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The uncertainty surrounding the novel Coronavirus has infected the education sectors all over the world. Today the U.S. passed Italy and China as the #1 nation with the most confirmed cases of COVID-19. How will this pandemic disease affect your study in the United States?

Many colleges and universities have closed their on-location campuses and quickly offer online or digitalized courses. Because most college summer classes and programs start around late May or early June, it is reasonable to assume that the first summer session term may be canceled due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. If you have paid fees in advance for any summer programs, you may ask for a refund. Here are five examples (in alphabetical order) that will give you an idea of how U.S. schools might handle their upcoming summer programs.

1. Suspend early summer sessions

Auburn University

Under the current guidance provided by public health officials, Auburn University will suspend on-campus instruction for Summer 2020 Sessions 1 and 2. Auburn University’s summer semester consists of three sessions: Session 1: 10-week session (May 20 – July 31); Session 2: 5-week session (May 20 – June 23); and Session 3: 5-week session (June 29 – July 31).

2. No Change – will run summer school as scheduled

Harvard University

On March 27, 2010, Harvard University announced that a total of 27 members of the Harvard community have tested positive (or presumptive positive) for COVID-19.

However, as of today, the Harvard Summer School will run as scheduled.   If you are a high-school student and want to attend its 2-week Preview of College program or 7-week College Experience, or you are an adult and would like to join its summer courses for adult and college students, please click HERE for more information.

3. Suspend all in-person summer programs


As of today, a total of 5 MIT community members have positive for COVID-19. Here “MIT community members” are referred to MIT students, employees, and MIT Medical patients.

(March 19, 2020) MIT’s COVID response team announced that, in light of current public health guidance, the Institute will not host or sponsor any in-person K-12 student programming through the summer of 2020. 01 Previously, through May 15.This includes the information sessions and tours conventionally hosted by our office, as well as the many summer programs hosted on campus by other departments and/or external partner programs.

4. Some summer programs open but some close

The University of California, Berkeley

As of March 27, 2020, the school announced that “there are seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the UC Berkeley community but no known on-campus exposures.”

UC, Berkeley keeps tracking the COVID-19 situation daily and continues to update to the public how the school is responding to the pandemic.  Currently, some summer programs will be delivered as scheduled and only one has been suspended.  For the latest information on UC, Berkeley’s summer sessions, please click HERE.

March 20, 2020
The Berkeley Pre-College Scholars: Summer Residential Program has been suspended for Summer 2020. At this time, Summer Sessions classes, as well as Berkeley Pre-College Scholars: Summer Commuter Program, are still going forward and accepting applications/enrollments.

March 13, 2020
The Summer Sessions office will be closed to the public starting on March 16, 2020 until further notice.

March 5, 2020
At this time, there are no plans to cancel or postpone Berkeley Summer Sessions for 2020, and we continue to accept applications and enrollments.

5. Refund for summer programs or take online courses instead

Yale University

On March 19, 2020, the U.S. suspended visa services at consulates across the world. As a result, applicants to Session A who require visas will not be able to attend Yale Summer Session during Session A.  Any students who have already received I-20 forms will receive refunds of the visa processing fees they paid to Yale Summer Session.  Any students wishing to take online courses may complete a course change form to register for online courses; otherwise, Yale Summer Session will refund their application fee.

Related reading –
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