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What the top 25 colleges and universities in the US have said about their plans to reopen in fall 2020, from postponing the semester to offering more remote coursework

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  • US universities began shifting to remote learning in light of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.
  • Some universities, like Harvard, are planning for another remote semester, while others, like Rice, expect to reopen campus with social distancing regulations.
  • Here's what the top 25 US colleges and universities have discussed for fall 2020 reopening plans so far.
  • To inform our list, we used information from Niche, a school-ranking website that released its choices for the top 25 colleges and universities in the country in 2019.
  • Business Insider used Niche's net price calculation for each school, which is the average cost of tuition after financial aid reported by each college in 2019.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Tufts University



Location: Medford, Massachusetts
Net price: $29,449
COVID-19 updates: Tufts University is unsure it will reopen in the fall, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences James Glaser told the Tufts Daily. This comes after the University announced hiring, wage, and salary freezes and suspension of all capital projects on April 14. The school lost an estimated $15 million amid the pandemic.
Read more about Tuft's coronavirus response here



Georgetown University



Location: Washington, DC
Net price: $27,420
COVID-19 updates: In a letter dated May 12 detailing the school's financial response to the pandemic, Georgetown University President John DeGioia told the Georgetown community that the school will cut spending on new buildings and grounds, hold salary increases, and suspend contributions to retirement plans for the upcoming fiscal year. DeGioia also mentioned that 54 administrative employees volunteered to reduce their salaries for the upcoming fiscal year.
DeGioia said he'd share plans for the fall semester in his next letter.
Read more about Georgetown University's coronavirus response here



University of Michigan



Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Net price: $16,408
COVID-19 updates: A May 8 update on the University of Michigan's website states that the university is beginning to prepare for in-person classes in the fall while following evolving public health guidelines.
In a previous update dated a day earlier, President Mark Schlissel said he is "cautiously optimistic" about the university reopening in the fall for in-person coursework, but that the steps to get there remain unclear.
Read more about the University of Michigan's coronavirus response here



Amherst College



Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
Net price: $19,519
COVID-19 updates: In a May 1 update, Biddy Martin, president of Amherst College, said that it's too early to make decisions about the fall semester, but based on what is currently known about the coronavirus, the availability of widespread testing and contact tracing would be essential for on-campus learning.
Read more about Amherst College's coronavirus response here



Bowdoin College



Location: Brunswick, Maine
Net price: $24,447
COVID-19 updates: Bowdoin College President Clayton Rose told students in an email on April 2 that the university expects to make a decision about how the university will reopen in the fall on June 15, the Bowdoin Orient's Andrew Bastone reported.
Read more about Bowdoin College's coronavirus response here



Cornell University



Location: Ithaca, New York
Net price: $31,449
COVID-19 updates: In an April 30 statement to the Cornell community, Michael Kotlikoff, provost of the university, said that while fall 2020 courses will resume, it is too early to guarantee that students could return to campus and courses could take place in person.
Read more about Cornell University's coronavirus response here



The University of Southern California



Location: Chicago, Illinois
Net price: $34,834
COVID-19 updates: The University of Chicago has not yet released a plan for reopening in the fall.
Read more about the University of Chicago's coronavirus response here



The University of Chicago



Location: Chicago, Illinois
Net price: $34,834
COVID-19 updates: The University of Chicago has not yet released a plan for reopening in the fall.
Read more about the University of Chicago's coronavirus response here



The University of Notre Dame



Location: Notre Dame, Indiana
Net price: $27,453
COVID-19 updates: A May 5 update from the university states that it will announce plans for the second half of summer courses on May 15.
The Observer reported on April 28 that the University of Notre Dame sent an email to faculty stating that it will announce plans for the fall semester by mid-June.
Read more about the University of Notre Dame's coronavirus response here



The California Institute of Technology



Location: Pasadena, California
Net price: $24,466
COVID-19 updates: The California Institute of Technology hasn't released a fall 2020 reopening plan yet, but a May 8 update states that campus will likely reopen in phases, prioritizing reopening research operations.
Read more about CalTech's coronavirus response here



Dartmouth College



Location: Hanover, New Hampshire
Net price: $22,303
COVID-19 updates: A May 4 update from Dartmouth states that the university's goal is to release plans for the fall semester by June 29.
Read more about Dartmouth's coronavirus response here



