Penn has delayed its advance registration period for fall 2021 as the University continues to work towards announcing how fall courses will be taught.
The advance registration period for fall courses will now be held from April 13 through April 23, instead of the previously scheduled March 22 through April 4. Administrators from each of the four undergraduate schools announced the more than three-week delay in a joint statement to undergraduates on Monday afternoon, writing that the decision was made "to provide more planning time for faculty and students as the University considers its approach to fall 2021 course instruction."
There will be no change in the advance registration period for summer courses, which is still set to open March 22, the administrators wrote.
University spokesperson Stephen MacCarthy wrote in an emailed statement to The Daily Pennsylvanian on Monday afternoon that Penn has no additional information to provide about the status of course instruction for the fall 2021 semester.
Penn has yet to announce plans for the fall 2021 semester, though several peer and nearby institutions have released plans over the past weeks.
Harvard University is planning for a "full return" with "as much in-person learning as possible” for undergraduate students, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Claudine Gay told The Harvard Crimson on Friday, adding that COVID-19 trends on campus this spring have been promising.
Local institutions — including Swarthmore College, Temple University, and Penn State University — have all announced plans for in-person instruction in the fall. All three schools cited low case rates and hope for widespread vaccination of students on campus, particularly after President Joe Biden's administration announced that it will have enough vaccines by the end of May for every adult in America.
The delay in advance registration comes after several other recent indicators of a more open campus at Penn. The University launched limited indoor dining at dining halls this week and reopened the Pottruck Health and Fitness Center at a limited capacity in February. The Penn in Washington Program is also tentatively planning for an in-person experience this fall.
Provost Wendell Pritchett also recently estimated a "50-50 chance" that Penn will launch a robust student vaccination operation by May. Penn's undergraduate COVID-19 rates have decreased consistently over the past three weeks to a semester low of 0.32% last week.