Information for New Students

At Cornerstone University, we are eagerly anticipating your arrival to campus in August. Our intent is to provide timely, up-to-date information to assist with your transition to campus. New information seems to be presented daily so please check back regularly for updates.

General Questions

Will I pay the same tuition rate for fall if we have to complete classes online?

If for some reason we need to do some of our courses online, we have incorporated state-of-the-art technology so that your online experience will be fully interactive as if you were actually in the classroom. Because online content will be the same in terms of knowledge gained, and because you will receive full credit for the courses, the tuition charge will remain the same. Tuition charges are intended to cover the cost of education. Providing the appropriate technology to enhance the remote learning experience costs CU more than what on-ground classroom teaching would cost.

What precautions have been taken, and will continue to be taken, to prevent an outbreak or case of COVID-19 from happening on campus? How will Cornerstone University ensure the campus is clean and sanitized regularly?

Cornerstone will practice all of the safety recommendations from our local health officials and offer both testing and screening as well as tracing mechanisms to guard against the spread of the virus.

We will be proactively disinfecting all common spaces and restrooms on a daily basis with hospital-grade disinfectant. We will also encourage all of our students, faculty and staff to practice best health disciplines such as:

  • Washing hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Covering mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoiding contact with people who are sick. If you have symptoms, avoid contact with others and immediately notify our health professionals on campus.

If a Cornerstone faculty, staff member or student is diagnosed with the coronavirus, will the campus community be notified?

In accordance with the governor's executive orders, if an employee or student is given a confirmed diagnosis for COVID-19, we will communicate necessary information to the campus community. We are practicing contact tracing for all employees and will take measures to quarantine as appropriate as well as conduct a professional deep clean of the areas that the individual(s) contacted.

What is Cornerstone's policy if I have prolonged contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19?

According to best health practices and regulations, if a student, staff or faculty member has been in prolonged contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they must quarantine themselves for 14 days. Prolonged contact is defined as an hour or longer.

If I decide to defer my acceptance to the spring semester, will I retain my financial aid package?

While we believe that it is best to matriculate in the fall for the maximum benefit of programmatic and curricular arrangements, first-time freshmen who defer their acceptance to the spring semester will retain their financial aid package. Transfer students who decide to transfer in the spring semester should connect with the Transfer Admissions Counselor to determine if any adjustments for the financial aid packages would occur.

How is Cornerstone preparing for a potential second wave of regional cases this fall?

We are up to date with all the procedures and guidelines that are recommended by the State of Michigan Health Department and will follow them explicitly in the case of a second wave.

Will I be required to wear a face mask? What if I don't own one?

We will be basing face mask policies on guidance from the State of Michigan and CDC. If someone wishes to wear face masks voluntarily in all situations, that is clearly permissible.

Will there be hand sanitizing stations around campus and in the residential facilities?

Hand sanitizing stations will be located at the main entrance of every building on campus.

If classes are online, what opportunities will I have to interact with other Cornerstone students?

Given all the advantages of different technology platforms, our Student Development staff is developing robust plans for residential and commuter experience that will provide students regular interactions with one another.

Will there be on-campus student activities this fall?

We believe that student activities are a core necessity of a community where our students can flourish, So, while at times we may need to be creative in regard to social distancing, we are planning a full menu of student activities this fall.

Do I need to submit additional health forms this year in light of COVID-19?

No additional forms are needed at this time. We will be asking students to regularly monitor their health (i.e., fever, shortness of breath) and to notify Health Services if any COVID-19 symptoms are present.

Will meal times be extended to allow for proper social distancing?

Meal times will be extended this fall. Given that we will most likely still be required to apply social distancing in the dining room, students who prefer to eat their meals in alternate locations may use the grab-and-go service to accommodate their choice.

Will there be organized Coronavirus testing?

Because testing only provides a snapshot of each student's health in the moment that would be outdated within a few days or as soon as they left campus or came into contact with someone who has not been tested, we will not be requiring testing for all incoming students. However, when a student develops symptoms similar to COVID-19 symptoms we will provide testing to determine if they are positive or negative. If they test positive, we will carry out all the appropriate protocols to bring them back to health and to protect and test if necessary all with whom they have been in contact with.

Academic Questions

How will classes be structured this fall? On-ground or online?

Our plan at present is to offer face-to-face residential classes this fall. For students who need special accommodations, we will offer alternative options to provide them with all the educational benefits that are available. The university will follow State of Michigan and Kent County executive orders to ensure safety for all students, faculty and staff.

What if halfway through the semester I decide I want to do on ground instead of online or vice versa? Can I switch my learning model halfway through the semester?

Students may complete an accommodation request if a change is needed during the semester.

If classes are on ground, will there be a maximum cap on the class size? 

The university will follow the State of Michigan and Kent County guidelines to determine class sizes. Current recommendations are 50% capacity, but we will know more as the fall semester approaches. Plans are in place to structure the appropriate logistics to have classes in larger spaces and to accommodate the 50% requirement without diminishing student learning experiences.

How accessible will my professors be this fall, especially if classes are online?

Accessibility is a top priority for our faculty whether we are conducting classes on-ground or online. During our spring session online, faculty regularly communicated with students via our learning management system, email, virtual office hours and other optional virtual study sessions. One of the hallmarks of a CU education is the relationships that our students have with our faculty. We will make sure that we remain faithful to that important aspect of learning at CU.