No Parties. No Sports. How Oberlin College Is Surviving the Pandemic.

By Kara Swisher

This spring semester, over a quarter of U.S. colleges are open for in-person instruction. Among them is Oberlin, a small liberal arts school whose doors shuttered on March 16, 2020, and reopened — with lots of new rules — in August 2020. Oberlin’s president, Carmen Twillie Ambar, said it was “all about balancing risk.”

On this episode of “Sway,” Kara Swisher asks Ms. Ambar why tuition has remained unchanged in a pandemic and why price tags remains is so out of sync with family income. They also discuss whether merit aid is becoming a subsidy for rich kids and what being the president of a famously progressive college has taught her about “cancel culture.”

Credit…Illustration by The New York Times; photograph by Tanya Rosen-Jones

Thoughts? Email us at [email protected] Transcripts of each episode are available midday.

Special thanks to Shannon Busta and Liriel Higa.

“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Heba Elorbany, Matt Kwong and Vishakha Darbha and edited by Paula Szuchman; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Erick Gomez.

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