Achieve Atlanta
Coronavirus FAQ

For Achieve Atlanta Scholars, Families, and Partners

Week of April 6th

APS Students and Achieve Atlanta Scholars:

At this point, most of you have moved to online classes for the foreseeable future. We will use this page to provide up-to-date information on a weekly basis while we weather this crisis. We’ll continue to list updates from Atlanta Public Schools and the University System of Georgia below, along with a list of Frequently Asked Questions and resource information for your basic (food, shelter, transportation) and academic (technology, study tips, etc.) needs.

While this is a difficult time with many unknowns, Achieve Atlanta is committed to doing everything possible to help you achieve your academic goals. You continue to amaze and inspire us with your determination and resiliency and we are here to support you. Click here to see our latest newsletter update. Please continue to check this page and follow us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook for additional updates over the next few weeks.

With unwavering belief,

Tina Fernandez
Executive Director, Achieve Atlanta

Click here for Emergency Grants information

University System of Georgia Update

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all University System of Georgia institutions will move online for the remainder of the semester. Read the USG’s statement below:

“This action comes following last week’s decision to suspend instruction for two weeks to ensure business and instructional continuity, and to allow further state assessment of COVID-19. Students are not allowed to return to campus until they receive permission from their institution, which will be forthcoming soon. Keep Learning USG is a site designed to support students as they make the shift to virtual learning.

Additionally, residence halls will be closed, with minimal exceptions for students unable to return home, or who cannot find housing elsewhere. Students will receive specific instructions from campus leaders regarding when they will be allowed to return to campus to retrieve their belongings from residence halls. Students must follow those instructions. USG will be providing guidance to campuses on refunds for housing, dining, and other services. Students should wait for their campus to contact them.

Institutions will remain open, with minimal staff physically on-site, to ensure continuity of certain services.”

For more information visit https://www.usg.edu/coronavirus.

Atlanta Public Schools Update

Governor Brian Kemp announced on April 1 that all K-12 schools in Georgia will remain closed for in-person instruction for the remainder of this school year. In keeping with this order, Atlanta Public Schools (APS) will remain closed for the remainder of this school year for in-person instruction. APS students and staff will continue teleschooling and teleworking for the remainder of the school year. Read the complete memo here.

For more information visit https://www.atlantapublicschools.us/coronavirus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the categories below to see the Frequently Asked Questions for each category.

Click here to submit a question for Achieve Atlanta
Financial Aid / Federal Funding / Scholarship
How will these changes affect my Achieve Atlanta scholarship?
At this time, your Achieve Atlanta Scholarship will not be impacted because of the campus closures / move to remote learning. However, if you have questions regarding your financial aid please contact your college’s Financial Aid Office.
I’m concerned about my work study. What should I do?
This will vary by institution. Some institutions are continuing to pay work study wages even if you are not working. Contact your Financial Aid Office for more information.

Is the government providing any emergency funding or support for students?

Yes. Congress has granted permission for the U.S. Department of Education to provide waivers on federal student aid distribution. This flexibility will allow Federal Work-Study (FWS) recipients to receive their wages through the end of the academic year even if they cannot continue working. Additionally, students unable to complete will not have this semester counted toward their Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) calculations.

In order to access these supports, students need to take action. Currently enrolled students who are seeking emergency aid, reinstatement of FWS wages, or who need to withdraw for the semester, should contact their school’s financial aid office. Click here to learn more.

Completing the Semester / Academic Continuation

My college/university is moving to an online course for the rest of the semester. What should I do to prepare?
In order to be successful in an online course, it is very important that you:

  • Manage your time effectively and efficiently;
  • Take increased responsibility of your learning;
  • Be willing to seek help from your instructor when needed;
  • Regularly log into the course platform online;
  • Fully engage in the online learning activities;
  • Be self-motivated; and
  • Be willing to learn independently.

The pace of your course may require you check in on the online platform daily. It is strongly recommended you use a reliable computer when taking tests and completing assignments, not a mobile device or tablet.

