NYU Says It Plans to Conduct In-Person Classes in Fall

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(Bloomberg) -- New York University is planning to conduct classes “with great care” in person for the fall semester in New York City and on its campuses abroad, subject to government health directives.

The school is designing ways to spread classes over two or three semesters including summer, without additional tuition costs, and some classes may be offered remotely, according to a letter posted on the school’s website Tuesday.

“While we don’t know the course of the pandemic over the next year, I want to give you a preliminary sense of how we’re planning to resume classes in New York, following practices that best protect your health,” Provost Katherine Fleming wrote in the letter to undergraduates.

Colleges cleared their campuses in March of students to avoid spread of the coronavirus and are seeing large financial losses. They have refunded from room and board, forgone revenue from summer programs and seen declines in their endowment portfolios. Schools are also worried about the financial impact of not opening to students in the fall, as some students would rather forgo online classes for deferrals.

Schools are concerned about keeping their fall enrollments both for incoming freshmen and returning students, said Donald Heller, vice president of operations and professor of education at the University of San Francisco.

“I think that’s what’s motivating it,” said Heller. “They’re trying to do everything they can to shore up their deposited students for the fall and even attract more.”

NYU says it would make masks available, conduct virus and antibody tracing and reduce density in student housing.

The University of Notre Dame is planning to begin the 2020-2021 academic year on its campus in South Bend, Indiana. The term would begin on Aug. 10, two weeks earlier than originally scheduled, and will forgo fall break in October and end the semester before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday in November, the University’s president said Monday.

The California State University system has gone the other way, saying it will conduct its classes online in the fall semester, amid concerns about a second wave of the virus.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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