FAQ for Students

Last updated on September 23, 2022 at 1:31 pm EST.

Fall 2022

What is the vaccination policy for students?

The College continues to require COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters for all faculty, staff, and students. For those under the age of 50 which includes most Bennington students, you are considered up to date on your vaccinations when you have received all doses in the primary series of an approved vaccine, as well as one booster dose. For those over the age of 50, you are considered up to date on your vaccinations when you have received all doses in the primary series of an approved vaccine, as well as two booster doses. We encourage anyone who had a booster more than 2 months ago to get an additional booster with one of the new bivalent vaccines, as well as a seasonal influenza vaccine. Students who have not submitted proof of their vaccinations or boosters must fill out the following form immediately. Students in need of the vaccine and boosters may receive them on campus, and their insurance will be billed for the administration fee only.

Will I need to wear a mask on campus?

The College is a “mask friendly” campus. We encourage all community members to wear masks, but they are not required based on current COVID activity. However, those who are considered to have been in close contact are required to wear a KN95 or N95 mask for 10 days while on campus. This includes parents of COVID positive children. Masks could be required more broadly again in the future if COVID activity changes.

What happens if I am a close contact?

 Regardless of your vaccination status, according to the CDC you do not need to quarantine. You are required to wear a KN95 or N95 mask for 10 days. Day 0 is the last day you had contact with that person. You will then want to test on day six with a PCR, or days six and seven with a rapid antigen. You will want to monitor for symptoms and take a test immediately and not come to work if the symptoms develop. Remember that we have discontinued doing contact tracing, so it is the responsibility of the person who has tested positive to let those exposed know. You may share these instructions with them.

What is the definition of close contact?

Individuals who have been within 6 feet of an infected person (someone who has tested positive) for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period and within 48 hours of the development of symptoms and/or a confirmed positive COVID test are considered close contacts

Is there testing available on campus?

Students can obtain free rapid antigen test kits on campus if they: a) have symptoms of COVID, or b) if they are close contacts of a known case. Kits are available at the Student Health Center during regular hours, or at the Campus Safety booth after hours. At this time, we are not planning to conduct surveillance testing or contact tracing on campus, and for continuing students, faculty, and staff, please know that the Co-Verified app has been discontinued.

    What is the guest policy during term?

    Campus events can now be held fully in person, and visitors are asked to be up to date on their vaccinations. We also ask that visitors who are experiencing COVID-like symptoms refrain from coming on campus. A hybrid option is only necessary if an event is a class requirement and includes remote students.

    What happens if a student tests positive? 

    Students who test positive or experience symptoms of COVID should contact Ali Tartaglia or Health Services.

    During isolation and quarantine
    Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be asked to isolate in place. Detailed instructions will be given by Dr. Ali Tartaglia in Student Life. For students who have roommates, we will have alternate housing for the isolation period for the COVID negative roommate.

    What should I do if I feel sick and have COVID symptoms during the term? 

    You should take a rapid antigen test immediately, and if negative, repeat the test 48 hours later. While waiting for the second test, you should practice “soft” isolation as follows:

    • Wear a high quality mask in the presence of others.
    • Practice diligent hand hygiene.
    • Maintain six feet of distance from others.
    • Students should take food out of the dining hall to eat.
    • Students should notify faculty of their situation for advice on whether to come to class in person. Some class settings may be appropriate to attend (e.g. a lecture in a well-ventilated space where you can sit apart from others), while others may not (e.g. singing, acting, partner dance, etc.).

    What are the best practices for visiting or spending time off campus?

    When you are off campus, we recommend that all community members wear masks, social distance when possible, and practice good hygiene habits just as we do when on campus. Thank you so much for your cooperation.

    General Prevention Measures

    We encourage all community members to take measures to protect themselves to prevent the spread of these viruses as outlined below:

    Both the influenza virus and the novel coronavirus have similar recommendations for prevention and protection:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. 
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home and away from public places when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough down into your elbow, and never into your hand.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

    What International Students Should Know

    As of June 12, 2022 people traveling to the United States will not longer be required to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or document recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight. 

    Please take note of the CDC rule that went into effect January 4, 2022.

    • You must be fully vaccinated to travel to the United States by plane or over a land border.
    • You are required to show a negative COVID-19 viral test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than one day before air travel to the U.S. As of January, 20, 2022 COVID-19 testing is not required for entry via a land or ferry port of entry. Learn more about this requirement.
      • There are a limited number of exceptions to the requirement to show proof of vaccination. If you need to request an exception, please contact iss@bennington.edu immediately.
      • CDC will not require further testing if a person received a positive test result within three months of travel. Travelers who had been infected within the previous 90 days may travel with documentation of recovery from COVID-19 (i.e., your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).
    • You must wear a mask over your nose and mouth at all times while traveling.
    • Provide contact information to airlines before boarding flights to the United States for contact tracing purposes. 

