LOGAN – Six weeks remain in Utah State University’s academic year but indications are that some students have already headed home with many more to follow. The balance of the spring semester, interrupted by COVID-19, transitions to online classes Wednesday.
In a Monday posting at the school’s website, USU officials encouraged those living on-campus to return to their permanent homes, with prorated funds available on housing and meal plans. Those unable to leave early will continue to receive services.
With just over 4,500 living in student housing, Utah State University is home to the largest residential campus in the state. That includes nearly 900 in married housing. Perhaps USU leaders, in the coronavirus era, feel thousands living on campus in small spaces is not the ideal way to ride out the pandemic.
How many students could this affect?
Just over one-fourth of students attending USU on the Logan campus are from the Cache Valley; many likely live at home but some might live on campus or close to it.
The school’s total enrollment, 28,000, includes about 15,000 attending classes in Logan and 13,000 spread across the state on several regional campuses.
Estimates are that three-quarters of the Logan campus enrollment, more than 11,000, are from outside the Cache Valley. Some of them may commute but there are probably more living on campus or in nearby off-campus apartments.
If those students are able to get out of off-campus contracts, the numbers exiting the valley early could be substantial.
So, as possibly thousands head for home to prepare to complete classes online, the work to convert more than 6,000 “face to face” courses into online content continues early this week.
Monday, a USU spokesperson said an estimated 75 percent of those 6,000 classes are transferable. That might not work for students involved in ongoing research, or art projects or several other specialties.
Those students may not be part of the early exit.