FAQ – Students


General Inquiries

How do I access Canvas?

There is a link to Canvas at the top of our website. You may also go to Canvas at cypresscollege.instructure.com. For detailed instructions on how to access Canvas, please watch this video.

Is the campus closed? For how long?

Yes. The campus (including all campus facilities, such as the track) will remain closed until further notice.

Can I meet with a counselor or receive other help online?

Counseling and Admissions & Records will be made available online through Cranium Café. Tutorial services are available at Smarthinking.

What if I don’t have reliable internet access at home?

Cypress College is currently working on solutions to provide free WiFi to students who need it. In the meantime, here is information about options currently available to students:

A number of internet service companies offer discounted service for low income families who receive assistance through various government programs.

Spectrum (Charter Communications) is also offering 60 days of free internet and WiFi access for new accounts in Pre K-12, college student, and teacher households through a COVID-19 Remote Education Credit. This option requires signing up for Spectrum internet service. Installation and prepayment fees are being waived.

AT&T, Spectrum, and Xfinity are keeping public WiFi hotspots open for public use.

The state Chancellor’s Office is also working with the telecommunications industry to try to provide free internet services and computers for students in need for the next six months. We will keep students updated on the progress of these discussions.

I have limited mobile data or no internet access. Do you have a WiFi solution for me?

Yes. Wireless access will be available to students in Lot #1 on a first-come, first-served basis. Access is for registered Cypress College students with valid login credentials. Access to Lot #1 will be available to students on weekdays, from 7:30 a.m. until the end of the last scheduled class on that particular day of the week (typically 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 5 p.m., Friday).

I do not have reliable access to a computer at home. Can the college help me with this?

We at Cypress College want to ensure that you have what you need to succeed in this new remote environment. If you have urgent technology needs, please fill out this form and email info@cypresscollege.edu with your information.

Need other assistance? Reach out to your faculty with your concerns, or refer to the college’s list of resources.

I haven’t had the opportunity to take my student ID photo. There are many companies that offer student monthly subscription plans. Now that the campus is closed, will I have to wait until further notice or what ways can I address this?

You should be able to get those discounts by using a student email address. If you don’t have one, you may obtain one through myGateway.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Complete either the FAFSA (fafsa.gov) or CADAA (dream.csac.ca.gov). The 2019-20 year applies for the current school year (through summer 2020) and the 2020-21 year begins fall 2020.

Once you submit and we receive your application, you may need to complete additional required documentation through our online software at cypresscollege.verifymyfafsa.com. (You’ll receive an email with instructions once we receive your application).

How can I get help with financial aid questions?

As of March 16, 2020, the Financial Aid office is closed to in-person visits, but still able to assist students. We encourage you to utilize the following alternatives to reach us. Please remember to include your student ID number in your message so that we can assist you as quickly as possible.

Email: financialaid@cypresscollege.edu

Live Chat: Cranium Café: cypress.craniumcafe.com (sign in with your myGateway login)

Video chat with Financial Aid on Cranium Cafe

Visit the Financial Aid page for more information: cypresscollege.edu/financial-aid

Fall 2020 Semester

Why am I being charged a health fee for the summer and fall semesters?

Students are charged a health fee for the summer and fall semesters because the Health Center will continue to provide services online. These services include telemental health counseling and telemedicine visits with students. Our Health Center also offers birth control consults, minor urgent care issues, prescribing birth control and other medications as needed, counseling for nicotine cessation, weight and nutritional counseling, and more with online visits.

Summer 2020 Semester

Why am I being charged a health fee for the summer and fall semesters?

Students are charged a health fee for the summer and fall semesters because the Health Center will continue to provide services online. These services include telemental health counseling and telemedicine visits with students. Our Health Center also offers birth control consults, minor urgent care issues, prescribing birth control and other medications as needed, counseling for nicotine cessation, weight and nutritional counseling, and more with online visits.

Are summer 2020 classes still going to be offered? When will the class schedule be available?

Yes, classes will be offered during the summer. Classes will be online.

Will the summer session be online as well?

Yes.

Spring 2020 Semester

How do I return calculators and laptops I borrowed?

Simply go to the main doors of the Library/Learning Resource Center entrance and place the device on the cart marked “Returns.” Please wear a face covering and maintain social distancing. You do not need to show ID, so if you are unable to turn in your device on the available days, someone else may do so for you. You may return your device to the L/LRC on Wednesday, June 3, between 12-2 p.m.

If you are enrolled in summer classes and need to keep the device longer, please email us at llrc@cypresscollege.edu. All other students with devices need to return their device by June 3.

How do I return the textbooks I rented from the Bookstore?

Curbside Drop Off of rental books is being offered on the dates below from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.:

  • Tuesday, May 12 – Thursday, May 14
  • Monday, May 18 – Thursday, May 22
  • Tuesday, May 26 – Thursday, May 28

Curbside Drop Off will be offered at the Visitor parking loop in front of the Theater Arts building (adjacent to Lot 1).

We ask that all students returning rental book(s) print their name, email, and phone number on a sheet of paper and stick it inside their books prior to arrival at the drop-off point. The books should be placed in either the back seat or trunk so there is no contact between student and team member. Each student will receive an email confirmation of their rental return within 48 hours of drop off.

How do I receive an excused withdrawal (EW)?

Students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may choose to receive an EW with a refund via myGateway from one or all courses taken at Cypress College. The deadline to obtain an EW is Sunday, May 17, 2020, for 16-week courses and the last day of class for courses that are less than 16 weeks in length. You will not be able to select the EW option if your class has ended or already been graded.

