Princeton University Will Allow Half the Student Body to Return This Fall
Princeton University will bring back about half of its undergraduate student body for the fall semester. The other half will return (separately) for the spring semester, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, most of the college's courses will take place online. Princeton University just announced its plans for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Coursework and teaching will continue to be largely conducted online and remotely, the school says. Smaller classes and lab work may resume in person on a case-by-case basis.
First-year students (the class of 2020) and rising juniors will be allowed to be on campus for the fall term. In the spring, the college hopes to welcome sophomores and seniors (the class of 2021) to live on campus. All graduate students will be allowed to return to campus as well. This is all subject to change, of course, as local health guidelines may dictate.
All undergraduates will have the option to complete the entire school year remotely.
"Based on the information now available to us, we believe Princeton will be able to offer all of our undergraduate students at least one semester of on-campus education this academic year, but we will need to do much of our teaching online and remotely," Princeton University's President Chris Eisgruber said on Monday.
Princeton University is reminding students who do choose to return to campus this year that their life will be much different than a typical college experience. All parties will be prohibited, and many activities will be impermissible as well.
Earlier in the day, Rutgers University announced the college would be primarily offering remote learning this fall. They will only be allowing a limited number of students to return to campus, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Princeton will test students for COVID-19 when they arrive and regularly thereafter. Isolation will be mandatory for those who test positive, and anyone who has contact with someone with a positive diagnosis will be required to quarantine.
"This pandemic is among the worst crises ever to hit Princeton or college education more broadly," Eisgruber said in a statement. "While I wish that we might return immediately to the kind of campus life that we enjoyed when March 2020 began, this moment imposes different responsibilities upon us."
As a result of the virus, the college's academic calendar has also been modified to reduce travel risks associated with the virus. The academic year will resume on August 31 (two days earlier than previously planned). Fall break will be converted into a long weekend, and all students will be asked to leave campus BEFORE Thanksgiving as examinations will all be remote.
Undergraduate tuition for the upcoming school year, by the way, will be reduced by ten percent for this academic year.