Harvard University has announced its plans for the upcoming academic year amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, with all classes to be held remotely, though some students will be permitted to live on campus.
“All course instruction (undergraduate and graduate) for the 2020-21 academic year will be delivered online,” Harvard officials wrote to the community. “Students will learn remotely, whether or not they live on campus.”
Most students will continue staying at home, though at least 40 percent of undergraduates will be invited to live on campus, including all first-year students.
Students on campus will live in single bedrooms with a shared bathroom and are scheduled to move out before Thanksgiving while completing reading and exam periods from home.
“Harvard was built for connection, not isolation. Without a vaccine or effective clinical treatments for the virus, we know that no choice that reopens the campus is without risk,” the president and deans wrote.
“That said, we have worked closely with leading epidemiologists and medical experts to define an approach that we believe will protect the health and safety of our community, while also protecting our academic enterprise and providing students with the conditions they need to be successful academically.”
While the learning will be done remotely, undergraduate tuition will stay steady at $49,653 for students. Aided students who do not return to campus will receive a $5,000 remote room and board allowance in their financial aid award each semester to support studying at home.
“We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy have created a number of challenges for families all over the world. Affording your Harvard education should not be one of them,” Jake Kaufmann, Director of Financial Aid said. “Harvard’s robust financial aid program and commitment to meeting students’ demonstrated financial need remains as strong as ever.”
For juniors and seniors who have already missed a half year from campus and will face another year away, Harvard will also be offering the opportunity to return next summer to take two tuition-free courses at Harvard Summer School.
“The recent upturn in COVID-19 cases in certain states illustrates the difficulty of making predictions, even well-informed ones, about the evolution of this virus,” University officials said. “Given this uncertainty, we determined that our fall plan must enable us to bring back as many students as possible while providing sufficient margin to accommodate an escalation of the prevalence of COVID-19 in our area.
“Anything less and we could find ourselves again facing the prospect of asking our students to leave, on short notice, prior to the end of the semester.”
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