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Local colleges, students wrestle with uncertainty about fall semester

While the spring semester is wrapping up, albeit digitally, for students across the region’s colleges – many are wondering what 2020-21 will look like.

A few months ago it would have felt like an out-of-place question.

However, local colleges and universities across the state are still weighing whether to reopen campuses in August.

Matthew Liebman is a senior and recently committed to the University of Rochester. “That would be really disappointing. I’m looking forward to starting college and I would be really upset if I had to do it online or postpone,” Liebman told 13WHAM.

While SUNY schools say they are waiting on New York State to make a decision, private colleges and universities are optimistic that they will be able to reopen at normal time.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges senior Skye Morgan told 13WHAM that she would be disappointed if her final year got pushed.

“I would be a little bit disappointed, very angry, because the only thing I want to do is just be finished and be done with everything and feel proud of myself for accomplishing something as big as finishing college,” Morgan explained.

When 13WHAM requested a statement from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, this is what they said:

“Hobart and William Smith have every intention of opening on schedule in late August to welcome students back to campus for the fall 2020 semester. Like all other colleges and universities, we are engaged in contingency planning should the spread of the pandemic require us to alter our plans. Any changes to the fall semester would be announced this summer.”

At this point, two things appear true. First, that schools are still very uncertain about the future; and second, that both students and colleges could potentially deal with the economic realities of the pandemic.



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