*Update to original story: The George Washington University stated on October 16th that it would not implement a full pass/no pass policy for the Fall 2020 semester, but that students could select one class to take on a pass/fail basis. Provost M. Brian Blake announced the decision in a school-wide email, where he stated that this policy would continue through Spring of 2021.
President Thomas LeBlanc and his administration have announced that virtual instruction will continue for Spring 2020. Making the entire 2020-2021 academic year BlackBoard Collab and Zoom sponsored (not actually sponsored just jokes please do not sue me.)
According to a university-wide email, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, Student Association, academic leadership, and Board of Trustees decided to continue virtual instruction based on the “priority of health and safety”, “the uncertainty about the course of the pandemic over the next several months”, and other considerations on residential experience and feedback.
Plans for an in-person commencement for the Class of 2021 have also been canceled for ceremonies on the National Mall and On-Campus due to gathering restrictions.
From a quick Google search, it seems that George Washington University is the first higher education institution in the District to announce their plans for its next academic year. A stark change from last spring, when the university’s administration lagged behind with a decision to transition to virtual learning after spring break.
All undergraduate students not living on campus will receive the same 10% tuition reduction students saw this Fall. Undergraduate Financial Aid packages for 2020-2021 will remain the same, unless changes are made to full-time enrollment or residential living status.
The email goes on to state that the university “remain[s] committed to ensuring that students’ out-of-pocket university costs are equal to or less than an on-campus residential experience.” The same tuition reduction is not promised to graduate students, but “graduate tuition will remain fixed.”
With the entire academic year now virtual, students are still looking for a decision on continuing the Pass/No Pass system that administrators granted last semester. With the Pass/No Pass systems, students were able to request a letter grade be converted to Pass/No Pass. A univeristy-wide survey was given by Provost Brian Blake to obtain feedback on re-introducing the Pass/No Pass option, however, a follow-up response has yet to be made.