Free Antigen Tests for Students
As part of our ongoing multi-layer efforts to fight against COVID-19 and to keep our community safe, we would like to share some recent information we have obtained about ordering free, in-home antigen tests from the government. Because your residence hall address is considered a commercial address as opposed to a residential address, College students have not been able to benefit from the government’s program of free tests. However, now there is a way for you to indeed have access to these tests—and we ask that you take advantage of this right away.
Frequently asked questions on how students can order their free at-home test kits
The federal government is providing four free COVID-19 testing kits to every U.S. residential address that requests them at www.covidtests.gov and at 1-800-232-0233 for those without internet access.
Do college students qualify for free at-home COVID-19 testing kits?
Yes. College students residing on or off campus may request free testing kits. Students with shared housing addresses (residence halls, apartment buildings, group housing) should each enter their unique room or apartment number, and/or letter A, B, C. D, etc. along with their street address on the ordering form (or via phone).
How can students request free at-home COVID-19 tests if they don’t have internet access?
Students with unreliable or no internet access may call 1-800-232-0233 to request free at-home COVID-19 testing kits.
A student’s request was rejected when they entered a shared housing address. What should they do?
Students should call USPS Customer Service at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) to resolve issues with shared housing addresses.
A student’s request was rejected because their on-campus housing address showed up as a “business” rather than “residential” address. What should they do?
Colleges and universities should work with the post office to remedy this system wide as soon as possible. If this cannot be remedied quickly, students may call 1-800-232-0233 to order tests instead of using web form.
Should we publicize this opportunity to students if our campus already offers COVID-19 testing?
If testing is widely available on your campus, considering advising students to utilize existing campus resources, allowing the limited federal supply of tests to reach people most in need of them.
Should we publicize this opportunity to students if our institution does not accept a home test as proof of status where testing is required?
Yes, if COVID-19 testing is in short supply for your community. Rapid at-home COVID-19 testing is one of several effective strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus when paired with clear directions about your institution’s resources and expectations for students who test positive.
When will the tests arrive and how can we avoid delays?
Orders are expected to ship in 7-12 days. Administrators should work closely with campus mail services staff to ensure they are prepared to distribute the packages in a timely way and students understand the process.
How can I support students in learning to use these tests correctly?
Please visit the video instructions to common at-home COVID-19 tests: