings until June 30, 2021. After this date, students are responsible for storage or shipping costs.

This means that, whether or not you return to campus during spring quarter 2021, you will need to make decisions in the coming weeks to avoid storage or shipping charges. If you will be living on campus, you may wish to have your belongings delivered once you move in. However, please consider the option of having your items shipped to you before your arrival. This will allow you to select and bring to campus only the essential items. Given the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, we recommend students only bring what they can carry to campus, like two suitcases and a backpack. 

Students who are not returning to campus should make arrangements before the June deadline to retrieve their belongings or have them shipped. A reminder email with detailed instructions and deadlines will be sent to students in the next week. Information on retrieval of belongings is also available on the R&DE website.

Image featuring Stay Safe signs on the trail to the Stanford Dish during Covid-19. Photo credit: Andrew Brodhead


Reach us here with your general suggestions, comments and concerns about this unique year. If you have a personal question, please submit a ServiceNow ticket.