The only way to get college students back on campus this fall is through robust virus testing, the head of the University System of New Hampshire said Friday.
Chancellor Todd Leach told lawmakers that it would cost about $6 million to conduct such testing. He also said the university system needs $6 million to upgrade classrooms for remote learning, in case some student aren’t comfortable returning or there is another wave of the virus.
Colleges and universities are hoping to reopen in the fall, but haven’t made final decisions. The university system has already refunded $41.6 million in room and board for the current semester.
Michele Perkins, president of New England College, is chairwoman of the New Hampshire College and University Council. The group’s 21 members report having lost more than $185 million because of the pandemic.
“This crisis has the potential to cause the demise of many great institutions across this country, and those states that can preserve their institutions will be at an advantage in terms of workforce development when this crisis is over,” said Perkins.