The Ivy Coach Daily

August 15, 2020

Dartmouth Fall Plans

Some Dartmouth undergraduates were only offered one term on campus this coming year (photo credit: Derrick Smith).

Back at the end of June, which seems like ages ago rather than a month and a half ago, Dartmouth College announced plans to invite a bit more than half of its undergraduate student body back this fall. In the school’s announcement, Dartmouth stipulated that students would be able to spend two of the four quarters on Dartmouth’s campus this coming academic year. But has all gone to plan? During the age of COVID-19, it likely doesn’t surprise our readers that the answer is…not so much.

As Andrew Sasser reports for The Dartmouth in a piece entitled “Students assigned between one and three on-campus terms,” “Though many students expected to receive two terms of on-campus enrollment for the upcoming academic year, only around 60 percent of undergraduate students received two terms, according to an email sent to campus by Dean of the College Kathryn Lively on Aug. 3. 37 percent of the undergraduate student body received only one term on campus. Lively said in an interview with The Dartmouth that the one-term assignments were partly due to the ’constantly changing’ COVID-19 case numbers and the volatility of enrollment capacity for future terms,  and partly because some students only chose one in-residence term. Conversely, some international students, who would have otherwise had trouble leaving the country, received three terms.”

But it’s not like Dartmouth is alone among our nation’s elite universities in not sticking to their plans — not at all. Just a few days ago, we reported that the University of Pennsylvania, which previously announced a hybrid model for fall in which students would do a mix of online and in-person instruction, would not be inviting students to live on campus this fall. With escalating COVID-19 numbers across the nation, it seems that these schools — despite their best intentions — just can’t stick to their plans. We can’t really blame them.

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