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Harvard University announced today that up 40 percent of their undergraduate student body will reside on campus this Fall, but that course instruction for all students regardless of whether they are on campus or at home will be delivered online.
The ivy league school also announced that tuition will remain $49,653. When you add in fees, room, and board for those coming to campus, it totals $72,356.
If you’re a student at Harvard, wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to take a gap year than to pay full freight for online instruction? It would be one thing if these courses were offered at even a modest discount, but when they are at full price it strains credulity to think it’s worth it. If you’re on campus and there are clubs, activities, and other socialization then I can understand going through with the year, but being off campus and paying full tuition is a totally bananas value proposition to me.
It’s pretty insane that a school like Harvard with a $41 billion endowment can’t figure out a better solution to this issue. It will be fascinating to see what percentage of their students actually follow through with paying full tuition for online learning. I’d expect this announcement to be met with a lot of backlash, and wonder if Harvard will have to adjust their policies accordingly.