New Jersey colleges continue to grapple with what to do about returning students to campus and the start of the spring semester.

Princeton University undergrads will not be permitted on campus before Jan. 14, and arrivals will be staggered through Jan. 23 to allow for COVID testing.

Spring semester classes are still expected to begin Jan. 24 with no changes to their formats.

"Updated modeling suggests that staggering undergraduates’ return will help flatten the curve," Dean of the College Jill Dolan wrote to students, "which will allow the University to better respond to the increase in positive cases we anticipate when students come back to campus."

Students are required to submit a COVID test when they return, and a negative test before their first class or activity.

Princeton has already mandated a full COVID vaccine regimen and a booster shot for all students.

Once students return to campus, Princeton officials say they will be banned from traveling out of Mercer County or Plainsboro.

The university is also continuing to gather restrictions. All gatherings are capped at 20 people, and no gathering is allowed with food and drink or anything that would require the removal of a student's mask.

Princeton was among a number of New Jersey colleges and universities that moved the remainder of the current semester online in order to get kids off campus before Winter break.

Rutgers University has yet to announce whether the spring semester will begin on schedule and/or in-person.

Last week, a Rutgers spokeswoman said they were "closely monitoring" the current surge in new COVID cases, and would have an announcement in early January. For now, the Rutgers website is continuing to take registrations for in-person classes.

The College of New Jersey moved the remainder of the Winter semester online, but plans to move back to in-person classes on Jan. 24.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story should have said that the spring semester classes at Princeton University will start Jan. 24, as previously expected. 


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