We’re in the middle of an unprecedented and strange time, especially for college students who have had to alter their spring 2020 semester plans, transition to a virtual learning experience, and adjust to the new reality of socially and physically distancing—all while in the middle of the best four years of their lives, in the best city, Philadelphia.
The Campus Philly Resource Guide covers a little bit of everything, from advice on completing coursework online and understanding student loan relief, to utilizing our career resources and finding ways to stay active during this time.
Read through the different resource categories below, then check out our Virtual Guide to Exploring Philly, covering all the best ways to stay connected to Philly from home this spring.
Featured in this Guide:
- Campus Philly Conversations
- Transitioning to a Virtual Learning Experience
- Resources for First-Generation Students
- Campus Philly’s Career Resources
- Staying Active in Philly
- Philly-Themed Fun
- Get Inspired: Philly Shows Off Its Heart
We’re coming to you… live from our couches! We’re so excited to announce our brand new, open to everyone, and 100% free Campus Philly Conversations for college students.
Take a break from baking bread (because that’s a thing we’re all doing now…) or binging Tiger King on Netflix—and join us instead! These conversations will be quick, efficient, and fun, and will take place on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. EST.
They’re just 40 minutes, and will feature special guests from the Campus Philly community chatting about different topics each week. We’re planning to cover everything. Seriously. From virtual events and Philly experiences you can enjoy from home, to finding a job in the midst of COVID-19 and checking off the ultimate Philly Food Bucket List, and all the things in between.
Transitioning to a Virtual Learning Experience
Securing a Wi-Fi Connection
Comcast is offering two months of free Wi-Fi to low-income customers. In addition, new Comcast customers will receive two months of free service. See if you’re eligible to receive Internet Essentials from Comcast here.
Elastic supports students during this time by providing opportunities to connect and learn in a virtual environment. Check out the Elastic Training page, featuring free access to on-demand trainings every week!
In addition to free trainings, Elastic also invites students to become members of the growing community and attend one of their virtual meetups taking place around the world. These meetups are a great opportunity to connect with industry professionals and Elasticians!
Student Loan Relief
In response to the Coronavirus National Pandemic, the Department of Education has put relief efforts in place to help student loan borrowers. Here’s what you need to know, from PeopleJoy, your trusted student loan advisor:
0% interest on all federally held student loans:
- Effective March 13, 2020, the interest rate on all federally held student loans serviced will temporarily be reduced to 0% for at least 60 days. Nothing is required on your end, this will happen automatically.
- This 0% interest rate will remain in effect until the Department of Education issues an end date.
- This 0% interest rate change will be applied to all federal loans in any status (in school, in grace, in repayment, in deferment/forbearance, etc.).
- Note: Monthly payment amounts will not decrease because of the 0% interest rate. Any payment made during this time will first satisfy any pre-existing unpaid interest, and then the remaining amount will be applied to principal.
Optional 60-day administrative forbearance:
- All borrowers who are currently in repayment will have the ability to request this emergency administrative forbearance by contacting their servicer which will allow them to postpone payments for at least 60 days.
- Borrowers who are more than 31 days delinquent on their loans as of March 31, 2020, will experience an automatic suspension of payments. If after March 31, 2020 you become more than 31 days delinquent you will be automatically placed in administrative forbearance.
- Note: Missed payments prior to being placed on administrative forbearance may be reported to credit bureaus
Additional Resources for Learning
- Coursera: Coursera’s mission is to transform lives through learning. To help minimize the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on students, the Coursera community is launching a global effort to assist universities and colleges to deliver courseware online.
- MasterClass: Learn from the best of the best in countless industries ranging from music and business to politics and culinary arts.
- Playbill Primary Plus: This series of online programs focuses on helping artists connect with the theatre and with each other. Among the online offerings are free video master classes, lunch-and-learn workshops for playwrights, and digital meetups via Zoom.
- Upkey: Upkey is offering 1,000 students the opportunity to continue to grow with their Virtual Internship Program (VIP). Each student will earn a certificate of completion and $1,000 in tuition assistance, gain a professional network, and more.
- Beyond College 2020 Webinar Series: Covering a wide variety of topics from personal finance to professional development, Wells Fargo’s free webinar series will help better prepare you for what’s next after college. Check it out!
