Spring 2020 was a semester like no other. COVID-19 transformed college life, causing more than 14 million students to transition to online learning abruptly.
Now, as the pandemic lingers across America, universities face another daunting decision. With the fall semester quickly approaching, should they reopen their campuses for in-person learning or keep their classes online?
Many schools are still deliberating, considering a range of virtual and on-campus options. Meanwhile, institutions that have made decisions have reached very different conclusions.
While schools such as Baylor and Purdue have announced plans to open their campuses, the California State University system will stay online in the fall. Some schools, such as Harvard, have suggested a hybrid approach for fall 2020. For students, uncertainty and inconsistency only raise anxieties.
We created this guide to share the latest updates on specific schools’ plans for the fall, as well as helpful information for all college students. Below, you can use our tool to check where your school stands based on the latest data from the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Below that, we’ve provided a ton of related information, including how schools are making their decisions. We also have advice for students considering taking time off, as well as important tips about how COVID-19 might affect your college expenses and financial aid.
To stay informed about your school’s decisions and plan for your own fall semester, check out all the information below.
Your School’s Status: The Latest Updates From Universities
|School Name||State||Current Plan for Fall 2020||Link to More Info||Public or Private|
|Abilene Christian University||TX||Planning for in-person||planning to reopen campus for fall||Private|
|Adrian College||MI||Planning for in-person||planning to reopen campus for fall||Private|
|Agnes Scott College||GA||Planning for in-person||plans to resume on-campus instruction||Private|
|Alma College||MI||Considering a range of scenarios||monitoring coronavirus developments||Private|
|American University||DC||Planning for in-person||American is planning for in-person learning in the fall||Private|
|Amherst College||MA||Waiting to decide||hopes to decide by June||Private|
|Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences||NY||Planning for in-person||The plan is to begin the fall semester on time||Private|
|Angelo State University||TX||Planning for in-person||intends to have students||Public|
|Appalachian State University||NC||Planning for in-person||planning on offering in-person fall classes||Public|
|Arizona State University||AZ||Planning for in-person||planning to resume in-person classes||Public|
|Arkansas State University||AR||Planning for in-person||Expects to be on campus in the fall||Public|
|Assumption College||MA||Considering a range of scenarios||planning a range of options||Private|
|Augustana College||IL||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person fall classes||Private|
|Austin Peay State University||TN||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person fall classes||Public|
|Averett University||VA||Planning for in-person||making plans to reopen in the fall||Private|
|Ball State University||IN||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Public|
|Baylor University||TX||Planning for in-person||We intend to safely resume in-person teaching||Private|
|Beacon College||FL||Planning for in-person||plans to hold fall semester on-campus||Private|
|Belhaven University||MS||Planning for in-person||planning to for in-person classes in the fall||Private|
|Beloit College||WI||Proposing a hybrid model||shifting to a “module based semester” to allow flexibility to move toward either online or in-person classes||Private|
|Bethel University||MN||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|Binghampton University||NY||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Public|
|Biola University||CA||Planning for in-person||planning for an in-person fall semester||Private|
|Black Hills State University||SD||Planning for in-person||planning to have in-person classes in the fall||Public|
|Boston College||MA||Waiting to decide||plans to decide by the end of June||Private|
|Boston University||MA||Planning for in-person||leaning toward in-person classes||Private|
|Bowdoin College||ME||Waiting to decide||If we can find a way to be back on campus in the fall — a way that is safe for the campus and Brunswick community — we will be back.”||Private|
|Bowling Green State University||OH||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Public|
|Bradley University||IL||Planning for in-person||intends to reopen campus in the fall||Private|
|Brown University||RI||Planning for in-person||The university is leaning toward in-person classes. Brown’s president||Private|
|Bryant University||RI||Planning for in-person||intends to hold fall semester on campus||Private|
|Catholic University of America||DC||Planning for in-person||planning to reopen in the fall||Private|
|California Baptist University||CA||Planning for in-person||planning to resume on-ground classes for the fall semester”||Private|
|California Institute of the Arts||CA||Proposing a hybrid model||proposing a hybrid model for fall semester||Private|
|California State University system’s 23 campuses||CA||Planning for online||most classes will be online with limited exceptions||Public|
|Cameron University||OK||Considering a range of scenarios||planning for in-person||Public|
|Caroll College||MT||Planning for in-person||href=”https://mailchi.mp/472fbc502745/for-all-the-saints-564513?e=ffc6bd0d3b”>committed to re-opening for in-person instruction this fall||Private|
|Central Christian College of the Bible||MO||Planning for in-person||plans to open campus in the fall but use online instruction if necessary||Private|
|Central Michigan University||MI||Planning for in-person||planning to return to campus in the fall||Public|
|Centre College||KY||Proposing a hybrid model||block-scheduling courses in shorter segments to allow flexibility to shift toward either in-person or remote learning||Private|
|Chaminade University||HI||Planning for in-person||plans to start fall semester in-person||Private|
|Chapman University||CA||Planning for in-person||optimistically planning for a safe return in the fall with social distancing and safety constraints in place”||Private|
|Chowan University||NC||Planning for in-person||planning to be open in the fall||Private|
|Christopher Newport University||VA||Planning for in-person||We are planning for our classes to resume on campus in the fall” depending on the state of coronavirus and guidance from state and federal authorities.||Public|
|Claremont Colleges||CA||Planning for in-person||committed” to in-person fall classes||Private|
|Clemson University||SC||Considering a range of scenarios||exploring a range of scenarios||Public|