    What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?

    You are considered fully vaccinated:

    • 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted single-dose vaccine
    • 2 weeks (14 days) after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series
    • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial
    • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart*

    A person who has received only one dose of an accepted 2-dose series and has recovered from COVID-19 does not meet this definition, and therefore is NOT considered fully vaccinated.

    What types of tests are acceptable?

    As per CDC guidelines all passengers traveling to the U.S. must be tested with a viral test to look for current infection – these include an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). Please see FAQ’s for more details. 

    Phrases indicating a test is an antigen test could include, but not are not limited to:

    • Rapid antigen test
    • Viral antigen test
    • Also, could be noted as Antigen Chromatographic Digital Immunoassay, Antigen Chemiluminescence Immunoassay, or Antigen Lateral Flow Fluorescence

    Examples of available NAATs for SARS-CoV-2 include but are not restricted to:

    • Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)
    • Isothermal amplification including:
      • Nicking endonuclease amplification reaction (NEAR)
      • Transcription mediated amplification (TMA)
      • Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP)
      • Helicase-dependent amplification (HDA)
      • Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)
      • Strand displacement amplification (SDA)

    The test used must be authorized for use by the relevant national authority for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in the country where the test is administered.

    I am a first year international student or a returning international student who started studying on campus after March 2020. I will be studying in the U.S. Can I take a full program of remote instruction?

    No, students who begin studying at Bennington after March 2020 and who are studying in the U.S. must take one course/one credit offering in-person instruction. 

    I am a returning international student who studied on campus at Bennington in the Spring 2020. I will be living in the U.S. Can I take a full program of remote instruction?

    Yes, students who were in active status in SEVIS during the Spring 2020 term are able to live and study in the U.S. and take a full program of remote instruction. If you have any questions about whether you were in active status in SEVIS during the Spring 2020 term, please email iss@bennington.edu and we will confirm this for you.

    Can international students study remotely from their home country this Fall?

    The guidance from SEVP and ICE has not changed since. Returning international students are able to study remotely and maintain their F1 status.

    Who do I contact with additional questions?

    Students and families can contact International Student Services with questions and concerns regarding how the new guidance impacts their fall enrollment decisions. 

    Campus Employment

    What kind of work opportunities will be provided?

    As in previous years, all campus jobs will be posted in Handshake under the job type On-Campus Student Employment. Unless otherwise noted, all jobs are year-long positions offering a consistent 7-8 hours/week, allowing students to earn their full work-study allotment through a single job. The majority of campus jobs for Fall 2022-Spring 2023 are posted now, and will remain posted until filled.

    How many hours can I work per week?

    Our goal is for every work-awarded student to be able to earn their full work allotment. Students with the typical work allotment of $1,150 per term would need to work 7-8 hours per week to earn that allotment during a term. As such, the vast majority of jobs have been restructured so they offer 7-8 hours per week for the duration of the Fall and Spring terms.

    Students are welcome to obtain a second job if they wish, typically totaling 14-16 work hours per week. If needed to make up for work shift coverage, students are permitted to flex hours in a given week up to 20 hours per week, which is the cap set in TimesheetX—but the ongoing weekly student cap is 16 hours. Students with good academic standing are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week.

    Can I still work if I don’t have a work allotment in my financial aid package?

    Yes. As announced in prior communications, for the 2022-2023 academic year the College is returning to the two-phase hiring process that was in place prior to the pandemic. All work-awarded students were given early access to apply for campus jobs starting in June. All students, including those without work allotments, will have access to apply for campus jobs starting in September. While we cannot guarantee that every non-work-awarded student will secure a job, we anticipate that a substantial number of openings will remain available in the second phase of hiring.

    If students have questions about their work award status, they may contact financial aid or review their aid award on My Financial Aid.

    Can I work remotely?

    For students with allotments, student employment is an eligibility based on financial need and must be earned. Because students are not required to accept their work eligibility, these funds are not applied to tuition and fees but will be paid to the student on a biweekly basis in accordance with the number of hours worked. Earnings from student employment are theirs to spend on supplies and personal expenses. If a student does not earn the full amount indicated by their financial aid package, it will not be replaced by other forms of aid.

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