Trump rips Harvard for offering online-only courses this fall

President Trump on Tuesday had a go at Harvard for keeping classes online only for at least half of the 2020-21 school year — saying that the storied Ivy League university should “be ashamed of themselves.”

“I see where Harvard asked that they are closing for the season, or maybe for the year. I think it is ridiculous. I think it is an easy way out. I think they ought to be ashamed of themselves if you want to know the truth,” the president said in the East Room at the end of a meeting of health experts, educators and politicians on school reopenings this fall.

“I noticed that today, and probably others are doing that. That is called the easy way out,” said Trump, who has been pushing hard to get the economy reopened, and who also said at the forum that he would pressure governors to reopen schools in their states.

The Cambridge, Mass., university announced that it would charge full tuition this fall while only allowing 40 percent of its students back to live on campus, and that all courses would be offered only online.

Other universities across the US are struggling to strike a balance between the desire to reopen and keeping students, staff and faculty safe.

The president questioned whether donors to the school’s $41 billion endowment might show their displeasure by closing their checkbooks, and added that the university’s policy was not in line with White House goals.

“That’s not what we want to do because it’s very important to so many of the parents and instructors as they said today, it is so important that the children at this age together, that they are together on campus. That is what we are striving for. We will be very strong on that,” said Trump, a University of Pennsylvania grad who often touts his Ivy League pedigree.

Penn as of now will conduct some classes in person, but others, such as large lecture halls, will be offered only online.

Tuition, room, board and fees at Harvard top $70,000 a year, though more than half of the students receive financial aid.

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