"Choosing which students would be invited to campus was not easy, and we have enormous sympathy for sophomores and juniors as they consider the prospect of not starting their fall term in Cambridge," the school said. "We could not help but recognize the unique position that first-year students find themselves in, making the transition to college in these strange times. They have not yet begun to build their Harvard network of faculty, advisors, and friends or learn about life in the Yard. Even with the many adaptations that will be in place this fall, we see enormous value in having them on campus in our residential system."
Testing for coronavirus will be required for all students before returning to campus. Those planning to live in dorms will be then be tested for the virus every three days while in residence.
Harvard said it will also implement social distancing on campus and dedicate "housing for quarantine and isolation" for students living in dorms. The institution said it is also ready to transition from a traditional dining operation to a "touchless food pick-up" system for its on-campus residents.
"As one member of our planning group reminded us last week, we navigate this history-making moment without a roadmap," the school said. "Harvard will be changed by the choices we make now, and this crisis gives us an incredible opportunity to change it for the better."
However, Harvard isn't the only college making big changes in its upcoming academic year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Princeton announced on Monday that first-years and juniors will be invited onto its New Jersey campus in August, while sophomores and seniors will be allowed to return during the spring semester.
Unlike Harvard, the school is offering a 10 percent discount on full-year undergraduate tuition as well as a reduction or elimination on some fees.
"Over the last two months, my colleagues and I have been studying the pandemic and identifying measures we can take to accommodate students on campus. COVID-19 is still a very new disease, and much remains unknown about it," Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber said in a message to the student body on Monday.
"Based on the information now available to us, we believe Princeton will be able to offer all of our undergraduate students at least one semester of on-campus education this academic year, but we will need to do much of our teaching online and remotely."
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