President Trump ripped into Harvard University on Tuesday for its decision to continue with online coursework into the 2020-2021 academic year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"I see what Harvard announced that they're closing for the season or for the year. I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s an easy way out. I think they ought to be ashamed of themselves," Trump said. "I don’t know if people are helping them. I guess their endowment’s plenty big, they don’t have any problem with that, but that’s not what we want to do because it's very important to so many of the parents. And instructors said today it's so important that the children at this age, especially that they're together, they're together on campus."
The comments by the president came at the end of a meeting with health experts, educators and politicians in the East Room where the administration pushed to reopen schools in the fall.
Harvard University did not immediately return FOX Business' inquiry on their response to the president's comments.
Harvard announced Monday it will welcome back up to 40 percent of its undergraduate students to campus, including first-year students and those who need to be on campus to learn.
Citing the recent surge in coronavirus cases, Harvard that all students, including those on campus, will continue with online instruction to mitigate the virus's spread.
“Harvard was built for connection, not isolation. Without a vaccine or effective clinical treatments for the virus, we know that no choice that reopens the campus is without risk,” Harvard Presiden Larry Bacow and deans Claudine Gay and Rakesh Khurana wrote in the joint statement. “That said, we have worked closely with leading epidemiologists and medical experts to define an approach that we believe will protect the health and safety of our community, while also protecting our academic enterprise and providing students with the conditions they need to be successful academically.”
Students will be screened for coronavirus upon arrival and will be tested once every three days going forward. Any students who test positive will be placed in isolation.
According to the university website, its annual tuition will remain the same at $49,653 for the full academic year. Harvard's full cost of attendance comes out to $72,357 before financial aid and scholarships, which includes $4,315 in fees, $11,364 for room and $7,025 in board for the academic year.
Harvard said enrolled students receiving financial aid who are not living on campus will receive an allowance of $5,000 per semester to go toward supporting their remote studying. Those who are invited to live on campus will be charged the standard room and board charges, pending a student's approved financial aid.
In addition to Harvard, most of the students at Princeton University and some of California's public colleges will not return to campus in the fall and will offer remote learning instead. Meanwhile, other colleges are opting for a mix of online and in-person learning, including Boston University, Bowdoin College, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Stanford University and Williams College.