As the mother of a student at Michigan State University, I have been sitting back waiting to see the fate of her final year. With classes coming to a screeching halt mid term and a flip to online learning, both myself and my wallet are wondering what's in store for high education come this fall.

Right now, most Michigan colleges and universities have announced some type of plan. Either in-person classes will resume for the fall semester, or some have said they will have a combination of face-to-face and remote learning, yet others have still held off on announcing how fall 2020 will start.

According to Craine Detroit, here is where the fall semester stands in Michigan:

  • Saginaw Valley State University: The University Center-based school said it is planning a return to campus in the fall.
  • Eastern Michigan University: The Ypsilanti-based school said it is planning for in-person instruction this fall and normal operations "wherever possible."
  • Grand Valley State University: The Allendale-based school has laid out tentative plans for fall in-person classes.
  • Ferris State University: The Big Rapids-based university said it is moving forward with an in-person fall semester with "careful optimism."
  • Central Michigan University: The school said its main campus in Mount Pleasant and satellite sites will welcome students back to campus after implementing social distancing measures, such as reduced capacity in dorm rooms, and health safety protocols, including possible screening and testing.
  • Northern Michigan University: The Marquette-based university was the first to say definitively that face-to-face instruction would resume in the fall. "We will take all reasonable measures necessary to make classes, housing, dining, student events and all university activities safe," President Fritz Erickson said.
  • Michigan Technological Institute: The Houghton-based school said it will have in-person classes in the fall with a gradual transition over the next three months.
  • Adrian College: The Adrian-based school "will be open for traditional in-person classes this coming fall," according to its website.
  • Oakland University: The Rochester-based school's president, Ora Pescovitz, has said she intends for at least some level of in-person instruction in the fall.

As for my Spartan, Michigan State University has joined University of Michigan and Wayne State University in holding back announcing definitive plans. The have said they are currently working to resume on-campus classes while preparing for the possibility of remote instruction. On the MSU site the university commented, "While MSU is hoping for campus to be fully open and classes to proceed as usual for the fall semester, we have to be prepared that at least some learning may need to be done virtually, and we are planning for that possibility. Any decision we make will be grounded in the best available data and what is best for the health and safety of our Spartan community."

As a parent, I wonder if classes continue to be online will adjustments be made to the tuition cost?  It's no secret that college is expensive, and although some classes are traditionally offered online, it would seem that some financial adjustment would be made if the whole face-to-face experience is lost.

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