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More than 20% of incoming freshmen have deferred enrollment at Harvard

Aug. 10, 2020
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many students are putting off plans to attend college.

More than 20% of Harvard University's incoming freshmen have deferred their enrollment.

CNN reports that the university is planning to have 1,168 first-year students in residence for the Fall 2020 semester, compared with 1,650 first-year students who started in Fall 2019.

Altering campus operations to address the Covid-19 pandemic, Harvard announced a plan last month to bring back 40% of its undergraduates to campus, including all first-year students. But many of those eligible to return to campus have declined.

"While our plan prepared us for as many as 40% of our typical undergraduate population learning in residence, we are currently anticipating a residential cohort size of closer to 25% based on the number of students who have accepted our invitation to learn on campus," the university says.

The Harvard Crimson reports that 340 freshmen deferred their enrollment to next year, representing more than 20 percent of the freshman class. Between 80 and 110 students take a gap year under typical circumstances, according to the school.

It's not just freshmen: More than half of all 5,231 total undergraduates will learn remotely, the university said. Most classes have moved online, and most faculty and staff will work remotely.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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