College admissions officers have “opened their doors” to virtual information sessions for rising high school seniors. In some cases these doors are also open to recently graduated students who might be wavering on their commitments to a college. At the same time more and more colleges are announcing their plans for the fall. These plans have discussed who can come to campus, how they can take classes, and where they might live.
Stanford will welcome freshmen for the fall. But they will not be welcome back until the summer. Bowdoin will welcome freshmen and transfer students. But nearly everyone else will have to take classes online. Other schools will have block plans or trimesters. Students will take fewer courses over less time. Many more schools will send their students home by Thanksgiving. Some might need to take finals online, but others might not. Housing also figures into these plans. At some schools large triples or suites could become double rooms, doubles could become singles. Dining figures, too.
College administrators developed their plans with their finances and community safety in mind. They considered that students left to their devices might not voluntarily wear masks or practice social distancing. Rules were imposed. The easiest to enforce, like wearing a mask, will be enforced. Others such as social distancing or off-campus gatherings are tough to monitor.
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