Northwestern goes remote for first- and second-year students, reduces Fall Quarter undergraduate tuition by 10 percent


Daily file photo by Katie Pach

Northwestern University. The University announced Friday that first- and second-year students will not be allowed on campus, and that undergraduates will receive a 10 percent tuition reduction.

Emma Edmund, Summer Editor

Northwestern administrators have announced an all-virtual Fall Quarter for first- and second-year students as well as a 10 percent tuition reduction for the quarter, according to an email sent Friday.

The email, signed by administrators including University President Morton Schapiro and Provost Kathleen Hagerty, noted the University was “compelled to make several adjustments” after consulting with Northwestern Medicine and state and local health officials. Such adjustments include prohibiting first- and second-year students from coming on campus, with limited exceptions. They will start the school year on a remote-only basis and come to campus at the beginning of Winter Quarter.

The announcement comes after schools across the country have reported increases in COVID-19 cases. The University of Notre Dame canceled classes for two weeks after a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, and doctors also expressed worries that Chicago will see a spike in cases in the fall. Suburban Cook County is now at a “warning level” for COVID-19 transmission, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Third- and fourth-year undergraduates, graduate students and professional students will be allowed on campus as previously scheduled, according to the email. Upperclassmen will also be able to attend hybrid and in-person classes.

Although sorority and fraternity houses will be closed until Winter Quarter, third- and fourth-year students who planned to live in Greek housing will work with Student Affairs staff to find other housing options, including University housing, the email stated.

“These changes are designed to reduce the density of our Evanston campus residential housing; preserve the on-campus experience for as many third- and fourth-year undergraduates, graduate students and professional students as possible; allow for more quarantine and isolation spaces on campus; and respond to the pandemic’s spread,” the email read.

Administrators discouraged first- and second-year students from even moving to the Evanston area during Fall Quarter.

Undergraduate move-in for those living on campus has moved from Sept. 6 to Sept. 12, but the start date for classes, Sept. 16, remains unchanged. Wildcat Wellness, the University’s modified quarantine period, has also been altered. It will begin on Sept. 6 for off-campus students who live in the Evanston area, and on the move-in date for on-campus students. The modified quarantine has three stages, with an arrival testing period proceeding to in-person activity.

The University also reduced undergraduate tuition for Fall Quarter by 10 percent, but tuition for graduate or professional students will remain the same. The University cited the lack of changes being made to graduate and professional students’ experience as the reason to keep tuition.

Students who received need-based aid will have their aid adjusted to reflect the changes in tuition, but that their expected family contribution will remain the same, the email stated. The University also noted it will offer support to those who need resources for remote learning.

“We realize this will create real inconvenience and disappointment for many of you, but the lower density of our campus and housing facilities will help us in our efforts to contain the virus and provide more space to accommodate the isolation and testing that we now anticipate will be needed,” the email stated.

Administrators noted that incoming undergraduates can request a one-quarter deferral period to begin their studies in Winter Quarter. Requests must be made by Sept. 3.

The University will also hold another installment of the Return to Campus Discussion Series on Tuesday, where they plan to go over the changes announced in the email.

“We are confident that these adjustments will give us the ability to steadily and safely build the best environment for teaching, research and everything else that makes our University so special,” the email stated. “But please know that our plans could change again, depending on the prevalence of the virus.”

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Twitter: @emmaeedmund

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