WASHINGTON — American University will go completely virtual for the upcoming school semester, as well as cut tuition costs by 10% and cancel student housing assignments, university officials announced Thursday.
The upcoming fall semester will still start on August 24 and end December 7,with all class curriculum to be taught online rather than on campus. Both undergraduate and graduate students are for the "AU Community Care Fall Discount" which according to Thursday's announcement from President Sylvia Burwell, is "equivalent to 10% of fall tuition."
As for living arrangements, AU students assigned on-campus housing and off-campus AU-leased housing will automatically have the assignments canceled, with student accounts adjusted accordingly, the university said. There will be emergency housing available for "students who face extraordinary circumstances", with an application process releasing shortly.
American's original June 16 return to class plan said students would likely attend a "mix of both face-to-face and virtual instruction" when returning in the fall.
In the July 30 letter, the university said its position switched based on current pandemic conditions, citing rising coronavirus cases in the area and the challenge with delayed reporting of testing capabilities.
School officials also noted Mayor Muriel Bowser's mandatory two-week quarantine from 27 high-risk states as a challenge for students looking to head to campus.
"With the next version of DC’s list of high-risk states scheduled for August 10, students and families will not have updated quarantine information until right before our scheduled move-in period," the letter says. "This measure could have a negative effect on students, particularly our first-year Eagles. "
On July 29, Georgetown University announced most-first year students for the upcoming year will not be allowed on campus and will instead have a virtual-only curriculum.
That's an about-face from earlier this month, when the university announced it would be housing first-years and allowing a hybrid of online and in-person classes.
In a letter sent to faculty and students Wednesday, the university said its position has switched "based on current pandemic conditions."
"In early July, we had announced our intention to bring approximately 2,000 undergraduate students, including the members of the first-year class, to our Main Campus," Georgetown said in its new plan for the fall. "We will not be able to bring to campus the members of the entering undergraduate class, the class of 2024, at this time."