|Coastal Carolina University||SC||Planning for in-person||plans to resume in-person instruction in the fall||Public|
|Colgate University||NY||Considering a range of scenarios||will decide by June 30||Private|
|College of the Desert||CA||Planning for online||moved fall semester classes online||Public|
|College of Idaho||ID||Planning for in-person||planning to open campus for fall semester||Private|
|College of William & Mary||VA||Planning for in-person||“We have every intention of holding in-person classes in the fall as long as it is safe to do so.”||Public|
|Colorado College||CO||Planning for in-person||intends to reopen campus in the fall||Private|
|Colorado State University||CO||Planning for in-person||plans to start fall semester in-person in “best case scenario”||Public|
|Columbia University||NY||Waiting to decide||waiting to decide||Private|
|Columbus State University||GA||Planning for in-person||planning face-to-face instruction in the fall||Public|
|Concord University||WV||Planning for in-person||plans to reopen campus in the fall||Public|
|Concordia University Chicago||IL||Planning for in-person||plans to return to campus||Private|
|Concordia University Irvine||CA||Planning for in-person||intends to have an in-person fall semester||Private|
|Concordia University Nebraska||NE||Waiting to decide||expects final recommendations by July 15||Private|
|Concordia University St. Paul||MN||Planning for in-person||will reopen campus for fall semester||Private|
|Concordia University Texas||TX||Planning for in-person||plans||Private|
|Cornell College||IA||Planning for in-person||expanded its existing block calendar to 10 3.5-week sessions to allow maximum flexibility to either return to campus or continue distance learning in the fall||Private|
|Cornell University||NY||Waiting to decide||no decision expected until June||Private|
|Cottey College||MO||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|Covenant College||GA||Planning for in-person||will resume on-campus instruction in the fall if governmental authorities allow it||Private|
|Daemen College||NY||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person classes in the fall||Private|
|Dallas County Community College District||TX||Planning for online||planning for classes to be “predominantly online”||Public|
|Dartmouth College||NH||Considering a range of scenarios||“The probability of a full residential, business-as-usual fall term is not very high,” the provost says.”||Private|
|DePaul University||IL||Waiting to decide||expects to make an announcement as early as June 15||Private|
|Dominican University||IL||Planning for in-person||planning to have fall semester on-campus with primarily in-person classes||Private|
|Dordt University||IA||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|Drake University||IA||Planning for in-person||planning on-campus classes||Private|
|Drexel University||PA||Waiting to decide||hopes to receive task-force recommendations on fall semester by early June||Private|
|Drury University||MO||Planning for in-person||planning to reopen in the fall||Private|
|Duke University||NC||Considering a range of scenarios||“We hope||Private|
|Earlham College||IN||Waiting to decide||expects a decision on fall plans by June 15||Private|
|East Carolina Universty||NC||Planning for in-person||We intend to be back on ECU’s campus in the fall||Public|
|East Tennessee State University||TN||Waiting to decide||hopes to make a decision by early June||Public|
|Eastern Florida State College||FL||Proposing a hybrid model||“Many Fall Term 2020 courses will move to online delivery.”||Public|
|Elon University||NC||Planning for in-person||“Elon is planning to conduct fall semester classes on campus||Private|
|Elmhurst College||IL||Planning for in-person||planning to return to in-person classes in August||Private|
|Emerson College||MA||Waiting to decide||conducting a student poll to help in decision process||Private|
|Emory & Henry College||VA||Planning for in-person||planning for fall classes “to take place on campus with the proper measures taken to ensure the safety of students||Private|
|Emory University||GA||Waiting to decide||likely to decide by early May, according to the student newspaper”||Private|
|Emporia State University||KS||Planning for in-person||offering||Public|
|Fairfield University||CT||Planning for in-person||intends to resume on-campus instruction in the fall||Private|
|Fairmont State University||WV||Planning for in-person||planning for face-to-face classes in the fall||Public|
|Ferris State University||MI||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Public|
|Fisher College||MA||Waiting to decide||no final decision until at least July 1||Private|
|Florida Institute of Technology||FL||Planning for in-person||plans to resume face-to-face classes for fall semester||Private|
|Florida Southern College||FL||Planning for in-person||moved start of fall semester to September 1 from August 18||Private|
|Florida State University||FL||Planning for in-person||expects||Public|
|Furman University||SC||Waiting to decide||will announce plans by mid to late June||Private|
|Gannon University||PA||Planning for in-person||intends to resume face-to-face classes in August||Private|
|Geneva College||PA||Planning for in-person||plans to resume in-person instruction||Private|
|George Fox University||OR||Planning for in-person||plans to open campus in the fall||Public|
|George Mason University||VA||Waiting to decide||says more information could come by early June||Public|
|George Washington University||DC||Waiting to decide||will provide “a more detailed communication about our plans for operation by May 15”||Private|
|Gonzaga University||WA||Planning for in-person||“will work with the goal of returning to operations and re-opening our campus – including resuming in-class instruction – for fall semester 2020”||Private|
|Grand Valley State University||MI||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person classes in the fall||Public|
|Grove City College||PA||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|Hawaiʻi Pacific University||HI||Planning for in-person||plans to open August 24 for fall semester||Private|
|Hampden-Sydney College||VA||Planning for in-person||We will convene as a community and hold classes here at Hampden-Sydney this fall as we have for the past 245 years.”||Private|
|Hampshire College||MA||Planning for in-person||planning in-person fall classes||Private|
|Harding University||AR||Planning for in-person||planning to resume in-person instruction||Private|
|Harvard University||MA||Considering a range of scenarios||The campus will be open, but the provost says “we will need to prepare for a scenario in which much or all learning will be conducted remotely.””||Private|
|Haverford College||PA||Planning for in-person||We expect on-campus learning to resume for the fall semester.”||Private|
