The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has announced that only seniors will return to campus in the fall and it will allow in-person classes for students living on campus.
While most classes will be taught online amid the COVID-19 pandemic, MIT, like many other universities, will not reduce its tuition cost. Instead, it will hold off on a planned 3.8 percent tuition increase for the academic year, the university said Tuesday.
Those living on campus will mostly learn online for the semester, the university said, with supplemental in-person teaching in small groups. All undergraduates not living on campus will learn online.
Students who have no other place to live will also be allowed back on campus in the fall, MIT said. It hopes to invite first-year students, sophomores and juniors to campus in the spring, and send seniors home.
MIT will only bring back seniors and those students who have no other place to live on campus for the fall semester, the university said Tuesday. (iStock)
“In terms of public health our strategy is conservative and reflects our awareness of how much we do not know about the future of the virus or the efforts to fight it,” President L. Rafael Reif said.
“To navigate the many painful trade-offs, we relied on bedrock principles: protecting the health of our entire community, preserving our ability to deliver on MIT’s mission of teaching and research, enabling students to stay on track to their degrees – and doing all this with equity, fairness and caring,” Reif said.
While the university won’t reduce tuition costs, it will instead offset or reduce costs for students by other means.
The university said it will give all undergraduate students a $5,000 grant and offer at least one semester of paid research or teaching, which carries a stipend of $1,900. It will also offer greater financial aid, assuming a room-and-board expense of $4,000 per semester.
Students living in campus dormitories will be required to buy the university meal plan at a 40 percent reduction in cost. The university is banning the use of communal kitchens in residences due to the coronavirus.
MIT’s decision comes a day after Cornell and Harvard announced plans for the upcoming academic year.
Cornell plans to reopen its campus in Ithaca, N.Y., and raise tuition costs, for an in-person semester. It will still allow online learning for those who cannot return to campus.
Meanwhile, Harvard is allowing up to 40 percent of students to return to campus in the fall. It scrapped all in-person classes, shifting to online-only.