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Harvard Summer School to Offer All Courses Online Again in 2021

Harvard Summer School announced last week that it will hold all 2021 courses online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Harvard Summer School announced last week that it will hold all 2021 courses online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. By Zadoc I.N. Gee
By Alex Koller, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard Summer School will hold all 2021 courses online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it announced last week.

The Summer School offers college and high-school level courses each summer on Harvard’s campus. Last summer, it also moved all courses online and canceled on-campus programming in response to the pandemic.

While the Summer School has yet to announce whether adult and college students will be permitted to live in Harvard dorms while taking virtual classes next summer, a note on its website states that high school students will be barred from on-campus housing.

The decision came after University administrators announced last week that Harvard College will invite roughly 3,100 students to live on campus next semester, giving priority to seniors and currently enrolled juniors. Students spending the entire 2020-2021 academic year off campus — including most sophomores — will be provided a tuition waiver for up to two Summer School courses next year, and students on financial aid will be eligible for “subsidized” room and board, according to the announcement.

Jaden D. “JD” Deal ’23, who plans to take advantage of his two free summer classes, said he “pretty much expected” the Summer School’s move to a virtual format.

“I didn’t really have high hopes that we would even be invited to return to campus for the summer,” he said. “With HSS being online, it doesn’t really affect my plans because, if these semesters are going to be online, what’s the difference?”

Ishan A. Bhatt ’23 wrote that he is undecided about his summer 2021 plans, but is skeptical about returning to online classes. He wrote that he and other sophomores are “suffering through two semesters of a draining zoom U” and are being rewarded “with another semester of zoom U.”

Deal said he thinks sophomores should take precedence in Summer School housing if a residential program is ultimately approved.

“If they’re going to prioritize seniors and juniors and allow more students to come back in the spring semester, sophomores got left out of every proposal for fall and spring,” he said. “It would only make sense to invite us back for the summer, especially if vaccinations are already underway.”

—Staff writer Alex Koller can be reached at

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