ESM Prep

Which colleges will be open in the fall?

By Rachel Edgell 

It’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves for months, and American universities have begun to announce their plans for the next academic year. Here we break down the four main possible learning structures and what each will mean for college students next semester:

 

On-campus learning

The vast majority of universities have announced their intention to welcome students on campus this fall but with remote learning contingencies for students who are unable or unwilling to attend classes in-person. NYU and The University of Oregon are two such examples. Schools will likely implement changes to class sizes and dorm life in particular in order to maintain social distancing and enhanced hygiene standards. What these changes might entail, however, has yet to be confirmed. 

 

On-campus learning with an altered schedule

The next most-common plan is a shortened campus presence. The University of Notre Dame will open two weeks earlier than planned, remove fall break, and end the fall semester at Thanksgiving. Altered schedules like this attempt to limit back-and-forth travel and potential further spread of the coronavirus.


Columbia University and its partner school, Barnard College, will add a summer semester to allow students greater flexibility with regards to in-person courses.


Some universities like Stanford and Princeton will begin the semester early and end classes by Thanksgiving, with only a fraction of the undergraduate student body on campus at a time. 


Hybrid: on-campus and online learning with reduced campus presence 

Many colleges are actively encouraging remote learning while still hosting some students in campus housing. Arizona State University championed flexible learning long before the pandemic and will continue to offer classes in three modalities: in-person, synchronous remote, and asynchronous remote (see below for further details). 

 

Remote only

While most colleges are thus far planning for some level of in-person education, schools in California in particular have announced that all classes will take place online.


As universities announce remote learning plans, two words are often used: asynchronous and synchronous. Synchronous learning is “live” -- it requires the student to log in to technology at the same time as on-campus students. International students in particular may face difficulties with lessons occurring at odd hours in their home countries. Asynchronous learning takes place independently of the on-campus lessons. While this allows students to watch recorded lectures and complete work in their own time, students lose the benefit of asking questions and hearing other students’ questions during a live lesson.  



Other announcements and future announcement dates

American University: hybrid on-campus and remote learning with reduced campus presence

Amherst College: altered schedule with hybrid learning

Arizona State University: hybrid on-campus and remote learning

Babson College: on-campus learning

Barnard College: altered schedule (additional summer semester)

Bates College: altered schedule (remote learning after Thanksgiving)

Boston University: on-campus learning

Bowdoin University: hybrid with reduced campus presence

Brown University: remote learning

Bucknell University: altered schedule (no fall break; remote after Thanksgiving)

California State University: remote learning

Carleton College: hybrid with reduced campus presence

Chapman University: on-campus learning

Claremont McKenna College: altered schedule (one week earlier; online after Thanksgiving)

Clemson University: remote learning for four weeks then return to on-campus learning

Colgate University: on-campus learning

Columbia University: altered schedule (additional summer semester)

Colorado College: altered schedule (additional “blocks” added)

Colorado State University: altered schedule (remote learning after fall break)

Cornell University: remote learning after Thanksgiving break 

Dartmouth College: hybrid with reduced campus presence

Duke University: altered schedule (semester begins one week earlier and ends at Thanksgiving)

Emerson College: hybrid

Emory University: hybrid with reduced campus presence

Fordham University: on-campus learning

Georgetown University: on-campus learning

George Washington University: on-campus learning

Georgia Tech: on-campus learning

Harvard College: remote learning (with 40% of students allowed to live on campus)

Johns Hopkins University: on-campus learning

LeHigh University: hybrid (remote after Thanksgiving)

Loyola Marymount College: primarily remote learning

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: altered schedule with only seniors on campus

Middlebury College: on-campus learning

New York University: on-campus learning

Northeastern University: on-campus learning

Northwestern University: altered schedule (begin one week earlier; online after Thanksgiving)

Occidental College: remote learning

Oregon State University: on-campus learning

Pepperdine University: remote learning

Pitzer College: remote learning

Pomona College: remote learning

Pratt Institute: on-campus learning

Princeton University: altered schedule and reduced campus presence

Purdue University: hybrid on-campus and remote learning

Reed College: on-campus learning

Rice University: on-campus learning

San Diego State University: remote learning

Santa Clara University: on-campus learning

Southern Methodist University: on-campus learning

Stanford University: altered schedule

Princeton University: altered schedule and reduced campus presence

Stevens Institute of Technology: hybrid with reduced campus presence

Swarthmore College: hybrid with reduced campus presence

Syracuse University: altered schedule (remote learning after Thanksgiving break)

Texas Christian University: altered schedule (one week earlier start; remote after Thanksgiving)

Tufts University: on-campus learning

Tulane University: on-campus learning

University of Alabama: on-campus learning

University of Arizona: hybrid (remote after Thanksgiving)

University of California: on-campus learning (exceptions below)

UC-Berkeley: remote learning for most classes

UC-Irvine: remote learning for most classes

UCLA: remote learning for most classes

UC-Merced: hybrid (remote after Thanksgiving)

UC-Santa Cruz: remote learning for most classes

University of Chicago: hybrid (remote after Thanksgiving)

University of Colorado-Boulder: hybrid (remote after Thanksgiving)

University of Denver: altered schedule (classes end at Thanksgiving and finals will be online)

University of Florida: on-campus learning

University of Georgia: on-campus learning

University of Maryland: hybrid

University of Miami: altered schedule (begin one week early; remote finals after Thanksgiving)

University of Michigan: on-campus learning

University of Minnesota: on-campus learning

University of North Carolina: altered schedule (semester August--Thanksgiving)

University of Notre Dame: altered schedule

University of Oregon: on-campus learning

University of Pennsylvania: remote learning

University of Richmond: on-campus learning

University of Rochester: hybrid (remote after Thanksgiving)

University of San Diego: on-campus learning

University of San Francisco: considering altered schedule

University of Southern California: remote learning for most classes

University of Washington-Seattle: on-campus learning

University of Wisconsin: on-campus learning

University of Virginia: on-campus learning

Vanderbilt University: hybrid (remote after Thanksgiving)

Vassar College: on-campus learning

Villanova University: on-campus learning

Virginia Tech: hybrid (remote after Thanksgiving)

Wake Forest University: on-campus learning

Washington University in St. Louis: altered schedule (depends on individual school)

Wesleyan University: altered schedule (one week earlier start; remote after Thanksgiving)

William and Mary: altered schedule (begin one week early; end before Thanksgiving)

Williams College: hybrid with reduced campus presence

Yale College: hybrid with reduced campus presence


The above announcements are not binding, and universities may change their plans as the Covid-19 public health situation continues to develop. We will update this post if new announcements are made.

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