CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, only seniors will be allowed on campus when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reopens for the fall semester, university officials announced Tuesday.

RELATED: Harvard University announces reopening plan for fall semester

“MIT is excited about the fall semester, though it will be quite different from a usual semester on campus,” the Cambridge-based university wrote in a post on its website. “In the end, we opted to take a conservative approach to reopening – a stance informed by science, expert advice on public health and campus residential life, and our unique circumstances as an institution.”

Because the COVID-19 pandemic is still not yet under control, MIT says it will operate at reduced levels, only invite seniors to campus, require everyone on campus to use a daily health monitoring app, and limit in-person instruction to those who are living on campus.

The school’s fall athletic programs have also been canceled.

The basics of MIT’s approach to reopening are as follows:

  • Our Cambridge campus will operate at significantly reduced levels.
  • Among undergraduates, only seniors will be invited to campus in the fall.
  • There will be a process for students from other classes to request special consideration for housing if they face challenges related to safety, living conditions, visa status, or other hardship.
  • Only undergraduate students who have been invited or approved to come to campus and live on campus will be able to access MIT facilities.
  • Best practices for public health will be mandatory for anyone on campus.
  • Everyone on campus must use a daily health monitoring app provided by MIT.
  • Academically, MIT will operate on a two-semester model for the 2020-21 academic year with an early start and a modified calendar.
  • To effectively manage the number of people on campus, only undergraduate students who live on campus may participate in in-person instruction.
  • Graduate instruction will vary by school and program.
  • Our aim is to ensure all students are able to continue making academic progress.
  • We are working on innovative strategies for delivering a special MIT first-year experience. First-year students will receive more information about these efforts.
  • Tuition will remain at 2019-20 levels for all students, and we are adjusting our financial aid budget to meet families’ increased financial needs.
  • All enrolled undergraduates will be offered at least one-semester of paid research, service, or teaching opportunity.
  • FSILGs will not be open for the fall, but MIT will work with FSILG alumni/ae to subsidize costs for house operations so they can resume operations once it is safe to do so.
  • Fall athletic programs are canceled.

“I know these decisions come with a real human cost. They will require all of us, especially our students, to adjust to a new set of hard realities – coming on top of a long season of COVID-driven disruption and dislocation,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif noted in a letter to the university community. “I wish we could offer you an easier answer, but COVID-19 is simply not yet under control.”

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