Penn closes student housing for fall semester

The university scaled back its plan for a hybrid of in-person and online classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The University of Pennsylvania is opting to hold classes almost entirely online and close student housing except for international students and those facing “significant housing or personal hardships,” according to an announcement on Tuesday.

Aside from a small number of classes deemed essential to meet in person, all undergraduate classes will be online, according to the announcement. Graduate and professional programs will make their own decisions about returning to campus. 

In the announcement, Penn’s leadership cited the rising spread of COVID-19 nationwide, the estimated number of students who would need to quarantine upon arriving to campus and limited testing capabilities as reasons for why returning to campus would not be safe.

Penn will not hold any physical on-campus activities this semester and advises students not to return to Philadelphia, according to the announcement.

The university is freezing tuition at last year’s rate and reducing its General Fee by 10 percent, according to the announcement. Penn will credit or refund students who already paid their housing and dining fees. 

Temple has not changed its plans for the fall semester, said Ray Betzner, a spokesperson for the university.

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