Last updated on August 25, 2020.

Colleges and universities across the country are experiencing a fall semester unlike any other. Now more than ever, the health and safety of the campus community and the needs of the most vulnerable students should guide decisions about whether and how to conduct in-person campus activities in Fall 2020.

Earlier this summer, Ithaka S+R launched an effort to aggregate and synthesize information related to the fall reopening of colleges and universities in an effort to facilitate institutional collaboration and planning. As of August 25, we have synthesized 95 institutional plans in a single resource (click here to view), and plan to continually update this resource with new and evolving information. We capture information about several aspects of institutional plans for the fall, including: rigorous testing, tracing and supported isolation; changes to policies and facilities to keep the campus community as safe as possible; efforts to protect the local community and vulnerable populations, and; efforts to promote and protect equity. 

In the coming weeks, we will regularly update our overarching findings and use the plans to answer additional priority questions, which we’ll convey through blog posts hosted on this page. Blog posts published to date include:

High-level Summary of Institutional Plans

Last Updated on August 25, 2020

  • All 95 colleges and universities represented in this resource are four-year institutions, 65 are private non-profits and 30 are public institutions.
  • The vast majority of institutions included in the resource are residential colleges and universities. At 70 of the 95 institutions, more than 50 percent of undergraduates live on campus. 
  • 83 of the 95 institutions whose plans are included will welcome at least some students back to campus in the fall. Fifty-six are inviting nearly all undergraduate students to live on or near campus, while 27 are meaningfully reducing density by inviting only a subset of undergraduate students to live on or near campus. Twelve do not plan to have students on campus, and plan to pursue a fully remote fall semester.

To find out more about this project, and how your institution can participate in this effort, please contact Elizabeth Banes (

Interested in learning more about published guidelines for reopening colleges and universities in the fall? See this page for a summary of currently available information about guidance and plans for the reopening of higher education institutions from government and public health agencies, with particular focus on the implementation of public health strategies and anticipated modes of educational delivery in the fall.