"I understand the social aspect — that's why a lot of people come to college — but in the end we're here for an education."By Ross Guidotti

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (KDKA) – It’s a first for West Virginia University: students are starting the school year with only-only classes.

The university says too many students are testing positive for coronavirus, and now students are making the transition to remote learning.

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The university cited a recent increase in coronavirus cases, as well as concerns about an outbreak following several reports of parties over the holiday weekend.

“Coming here we didn’t really know what to expect, we weren’t really sure how long we were gonna last online or in-person,” said freshman Nicole Norris.

Initially expected to conduct in-class instruction, the roughly 21,000 students found out over the last few days that plans have dramatically changed.

As a result, the university is making the decision to switch nearly all undergrad classes to remote learning.

“Right now we’ve stayed online the whole two weeks, so we really haven’t gone in-person to keep our numbers down for corona,” said freshman Jillian Fletcher.

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Norris said “keeping up with assignments has definitely been difficult.”

The changes in initial plans are impacting freshmen who, because of the pandemic, have already been short-changed when it comes to anything traditional.

“Yeah it’s kinda sad I missed out on my senior year of high school and I wanted a fresh start in college, having COVID affect both those years is a bummer,” said freshman Agatha Handono.

“We were hoping things would be back to normal, have a fresh start in a new city,” said Fletcher.

School officials say the university could return to in-classroom instruction Sept. 25, but that all depends on the student body’s ability to act smart.

“I understand the social aspect — that’s why a lot of people come to college — but in the end we’re here for an education,” said Norris.

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You can read the president’s full letter explaining the decision online.