Harvard University has announced that all classes for the 2020-2021 academic schedule will be held online. However, they will still be charging the typically more than $50,000 price tag to pay for tuition alone — a number that can inflate to more than $70,000 when additional costs are added together.
The prestigious Ivy League school is setting a precedent for other schools around the country who may follow suit. Harvard will allow 40 percent of its students back on campus (which includes all freshmen in the Fall semester).
According to Harvard, "all returning students and first-years will live in single bedrooms with a shared bathroom, and also learn remotely." Any student who chooses not to return to campus due to COVID-19 will be awarded a $5,000 financial aid stipend.
According to the Harvard Gazette, stricter rules and parameters are going to be set for anyone living on campus to ensure community spread is limited:
"All students living on campus will be required to sign a community compact agreeing to new health measures, which include mandatory video training, daily symptom attestation, viral testing every three days, participation in contract tracing, and standard safety practices such as wearing masks and physical distancing. Students who test positive will be isolated and cared for by medical professionals at Harvard University Health Services, which is preparing quarantine accommodations for up to 250 individuals."
While students enrolled in degree-granting programs are set to pay the massive bill, Harvard still has widely available public courses that they offer for free.
A survey conducted by College Pulse asked 5,000 students if they wanted to pay cheaper tuition for online courses as opposed to in-person courses and 90 percent were in favor of a cheaper cost for tuition — yet Harvard still plans to charge the regular cost of tuition while only reimbursing off-campus students for a paltry seven percent of their total costs before financial aid.