Pacer Ready, Set, Return

Information for Current Students

Welcome Back!

Dr. Daren Timmons, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, kicks off the semester with a video message to students.

College During COVID-19

Dr. Thayer McGahee, Dean of the School of Nursing, and Cindy Gelinas, director of the Student Health Center and Counseling Center discuss the fall semester.

What We've Done On Campus

Facilities Director, Brian Enter, shares what we've done to help prevent the spread of germs on campus.

Contact Tracing

Nursing Instructor, Hannah Mottel, and Student Government President, Samuel Boyd, share the importance of contact tracing.

What You Can Do to Help

Nursing Professor, Kay Lawrence, shares how you can help prevent the spread of germs on campus.

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Modified Operations - Spring 2020

Please note: The university is not closed. During a period of modified operations due to COVID-19, we continue to provide instruction and all student support services, if not in person, virtually or remotely. We look forward to returning to campus and resuming face-to-face classes, activities, and events as soon as possible.


General Questions

The university’s website is the best resource. We have a page devoted to modified operations. For more, go to www.usca.edu/covid.

Also, please be sure to check your emails regularly as the Division of Student Affairs sends out information routinely, and so does the Office of Official Communication.

During this period of modified operations, services and student support continues. While essential personnel is on campus, most are working remotely and are accessible via phone or email. For your reference, consult the USC Aiken Quick List, which is online at https://www.usca.edu/about/directories/quick-list/file.

Academic Questions

We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation very carefully. As of right now, we have every intention of operating normally this fall. We look forward to having all our faculty, staff, and students back on campus as soon as possible.

Yes, registration opened for summer and fall classes began March 30, as planned. Students are encouraged to register as soon as possible as availability may become limited as students finalize their schedules.

For more information about summer courses visit, https://www.uscasummer.com/

Core requirements stay the same.

On April 2, Dr. Tim Lintner sent an email to all students regarding ICE credits. Please double-check your inbox.

All undergraduates currently enrolled at USC Aiken for the Spring 2020 semester may gain additional ICE credits by watching and responding to presentations online.

To receive ICE credit for an event, students must:

  • Watch the video in its entirety while logged in to their USC Aiken accounts.
  • Complete a one-page, double-spaced response in a 12-point font that describes the main points of the presentation and what they learned from the experience. This response should include name, the title of the event, the date the student viewed the event, and the student’s VIP ID for each event.
  • Responses must be emailed to Dr. Tim Lintner (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) before midnight on Friday, May 15, 2020, to receive ICE credit.

To access the videos, please follow the steps below:

  • Step 1: Log into Blackboard.
  • Step 2: Click the following web link: https://blackboard.sc.edu/ultra/organizations/_1094898_1/cl/outline
  • Step 3: Look to the left of the screen and find the toolbar that has the Enroll link. Next to the link, you can find a green plus (+) sign. Click enroll. Follow the instructions on the screen.
  • Step 4: Click the new link: ICE Event Videos
  • Step 5: Watch an ICE Event video.
  • Step 6: Write a summary of the video and submit it to Dr. Tim Lintner (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

If you have any questions or concerns about ICE, contact Dr. Tim Lintner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This accommodation is available until May 15, 2020.

On April 2, Dr. Tim Lintner sent an email to all students regarding ICE credits. Please double-check your inbox.

All undergraduates currently enrolled at USC Aiken for the Spring 2020 semester may gain additional ICE credits by watching and responding to presentations online.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Dr. Tim Lintner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This accommodation is available until May 15, 2020.

Standard course offerings for each semester are expected to continue as planned, regardless of the mode of delivery.

Students should work closely with their advisors to accurately track which courses they need to ensure their anticipated graduation date.

If you have not heard back from your advisor, please contact Ryan Mitchell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you have not heard back from your advisor, please contact Ryan Mitchell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We encourage students to minimize time on campus during this period of modified operations and remote instruction.

Computer labs with specialized software needed for specific courses are open, with a small number of students allowed in at any given time.

Specialized software on-campus computers can be accessed remotely through the VPN. See information about the VPN from the Help Desk for details.

We are looking forward to welcoming our incoming freshmen and transfer students. If conditions allow, we will have orientation this summer as planned. We are exploring options in case the situation requires us to continue social distancing.

Bookstore Questions

Please note: For general bookstore related questions, go to https://www.bkstr.com/uscaikenstore.

For questions related specifically to textbooks, go to https://www.bkstr.com/uscaikenstore/help-faq/textbook-faqs.

A refund is available to those individuals who purchased regalia for the May 6 ceremony.

To request a refund, please contact Serena Whittikki at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line marked REFUND – CAP & GOWN. Be sure to indicate your name and phone number. She will contact you within 1 (one) business day.

