General

Hope College Fall Athletics Postponement FAQ

Where can I find updates from Hope College about COVID-19?

Get the latest information from Hope College on COVID-19 at hope.edu/coronavirus.

How was the decision made to postpone fall sports competition? 

Based on information from state and local medical experts and guidelines from the NCAA, Hope College made the difficult decision to cancel fall athletic competition.  This decision was in line with the college's priorities to provide the safest possible environment for an in-person, residential learning experience where the health and well-being of our students and campus community are the top priority. 

Will fall student-athletes still be able to return to campus early? 

No, all fall student-athletes will receive a new move-in date and time that is coordinated with the rest of the student body during the dates of August 12-16.

How does this impact the timing of COVID-19 testing for student-athletes?  

Student-athletes can complete their at-home COVID-19 test as they were scheduled.

As competition has been postponed, will fall teams still be able to practice? 

We are committed to providing fall student-athletes with the best athletic experience in this unique season. While there will be no competition, fall teams will be allowed an enriching practice season which includes practices, weight training sessions, team building activities, and film review. Plans will be dependent on MIAA and NCAA guidelines, but we have approval from the Ottawa County Medical Director for a phased-in practice season. We are working with the MIAA to pursue competition in the spring for fall sports.

Does the NCAA cancellation of Division III fall sports championships impact the practice season? 

No, teams can still practice 114 days throughout the academic year and Hope remains committed to offering an enriching phased-in practice season.

What does this mean for the non-traditional seasons for spring sports? 

Spring sport student-athletes will be able to participate in practices during the non-traditional season. We have developed guidelines for athletic participation that follow current state and local guidelines for safe practices. Any non-traditional games or scrimmages have been canceled.

When will decisions be made about winter sports? 

Decisions from the MIAA Presidents' Council regarding winter sports that begin play in the fall — men's and women's basketball, swimming and diving, and indoor track and field — will be made at a later date.

With no competition, what does this mean for NCAA eligibility? 

Under a waiver from the NCAA, student-athletes will not use a season of eligibility during the 2020-21 academic year if their team competes in 50% or less of their schedule. Because competition has been canceled this semester, fall sport student-athletes can participate in fall training opportunities without using a season of eligibility. If you have specific questions about eligibility, please contact Assistant Athletic Director Caroline Dykstra (dykstrac@hope.edu). 

Can a student-athlete be a part-time student at Hope this semester and still practice or participate in team activities this fall? 

No, according to NCAA rules a student-athlete must be enrolled full-time (12 credits or more at Hope College) in order to participate in organized team activities this fall. 

Can a student-athlete defer for the semester and still participate in any team activities?

No, according to NCAA rules, if a student-athlete is not enrolled full-time at Hope, they cannot participate in any athletically related activities. 

How can a student-athlete review their progress toward degree completion?

Student-athletes are encouraged to utilize Degree Works if they have specific questions on completed and outstanding requirements for their degree. Additional questions regarding course work and classes can be sent to registrar@hope.edu.

What will happen to financial aid if a student-athlete does not attend Hope this fall semester or takes the whole year off?

Hope merit scholarships can be received for a maximum of eight semesters of full-time attendance. Even if a student takes a semester or a year off, their scholarship will be there for them when they return to Hope as a full-time student.  

It's important to note however, if a student takes classes at a different institution, they will forfeit one semester of scholarship for each semester they study away from Hope. Students can refer to the renewal document they received with their scholarship notice from the Office of Admissions. You can also view some merit renewal information here.

We will determine a student's eligibility for need-based aid (grants, loans and work study) after receiving the results of their annual FAFSA. If they have been awarded need-based aid for the 2020-21 academic year and decide not to attend this fall, their fall awards will be canceled but their spring semester awards will be available to you when they return in January.  Whether students attend college during the 2020-21 academic year or not does not impact your eligibility for need-based aid in future years, but students must reapply every year.

It's also important to be aware of the terms of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Students are encouraged to review this policy to be sure they understand the academic requirements necessary to continue their eligibility for all types of financial assistance.

Don't hesitate to email the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@hope.edu if you have further questions.

Do student-athletes still need to complete a pre-participation physical and eligibility requirements? 

Yes, we care about the health and well-being of our student-athletes! In order to participate in any sport at Hope College, students must complete the pre-participation physical and all other eligibility requirements. We are waiting on additional eligibility information from the NCAA. Please continue to check your email for updates.

What will COVID-19 testing look like for student-athletes? 

Our testing plan is tailored specifically for the Hope community and informed by the expertise of public health officials and our own faculty and staff. Medium- and high-risk student-athletes have been identified as a subset of our student population that will be tested more regularly during their season. For more information, visit the campus testing webpage.

Will athletes need to participate in a daily COVID-19 screening? 

Yes, athletes will be asked to complete a daily screening of potential COVID-19 symptoms prior to reporting to practice. This screening will include a temperature screen from an athletic trainer before participating in any organized team activity.  

What will practice look like this fall? 

Coaches will follow state and local guidelines, along with Hope College policies when planning practices for this fall. Everyone who is not actively participating in practice (both indoors and outdoors) should wear a face covering. Every attempt should be made to maintain a six-foot physical distance from teammates and coaches. 

Who I can speak with if I have concerns regarding Hope's return-to-sport plans for the preseason, regular season and postseason?

The NCAA Board of Governors has established a phone number and email to allow college athletes, parents or others to report potential return-to-sport concerns. The NCAA will notify school and conference administrators, who are expected to review and address concerns. Concerned individuals can call toll free at (833) 661-2819 or email covidconcerns@ncaa.org with the name of the NCAA member institution, sport and brief summary of the concern.

Will I have access to my team locker room? 

Locker room use may be permitted on a limited basis. We will follow state and local guidelines for indoor spaces when considering the number of team personnel in a locker room at one time. Face coverings should be worn and six-foot spacing should be maintained.

Will Athletic Training services still be available? 

Yes, athletic training services will still be available, but student-athletes must make an appointment with the athletic trainer (ATC). Limited appointments will be available so six-foot social distancing can be maintained. Face coverings will be required in the athletic training room.  

How do I attend the Hope Athletics Town Hall meeting? 

Student-athletes and families are invited to join us for additional updates during our Athletics Town Hall meeting on Monday, August 3 at 7 pm EDT. A link to RSVP for the event and to submit your questions prior to the town hall was shared in an email update to student-athletes from the Athletics Administration Team. If student-athletes cannot find the RSVP link, please email hopeathletics@hope.edu for more information.

Hope.edu | PO Box 9000, Holland, Michigan 49422