BETHLEHEM, Pa. | Lehigh University has announced that it will now limit the number of students on campus this fall and offer a tuition cut for students taking classes remotely.
Lehigh University President John D. Simon sent a letter to students on Friday, notifying the student body that only first-year students and students with "extenuating reasons of personal or academic hardship" can opt to live on campus for the fall 2020 semester. Students returning to campus will be assigned single rooms.
Students who take classes fully remotely will receive a 10 percent reduction in undergraduate tuition.
The letter was also signed by Nathan Urban, Lehigh's provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and Patricia Johnson, the university's vice president for finance and administration.
Since announcing plans in June to re-open the campus for the fall semester, school officials said they've been monitoring local and national COVID-19 rates and consulting with health professionals, according to the letter.
Students currently live in a number of states that are considered "high risk" with growing numbers of COVID-19 cases, according to the letter.
"Access to testing has become more limited as resources are diverted to hotspots," according to the letter. "We have been clear that the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and Bethlehem community will guide our decision-making."
Given current conditions, we have determined we must limit the number of undergraduate students living in on-campus housing and will invite only first-year students and students with extenuating reasons of personal or academic hardship back on campus for the Fall," the university wrote.
Students coming to campus from states deemed "hot spots" by Pennsylvania officials must self-quarantine for 14 days either in Pennsylvania or another state not listed as a hot spot. Anyone quarantining outside Pennsylvania must do so just before arriving on campus.
New international students traveling from other countries are encouraged not to travel to campus.
The university said the on-campus housing plan will reduce the number of students per common bathroom and cut the potential for transmission.
Lehigh will also limit access to campus facilities, and students will have access to academic areas only as needed for their classes. Libraries, the University Center and athletic facilities will be open but operating "under strict health and safety protocols," according to the university.
Lafayette College in Easton announced last week that it will move all classes on-line in the fall and cut tuition by 10 percent. And the Patriot League announced earlier this month that it is cancelling all fall sports.
Other area college conferences, including the Mid-Atlantic and PSAC, also announced the cancellation of fall sports.