Before you withdraw, it is recommended that you speak with your instructor, counselor, and a Financial Aid representative to determine if this is the best option available to you. Please note that refunds associated with EWs will be mailed to the address you have on file with the college approximately 2 to 4 weeks after your EW has been processed. To update your mailing address, please complete the Personal Information Change form and email it to admissions@cypresscollege.edu.

When will online instruction begin?

Spring semester classes that can be taught remotely resumed on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

Will classes be taught on campus?

No. At this time, no in-person instruction will be held until further notice.

I did not purchase a textbook. How do I access one from home?

Contact your instructor to see if they have posted scanned pages or have access to the textbook. You may also try studentresponse.redshelf.com. There will be free access to textbooks through May 31.

What do I do if I have materials due at the Library?

Hold on to all books and materials borrowed from the Library until the Library reopens. For answers to additional questions regarding the Library and Learning Resource Center, visit cypresscollege.libanswers.com/.

Will Cypress College consider pass/no pass options for any courses or labs?

The college must ensure transfer before implementing pass/no pass options.

Have the dates for spring recess changed?

No. Spring recess is still April 6–April 10.

Is commencement canceled for this year?

No. Commencement will be held virtually on May 22. Students graduating this semester can choose to participate in next year’s in-person ceremony.

I borrowed a book or school supply from the Library. Since we are no longer allowed on campus, what should I do?

All items borrowed from the Library should be kept safely in students’ possessions until the campus reopens. All fines will be waived.

If I have to withdraw from classes given the current circumstances, can I receive a refund on the fees I paid?

The drop deadline was May 17 at 11:59 p.m. Between now and then, we encourage students to very strongly and carefully consider whether dropping is in their best interest. Consider that more than half of the semester has already elapsed, and there are potential consequences for dropping a class, including financial aid eligibility, a delay in reaching your educational goals, visa status (for international students), etc. That being said, Cypress College will work with students who truly feel they need to drop a class.

Is the campus open so I can empty out my locker?

The campus is not currently open. However, we recommend contacting Campus Safety at (714) 484-7387 for assistance with your locker.

Spring 2020 Closure Inquiries

Why now? Why didn’t you do this earlier?

Contingency planning to transition classes online has been in the works for about three weeks to prepare for this decision. Guidance from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office was updated on Wednesday, March 11, that facilitated the college’s ability to move coursework into online and other similar modes. Prior to this state decision, only pre-approved courses could be offered online. The college met with faculty and other leaders to immediately work out an overview of the transition.

Why not start online classes immediately?

Closing operations for two days provided the opportunity for faculty who didn’t already teach online to have time to receive training and to begin building curriculum in Canvas and/or to prepare lessons for Zoom.

Why not just take time off, change the timing of spring break, or completely close?

Each of those options carries a significant downside for students — not the least of which is the potential impact on those students who are transferring to universities in the fall. These institutions are waiting on transcripts of completed coursework to finalize admissions. Any of the above delays results in negative consequences for a substantial portion of our students.

Isn’t Coronavirus just media hype? Why can’t we just keep things how they are?

Health officials recommend “social distancing” — a practice of keeping people out of densely populated situations. This plan supports that health goal.

Is this going to diminish the value of my degree?

No. There will be no distinction made on transcripts that indicate the delivery method of coursework.

How long will this change last?

We intend to evaluate the implementation on an ongoing basis and made a formal re-evaluation of the plan at the end of spring recess, on April 13. It was determined that the campus would remain closed through the spring semester.

When will I have more information?

We will likely share additional information on a daily basis. Updates will be sent via email, posted on our website, and shared via social media.

I paid for a semester parking permit and am interested in receiving a refund.

We are making every effort to ensure our students’ concerns are addressed. Parking has not yet been addressed because the college has been very focused on: 1) health and safety; and 2) continuity of classes and student support services. When a determination is made, we will update all students.

What do we do if our class has not contacted us nor published our class on canvas?

Reach out to the professor first. If you continue to struggle with getting in touch with the professor, email the college at info@cypresscollege.edu with details and we will do what we can to assist you.

What kind of compensation will be offered for those who have withdrawn from courses?

Student Services staff will be reaching out to all students who have enrolled in classes during spring 2020. For students considering withdrawing from a course, our staff will discuss options with you, review the implications to students on financial aid or other program/academic eligibility, and perhaps refer you to a counselor to discuss your educational plan. We call this outreach effort “Cypress Cares: Focusing on Your Completion!” There are only a few weeks left of the term and we want to make sure you consider hanging in there, but be mindful that the last day to drop is tentatively May 17 at 11:59 p.m. We are here to help you, guide you, and support you during this time.

What happens if I drop ONE of my classes, in terms of financial aid?

Students who drop a course because of the change to online instruction (earning a W grade or get an Incomplete) will not owe back their Financial Aid (the aid is based off Frozen Units on 02/09/2020) as long as they do not drop ALL of their courses. However, it may impact your Satisfactory Academic Progress in future semesters.

What happens to my financial aid if I drop ALL of my classes?

Students who drop all of their courses, due to the transition for online instruction will have their eligibility calculated based on the percentage attended/earned and any unearned amount will have to be repaid by the student. This is called a Return to Title IV calculation, in which you will be notified the amount you owe within two weeks of completely withdrawing. Complete withdrawals may also impact your Satisfactory Academic Progress in future semesters.

Is there any other aid I can get on top what I’ve already received for spring 2020?

If you have received all eligible grants and you need additional financial assistance, you may apply for a Federal Student Loan.

For more information, please visit the Financial Aid Office Loan section: cypresscollege.edu/financial-aid/federal-aid-programs/.

If you would like to pursue obtaining a student loan, please reach out to Nishad Marathe (Loan Coordinator) at nmarathe@cypresscollege.edu.