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Old 03-20-2020, 12:45 PM
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JohnT is online now
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 24,688

My kid is enrolling in college this year. So I decided to pen a letter to Admissions.

The one copied is for St. Johns, but I also sent the same to Hofstra, Adelphi, and Rutgers. We'll see if they respond!

Names changed to protect the unknown. Formatting is as it appears on original email.
I did attach an image... the graphic on page 19 of the Imperial College Report... which does not display below.


Subject: Questions re: Enrollment and COVID-19



These questions are based on a scenario where the COVID-19 pandemic extends beyond the "few weeks" most Americans are telling themselves it will last. Having read the Imperial College Report (link below) on COVID-19, I personally think this optimism is overblown: I hope it is *not*, but the US's response to this - effectively leaving it to Mayors and Governors who made decisions based upon the political and health needs of their locales only - has all but guaranteed a widespread pandemic the likes this country hasn't seen since the worse of the polio outbreaks of the 1950s, not to mention the Spanish Flu of 1918-1919.

Given the projections on Pages 8, 10, and, especially, Appendix A, there is a very strong likelihood that the pandemic will appear in stages, with another ballooning of cases to begin starting in September, peaking in November and/or December, finally tapering down by January 2021 - March 2021. (c.f. pages 8, 10, and 19 (Appendix A)). The only mitigation strategy which prevents this projected flareup is... no mitigation strategy at all, letting the virus rage through the population, unchecked.

Do note the conclusions in this very report caused the entire United Kingdom to dramatically change their approach towards COVID-19, forcing the entire country to change from the US approach to the approach used in Italy, S Korea, China, and other Developed Countries.

Ma'am, as parents of a Texan child, sending her to NYC is a dream for her as well as us. As is natural, we are concerned about this transition in all the normal ways parents could be, but the COVID-19 situation is truly making us rethink some things, especially the wisdom of sending our child to a large city with few family members around when this pandemic flares up again this Fall.

I do know that events and decisions by St Johns President Grempshaw may answer some of these questions for us, and they may become moot as the situation develops, but as we are expecting to make a ~$250,000 commitment of resources within 6 weeks... both our resources and St John's (thank you for the very generous scholarship offerings!)... I feel that answers to these questions are necessary, given the May 1st deadline.

1. Is St Johns developing plans for an interruption of the 2020-2021 school year, including not just instruction, but housing and dining interruptions?
2. If we select housing... and we likely will... if Daughter and the rest of the students are forced from their housing in October - January (for example), will the housing fees be prorated? How is the University handling this currently?
3. How is St Johns feeding the students currently who are on the meal plan?
4. If St Johns has closed down their dining areas, are the meal fees being prorated as well?

Assuming Daughter and her family decides a "Gap Year" is best for her health and safety, but still commits to St Johns starting Fall 2021 instead of Fall 2020:

5. Do the scholarships and other grants 'carry-over'? If not, how will they be determined?
6. Can we pay a commitment fee for 2021, or do we have to wait?
7. Would Daughter have to re-apply to St Johns, possibly causing her to lose her spot?

Assuming Daughter and her family decides that starting in January 2021 is the most optimal solution:

8. Can Daughter commit to 2020, but begin her schooling in January instead of September?
9. Would her scholarships and grants still apply, and if not, how will they be determined?
10. Would we be able to apply the May 1st commitment fee to starting in January, 2021, or is there a different schedule for mid-term enrollees?

10. What other information should we know... which may not be covered in the above questions...that will allow us to make a proper decision?

<Ma'am>, Daughter, Ex-Wife, and my dreams are to see Daughter in St. John's red, and we wish to work with the University to make this happen. However, given this unprecedented situation, information is needed which will help us guide to a decision, especially with the clock ticking towards May 1st.

We greatly appreciate your concerns and responses.

Thank you,



I refer you to page 19, Appendix A, of the report for probable timelines of pandemic surges in the United States based upon differing containment scenarios. Also attached is an image of the projected US timeline.

Last edited by JohnT; 03-20-2020 at 12:49 PM.


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