An Update Regarding Plans for Fall 2021
March 17, 2021

Dear Students,


I’m writing today to update you on plans for the fall, when we expect to see NIU begin to transition safely back to the vibrant campus we all know and love. While campus life will continue to be different than in pre-pandemic times, there is cause for much optimism.


Last week we announced our plans for an in-person commencement this spring, and we’re building on that momentum. Our fall plans are coming together because coronavirus vaccines are becoming more widely accessible. In fact, we are hopeful that all of our students will have access to the vaccine by the time classes start in the fall. We strongly encourage all members of our Huskie community to be vaccinated.


As we’ve said before, we intend to offer mostly face-to-face classes in the fall. We expect more capacity for dining and housing (with roommates!), social activities, arts and performances, athletics and other in-person events. We expect student services like advising, tutoring, the writing center and others to offer their services both in person and online so that you have convenient options. According to our current plans, roughly 70% of our classes will be conducted face-to-face. The majority of these courses will be fully in-person, although that percentage includes some hybrid (mixed online and face-to-face) courses. We’ve heard that students want to be able to take a few courses online, so our goal is to offer you flexible options. Our faculty members are motivated to keep the most useful benefits of online learning to help you meet your life and learning goals.


As always, our top priorities are the health and safety of our community, and we will continue to follow guidance from public health officials. Many of the expectations outlined in Protecting the Pack, such as surveillance testing, will continue to help support the health and well-being of all Huskies. Please check the Protecting the Pack site as it is updated with the most recent information.


For you, the time to start thinking ahead is now.

  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to discuss your fall class schedule.
  • Make sure you register for your classes. Class registration opens Monday, April 5, and students will be able to see course modalities as they choose their classes.
  • Complete your FAFSA if you haven’t already.
  • If you have been learning from home this year, it is not too late to select a room on campus for fall 2021.
  • For students currently living on campus, watch your email account for information on spring 2021 check-out information.
  • Two current residence hall students have already won a $1,000 housing grant for fall 2021 by completing their weekly COVID-19 surveillance test. Keep making your appointments and completing testing so you will eligible for the next random drawing.
  • Participate in Student Government Association elections Tuesday, March 30, and Wednesday, March 31, to decide on student leadership for next year.
  • If you need help, the Center for Student Assistance is a great place to start.


We will keep you updated as fall plans progress. This past year has been challenging in so many ways for faculty, staff and our students alike, and we all want campus to return to normal. It’s reassuring to know we’re moving in the right direction. Our Protecting the Pack efforts, and your own vigilance, will again be key to our success.


Beth Ingram
Executive Vice President and Provost

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