|High Point University||NC||Planning for in-person||preparing to resume in-person classes||Private|
|Hiram College||OH||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|Hollins University||VA||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person fall classes||Private|
|Holy Cross College||IN||Planning for in-person||intends to be open for fall semester||Private|
|Hope International University||CA||Planning for in-person||planning in-person fall classes||Private|
|Huntingdon College||AL||Planning for in-person||plans to start fall semester in-person on August 10||Private|
|Husson University||ME||Planning for in-person||Husson will be welcoming students back to our campus in the fall||Private|
|Indiana University||IN||Considering a range of scenarios||Indiana University, Public, IN Will return to in-person instruction in the fall in a best-case scenario“||Public|
|Illinois State University||IL||Planning for in-person||“ISU fully intends to welcome students back to campus for the 2020-2021 academic year”||Public|
|Iowa Board of Regents||IA||Planning for in-person||planning “a full normal operation” for its universities — including Iowa State University||Public|
|James Madison University||VA||Planning for in-person||“We are expecting to open as scheduled for in-person classes.”||Public|
|Judson University||IL||Planning for in-person||planning to reopen in the fall with in-person classes and residential students||Private|
|Kansas State University||KS||Planning for in-person||intends to return to campus in the fall||Public|
|Knox College||IL||Planning for in-person||plans to welcome students back for in-person classes||Private|
|LaGrange College||GA||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|Laguna College of Art and Design||CA||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person instruction||Private|
|Lake Superior State University||MI||Planning for in-person||plans to start fall classes earlier than normal||Public|
|Lawrence Technological University||MI||Waiting to decide||intends to welcome students in the fall||Private|
|Lehigh University||PA||Waiting to decide||will decide by June 15||Private|
|Lewis and Clark College||OR||Planning for in-person||Planning for in-person fall classes||Private|
|Life Pacific University||CA||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|Lindenwood University||MO||Planning for in-person||isn’t offering seated classes until at least August 9||Private|
|Lipscomb||TN||Planning for in-person||planning on being open for fall semester||Private|
|Longwood University||VA||Planning for in-person||exploring how it can “safely reopen for in-person learning in the upcoming fall semester”||Public|
|Louisiana College||LA||Planning for in-person||plans to have on-campus fall classes||Private|
|Loyola Marymount University||CA||Planning for in-person||planning for an in-person fall semester||Private|
|Loyala University Maryland||MD||Planning for in-person||expects to reopen campus in the fall||Private|
|Lubbock Christian University||TX||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person fall classes||Private|
|Macalester College||MN||Planning for in-person||Our strong preference is to complete two full semesters of on-campus instruction||Private|
|Manhattanville College||NY||Planning for in-person||planning to be back on campus for in-person instruction||Private|
|Marietta College||OH||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|Marquette University||WI||Planning for in-person||“will resume campus operations this fall if governmental and medical authorities say it is safe to do so”||Private|
|Marshall University||WV||Planning for in-person||The university “has begun tentative plans to have in-person classes for the fall 2020 semester.”||Public|
|Marymount Manhattan College||TX||Planning for in-person||plans||Private|
|Marymount University||VA||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person fall classes||Private|
|Maryville College||TN||Planning for in-person||“cautiously optimistic” about in-person fall classes||Private|
|McMurry University||TX||Planning for in-person||beginning a “five-phase plan to fully reopen the campus for fall 2020 with face-to-face classes”||Private|
|Merrimack College||MA||Planning for in-person||planning to be “residential and open in the fall”||Private|
|Miami University||OH||Planning for in-person||committed to on-campus instruction in the fall||Public|
|Middle Tennessee State University||TN||Planning for in-person||plans to have on-campus classes in the fall||Public|
|Midwestern State University||TX||Planning for in-person||intends to be “fully operational this fall for in-person instruction”||Public|
|Middlebury College||VT||Planning for in-person||“We are working toward a safe and secure opening of our campus for the fall semester||Private|
|Midlands University||NE||Planning for in-person||planning to resume in-person classes in the fall||Private|
|Millsaps College||MS||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|Milwaukee School of Engineering||WI||Planning for in-person||planning to reopen in the fall||Private|
|Missouri State University||MO||Planning for in-person||planning for an in-person fall semester||Public|
|Missouri University of Science and Technology||MO||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person fall classes||Public|
|Montana State University||MT||Planning for in-person||planning for the return of students in the fall||Public|
|Morningside College||IA||Planning for in-person||plans to be open for fall semester||Private|
|Mount Holyoke||MA||Proposing a hybrid model||reportedly planning hybrid classes||Private|
|Mount Union University||OH||Planning for in-person||hopes||Private|
|Mount St. Mary’s University||MD||Planning for in-person||plans to resume face-to-face instruction and on-campus classes||Private|
|New Jersey Institute of Technology||NJ||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person classes||Public|
|New Mexico State University||NM||Proposing a hybrid model||plans to return to an adapted model of face-to-face||Public|
|New York University||NY||Planning for in-person||“proceeding on the basis that it will resume in-person operations” in the fall||Private|
|Nicholls State University||LA||Planning for in-person||“In the fall we’re back on our campus.”||Public|
|North Carolina Central University||NC||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Public|
|North Carolina State University||NC||Planning for in-person||We fully expect to have our new and continuing students on campus for the fall semester.”||Public|
|North Dakota University system||ND||Planning for in-person||intends to have students back in the fall on its 11 campuses||Public|
|Northeastern University||MA||Planning for in-person||intends to reopen campuses in the fall||Private|
