Colleges balance student safety with falling revenues during coronavirus — here’s how universities will be transformed in the fall


It’s safe to say college will be a very different experience for students this fall than what they imagined. But right now, that’s pretty much all they can be sure of.

As the coronavirus pandemic swept the country this spring, colleges almost uniformly moved students from lecture halls and dorms to virtual classrooms and quarters cramped with family. But with the fall semester looming, college officials’ plans are varying widely.

The California State University system plans to deliver classes primarily online for fall 2020. At the University of Notre Dame, officials are planning for students to return to campus on August 10 — two weeks earlier than typical — and for them to continue without breaks until Thanksgiving. The fall semester will begin as scheduled on Aug. 26 at the University of Texas at Austin, and classes will run until Thanksgiving. Students will not return after Thanksgiving and, instead, will participate in reading days and final exams remotely. New York University and Boston College have said they intend to open their campuses this fall, subject to government health directives.

See also: ‘There will be less patience in the fall’: 100 ‘unprecedented’ student lawsuits suing colleges amid coronavirus outbreak

Overall, roughly 68% of colleges are planning for in-person instruction this fall, compared to 6% who are planning for an online fall semester and 6% who have said they would do some kind of hybrid, according to

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