Below you will find answers to common questions about the admissions and enrollment process and how it has adapted due to COVID-19 for accepted and prospective students. Please contact the Admissions Office with any questions at email@example.com or 310-665-6820.
Has the tuition deposit deadline changed?
Yes, the Fall 2020 tuition deposit deadline has been moved from May 1 to June 1. If you submit your $250 tuition deposit by May 1, it will be refundable should you not be able to enroll. You need to submit any refund requests by July 31 to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deposit can be submitted at www.otis.edu/deposit. The recommended deadline to submit the $150 housing application fee is still May 1.
Can I defer my acceptance? If so, what is the deadline?
The deadline to defer from fall 2020 to spring 2021 or fall 2021 is August 31. You can request a deferral by emailing email@example.com or by completing the reply form in the applicant portal. Your scholarship will be carried over to the future term. If you pay the tuition deposit and/or housing application fee, it will also be carried over.
What if I’ve already deferred? Can I defer again?
Yes, for fall 2020, we are extending deferrals, so students can defer again to spring 2021 or fall 2021.
Are you still accepting applications for the fall 2020 semester?
The Fall 2020 application is still open and we are accepting applications on a rolling basis. This includes MFA Graphic Design, which has been moved from a summer to fall start.
Fall 2020 Semester
If I start at Otis this fall, will classes be online or on campus?
Otis College is prioritizing your health and safely as we plan for this fall. As you prepare for your studies with us, we’d like to let you know what we are doing to make sure you have a great fall semester. After a swift, successful, and necessary transition from in-person to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic this Spring, the faculty and staff at Otis College are looking forward to offering flexible options for new and returning students.
Current Summary of Fall Plans
Otis College is planning for an open campus this fall starting on time, with social distancing, face coverings, and strict cleaning protocols firmly in place to support the health and safety of our community, subject to public health guidance.
Otis College will offer a combination of online, blended, and on-campus classes in order to reduce the density of people on campus. All Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) courses will be held online.
Studio courses will be provided on-campus, blended (a combination of on-campus and on-line delivery) or fully online depending on the course.
Classes held on campus will meet with social distancing guidelines in place and masks will be required on campus.
Labs, shops, and studio/making spaces will also be open to students on a sign-up basis, with extended available hours.
Studio workspace, shops, and labs are being reconfigured to allow for additional space between students, and will have standards of use that comply with CDC, city, and state guidelines.
There will be options for students who want and/or need to study remotely. The College will strive to be flexible with students to form a plan for the Fall that will work best for them.
For the safety of our residential community, all on campus housing will be single occupancy in the Residence Hall and Park West.
Current Planning Efforts for Fall
The College is following the guidance put forth by the American College Health Association (ACHA) and recent CDC guidelines related to the reopening of colleges and universities. Health and safety continue to guide our efforts.
Three groups at Otis College are actively working on reopening plans: The COVID-19 Task Force, a special Academic Planning Group, and The Campus Life COVID-19 Task Force. A full plan for the Fall will be published in early June.
The College is partnering with Frederick Fisher and Partners and Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects to undertake a study of our labs, shops, studios, classrooms, technology, food services, Admissions, Student Life Center, and green spaces to help us increase space capacity for social distancing and the safe return of our faculty, staff, and students.
Faculty have been meeting together on Zoom to share the best of what worked well for students during the final six weeks of spring semester and are excited to share new teaching and learning innovations with students this fall.
I’m an international student and am concerned that I will not receive my student visa in time.
Otis is collecting all of the documents required to issue the I-20 and is recommending that students submit these documents as soon as possible. Once we have the necessary documents, we are sending your I-20 via expedited mail. Some embassies have already started to schedule appointments for when they will reopen, so do not delay. If you do not receive your visa in time, you have the option to defer.
How does the President’s April 22nd proclamation impact my situation as an international student coming to the U.S.?
The President’s proclamation places certain limitations on individuals holding or seeking immigrant visas. F-1 Student Visas are non-immigrant visas, so this proclamation does not impact students seeking F-1 Student Visas. We recommend that you complete and submit all necessary documents as soon as possible to receive your I-20.
My family’s financial situation has changed due to COVID-19. Can I appeal for additional aid?
Otis understands that due to COVID-19, you may be experiencing unique financial hardship. To support you, we’ve updated our 2020-21 Financial Aid Appeal Application to support students with additional need related to the pandemic. Should you be interested in applying, we encourage you to do your best in outlining your situation, and know that we will in turn consider your case with great care. Also know that our One Stop is available for one-on-one appointments with you and your families to discuss financial matters in detail. You can set up a counseling appointment by clicking this link.
Grading and Transcripts
What will be accepted on the final year transcript (Pass/Fail or letter grading)? How will this impact future applicants?
There will be no penalty for students who had to complete their high school coursework with Pass/Fail grades. Every student who enrolls is required to present us with proof of high school graduation or equivalent by August 31st.
How can transcripts be submitted if my school is closed?
If a school official sends us a transcript from a school email address, we consider the transcript to be “official” if sent to firstname.lastname@example.org directly. They can also submit electronic transcripts to us through e-transcript providers such as e-Scrip Safe and Parchment. You can also submit unofficial transcripts for the admission review process. Official transcripts will be required by the start of classes.
What if my grades dropped in my last semester?
As long as the student graduates, the offer of admission will not be rescinded, even if there is a drop in grades.
Test dates have been cancelled in my country. How can I show proof of English proficiency?
Otis now accepts the Duolingo English test, which can be taken online from your home at a low cost. The minimum score for BFA or MFA admission is 105. We also may waive this requirement if you have been enrolled in an English speaking curriculum for the entirety of high school or have passed two college level English courses. Please contact email@example.com if you think you qualify for a waiver.
Will you still award college credit for AP/IB/A-levels in the new format for 2020?
Yes, we will still award college credit for scores issued in 2020. You can see our credit awarding policy here.
Will it be a problem if I can’t take the SAT or ACT?
Otis is test score optional and does not require SAT or ACT test scores to apply.
Tours and Appointments
Is the campus closed for tours?
Yes, the campus is closed, but tours are still being offered over Zoom virtually with an Admissions Counselor and Student Ambassador. The tour will also feature a brief info session and Q&A session. Virtual tours are offered Monday-Friday at 5pm and Saturdays at 10am. Register here. You can also tour our campus virtually on YouVisit at www.youvisit.com/tour/otis. The tour is offered in English, Spanish, Korean and Mandarin.
Can we still meet with an Admissions Counselor?
Appointments with an Admissions Counselor are offered Monday-Friday and after hours by request. Appointments are held over video conference on Zoom or over the phone. Register for an appointment here.