Stanford plans to bring half of its undergraduates back to campus this fall, but they'll still mostly learn online | Town Square | Palo Alto Online |

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Stanford plans to bring half of its undergraduates back to campus this fall, but they'll still mostly learn online

Original post made on Jun 29, 2020

Stanford University will alternate bringing half of its undergraduate students to campus for different quarters, with most courses still happening online -- even for students who are living there in person.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, June 29, 2020, 5:14 PM

Comments (14)

8 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 29, 2020 at 11:48 pm

How much will the tuition reduction be, to account for a diminished student experience? Stanford tuition ain't cheap.

5 people like this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Jun 30, 2020 at 12:58 am


Full tuition is far less than full cost of the education, so students are already getting a discount on cost. Then most students don't pay full tuition and many pay little or no tuition. so those students effectively get an even bigger discount.

Students have the option to live at home if they don't want to pay to live on campus because the campus atmosphere will be relatively sterile. Do they prefer to spend the term with their parents or spend time at a place where they can have some limited in-person interaction with their peers?

12 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 30, 2020 at 1:45 am

It seems like this kind of schedule would increase the spread since there would be more air travel trips.

4 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of University South
on Jun 30, 2020 at 7:55 am

Students that return in the fall will leave in November and not come back until June. There is no back and forth during that time. So very limited travel.

4 people like this
Posted by Nancy
a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2020 at 8:44 am

It sounds like the students will be in solitary confinement. The adverse mental health issues for students will likely be much greater than Covid-related ones. Many other universities are welcoming all students back and having a mix of live and remote instruction. Stanford could do much more for the students. What happened to Stanford's statement that class in tents was a possibility? Stanford has the space and the resources to make it happen.

3 people like this
Posted by LosAltosDoc
a resident of Los Altos
on Jun 30, 2020 at 11:09 am

I'd take a year off for self-directed reading and online education with MIT Open Access and other equivalent providers. Then, I'd return to campus in Fall 2021 PROVIDED there is a highly protective Covid vaccine with minimal side effects. Staying on campus is not an option IMHO. Shared hallways, shared air conditioning, shared restrooms (including showers and basins!!!), the list goes on an on.

3 people like this
Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 30, 2020 at 11:22 am

Stanford with its $26 billon endowment could easily take steps to socially distance its students by renting now-vacant hotels and other unused property. If I were a Stanford student, I would demand half tuition discount for half-year learning.

2 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 30, 2020 at 2:05 pm

When they stroll or bike into downtown, can Stanford students please wear masks? Many of us are, let’s just say, older than Stanford students and their circulating in our community may increase our risk as many would likely be asymptomatic.
Please don’t take all our local test capacity, either. We local residents need to have this. Only recently were we able to get a test at PA City Hall - Thank you! - this was VERY helpful to the 2,130 or so of us northern Santa Clara County residents who finally got tested.
Knowing Stanford’s power and financial muscle, I fear they will take all tests, PPE, medical capacity and whatever else may b3come crucial.

1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 30, 2020 at 2:30 pm

@anonymous. Good suggestions. I suggest posting your comments on reddit in the r/stanford community/subreddit. Many students read it - especially international students.

Like this comment
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Jun 30, 2020 at 5:01 pm


Students will be attending classes for 3 quarters, same as usual. They can spend 2 of the 3 quarters on campus, if they wish, but they are not required to do so. Students can transfer another school if they don’t like the Stanford program, but which school do you KNOW will be doing a better job?

Like this comment
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Jun 30, 2020 at 5:07 pm

Renting hotel rooms would require mingling between the campus and community, which would be risky for both groups. Absolutely NO undergraduates will be allowed to live off-campus.

The university has canceled all reunions, and I suspect that if football games are played nobody living off-campus will be allowed to attend.

Students will be sent home before a Thanksgiving and almost all of that group will not return until June. I would also guess students could be sent home if they flagrantly violate the limited group restrictions.

4 people like this
Posted by Colleges should put work into helping students access to voting this year
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2020 at 6:46 pm

Universities are some of the most impacted organizations because of our administration's mismanagement of the pandemic (starting with 125,000 Americans dead as opposed to just 9,000 in Germany with 1/4 our population, or areas in parts of Southeast Asia with the same population having only 2,000 deaths.)

I would hope that now that Stanford and other universities have a plan, that they would all decide to put real effort into ensuring their distanced students can figure out easily where their voting residency is and how to register to vote/vote absentee. Young people have historically found it difficult to vote when they are in college, this fall there will be more uncertainty than ever. The colleges should take it as their civic duty to ensure that all students can vote.

Like this comment
Posted by Eveline
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 1, 2020 at 2:26 am

I think it's good. The current situation isn't good enough, and I'm not sure it will change in autumn. I 'm a student, and I can say that online learning very convenient. I can use a lot of resources such as essayontime platform to get some assignment help. I like Web Link as it's very convenient and I'm sure that the result will be great. Moreover, it's available for anyone from all over the world, from Melbourne to New York.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Davis
a resident of Old Palo Alto
7 hours ago

If student athletes are required to be on campus for the entire school year because of their training and competition demands there could be only 2 student athletes from each class year per sport required on campus while the rest of their classmates who are not athletes are either there for 2 quarters or not at all. I would suspect that student athletes might prefer to take a gap year .

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