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U.S. College and University Reopening Announcements Indicate a Return to Near-normal

Over the past year, education has been upended. Because students and families have been largely displeased with online classes, colleges and universities are eager to return to normal. With many institutions announcing their plans to reopen in the fall, it seems that’s where we’re headed — normalcy (or something close to it).

The California State University System and University of California (UC) are both planning to return to in-person classes in the fall.

“As the University continues to monitor the evolution of the pandemic, we are also carefully planning a safe return to in-person classes,” said UC President Michael V. Drake. “Current forecasts give us hope that in the fall our students can enjoy a more normal on-campus experience.”

Due to the size and influence of these institutions, the decision to return to in-person instruction has created a ripple effect, with many other colleges and universities following their lead.

A few Ivy League schools have announced their fall plans: Dartmouth is planning on a “normal fall term”, Brown expects a return to in-person classes and research, and Yale believes they will be bringing “all students back to campus”.

Almost all of the Big 10 Universities, such as Indiana University, Ohio State University, Michigan State University, the University of Wisconsin, Penn State University, the University of Maryland, and Purdue University are all preparing to return to in-person learning in the fall.

Other large public universities that have released their fall reopening plans include the University of Kansas, Louisiana State University, the University of Mississippi, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Wyoming. Of course these reopening plans come with caveats, like a continued downward trend in infections and an upward trend in vaccinations, but it seems that U.S. colleges and universities are as hopeful as the rest of us that life is heading back to normal.

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