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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Important updates: Credits/refunds, CARES Act, retrieval of belongings & Fall 2020 planning

May 12, 2020

Dear students,

As we all think ahead to what the future holds, we wanted to share some important updates on how SUNY Potsdam is approaching the end of the semester and how we are looking ahead. We appreciate your patience with all of the changes this spring, as our campus, our community and our country respond to the pandemic—and the unprecedented challenges that it has created.

Retrieving belongings & returning items

The New York State on PAUSE executive order is set to expire on Friday, May 15, and some regions of the state will soon begin to reopen, based on the New York Forward reopening guidelines. We know that many of you have been eagerly waiting to retrieve your remaining belongings or return items to campus, and we have worked with the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department to develop a plan for approved students to safely do just that.

  • Once the North Country and your current region of location have been cleared to reopen, you will be invited, by text and email, to schedule an appointment to return to campus.
  • Students will be given specific instructions for the moving process, to ensure proper social distancing, public health and hygiene, for everyone’s safety.
  • If your region is not reopened by July 1, we will contact you directly to make alternative arrangements for the storage or return of your belongings.
  • Remember, at this time, no returning students are allowed on campus without an approved appointment time.
  • More information will be sent directly by Residence Life.
Spring 2020 credits/refunds

We are currently reviewing all student accounts and financial aid packages to be sure that all eligible students receive the accurate amount of credits or refunds against amounts you may owe. This process takes time, and we appreciate your understanding.

  • Residential students will still be able to receive a credit/refund even if you are unable to retrieve your belongings from the residence halls by May 23.
  • We will process the credits and refunds soon after the semester is completed, with most students likely to get their credits and refunds processed in early June. 
  • To make sure that you are not delayed in receiving your refund, please make sure that you have set up a BankMobile account
  • Questions? Please contact One Stop at or (315) 267-2943.
CARES Act federal funding

SUNY Potsdam is set to receive funding through the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund for Student Aid, which allows campuses to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted by the pandemic.

  • You must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by June 1 in order to be eligible for this funding, so if you have not yet completed your FAFSA this year, now is the time to do so! If you do not have a FAFSA on file, you will receive an email from Financial Aid tomorrow.
  • Before we can distribute funds, we need approval from SUNY System Administration and the New York State Budget Office on our methodology, so it may be a few weeks before we can share final details.
  • We are working closely with SUNY on this, and will keep you posted if an application for CARES Act student aid will be needed. 
  • In the meantime, if you have financial needs that cannot wait, SUNY Potsdam has a student emergency fund, which is administered by the Student Success Center. If you have questions about that fund, please email You can apply online here.
Looking ahead: Fall 2020 semester planning

It is our sincere hope to be able to once again gather together on our beautiful SUNY Potsdam campus again soon, but we must plan for all possibilities, depending on the course that the pandemic takes. The safety of our campus and community is our top concern, as we look at our options and plan ahead for the Fall 2020 semester. Flexibility will be key, so that we are prepared to adjust our operations in order to respond to any possible resurgence of the coronavirus. While much is still uncertain, we will notify you as soon as we know more.

We do not take any of these decisions lightly, as everyone’s health and well-being are on the line. We will continue to follow federal and New York State guidelines and will work closely with leadership from SUNY System Administration, St. Lawrence County and the Associated Colleges as we plan.

Thank you for your understanding as we continue to work through these important issues, in keeping with both new and changing federal and state guidelines. As always, to review all of our resources and find more information about SUNY Potsdam’s response to the pandemic, please visit