Caps and gowns will mail out in the order they were received.

If you have already ordered your cap and gown, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (subject line marked SHIP – CAP & GOWN) with your name and current mailing address.

The bookstore continues to conduct business remotely. As a precaution to stem the spread of COVID, the bookstore is currently not open to patrons, including those who live in the Aiken area.

Book Rental Returns

Due to the COVID-19 situation, you must ship all rental textbooks to the bookstore. A prepaid shipping label was sent to the email address used when students initially rented the books. It is available for printing up to 30 days past the rental deadline of May 8.

The system generated emails will still show May 8 as the deadline because that cannot be changed. However, it has been extended by 15 days to allow for shipping and processing times. No late fees will accrue during this time. Please send in your books as soon as possible so that they can be processed. You will receive an email once your textbooks have been checked-in through the system.

The deadline for the bookstore to receive rented books without penalty is May 22.

All shipments are subject to quarantine for 2 to 3 days before processing can begin, so please be patient.

Convert-to-Purchase Option

Students can also convert their rentals to a purchase. Covert-to-purchase means they would simply pay the retail difference of the book and be able to keep it forever. To do this, access their account on the bookstore’s website and select “convert to purchase.”

Once the campus returns to normal operations, in-store textbook buybacks will resume. An online buyback is currently available by visiting the Pacer Shoppe website, navigate to the bottom of the page, and selecting “Sell Your Textbooks.” When the student submits the book information (ISBN), a quote will be provided along with a printable shipping label to return the book(s). Once the books are received, the student is paid via Paypal or check, depending on the student’s preference.

Event Questions

We are looking forward to resuming athletic events as scheduled this fall.

Financial Aid and Refund Questions

Under the guidance issued by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE), the University of South Carolina Aiken issued prorated refunds to students for meal plans and on-campus residential housing.

The prorated refunds included meal plans and on-housing fees for services not received on or after March 16, the first day of the extended Spring Break.

Tuition, academic fees, and student support fees were not refundable, per CHE guidance due to the continuity of educational programs.

The university is currently disbursing CARES Act grants to qualified students. For the latest updates on the CARES Act, visit https://www.usca.edu/covid/cares-act.

The university has processed all prorated refunds for on-campus housing and meal plans.

The prorated refunds will include meal plans and on-housing fees for services not received on or after March 16, the first day of the extended Spring Break.

Tuition, academic fees, and student support fees are not refundable, per CHE guidance due to the continuity of educational programs.

Tuition is based on each student’s residency, regardless of the platform.

Each student’s situation is unique. For specific information regarding financial aid, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 803-641-3476.

To be considered for Summer aid, students should complete the summer financial aid application in Self Service Carolina plus the 2019-2020 FAFSA (if not previously completed).

Background:

  • Incoming first-year students, starting classes Fall 2020, do not qualify for financial aid for Summer 2020.
  • Transfer and continuing students may be eligible for some assistance for Summer 2020, depending on whether all aid eligibility was used in the previous fall and spring terms.

Graduation Questions

After discussions with healthcare professionals, the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees and leadership from across the UofSC system, have determined that large scale, face-to-face events pose too great a health risk to graduating students, their families, and university personnel to safely host at this time. Therefore, the UofSC System has reluctantly made the decision to replace in-person ceremonies with virtual commencement exercises in August.

While we originally planned a face to face ceremony in August, the UofSC Aiken will now create an enjoyable experience that honors our 2020 Pacer Class while protecting the health of our graduates, their family and friends, and the campus community at large.

UofSC Aiken claimed May 6 as Pacer Day in honor of the members of the Class of 2020. The accomplishments of the Class of 2020 were recognized through a series of unique videos on our website.

For information, visit https://usca.meritpages.com/news/celebrate-pacer-day-with-the-class-of-2020/15362.

Qualified seniors will be considered graduates and alumni of the institution as of May 6, 2020. Degrees will be conferred from mid-May through mid-June and will reflect on transcripts in Self-Service Carolina.

The timeline for mailing diplomas has not changed. In keeping with standard practices, graduates should expect to receive their diplomas in the mail by the end of August.

Yes, academic distinctions, stoles, and specialty cords will still be presented. As with each commencement ceremony, students should reach out to the organizations awarding the stoles or cords.

On August 15, any cords or stoles not already presented but provided to Student Affairs in advance will be available in the Convocation Center the morning of the ceremony.

Yes, Pacer Pursuits medallions will still be available to seniors who qualify. The Division of Student Affairs is adapting the program to make Pacer Pursuits feasible during this period of modified operations.

To qualify for this distinction, graduating students need to complete only 30 of the published traditions.

