Fall semester undergraduate classes will be fully remote at Princeton University

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Princeton University undergraduate classes to be entirely remote for fall semester of 2020. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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The entrance to the walkway through East Pyne Hall in Princeton on Aug. 11. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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Firestone Library on Princeton University's campus in Princeton on Aug. 11. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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Princeton University undergraduate classes to be entirely remote for fall semester of 2020. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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The entrance to the walkway through East Pyne Hall in Princeton on Aug. 11. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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Firestone Library on Princeton University's campus in Princeton on Aug. 11. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF

Princeton University’s administration has announced that its undergraduate program will be fully remote for the fall semester in 2020.

Princeton made the announcement on Aug. 7. The recent decision affects freshmen and junior students planning on returning to campus for the fall. Those students who chose to return to campus would have been arriving later this month.

“When I last communicated with you, just over a month ago, we anticipated welcoming undergraduates from the Classes of 2022 and 2024 to campus in late August. We noted at the time, however, that we would continue to monitor the course of the pandemic, and that we might have to change our plans if it worsened,” President Christopher Eisgruber said in a prepared statement. “In the weeks that followed, infection rates soared around much of the country, with nearly 2 million new cases reported over the last month. This development had two serious adverse consequences for Princeton’s ability to provide undergraduates with a positive and safe on-campus experience in the fall.”

Back in July, Princeton released its original return to campus plan. At that time, freshmen and junior students were allowed to return to campus in the fall if they chose to do so. Sophomores and seniors would be able to come back to campus for the spring semester.

“We continue to hope that we will be able to welcome undergraduate students back to campus in the spring.  If we are able to do so, our highest priority will be to bring back seniors in the Class of 2021,” Eisgruber said. “We hope we will also be able to bring back additional students. We cannot, however, make any guarantees.”

Princeton will continue to accommodate students whose situations make it extremely difficult or impossible for them to return to or study from home.

“We will also accommodate a very limited number of students with previously approved exceptions recognizing their need to be on campus for specific aspects of their senior thesis research or other work essential to their degree programs,” he added.