In the coming academic year, NEC will continue to offer an experience firmly centered in profound teaching, learning, and artistry. This Fall, our work will return to a primarily in-person format, enabled by the broad availability of vaccination, expected decreases in COVID transmission globally, and our success in maintaining the wellness of our community though measures to assure health and safety. The in-person experience will enhance the face-to-face experiences we treasure with the best of what we have learned over the last year—dynamic and relevant approaches and tools that advance our work.
As you prepare to make your way to us, we want to share some recent decisions regarding vaccination and NEC’s current safety measures to support our return to a full and safe in-person experience.
Whilst we know the impact of COVID remains very real for us all, individually and collectively, we are grateful for the resilience, creativity, and optimism so evident in our NEC community. Even with extensive health and safety protocols, we were able to keep in-person music-making happening at NEC this past year only because of the consistent commitment each member of NEC community demonstrated to keeping safe our community—and, indeed, the broader communities in which we live.
As we look forward to a full return to campus in the fall, we know that ensuring public health will require ongoing vigilance, as certainly we will be living with COVID-19 and its variants for the foreseeable future. To that end, NEC will require all students (16 years of age or older) to be vaccinated against COVID-19. As with every vaccination requirement, exemptions will be approved for medical or religious reasons. Students will be required to submit documentation verifying vaccination to the confidential student health portal, and specific instructions and deadlines will be forthcoming next week from the Director of Health Services.
We recognize that International students may receive COVID-19 vaccines that have not been approved for use in the United States. We expect that vaccines with efficacy similar to US-based vaccines will be accepted by NEC, unless federal or state guidelines mandate otherwise. International students with questions should please contact the Health Center or Office of Student Services.
A list of FAQs and updated safety protocols will be maintained on the NEC Resource Center, and as always, staff in the Health Center and Office of Student Services, are available to assist with any questions or concerns, and you can find our staff directory here.
The ensembles and performances so integral to our work will center around in-person experiences, while integrating preparation for the online stages that are now part of every professional musician’s life. We expect that audiences will return to our concert halls, and we will continue to broadcast all of our concerts through live and premiered streaming and video that has brought new, larger, and more diverse audiences to NEC than ever before.
Large ensembles will increase in size this fall, as permitted by the most up-to-date health and safety protocols developed in collaboration with public health agencies and officials. We expect that distancing requirements and air exchange time will be more modest than were necessary this spring:
- Orchestra and Wind Ensemble will begin the semester with a larger number of students, and, over the course of the semester, we expect they will be at full symphonic orchestra and wind ensemble levels;
- Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Composers Workshop Orchestra are anticipated to have the full complement of students for the entire semester;
- Chorus will begin the semester with an increased number of students permitted to sing together with less distancing; as the semester progresses and safety guidelines permit, we will explore options to have students sing without masks for both Chorus and Opera.
Small Jazz and CI ensembles, as well as chamber music groups, will also be focused on in-person experiences.
Studio lessons and classes
We expect that studio lessons will be held primarily in-person. Determined in collaboration with faculty, as well as enabled by technology and evolving pedagogical practices, classes will be held either in-person, hybrid (a combination of in-person and remote work) or fully online.
The vibrancy and vitality of NEC's campus life will be renewed this fall as we reconnect in our physical spaces. As a part of this plan, Rebecca's Cafe and the Speed Dining Commons will reopen with new order-ahead options offered to students for greater flexibility. Student organizations and events will resume a full complement of in-person activity.
As previously announced, we will reopen fully our residence hall for the coming academic year. The housing application and selection process for returning students is well underway, and we will soon be in touch with admitted students regarding their next steps. Students with questions may contact the Office of Student Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will also continue to offer a full complement of health and counseling services, and—as COVID will not be completely eliminated—we will continue a testing/screening program at a level that is most appropriate at the time.
Tuition, fees, and enhancements in financial aid
We fully recognize the significant investment that our students and families make in their education, and accordingly, we thoughtfully consider any adjustments to tuition and fees whilst ensuring the quality of an NEC education.
As we continue to work to contain costs, we are able to limit our annual tuition increase this year to 2.5%, lower than the past several years. COVID-related health and safety measures associated with the operation of our dining service have necessitated an increase to the cost of our meal plans, and we have nominally increased the Health Center fee. There will be no increase to residence hall room fees and no increase to the comprehensive fee.
In recognition of impact of these changes, we have made significant, concurrent increases in financial aid available to returning students who have financial need. We encourage all students in need of financial assistance to contact the Financial Aid office at email@example.com. Our Financial Aid staff are here to support you, and they stand ready to assist you.
More detail about tuition and fees can be found on the tuition and fees page.
After an extended period of challenges for our international students, we very much look forward to welcoming them back to campus in the Fall, as COVID transmission is expected to decline globally, and embassies and consulates reopen. We are also monitoring relevant travel parameters, and our Student Services team will be in touch over the course of the coming months to provide support and updates.
As always, the health, wellness, and safety of our NEC community remains our foremost priority. There are many questions yet to answer, and with the start of the Fall semester several months away, we encourage you to check this page regularly for update. We will be in touch with updated information in the days and weeks ahead.