|Northern Arizona University||AZ||Planning for in-person||planning for on-campus fall classes||Public|
|Northern Illinois University||IL||Waiting to decide||hopes to announce fall plans within the next two months||Public|
|Northern Michigan University||MI||Planning for in-person||planning for a return to face-to-face instruction||Public|
|Northwest Missouri State University||MO||Planning for in-person||planning to resume on-campus instruction in the fall||Public|
|Northwestern College||IA||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|Norwich University||VT||Planning for in-person||intends to be open in the fall||Private|
|Nova Southeastern University||FL||Planning for in-person||will resume in-person classes in the fall||Private|
|Oakland University||MI||Proposing a hybrid model||planning for “a hybrid approach” that includes both face-to-face and remote instruction” in the fall||Public|
|Oberlin College||OH||Planning for in-person||planning on-campus fall classes with varying start dates||Private|
|Ohio Northern University||OH||Planning for in-person||plans to resume in-person classes||Private|
|Ohio State University||OH||Planning for in-person||leaning toward in-person classes||Public|
|Oklahoma State University||OK||Planning for in-person||planning on resuming in-person classes in the fall||Public|
|Old Dominion University||VA||Planning for in-person||plans to reopen campus in the fall||Public|
|Oregon State University||OR||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Public|
|Otterbein University||OH||Planning for in-person||Planning to open campus in the fall||Private|
|Pace University||NY||Planning for in-person||It is our hope and intention to resume our regular schedule of face-to-face classes across all three of our campuses for fall 2020||Private|
|Pacific Lutheran University||WA||Planning for in-person||plans to return to in-person instruction in the fall||Private|
|Pacific Northwest College of Art||OR||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|Pacific School of Religion||CA||Proposing a hybrid model||proposing a hybrid model||Private|
|Pacific University||OR||Planning for in-person||“We plan to launch our fall terms on campus||Private|
|Pennsylvania State University||PA||Waiting to decide||expects updates on fall semester by June 15||Public|
|Portland Community College||OR||Planning for online||all fall classes will be taught online||Portland|
|Princeton University||NJ||Waiting to decide||decision expected in early July||Private|
|Purdue University||IN||Planning for in-person||planning to start fall semester in person if testing and contact tracing allows||Public|
|Radford University||VA||with face-to-face instruction beginning on August 24″||will reopen on August 3||Public|
|Randolph College||VA||Planning for in-person||planning to resume on-campus||Private|
|Reed College||OR||Waiting to decide||will announce fall plans by June 30||Private|
|Regis University||CO||Planning for in-person||planning on starting and ending fall semester early||Private|
|Rhodes College||TN||Waiting to decide||will share plans by May 27||Private|
|Roanoke College||VA||Planning for in-person||plans to resume in-person instruction||Private|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||NY||Planning for in-person||“optimistic” about being open for fall||Private|
|Rockhurst University||MO||Planning for in-person||planning a “traditional” start to fall semester/||Private|
|Roger Williams University||RI||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|Rutgers University||NJ||Waiting to decide||operating remotely||Public|
|Sarah Lawrence College||NY||while exploring a number of scenarios for accomplishing that||plans to begin fall semester as scheduled||Private|
|Saint Francis University||PA||Planning for in-person||intends to return students to campus in the fall||Private|
|Saint Leo University||FL||Waiting to decide||will decide in the summer||Private|
|Saint Mary’s College||IN||Planning for in-person||plans to reopen in the fall||Private|
|Samford University||AL||Planning for in-person||href=”https://www.samford.edu/news/2020/04/Samford-Announces-Plans–Fall-2020″>plans to resume on-campus classes and reopen residence halls for the fall 2020 semester||Private|
|San Jose State University||CA||Proposing a hybrid model||planning to offer online and hybrid courses||Public|
|Santa Monica College||CA||Planning for in-person||will hold fall classes online||Private|
|Santa Rosa Junior College||CA||Planning for online||will continue remote instruction through the fall semester||Public|
|Schreiner University||TX||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person fall classes||Private|
|Seattle University||WA||Planning for in-person||intends to reopen campus in the fall||Private|
|Seton Hall University||NJ||Planning for in-person||“We have a team in place finalizing plans for our collective return to campus in the fall||Private|
|Shenandoah University||VA||Waiting to decide||plans to make a decision by around July 1||Private|
|Siena Heights University||MI||Planning for in-person||plan||Private|
|Sierra College||CA||Planning for online||announced via Twitter that classes will be remote||Public|
|Simmons University||MA||Proposing a hybrid model||planning a hybrid model||Private|
|Simpson College||IA||Planning for in-person||intends to have in-person fall classes||Private|
|Southeastern Oklahoma State University||OK||Planning for in-person||intends to return to in-person instruction in the fall||Public|
|Southern Methodist University||TX||Planning for in-person||plans to reopen campus in the fall||Private|
|Southern New Hampshire University||NH||Planning for in-person||planning to allow students to move into dorms||Private|
|Southern Utah University||UT||Proposing a hybrid model||plans to offer both in-person and online classes in the fall||Public|
|Southwest Baptist University||MO||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary||TX||Planning for in-person||planning to have on-campus instruction||Private|
|Southwestern Oklahoma State University||OK||Planning for in-person||Intends to resume in-person classes in the fall||Public|
|St. Mary’s College of California||CA||Planning for in-person||“We are planning to welcome students back to campus and conduct in-person courses this fall.”||Private|
|Stanford University||CA||Waiting to decide||expects to make a decision in May||Private|
|Stephen F. Austin State University||TX||Waiting to decide||will announce plans for fall by the end of June||Public|
|Stetson University||FL||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person classes but will make a decision by mid to late June||Private|
|Swarthmore College||PA||Waiting to decide||anticipates being able to share plans by June 1||Private|
|Sweet Briar College||VA||Planning for in-person||plans to resume in-person instruction in the fall||Private|