Washington University



Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
Net price: $27,777
COVID-19 updates: Washington University Chancellor Andrew Martin told the Source that the university will reopen in the fall, but it is still figuring out how.
Read more about Washington University's coronavirus response here



Pomona College



Location: Claremont, California
Net price: $18,427
COVID-19 updates: In a May 7 update, Pomona College said it hopes to reopen for in-person classes in the fall, and the semester may be delayed to prepare for doing so. The same update shared that the university is planning to make a decision by early July.
Read more about Pomona College's coronavirus response here



Vanderbilt University



Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Net price: $23,295
COVID-19 updates: In a May 7 update, Vanderbilt University released phase one of its reopening plan following Nashville's announcement to being reopening in phases. Phase one of Vanderbilt's reopening begins May 18 with on-campus research that can't be done remotely.
Read more about Vanderbilt University's coronavirus response here



Northwestern University



Location: Evanston, Illinois
Net price: $26,099
COVID-19 updates: According to a May 7 update on the Northwestern University website, a plan for how fall courses will be conducted is not in place yet, and fall course registration has been postponed until late July or August.
Read more about Northwestern University's coronavirus response here



Rice University



Location: Houston, Texas
Net price: $24,131
COVID-19 updates: In a May 5 letter to graduate students, the university president David Leebron and Dr. Seiichi Matsuda, dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies, detailed a "cautiously optimistic" plan for reopening for in-person coursework in the fall. According to the letter, classes will be offered both online and in-person, social distancing measures will take place on campus, the semester will likely be shortened, and international students will likely have additional flexibility for start dates.
Read more about Rice University's coronavirus response here



The University of Pennsylvania



Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Net price: $24,539
COVID-19 updates: In a coronavirus update on the University of Pennsylvania website dated April 27, the university said it plans to have a combination of remote and in-person courses in fall 2020.
Read more about the University of Pennsylvania's coronavirus response here




Columbia University



Location: New York City
Net price: $22,824
COVID-19 updates: Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger updated the community on April 23 confirming that the university will reopen in the fall, and details about how will be announced over the next two months.
Read more about Columbia University's coronavirus response here



Brown University



Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Net price: $25,651
COVID-19 updates: Brown University President Christina Paxson told the Wall Street Journal in an article updated April 21 that she thinks the university will have in-person classes, but that some students may continue to work remotely anyway.
According to the school website, Brown expects to make a decision about the fall semester by July 15.
Read more about Brown University's coronavirus response here




Duke University



Location: Durham, North Carolina
Net price: $22,011
COVID-19 updates: Duke University President Vincent Price announced on April 14 that decisions about how to reopen for the fall semester will be announced in late June, Duke Today reported.
Read more about Duke University's coronavirus response here



Princeton University



Location: Princeton, New Jersey
Net price: $16,302
COVID-19 updates: Princeton University President Chris Eisgruber told the Princeton community that the university will decide whether classes for fall 2020 will be conducted online or in-person in early July.
Read more about Princeton University's coronavirus response here




Harvard University



Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Net price: $17,030
COVID-19 updates: A May 4 letter to faculty states that research facilities will begin reopening in phases.
Harvard University provost Alan M. Garber told members of the Harvard Community in a letter in April that the university is committed to reopening in the fall, but that it must prepare to function entirely remotely to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus.
Read more about Harvard University's coronavirus response here



Yale University



Location: New Haven, Connecticut
Net price: $18,053
COVID-19 updates: 
In a May 6 letter to the Yale community, Salovey discussed Connecticut's recommendation of reopening research programs on or after May 20, stating that Provost Scott Strobel would provide updates on Yale's research programs reopening.
The letter also reiterated that a decision would be made regarding the fall semester in July.
Peter Salovey, president of Yale University told the Yale community in an email in April that the university will announce plans for the fall semester in July, Yale Daily News's Valerie Pavilonis reported.
Read more about Yale University's coronavirus response here



Stanford University



Location: Stanford, California
Net price: $16,562
COVID-19 updates: A May 12 update from the university suggests that the plan for reopening could include face masks, social distancing, limited classes, a mix of in-person and remote coursework, fewer students living on campus, and a shorter semester.
Read more about Stanford University's coronavirus response here



Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)



Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Net price: $22,230
COVID-19 updates: According to several coronavirus updates on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) website, the college is working on a fall 2020 reopening plan.
Read more about MIT's coronavirus response here

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated that Duke University will announce plans in August. It has been updated to say that the university will announce plans in late June.





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