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Harvard Goes Online for 2020

According to a tweet from Darren Rovell, Harvard has announced that “all course instruction will be taught online for the 2020-21 academic year.” Another source from CNBC is saying that some students will be allowed on campus with regular Covid-19 testing. Mr. Rovell also mentions that undergraduate tuition will remain the same at $49,653.

Who doesn’t think college tuition has sky rocketed in general over the last 20 years, much less in the Ivy League ranks? I am sure anyone reading this either has student loan debt or knows someone still paying on their school loans. The cost of tuition has become an unmanageable dilemma for us all. So is anyone really surprised if tuition stays the same? Besides public opinion, what would motivate any school to lower their tuition?

I hear a lot of stereotypes of Harvard and the Ivy League schools. Perhaps some of the criticism is warranted. However, the demand is clearly still there to get into these schools since we do not hear of any shortages of applications. I don’t think I would complain if my child went to an Ivy League school, so long as they stick to their ability to think for themselves.

Truthfully, with all the strange “new normal” scenarios facing education, business, government, and your average person in this Covid-19 environment, can we really blame any school for wanting to go completely online? I am mostly neutral on the idea, but I would agree that tuition should be adjusted if actual buildings aren’t being used. Over the last few years, I think colleges have had to rethink how post secondary education should look. I personally know several people who received great educations through online schools, saved a ton of money, and still were able to get good jobs.

The same will go for businesses as well, as many business have turned to teleworking. I believe when all of this is over, many businesses, schools and other entities will find that their operations can be done more efficiently from home or with some hybrid of working in offices. Perhaps all things will not be done online in the future, but why not use a great tool if it is at your disposal?

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