|Syracuse University||NY||Considering a range of scenarios||developing “multiple fall opening scenarios” with the “hope and intention that we will be welcoming students back to campus”||Private|
|Tarleton State University||TX||Planning for in-person||planning for face-to-face instruction in the fall||Public|
|Texas A&M University||TX||Planning for in-person||planning for on-campus operations in the fall||Public|
|Texas Christian University||TX||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person fall classes||Private|
|Texas State University system||TX||Planning for in-person||plans to resume face-to-face instruction at its six campuses||Public|
|Texas Tech University||TX||Planning for in-person||plans to resume in-person instruction in the fall with a “phased return” that could include some in-person classes in the summer||Public|
|Texas Woman’s University||TX||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person classes||Public|
|Thomas Jefferson University||PA||Planning for in-person||planning for on-campus fall classes||Private|
|Transylvania University||KY||Waiting to decide||will announce fall plans in early june||Private|
|Trevecca Nazarene University||TN||Planning for in-person||plans to resume in-person classes unless health officials recommend otherwise||Private|
|Trine University||IN||Planning for in-person||planning to reopen in the fall||Private|
|Troy University||AL||Planning for in-person||will return students to campus in the fall||Public|
|Tulane University||LA||Planning for in-person||plans to have students on-campus for fall semester||Private|
|University of Alabama system||AL||Planning for in-person||We are expecting to have a fall semester at all of our universities||Public|
|University of Alaska, Anchorage||AK||Proposing a hybrid model||proposing a hybrid model||Public|
|University of Arizona||AZ||Planning for in-person||intends to offer in-person classes in the fall||Public|
|University of Arkansas System||AR||Planning for in-person||trustees approved in-person fall instruction||Public|
|University of Buffalo||NY||Considering a range of scenarios||>planning a range of scenarios||Public|
|University of California at Berkeley||CA||Proposing a hybrid model||Some or all classes will be delivered via remote instruction.||Public|
|University of California at San Diego||CA||Proposing a hybrid model||intends to offer a combination of in-person and remote instruction||Public|
|University of Central Florida||FL||Planning for in-person||leaning toward in-person classes||Public|
|University of Central Missouri||MO||Planning for in-person||planning in-person fall classes||Public|
|University of Charleston||WV||Planning for in-person||expects campus to be open in the fall||Private|
|University of Chicago||IL||Waiting to decide||plans to decide by the end of June||Private|
|University of Colorado at Boulder||CO||Proposing a hybrid model||leaning toward a hybrid plan; will announce by June||Public|
|University of Connecticut||CT||Waiting to decide||no decision till summer||Public|
|University of Delaware||DE||Planning for in-person||“We remain cautiously optimistic that we will be in a position to welcome all students on campus this fall.”||Public|
|University of Denver||CO||Planning for in-person||“We plan to reopen with face-to-face classes when we begin our fall quarter in mid-September||Private|
|University of Florida||FL||Waiting to decide||will announce plans by mid-July||Public|
|University of Georgia system||GA||Planning for in-person||The university plans a “phased||Public|
|University of Hawaii||HI||Planning for in-person||Planning to resume in-person instruction||Public|
|University of Houston||TX||Waiting to decide||expects a decision on fall semester in late May or early June||Public|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||IL||Planning for in-person||We are planning for in-person classes to begin as scheduled.”||Public|
|University of Kansas||KS||Planning for in-person||“Our plan is to resume on-campus operations in some capacity this fall.”||Public|
|University of Kentucky||KY||Waiting to decide||will announce plans by mid-June||Public|
|University of La Verne||CA||Planning for in-person||“We are planning to resume face-to-face instruction and residence hall operation in the fall.”||Private|
|University of Louisiana System||LA||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Public|
|University of Lynchburg||VA||Planning for in-person||planning in-person fall classes||Private|
|University of Maine system||ME||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person classes||Public|
|University of Mary||ND||Planning for in-person||intends to hold in-person classes in the fall||Private|
|University of Mary Hardin-Baylor||TX||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|University of Mary Washington||VA||Planning for in-person||intends to start in-person instruction in August but says “we should also be prepared for the unknown”||Public|
|University of Maryland system||MD||Planning for in-person||planning to start in-person||Public|
|University of Massachusets Amherst||MA||Waiting to decide||expects a decision in “early summer”||Public|
|University of Miami||FL||Planning for in-person||Our expectation is to begin our fall semester on time and on campus||Private|
|University of Michigan||MI||Planning for in-person||hoping to hold classes in-person||Public|
|University of Missouri||MO||Proposing a hybrid model||planning for in-person classes||Public|
|University of Missouri at Kansas City||MO||Planning for in-person||expects to be on campus in the fall||Public|
|University of Mobile||AL||Planning for in-person||“plans to resume on-ground instruction and residential housing this fall”||Private|
|University of Montana||MT||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Public|
|University of Nebraska system||NE||Planning for in-person||The system expects to hold classes on its campuses in the fall.” The chancellor of the flagship University of Nebraska at Lincoln wrote in a letter on April 24||Public|
|University of Nevada, Reno||NV||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person fall classes||Public|
|University of New England||ME||Planning for in-person||planning to reopen campus in the fall||Private|
|University of New Hampshire||NH||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Public|
|University of New Haven||CT||Considering a range of scenarios||intends to bring students back to campus in August||Private|
|University of North Carolina at Asheville||NC||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person instruction||Private|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||NC||Planning for in-person||optimistic for on-campus classes this fall||Public|
|University of North Carolina at Charlotte||NC||Planning for in-person||will begin fall semester two weeks later than planned||Public|
