COVID-19 Information

Fall 2021 Update

On May 8, Hardin-Simmons University resumed normal operations. This means that our university campus remains at 100% occupancy for our indoor spaces and plans to maintain that occupancy level provided CDC guidelines do not change. Classrooms will return to a normal in-person experience. Masks will not be required on campus, although we do encourage them for all unvaccinated individuals. HSU does not currently require the COVID-19 vaccine, but we strongly encourage getting the vaccine if you have not done so already.

Fully vaccinated individuals exposed to COVID due to close contact with a positive case will not be required to quarantine with proper documentation of their vaccination. Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID should get tested. Anyone testing positive for COVID will be required to isolate. Any unvaccinated person, or without adequate documentation exposed to a positive COVID case will be required to quarantine.

The university will have limited spaces available on campus for students who need to quarantine or isolate. As in any other absences, students will need to make arrangements with their professors for missed assignments. Please reference the attached Student FAQ for additional frequently asked questions.

Student-Athletes, as a member of NCAA Division III our athletic program follows the COVID testing recommendations provided by the NCAA. When we receive the recommendations from the NCAA, the athletic department will distribute them to you promptly.

Employees should treat COVID illness as they would any other by consulting with their healthcare provider and using sick leave for any related absences. Please reference the attached Employee FAQ for additional frequently asked questions.

As more information is gathered or different situations arise, policies are subject to change.

We are planning to provide a true in-person experience this upcoming school year for activities and events. The university will continue to monitor the COVID situation in our local community and state as we continue to keep the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff our top priority.

We look forward to a great school year.

May 2021 Update

As you are aware, we have been maintaining COVID-19 campus safety protocols through the end of the Spring Semester, which concludes at commencement on Friday, May 7.

Based on guidance from Governor Abbott’s office, Hardin-Simmons University has decided to resume normal operations starting Saturday, May 8.  This means that students, faculty, staff, and guests will no longer be required to wear face masks, practice social distancing, or adhere to reduced occupancy limits.

The threat continues to subside as we see a constant trend of 0 infections on campus and a low number of cases throughout Taylor County.  If the county or HSU experiences an increase in infection or hospitalization rates, HSU will re-evaluate our safety and health protocols.

As we make this transition, you are strongly encouraged to visit with your healthcare provider about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

After May 8, if I believe that I have been exposed or suspect that I have COVID-19 symptoms, what should I do?

If you are currently going to be on campus in any capacity (campus housing or campus work) or are currently enrolled in summer term classes you should continue to report any potential exposure or onset of COVID-19 symptoms to Student Life at covid.students@hsutx.edu.

If I am in isolation or quarantine, may I attend classes online?

Yes, we will continue to work with you for alternative solutions.  Please reach out to us at covid.students@hsutx.edu for us to make arrangements.

May I still wear a face mask to class?

Yes, face masks will be optional at each individual’s discretion.  However, we will not require individuals to wear face masks at HSU.

May I still maintain social distancing in class?

HSU is returning to regular operations.  Classes, meetings, and campus events will be conducted without social distancing.  In situations where individuals have adequate space to socially distance, and wish to do so may exercise their own practices as long as they are not requiring the same of others.

What if I am at high risk because of a medical condition, and my doctor has advised me not to resume normal activities or to get the vaccine?

If you require medical accommodations, you must contact Student Life to request such allowances.  They will provide you with further instructions, including what supporting documentation is required before approving any such accommodations.

After May 10, if I believe that I have been exposed or suspect that I have COVID-19 symptoms, what should I do?

As of May 10, you no longer need to report symptoms or positive COVID-19 tests to Human Resources. However, you should consult with your healthcare provider about whether you should self-isolate. As with any contagious illness, to protect others, you should stay home/away from work if you are sick until your healthcare provider advises that you can resume regular activities.

If my doctor recommends self-isolation or self-quarantine, may I work from home?

As of May 10, switching to remote work from home will no longer be an option with COVID-19 illnesses.

You may elect to use your available paid sick leave/vacation during your absence. Report your absence using your department’s regular process. Remember, you do not have to give any medical information to your supervisor when you call in sick, but if you are absent for three or more days, you must promptly contact Human Resources for further information about your absence. If you don’t have enough paid leave to cover your self-quarantine period, contact HR to discuss your options.

May I still wear a face mask at work?

Yes, face masks will be optional at each individual’s discretion. However, we will not require individuals to wear face masks at HSU.

May I still maintain social distancing?

HSU is returning to regular operations. Classes, meetings, campus events, and other job activities will be conducted without social distancing. In situations where individuals have adequate space to socially distance, and wish to do so may exercise their own practices as long as they are not the same of others.

What if I am at high risk because of a medical condition, and my doctor has advised me not to resume normal activities or to get the vaccine?

If you require medical accommodations, you must contact Human Resources to request such allowances. They will provide you with further instructions, including what supporting documentation is required before approving any such accommodations.

May students who test positive attend my class?

HSU Campus Life will continue to monitor and oversee COVID-19 exposure protocols, which means students may be asked to isolate or quarantine.

Faculty or staff should notify Student Life with questions; or if you become aware of a student with potential exposure or symptoms.

Student Life will continue to work with those students to figure out appropriate accommodations for class participation.

HEERF Institutional Portion Reports and Disclosures

HEERF Student Portion Reports and Disclosures

HEERF Student Portion Disclosure

Hardin-Simmons University acknowledges that it has signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that it will use the applicable amounts of Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) I, II, and III designated under the CARES Act, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, and American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, signed into law by Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden, to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

The total amount of HEERF I, II, and III funds available for distribution to students at Hardin-Simmons is $­­­­4,628,947.00. The total student portion of each individual HEERF allocation is listed below:

  • HEERF I – $­­­­­967,003.00
  • HEERF II  – $967,003.00
  • HEERF III – $2,694,941.00

As of July 6, 2020, Hardin-Simmons University has distributed all HEERF I Student Portion funds required under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of March 5, 2021, Hardin-Simmons University has distributed all HEERF II Student Portion funds required under the CRRSA Act.

