One by one, each of the eight Ivy League institutions announced that they’d be going test-optional for the Class of 2025, waiving the SAT / ACT requirement for next year’s batch of applicants. The fact that the institutions each successively announced their policy changes didn’t come as much of a surprise to us. In our experience, the Ivy League schools tend to move in lockstep. When one makes a move, the rest so often follow. With this in mind, we report today that the University of Pennsylvania will conduct fall 2020 classes on campus — with a hybrid of online and in-person learning.
As Jonah Charlton and Pia Singh report for The Daily Pennsylvanian in a piece entitled “Penn will conduct fall 2020 on campus with hybrid of online and in-person instruction,” “Penn President Amy Gutmann, Provost Wendell Pritchett, and Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli sent an email to the Penn community on Thursday announcing that the upcoming semester will begin as scheduled on Sept. 1, and end in-person operations on Nov. 20. The remainder of the semester, beginning on Nov. 23, and final exams will be conducted remotely to limit the spread of COVID-19. Fall break, Oct. 1-4, is canceled…The University will only guarantee housing for first years, sophomores, and transfer students in the College House system. The University is planning to lease additional off-campus space to accommodate housing for juniors and seniors who applied for on-campus housing and cannot be accommodated.”
So now only time will tell if the other Ivy League institutions will follow UPenn’s lead and choose to open their campuses this fall. Will these schools choose to offer a hybrid model of learning: part in-person and part-online? Will these schools stay closed? If history is any indication, the Ivy League schools will likely follow in lockstep with UPenn. When one Ivy League school makes a move, the rest tend to fall like dominoes. Let the dominoes fall!
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