|University of North Carolina at Greensboro||NC||Planning for in-person||expects to start fall semester in-person||Public|
|University of North Carolina at Pembroke||NC||Planning for in-person||We fully expect and it is our present intention to be back in our classrooms||Public|
|University of Northern Colorado||CO||Planning for in-person||planning to return to campus in the fall||Public|
|University of North Texas||TX||Planning for in-person||planning on safely resuming campus learning and residential life for fall 2020.||Public|
|University of Notre Dame||IN||Waiting to decide||will announce plans by mid-June||Private|
|University of Oklahoma||OK||Planning for in-person||Our intention is to return to in-person educational operations on all three campuses by this fall||Public|
|University of Oregon||OR||Planning for in-person||The university is aiming for in-person instruction in the fall||Public|
|University of the Pacific||CA||Planning for in-person||planning to welcome students back to its campuses in August||Private|
|University of Pennsylvania||PA||Proposing a hybrid model||“planning for a likely combination of in-class and virtual teaching.”||Private|
|University of Pittsburgh||PA||Considering a range of scenarios||says “back to normal probably is not likely” for the fall||Public|
|University of Portland||OR||Planning for in-person||The university’s goal is to operate in-person, but the president said it may adjust the academic calendar and “conduct some or all of our instruction in an online format if absolutely necessary.””||Private|
|University of Redlands||CA||Considering a range of scenarios||planning a range of options||Private|
|University of Richmond||VA||Planning for in-person||intends||Private|
|University of Rochester||NY||Considering a range of scenarios||making plans to offer two full semesters of instruction to our undergraduate and graduate students||Private|
|University of San Diego||CA||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|University of Saint Francis||IN||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|University of Scranton||PA||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person fall classes||Private|
|University of South Alabama||AL||Planning for in-person||planning to resume in-person classes in the fall||Public|
|University of Southern California||CA||Waiting to decide||hopes to announce fall plans within the next two months||Private|
|University of South Carolina||SC||Planning for in-person||will conduct in-person fall classes||Public|
|University of South Dakota system||SD||Planning for in-person||will resume on-campus instruction in the fall||Public|
|University of Southern Mississippi||MS||Planning for in-person||planning||Public|
|University of Puget Sound||WA||Planning for in-person||We plan to welcome new and returning students to campus in the fall and resume in-person courses … while adhering to public health guidelines.”||Private|
|University of Tennessee system||TN||Planning for in-person||planning to bring students back in the fall||Public|
|University of Texas system||TX||Planning for in-person||The UT System is planning for all institutions to hold classes on campus in the fall||Public|
|University of Toledo||OH||Planning for in-person||intends to reopen campus in the fall||Public|
|University of Vermont||VT||Planning for in-person||the president said.”||Public|
|University of Virginia||VA||Waiting to decide||plans an update on fall by mid June||Public|
|University of Washington||WA||Proposing a hybrid model||expects to have some in-person fall classes||Public|
|University of West Alabama||AL||Planning for in-person||expects to have in-person fall classes||Public|
|University of Wisconsin at Madison||WI||Waiting to decide||decision by the end of July; currently considering face-to-face||Public|
|Utah System of Higher Education||UT||Planning for in-person||intends to resume in-person classes in the fall||Public|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||VA||Planning for in-person||“We have every intention of opening our fall semester in-person as long as it is safe to do so.”||Public|
|Virginia Tech||VA||Waiting to decide||plans to announce in early June||Public|
|Virginia Wesleyan University||VA||Planning for in-person||planning for students to return on August 26||Private|
|Wake Forest University||NC||Planning for in-person||We plan to conduct fall semester classes on campus.”||Private|
|Washington College||MD||Planning for in-person||intends to return to in-person classes on August 31||Private|
|Washington State University||WA||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person classes||Public|
|Wayne State University||MI||Planning for online||leaning toward starting fall classes online||Public|
|Waynesburg University||PA||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person classes||Private|
|Wellesley College||MA||Waiting to decide||will announce fall plans by July 1||Private|
|West Liberty University||WV||Planning for in-person||plans to start fall semester in-person||Public|
|West Virginia University||WV||Considering a range of scenarios||exploring a range of scenarios||Public|
|Western New England University||MA||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|Westminster College||MO||Planning for in-person||plans to start fall semester in-person||Private|
|Wheaton College (Mass.)||MA||Planning for in-person||“We have affirmed our intention to deliver an on-campus fall semester” subject to the guidance of public-health experts.||Private|
|Wichita State University||KS||Proposing a hybrid model||plans to return to campus with a hybrid model in the fall||Public|
|Whitworth University||WA||Planning for in-person||plans to reopen the campus and resume in-person classes||Private|
|Willamette University||OR||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person instruction||Private|
|William Jessup University||CA||Planning for in-person||planning to open campus in the fall||Private|
|William Jewell College||MO||Planning for in-person||intends to open for fall semester||Private|
|Williams College||MA||Waiting to decide||plans to announce by July 1||Private|
|Wittenberg University||OH||Planning for in-person||planning for in-person||Private|
|Wofford College||SC||Waiting to decide||hopes to have everyone return in the fall||Private|
|Worcester Polytechnic Institute||MA||Waiting to decide||waiting to decide||Private|
|Yale University||CT||Waiting to decide||decision expected by early July||Private|
Tough Calls: How Colleges Are Deciding Whether to Come Back
As the list above clearly shows, America’s colleges and universities are approaching the fall 2020 semester in very different ways. In making these difficult determinations, which information and priorities are they taking into account?
