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Central Michigan University makes changes before school resumes

‘We know this will cost us financially, but it’s the right thing to do,’

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – As students decide how to return to colleges – or even attend at all – universities across the state are working on how to make sure students return to classes when registration rolls around. Central Michigan University is one taking expansive measures to make sure they can help students come the fall.

April 29, 2020 Update: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 40,399; Death toll now at 3,670

“I think that the university experience as we know it has pivoted significantly,” CMU president Robert Davies said.

The University was the first in the state to announce it would be freezing tuition but this week announced it would be increasing access to increasing scholarship, grant money and need based aid. The school is also suspending late fees so students can register on time along with guaranteeing first year students a job on campus if they want one.

But the cost of making sure students will come back to campus after a semester stolen by the novel coronavirus has not proven to be easy nor cheap.

“We know this will cost us financially, but it's the right thing to do. Again, right to do for Michigan and our students in our family,” Davies said.

CMU like many universities, is facing major drops in revenue. Michigan State also announced it will be freezing tuition earlier this month. The President of the University of Michigan, who has not announced any kind of freeze but told staff in an email just last week the U of M could lose up to $1 billion.

Colleges have also received millions in money from the federal government... Which Universities like CMU have put back into the lecture halls, real or remote, for the coming fall semester.

“I think that there will be a much stronger combination of virtual online remote classes,” Davies said. “I do see a lot of different pedagogical [methods] but more of a hybrid approach of face to face and combing technology.”

But face-to-face classes will mean new guidelines like masks, in class social distancing and hybrid learning. Davies said they’re working with their College of Medicine and health experts to follow public health policy

“Social distancing is going to be here to stay in one way or the other, but we will do everything we can to make sure that we flatten the curve and continue to flatten for the state of Michigan,” he said.

Anyone who believes they might have coronavirus should follow the CDC guidelines. Michigan.gov has a list of resources available to those concerned about COVID-19.

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