For more information, contact Ahmed Samaha at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

August graduates’ degrees will be conferred in August as planned.

After discussions with healthcare professionals, the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees and leadership from across the UofSC system, have determined that large scale, face-to-face events pose too great a health risk to graduating students, their families, and university personnel to safely host at this time. Therefore, the UofSC System has reluctantly made the decision to replace in-person ceremonies with virtual commencement exercises in August. The university is exploring alternative ways to honor graduates in August.

Housing Questions

The university is planning to provide on-campus housing to summer students if they meet the criteria as developed in the wake of COVID-19. To determine if you qualify for on-campus housing this summer, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the housing staff has conducted frequent deep cleanings in all residence halls. The cleaning schedule, which includes a hospital-grade disinfectant, will continue until face-to-face classes resume.

Housing registration for returning students began April 13, 2020, while registration for incoming first-year and transfer students is ongoing. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

New Student Questions

We look forward to welcoming our incoming freshmen and transfer students virtually this summer. The Division of Student Affairs will provide more information directly to those students who have signed up for orientation sessions. To register, or for more information, please go to www.usca.edu/orientation.

In keeping with standard procedures, incoming first-year students will receive their schedules during their orientation.

Student Support Questions

Yes, all student support services are available. During this period of modified operations, student support, including counseling, is offered remotely.

The staff of the Counseling Center is available via phone at 803-641-3609 from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (Monday through Friday). If you are already seeing a counselor, please feel free to call or email them directly to arrange a phone consultation.

For Cindy Gelinas, 803-641-3497 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), for Cheryl Lindler, 803-641-3626 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), or for Dana Cullum 803-641-3337 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

For after-hours resources, there is the Aiken Helpline at 2-1-1 or 1-877-648-9900 (https://aikenhelpline211.org/site/ or the National Disaster Distress Hotline 24/7/365. Calls (1-800-985-5990; press “2” for Spanish) and texts (text TalkWithUs to 66746) are answered by trained counselors from a network of independently-operated crisis centers located across the U.S.

We encourage you to use these resources and to check out the Counseling Center’s website https://www.usca.edu/counseling-center.

Yes, all student support services are available. During this period of modified operations, student support, including disability services, is offered remotely.

Contact Dr. Claudette Palmer in the Office of Disability Services if you have any questions or concerns regarding your accommodations. You can call her at 803-643-6815 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the website at https://www.usca.edu/disability-services.

As is the case each year, the Student Health Center is closed during the summer. Check out the website at https://www.usca.edu/student-health-center for important info and resources.

Summer School Questions

Please note, for more information about summer sessions, go to https://www.uscasummer.com/.

Yes, registration opens for summer and fall classes begins March 30, as planned. Please register early to get the best selection of courses.

Standard tuition and fee rates apply. For a list of tuition and fees, go to https://www.usca.edu/business-services/tuition-and-fees.

Each student’s situation is unique. For specific information regarding financial aid, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 803-641-3476.

To be considered for Summer aid, students should complete the summer financial aid application in Self Service Carolina plus the 2019-2020 FAFSA (if not previously completed).

Background:

  • Incoming first-year students, starting classes Fall 2020, do not qualify for financial aid for Summer 2020.
  • Transfer and continuing students may be eligible for some aid in Summer 2020. It depends on if all aid eligibility was used in the previous fall and spring terms.

Yes, per the academic calendar, the university will offer Maymester, Summer I and II courses. As an extra precaution, the university has decided to deliver summer classes via remote instruction.

The university is planning to provide on-campus housing to summer students if they meet criteria, developed in the wake of COVID-19. To determine if you qualify for on-campus housing this summer, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Veteran Questions

During this period of modified operations, the VMSS continues to provide the same level of gold-standard support they are known for throughout campus, academia, and the military. The USC Aiken VMSS team frequently speaks with representatives with the VA and the Department of Defense. It is aware of any changes that may impact educational benefits due to COVID-19. If you have any questions regarding your military benefits, contact the Office of Veteran and Military Student Success at 803-643-6767 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Need Help with Advising?

If you have advising questions for Fall 2020, contact the person who best fits your needs.

Additional Resources

More information on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can be obtained from the following sources :

CARES Act

In order to receive funds from the CARES Act, students must do so before June 15, 2020, and be deemed Title IV eligible according to federal regulations.

Student Guide to COVID-19
Guide to COVID-19

See how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and what to do if you become sick.

PBC Return to Play Plan
Return to Play Plan for Athletics

The Peach Belt Conference – Return to Play Plan consists of mandatory standards and best practices to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission.

Contact Us

Share your questions, comments and ideas with our campus COVID-19 co-coordinators.