While key factors differ somewhat from school to school, virtually every institution is being forced to consider three variables: How could the virus affect the school community, how well classes happen online, and how the school can afford to move forward.
As the leaders of universities across the country decide whether to reopen campuses for the fall, their decisions will be driven by several data points related to the disease. How rampant have infections been in their respective states? How available is testing? Are treatment methods showing enough promise that affected students recover?
These factors are continually evolving and reflect on local conditions: From state to state, the impacts of COVID-19 differ dramatically. Moreover, opening up campus means welcoming back students from all over the country. For schools with many students from highly affected areas, the issue might be the risk of infection that these students bring with them.
Online Teaching Methods and In-person Distancing Options
In the mad scramble to take spring classes online, most colleges were happy just to continue their courses. But after multiple weeks of virtual instruction, institutions are gauging the success of their online classes – or the lack thereof.
Using feedback from professors and students and data pertaining to academic performance, schools are currently assessing how much online teaching adversely affects the learning experience. If they can make substantial improvements for fall, such as upgrading technology or adapting teaching methods, they may be more inclined to stay online.
On the other hand, many schools are also assessing how on-campus classes could be adapted to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. Can classrooms be reconfigured to keep individuals further apart? Can staggered scheduling prevent throngs of students from sharing narrow hallways? If these plans seem feasible, administrators may feel much more comfortable with a return to campus.
Clearly, universities’ primary duty is to keep their students and staff safe. But these institutions are also painfully aware of the financial implications of staying online or returning to campus. The majority of schools have seen revenues plummet: From canceled sporting events to refunded housing and dining fees, several traditional sources of income have already vanished.
While deep-pocketed schools can weather this storm relatively well, the same cannot be said for many smaller institutions and underfunded public universities. Accordingly, many administrators must weigh the potential risk to students while also anticipating dire financial consequences if they cannot reopen their campuses.
Study Online vs. Semester Off: How to Choose If You Have to
While universities face difficult decisions for the coming fall, students are wrestling with their own challenging choices. If their schools do decide to conduct fall classes online, should they study remotely or take time off until they can return to campus?
Recent research shows significant uncertainty among new and returning students about what to do if their schools remain online. Even some students who have already made deposits are considering backing out and waiting until they can attend classes in person.
If you’re in this position yourself or worry that you’ll soon face such a decision, it can be helpful to weigh the pros and cons. While each student must choose in light of their own goals and circumstances, here are some reasons that each path might work for you.
Reasons Taking Time Off Might Be the Right Choice
- You find online classes far less valuable. As students across the country can now attest, virtual learning poses distinct challenges. In terms of concentration and motivation, staring at a screen may not fulfill your learning needs, making it harder to earn good grades and absorb important material. If you particularly struggle with online classes, a semester off could later position you for more academic success.
- Your major depends on experiential learning. Some areas of study, such as nursing, typically demand experience in the field to fulfill degree requirements. While many schools and accrediting bodies have loosened their requirements in light of COVID-19, you might miss out on valuable learning opportunities. If you’re eager for the hands-on experience that you expected, waiting a semester could make sense.
- Time difference issues will be challenging. Many college students choose to attend schools in different time zones than their family homes typically. If they’re living at home while studying online, that discrepancy could be difficult. If you live in California, for example, and attend an East Coast college, your 9 a.m. biology lecture just became a 6 a.m. nightmare.
- You don’t want to pay the same price without in-person instruction. Many colleges don’t have the funds to charge less for online classes, even if they were inclined to do so. Accordingly, many of them plan to charge what they would for in-person instruction. If your school stays online in the fall without discounting its tuition, you might decide that paying the same price is a bad deal.
- You find campus involvement highly rewarding. For many students, immersion in a campus community is the most enjoyable part of the college experience. Whether you’re active in student organizations or appreciate the social engagement a campus allows, the online experience won’t supply these elements.
- Your school’s location is part of its appeal. For universities in charming towns or big cities, location can be a big draw. If you chose your school in part because of where it is, distance learning won’t fulfill that particular piece of your college dreams.
- Your family could use your support. COVID-19 has threatened American families in terms of physical health and financial security. Accordingly, your loved ones may need your support in new ways, at least in the immediate future. Fairly or not, many students will feel pressured to delay their studies to assist their families. If you’re part of this group, putting a brief pause on your education is certainly understandable.
Reasons That Studying Online Might Be the Right Choice
- College momentum can be hard to get back. In normal circumstances, many students struggle to complete their degrees at the pace they had planned. Add COVID-19 uncertainty to the mix, and going back to school could be harder than you imagined. Life happens, and one semester off can turn into an indefinite absence. If you know a short break will tempt you to take even more time off, it might be better to avoid such temptation.
- Short-term job prospects may be limited. COVID-19 has caused unprecedented economic damage, including tens of millions of lost jobs. If you’re planning to get a job during your time off from school, you may find limited options and face stiff competition from unemployed workers. Even volunteer opportunities and unpaid internships may be hard to obtain in the months ahead.
