8.3.20: Modes of Learning, Tuition Reduction, and Housing Options for Fall Semester

A message sent to all undergraduate students. 

Dear Lehigh Undergraduate Students,

Following Lehigh’s announcement regarding the decision to limit on-campus housing to first-year students and students with extenuating reasons of personal or academic hardship, we must gather key information about your plans for the Fall 2020 semester. This email includes links to important surveys -- each undergraduate must complete one, and perhaps two, surveys -- as we explain below. It is very important that you read this entire email carefully before you make your decisions and register your choices.

Modes of Learning and “Fully Remote” Tuition

We ask all students to inform us whether you choose to take your Fall classes as a “fully remote” student. All students, including first-year students, are encouraged to consider the “fully remote” option for the fall semester, and we have confidence that remote learning will offer students a rigorous academic experience, allowing them to make progress in their degree plans. Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors living off campus who are registered for classes with an in-person component may still attend in-person classes; however, please note that students off campus will find activity on campus very limited and are expected to follow the same health and self-screening protocols as those living on campus.

For those choosing the “fully remote” option:

  • You must elect the “fully remote” option to receive the 10-percent reduction in undergraduate tuition for the Fall semester.
  • No student, even if already registered in all online classes, is automatically considered “fully remote.”
  • Students living in campus housing are not eligible for the “fully remote” option.
  • Those who elect the “fully remote” option, whether they live off campus in South Bethlehem or elsewhere, will forgo all access to campus classrooms and facilities, with the exception of the Health and Wellness Center. This means you will not be able to attend in-person classes.
  • A student registered for exclusively online courses living off-campus in South Bethlehem who wants access to the limited but available campus facilities, such as the library and the gym, should not elect the “fully remote” option and therefore would not be eligible for the tuition reduction.

For those who do not select the “fully remote” option:

  • Even if all of your courses are remote, you are electing to access campus facilities and will not receive the 10-percent tuition reduction.
  • Students will have access to academic facilities only as needed for their academic programs.
  • Undergraduate students engaged in on-campus research can do so with the permission of the faculty advisor and must complete required safety training.
  • University libraries, the University Center, and athletic facilities will operate under strict health and safety protocols, including potentially limited access.
  • Students living off campus will similarly find access to campus very limited.
  • Extracurricular and social opportunities will be extremely limited.

We understand that the recently announced changes to the Fall 2020 semester may lead many Lehigh students to reconsider their course options. All students will have an opportunity to make final changes to their schedules before classes begin. Students can see details on how a course will be structured by viewing the course meeting times on the course search or on their student schedule. Please review this page for more detailed discussion of the instructional modes. Students should work with advisors in their colleges before making any significant changes, so that they can enroll in courses that will allow them to continue their academic progress and success.

Please review your schedule and complete the Fall 2020 Modes of Learning and Tuition Reduction Survey to inform us of your decision by 3:00 PM (EST) on Friday, August 7th.

On-Campus Housing Options

Our plans to limit housing are based on health guidance about the importance of limiting interactions in shared rooms and in shared bathrooms. For this reason, unfortunately most students will not be able to live on campus. Students whose living circumstances allow them to learn remotely should strongly consider doing so and wait until we can open campus more fully. If you would like to request on-campus housing under the current circumstances, please submit your request using the links below.

To assist with our planning, we must gather information from first-year students regarding their intentions for on-campus housing, and from rising sophomores, juniors and seniors who would like to petition for an exemption to live on campus.

  • First-year students should complete the FY Housing Survey (right click; open link in incognito window; Applications; Fall Survey-Housing) by 11 PM (EST) on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 to indicate if you are requesting to live on campus or if you have decided to take classes remotely from home.
  • Returning undergraduate students who wish to petition to come to campus due to extenuating circumstances should complete the Exception Application for On Campus Housing (right click; open link in incognito window; Applications; Exception) by 11 PM (EST) on Wednesday August 5, 2020.
  • Decisions on these requests will be made promptly and students will be informed of the decision by e-mail.    
  • Please note that those who are traveling from states Pennsylvania has listed as having high numbers of COVID-19 are required to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania. This list may have states added or removed as we approach the start of the semester; any changes will apply and should be followed. We are requiring students to have completed the quarantine before returning to campus. Students are not permitted to quarantine in a state listed by Pennsylvania as being a hotspot.  Unfortunately, we will not accommodate or provide this space for arrivals on campus. There may be cases where we can accommodate late arrivals for those who are completing this quarantine, or in cases where a state is added to the list shortly before arrival. Students in these cases should await approval and guidance from the University before making travel arrangements. Faculty will accommodate students who must start classes remotely during this quarantine and will work to accommodate students who need to quarantine at any point throughout the semester.  

Please check Lehigh’s COVID-19 Information website often for additional updates and for contact information for specific Lehigh offices. RAS will update our FAQ page as needed. Guidance for international students continues to be made available from the Office of International Students and Scholars. The Office of Financial Aid and the Bursar, as well as Housing Services, are also working to provide information.

To reiterate, every student must complete the Fall 2020 Modes of Learning and Tuition Reduction Survey; first-year students must also complete the housing survey, and returning undergraduate students seeking an exception to live in campus housing must complete the housing exception request.

We recognize this is a stressful time and thank you for your understanding and patience as we work to support this smooth transition to the new academic year while prioritizing the health and safety of our community.


Registration & Academic Services Team      

Financial Services Team

Housing Services Team