As colleges reopen, how to satisfy learning while keeping people safe

St. Cloud State University
A sign at St. Cloud State University, where classes this fall will be offered online, in person and through a combination of the two.
Conrad Wilson | MPR News 2013

Students are finding out if their campuses are reopening for classes in the fall, if classes will be held online, or if there will be a combination of virtual and in-person instruction.

What went into colleges’ decisions to reopen or remain closed? Do students want to return? Do professors and other instructors feel safe returning? Are colleges losing a lot of money because some students are waiting for the pandemic to end before returning?


  • Jonathan McNicholes, state chair of Students United, the official voice of students at Minnesota State’s seven universities. He just graduated from Bemidji State University and is now pursuing a master’s degree at Metropolitan State University.

  • Michael Vasquez, senior investigative reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

  • Robbyn Wacker, president of St. Cloud State University. She has held that position for two years. St. Cloud State has opted to offer classes online, in person and through a combination of the two to help promote social distancing when possible.

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