- Travel restrictions may hamper your adventures. For college students who take time off, travel is a common goal. But COVID-19 could put a damper on your road trip dreams and limit your options for visiting other countries. With many attractions closed and limited dining and hotel options, how rewarding could your trip really be?
- Studying at home can reduce your living expenses. If you’re accustomed to living on or around campus, residing with your family might not seem appealing. But doing so for a semester could seriously slash your costs of attending college, saving you money on room, board, and commuting costs. For students staring down big tuition bills, it can be attractive to earn the same degree with fewer living expenses.
- Your financial aid package could be affected. Your school determines much of the financial aid package you receive and possesses total control of its own scholarship awards. If you decide to take time off, there’s no guarantee that any scholarships they’ve provided will be waiting for your return. If you do consider taking time off, ask your school about financial support for when you do resume your studies. Unfortunately, many colleges won’t be in a position to make firm promises.
- Taking time off could affect your student loans. Student loans typically include a grace period, a window of time after you finish school before you need to start making payments. If you take a significant amount of time off, you could trigger your grace period to kick in, meaning you’ll have less of that time once you graduate. Generally, this won’t happen if you have federal loans and take just one semester off. Private loans, however, have varying rules, so you’ll need to look into your options with your lender.
COVID and College Costs: Aid, Expenses, and Other Factors
Across the country, students have scrambled to assess how their educational costs will be affected by the coronavirus. While many details remain in flux and schools are proceeding differently, there are some general facts that current students should consider.
Below, we’ve rounded up the latest information on COVID-19’s impacts on college expenses and financial assistance. These subjects may apply to you currently or influence your decision about returning to school. Accordingly, consider each topic carefully, and don’t hesitate to contact your school or lender for additional information.
Federal Financial Aid You’ve Already Received
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the massive federal spending bill designed to blunt the impacts of COVID-19, included several benefits specifically intended for colleges and their students.
One key provision guaranteed that students who had already received financial aid for the Spring 2020 semester would be able to keep what they had been awarded – even if their classes were disrupted or moved online. If you received federal loans or grants before the COVID-19 crisis, you don’t need to worry about giving anything back.
The Pause on Federal Loan Payments and Interest
Most current college students won’t start repaying their federal loans until after they leave school. But if you’re a graduate student or paying off loans from a previous college experience, it could be helpful to know that you don’t need to make payments on your federal loans right now.
The CARES Act paused the requirement to make payments from March 13 through Sept. 30, 2020, with no interest accruing during this period. Of course, if you wish to keep paying down your balance, just contact your servicer to let them know you’ll be making voluntary payments during this period.
Lower Rates on New Federal Loans
If you’re considering taking out new federal loans for the coming school year, your timing couldn’t be better. Interest rates on new federal undergraduate loans are at record lows: just 2.75% for loans issued between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.
Just months ago, interest rates on these loans were nearly 2 percentage points higher. While that might not sound like much at first, that difference can translate to hundreds of dollars in savings over the life of a student loan. The macroeconomic reasons for this low rate are complicated, but the takeaway isn’t: Students in need of financial assistance can borrow on excellent terms right now.
Federal Work-Study Jobs
Before the arrival of COVID-19, hundreds of thousands of students were employed in federal work-study positions on their respective campuses. If you were one of them, your school determined whether you would continue to get paid through the end of the semester based on loose guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.
Although the federal government partially funds these jobs, many schools can’t afford to chip in to keep these positions paid. Even if you were paid for the spring semester’s work-study, there’s no guarantee that this will continue for the fall if your campus remains closed. To find out more, contact your school’s financial aid office.
CARES Act Emergency Grants
The CARES Act included another benefit for college students: emergency aid grants to offset costs resulting from COVID-19. The act set aside more than $6 billion for colleges to disburse to current students experiencing short-term economic challenges due to the pandemic.
To be clear, this money is intended to help students with expenses resulting from disruptions to their education, not a general financial hardship. If, for example, you need help securing new housing because your dorm was closed, your college could assist you with an emergency grant. If your parent has been furloughed due to the pandemic, however, your new financial challenge would need to be assessed through the typical financial aid process.
Universities determine how to disburse these emergency funds, so reach out to your school’s financial aid office to find out if you’re eligible. In some cases, schools identified eligible students proactively; others require students to apply.
Room and Board Refunds
At many schools, refunding costs associated with living on campus is a controversial subject. While universities have lost millions in housing, dining, and other campus fees, students often feel these refunds are insufficient. Some of these disagreements have already produced lawsuits and petitions, and many schools have not yet decided how to move forward.
As a student, your only option is to stay on top of new developments and express your point of view at every opportunity. As colleges set policy, your input can be quite powerful. If you do advocate for more money back, remember that your fees contribute to the salaries of workers at the school, including custodians and food service staff, whom COVID-19 has also affected.
Strong Support – No Matter Where You Study
No matter where your school stands for the fall of 2020, we hope this guide has been helpful. In uncertain times for students and educators, it can be empowering to stay informed. We’ll update this page with the latest information from schools across the country, allowing you to decide what’s best for your own education.
College Finance can support you in other ways as well, with expert advice on all aspects of affording your education. Our articles and guides simplify financial aid and college expenses, allowing you to fund your studies with confidence. And once you finish school, we’ll help you pay back your student loans as quickly – and cheaply – and possible.
No matter how your college experience happens, we’re here to help you make the most of it. Whether you’re on campus or studying at home, we’ll be in your corner.