Resources for First-Generation Students
The Collective Success Network
CSN is a volunteer-run Philadelphia-based nonprofit that supports low-income, first-generation (LIFG) college students to achieve their academic and career aspirations, and they are currently supporting students through various resources, including:
- The CSN Student Relief Fund to give grants up to $50 to a student to pay for necessities such as food, cleaning supplies, and transportation during the COVID-19 crisis.
- CSN is also starting a laptop donation drive to ensure that all college students are able to stay on track academically as their classes shift online.
- In response to student requests for tips to improve their mental health during this stressful time, CSN is also sharing this white paper on how to calm anxiety by CSN Chair, Due Quach.
Campus Philly’s Career Resources
Companies are hiring right now, and it’s all happening on our Launch site. You can create an account now (it’s free!) to start searching through hundreds of jobs from top Philly employers, from summer internships to part-time and full-time jobs.
Additional Career Resources
- Check out Career Thursdays on our Instagram for weekly job tips from employers, our Top 5 gigs of the week, and more.
- Read our blog on Mastering LinkedIn to get advice from our team, along with employers and students, on making connections and creating the best profile.
- Learn about the Best Practices for Remote Interviewing from Juno, so you’re ready to land your next job.
- Hear the 5 Ways to Get a Job Right Now, featuring career planning support from Arcadia University.
Search through our interviews now to get more career advice.
Staying Active in Philly
Now, more than ever, getting fresh air and being outside, while still adhering to social distancing practices, is so important for our mental and physical health.
If you’re still in Philadelphia, here are a few of our recommended spots:
- Visit Race Street Pier to relax with a good book
- Bike along the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk
- Take a walk or jog around Clark Park
- Run through Wissahickon Park
- Walk around Fairmount Park for great Cherry Blossom views
We’re normally SEPTA’s biggest fans, but in this time of caution, try to avoid public transportation and instead get to your destination by biking. You can use Philly’s bike share system, Indego, if you don’t have your own bike, or even better: walking!
A Note on Social Distancing
Social distancing (physically distancing ourselves from others by at least six feet) is recommended by the CDC, and we want you to be informed. Learn about the dos and dont’s of social distancing here, and be sure to adhere to the guidelines when visiting Philly’s local parks.
Additional Things to Do
Not sure where to start? Our neighborhoods page is your exclusive guide to all of Philly’s neighborhoods, with open-air trails, paths, and parks to see.
Plus, check out our Virtual Guide to Philly’s Neighborhoods, highlighting virtual museum tours, online fitness classes, and more ways to support our local communities.
Exploring from indoors is the new norm, so we’ve rounded up a bunch of ways to stay connected to Philly from home.
Read our Virtual Guide to All Things Philly here, where we break down what’s happening in each of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, along with local businesses to support, and check out some additional things to do below!
Four Books to Read, Written by Philly Authors
Check out four must-reads by these great (and local!) Philly women:
- Disgruntled: A Novel by Asali Solomon
- Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
- Bossypants by Tina Fey
- Ladysitting by Lorene Cary
Three Philly Recipes to Try
Here are a few staples to get you started:
- Tomato Pie: A Philly tradition, hot or cold.
- Soft Pretzel: Just add spicy mustard.
- Trader’s Joe’s Philly Cheesesteak Bao Buns: This one’s not homemade, but it’s a twist on the classic cheesesteak—and an absolute must-try.
Two Philly-Themed Things to Watch
- Have you seen the OG Rocky? You can rent it on Google Play here for just $2.99. Then, of course, head to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to take a run up the iconic Rocky steps.
- Dispatches from Elsewhere, a new Anthology series featuring Jason Segel, is a must-see for Philly locals. It was shot right here in Philly this past summer (remember when we were seeing Jason Segel everywhere?), and features all of our favorite Philly locations—Rittenhouse Square, Old City, and more! Watch for free here.
See more virtual things to do throughout Philly here.
The City of Brotherly Love is living up to its name. Check out some of the ways Philly is coming together to support each other, and reach out to us if you’d like to be featured:
- Philly Shines Blue: Watch the most iconic buildings and landmarks in Philadelphia shine blue on Tuesday nights in April in honor of World Health Day and the heroic healthcare workers and first responders battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Medical Students for Masks: Students are leading the fundraising efforts by collecting donations for hospitals facing severe Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shortages in Philadelphia. Learn more and follow them here!
What’s next? Well, for now, follow us on Instagram for giveaways, self-care advice, career tips, and more, and join our email list for weekly updates. We’ll be communicating with you through our Stories and DMs too, everyday, as always.
We’re here for you, Philly. We’ve got this.