As of October 12, 2021, Hardin-Simmons University is in the process of distributing all HEERF III Student Portion funds required under the ARP Act. Additionally, the University contacted all students via mail about the availability of a Professional Judgement per the ARPA requirement to provide notice to financial aid applicants and current financial aid recipients that they may be able to receive a financial aid adjustment due to the recent unemployment of a family member or independent student, or other circumstances

HEERF I (CARES Act) – Method of Awarding and Report Details

July 6, 2020, Update

In June 2020, it was discovered that one student who was originally distributed funding was not eligible. As such, funding previously distributed to this student was returned to the U.S. Department of Education on June 5, 2020.

As of July 6, 2020, the total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to HSU students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is $966,319.30. These funds were distributed on May 4, 2020.

Per the guidance issued and in effect at the date of distribution, 1,445 students were eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of July 6, 2020, each of the 1,445 eligible students has received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant in the amount of $668.74. Funds were distributed evenly to all eligible students.

May 22, 2020, Update

As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) provides colleges with emergency grants for their students.

Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) signed and returned the Certification and Agreement form to the U.S. Department of Education on April 13, 2020. HSU intends to use no less than 50 percent of funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

HSU has received $967,003 from the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Financial Aid Grants to Students.

As of May 12, 2020, the total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to HSU students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is $966,988.04. These funds were distributed on May 4, 2020.

Per the guidance issued and in effect at the date of distribution, 1,446 students were eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. To be eligible, students must have been attending face-to-face classes before March 13, 2020, and have demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

As of May 12, 2020, each of the 1,446 eligible students has received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant in the amount of $668.74. Funds were distributed evenly to all eligible students.

Each student attending the institution was sent email communication regarding the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

HEERF II (CRRSA Act) – Method of Awarding and Report Details

March 4, 2021

As part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) provides colleges with emergency grants for their students.

Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) received the Certification and Agreement form to the U.S. Department of Education on January 22, 2021.

HSU has received $967,003 from the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Financial Aid Grants to Students.

Per the guidance issued and in effect at the date of distribution, Hardin-Simmons distributed $967,705.17 to 1681 students.  Block grants were offered to students in three groups.

  • Group one included 744 students with a valid 2020-2021 FAFSA, verified US citizenship or permanent resident, and qualified for federal Pell grant based on an EFC less than 5711.
  • Group two included 532 students with a valid 2020-2021 FAFSA, verified US citizenship or permanent resident, and an EFC between 5711 – 42686 (HSU direct cost).
  • Group three included 405 students that either did not file a FAFSA but were confirmed US citizens or permanent residents or filed a FAFSA but has an EFC greater than 42686.

Award amounts for each group were as follows:

  • Group one received 60% of the allocation with $780.39 to each student.
  • Group two received 30% of the allocation with $545.73 to each student.
  • Group three received 10% of the allocation with $238.93 to each student.

Each eligible student attending the institution was sent email communication regarding the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

There was $5,037.27 of CRRSAA funds that were not deposited by students. Per the CRRSAA guidelines, the funds were voided and reversed on the student accounts. These funds were reallocated and distributed along with the amount of HEERF III ARP funds on November 15, 2021.

HEERF III (ARP Act) – Method of Awarding and Report Details

July 28, 2021

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act, the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) provides colleges with emergency grants for their students.

Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) received $2,694,941 of HEERF III student funds which were disbursed to students in the 2021 Summer and 2021 Fall semesters.

On July 28, 2021, HSU disbursed a portion of HEERF III funds in the amount of $129,950 to 549 students who were enrolled in 6 or more credit hours for the 2021 Summer semester.

Block grants were divided into three different student groups.

  • Group one included 58 students with a valid 2021-2022 FAFSA, verified US citizenship or permanent resident, and qualified for federal Pell grant based on an EFC less than 5846.
  • Group two included 182 students with a valid 2021-2022 FAFSA, verified US citizenship or permanent resident, and qualified for federal Pell grant based on an EFC greater than 5846.
  • Group three included 309 students enrolled in summer courses but without a valid FAFSA.

Award amounts for each group were as follows:

  • Group one received $500.00 each.
  • Group two received $300.00 each.
  • Group three received $150.00 each.

Each eligible student attending the institution was sent email communication regarding the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

On November 15, 2021, HSU disbursed the remaining portion of HEERF III funds in the amount of $2,564,991.00 along with $5,038.00 of the HEERF II reallocation amount and an additional $3,646.00 of HEERF III Institutional Funds to student accounts totaling an amount of $2,573,675.00. These funds were processed for students who were enrolled in six or more credit hours for the 2021 Fall semester.

Block grants were divided into three different student groups:

  • Group one included 564 students with a valid 2021-2022 FAFSA, verified US citizenship or permanent resident, and qualified for federal Pell grant based on an EFC less than 5846.
  • Group two included 693 students with a valid 2021-2022 FAFSA verified US citizenship or permanent resident, and an EFC between 5846-
  • Group 3 included 568 students that either did not file a 2021-2022 FAFSA or those who did file a 2021-2022 FAFSA but had an EFC greater than 29526.

Award amounts for each group were as follows:

  • Group one received approximately 60% of the allocation with $2,735.00 to each student.
  • Group two received approximately 30% of the allocation with $1,115.00 to each student.
  • Group three received approximately 10% of the allocation with $455.00 to each student.

Each eligible student attending the institution was sent email communication regarding the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.