What advice do you have for communicating with my professors and college via email?
The following are examples of email etiquette:

  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails.
  • Address recipient by name/title
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Proof your work – avoid texting words and phrases (ex. r u)
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members.
What if I don’t have a computer and/or reliable internet access to participate in online classes?
If you do not have access to a computer/laptop or reliable internet access, please contact your Office of Student Affairs to let them know. If you do not receive help from your college you can request complimentary internet assistance through Comcast. If you are in need of a laptop/computer to complete your coursework, you can apply for an Achieve Atlanta Emergency Grant here.  
I was approved for an Emergency Grant for technology. What kind of laptop should I purchase and where should I purchase it from?
You can view our Emergency Grant Technology Guide here.
Should I transfer to a local school for the rest of the semester?
No. All colleges are experiencing disruptions at this moment. We encourage our Scholars to complete the semester at the institution where you are currently enrolled.

Housing and Food

What can I do if I'm back home in Atlanta and having trouble finding or paying for food?
You can text FINDFOOD (or COMIDA en Español) to 888.976.2232 to locate nearby food distribution locations and their contact info. Same info is available at acfb.org – click the Find Help button.
Who can I contact if I don’t have a place to stay?
Please contact your Office of Student Affairs or Student Life to learn what resources your college has made available. At many colleges, alumni and/or students are establishing systems for alumni and community members to provide emergency housing, storage, and other support. Check your college’s social media accounts to see if this is available at your school. If you cannot get assistance and are experiencing a financial emergency related to housing, you can apply for an Achieve Atlanta Emergency Grant here.

If you are in Atlanta, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation may be able to assist you with your housing needs or point you to other resources. You can read about their available assistance here or you can call 404-521-0790 between 9:00 AM-1:00 PM, Monday through Thursday.

Is there someone who can help me find a place to store my belongings?
Yes. U-Haul is offering 30 days of free storage for students who have been displaced because of the coronavirus. You can learn more here.

Transportation

I cannot pay for transportation (and associated costs) to go back to campus and pack up my belongings. What should I do?

Please contact your Office of Student Affairs to let them know about your situation. You can also reach out to your school’s alumni groups – many are providing support. If you cannot get assistance and are experiencing a financial emergency related to transportation, you can apply for an Achieve Atlanta Emergency Grant here.
Health & Wellness / Preventative Measures
What can I do to prevent the coronavirus?
We encourage Scholars to engage in a few protective measures as encouraged by the World Health Organization (WHO):

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water. Hand sanitizer that has an alcohol content of 60% or greater can also be used.
  • Maintain social distancing – at least three feet from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Practice respiratory hygiene (cover your mouth and nose with tissue when you cough or sneeze then discard tissue immediately).
  • Keep surfaces frequently touched (sinks, door handles, faucets, desks, etc.) sanitized.
    • Do not report to school or work if you are ill.
    • If you experience symptoms, get medical care early!
What can I do for my mental health during this time of transition?
You can learn more about taking care of your mental health during times of uncertainty here.
Resources for DACA and Undocumented Students
Do you have any resources available for DACA and undocumented students?
All of the resources on this page are available to you. You can also find additional resources here.
More Information
Where can I find more information on the coronavirus?
Outbreaks involving novel coronaviruses evolve quickly and recommendations from public health officials may change frequently as new information becomes available. Please check the following websites often for updated information:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Georgia Department of Public Health website: https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus

American Institutes for Research Coronavirus FAQ here

Where can I find other resources to help me during this time?
You can view some of our suggested resources below:

Resources for Parents from Voices for Georgia’s Children here

Resources for First-Generation Students here

Contacting us
What should I do if I have further questions?
You can reach Achieve Atlanta three ways:

  1. Use the “Contact Us” form on the website to send us a message,
  2. Send an email to info@achieveatlanta.org, or
  3. Call us at 404-880-3500 (Monday-Friday, 9AM-5PM EST).