Section 6: Academics & Student Success

The University of Arkansas is planning a return to traditional in-person courses this fall. In-person classes are key in providing the energy, opportunities for collaboration and overall experience that make a University of Arkansas education unique. It’s what we do best.

Please know that the university’s COVID-19 Response Team continues to monitor the situation and will revise guidelines as needed. We ask that you remain flexible and ready to adjust as the health and safety of the campus community will continue to shape all decision making.

Class Attendance

Faculty control class attendance.

  • Students should receive class attendance guidance for each of their classes from instructors. Please check the syllabus for each class.
  • Students who must miss class due to COVID-19 or other excused absences should receive class information from instructors.
  • In these situations, the student is responsible for making timely arrangements with the instructor to make up work missed. The make-up work should be completed in a timeframe that has been arranged with the instructor.  

For questions regarding the Center for Educational Access and their accommodation process, please visit the CEA website or contact the office at 575-3104. For questions regarding the COVID-19 Academic Flexibility Request process, please visit U of A Cares or contact the office at 575-5004.

Masks Required In All Classrooms

Very few classroom spaces allow adequate distancing where masks might not be necessary for protective purposes, and it would not be practical or appropriate for individual instructors to make this judgment. Therefore, masks are required in all classroom settings.

Academic Support, Advising and Access

Academic support programs plan a return to a traditional approach to providing support and resources this fall. Please check with specific academic support programs and advisors for details.

Helpful resources:

  • The Student Success Centerprovide tutoring, writing support and academic coaching for students on campus. 
  • Supplemental instructionis also available through Blackboard Collaborate.
  • The Center for Educational Accesswebsite outlines recommendations for accommodating students with disabilities, including test-taking accommodations, note-taking services and attendance flexibility. Contact the CEA staff at 479-575-3104 or ada@uark.edu if you would like to discuss additional ways in which to provide access to your student.
  • The libraries are open for in-person service on campus and remote access to library resources and other online research resources continues to be available. Students can also use a 24/7 chat service through the library website as well. Additional details on access are available here.

International Student Resources

International students and scholars can find detailed information on housing and dining, visa status, travel restrictions, appointments and more at the International Students COVID-19 webpage.

CARES Act and HEERF Support

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law in May 2020 to provide economic relief from COVID-19. In December 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) provided additional funding for students and institutional needs. In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) included additional COVID-19 relief for institutions of higher education.

All three acts use the same Higher Education Relief Fund (HEERF) model established in the CARES Act.

Student Relief Portion – HEERF I

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education the funding certification and agreement for the Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on April 22, 2020. The U of A used no less than 50% of awarded CARES Act funding to provide emergency financial aid grants to students.

The U of A received and distributed $7.7 million in HEERF I emergency grants to eligible students for costs incurred as a result of COVID-19.

HEERF I grants were made to students based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC) reported in a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2019-2020 or 2020-2021.

Additional information on CARES Act guidelines and distribution and the June 1, 2020 reportJuly 15, 2020 report and Sept. 30, 2020 report and the Final Dec. 30, 2020 report on distribution are available.

Student Relief Portion – HEERF II

Subsequent to HEERF I, the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) was authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) and signed into law on December 27, 2020. HEERF II provided the university an additional $7.7 million in funding for supplemental emergency grants to students.

As of June 30, 2021 the U of A had distributed the entire $7.7 million in supplemental CARES Act emergency grants to eligible students. Similar to HEERF I grants to students, HEERF II grants were made to students based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC) reported in a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2020-2021.

The March 31, 2021 report and the final June 30, 2021 report on distribution are available.

Student Relief Portion – HEERF III

After HEERF I and II, the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) was authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) and signed into law on March 11, 2021. HEERF III provided the university an additional $21.2 million in funding for supplemental emergency grants to students.

As of September 30, 2021, the U of A had distributed $1.2 million in supplemental HEERF III emergency grants to eligible students.  HEERF III grants were made to eligible students based on an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 - $10,000 as reported in a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2020-2021.

 The September 30, 2021, report  on distribution is available.

Institutional Relief Portion – HEERF I

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education the funding certification and agreement for the Institutional Portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Formula Grants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on May 28, 2020. The U of A planned to use up to 50% of awarded CARES Act funding to cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus in accordance with the CARES Act.

The CARES Act Section 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion Distribution reports for the calendar quarters ending Sept. 30, 2020Dec. 31, 2020, and March 31, 2021 are available. See HEERF III below for combined subsequent quarterly reporting across all three HEERF funding streams.

Institutional Relief Portion – HEERF II

Subsequent to HEERF I, the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) was authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) and signed into law on December 27, 2020. HEERF II provided the university an additional $16.2 million in funding to cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus in accordance with the CARES Act.

As of March 31, 2021, the U of A had expended $66 in supplemental HEERF II Institutional Relief funds related to the significant changes in the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus. The $66 represents only a portion of the university’s institutional expenses with additional expenses to be reported in subsequent quarters.

The CARES Act Section 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion Distribution report for March 31, 2021 report is available. See HEERF III below for combined subsequent quarterly reporting across all three HEERF funding streams.

Institutional Relief Portion – HEERF III

Subsequent to HEERF I and II, the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) was authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) and signed into law on March 11, 2021. HEERF III represents the third in a stream of funding appropriated to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. HEERF III provided the university with an additional $21.1 million in funding to cover costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus in accordance with the CARES Act, including, in part, lost revenue, payroll, technology expenses and costs to implement evidence-based practices to monitor and suppress COVID-19. Beginning with the quarter ending June 30, 2021, and in accordance with authoritative guidance, quarterly reporting for Institutional Relief funding across all three HEERF streams (I, II and III) is combined into one quarterly report. As of September 30, 2021, the U of A had expended $42.2 million across all three HEERF streams.

The CARES Act Section 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion Distribution report for June 30, 2021  and September 30, 2021 is available.

Tech Help and Computer Resources

The Student Technology Center – including computer lab, multimedia software and audio recording and editing rooms – will be open on the third floor of the Arkansas Union near the food court from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday. The earlier closing time allows staff to disinfect the facility before the Arkansas Union closes at 11 p.m.

Laptops, DSLRs and other checkout equipment will continue to be available for use outside of the facility.

Limitations for equipment and services include:

  • VR headsets are not available.
  • Recording studios and other areas can be reserved with limited capacity.
  • Print jobs will be sent to the Tech Spot lab in the Arkansas Union.
  • The mezzanine is open but with limited seating.

The Student Tech Center will follow social distancing measures, as well as an increased cleaning schedule:

  • Workstations will be sanitized after every use with Lysol and alcohol wipes, and the keyboard will be turned upside down to indicate the station is sanitized and ready for use.
  • Staff will clean seating areas and other high use areas such as staplers, door handles, etc. at least every 30 minutes.
  • Checkout equipment and carrying bags will be disinfected before being checked out again.

Computer Labs and Resources

  • The Arkansas Union Tech Spot lab will be open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All other Tech Spot labs remain closed until further notice.
  • Remote Lab allows access to many computer lab resources remotely from any device and any location.
  • Laptops can be checked out at the Union Tech Spot lab.
  • Technical support is still available through the IT Services Help Portal with chat support, through email at helpdesk@uark.edu or by phone during regular business hours at 479-575-HELP.