College Tuition Should be Reduced Due to Online Learning

College Tuition Should be Reduced Due to Online Learning

artwork by Caeli Willard

Arielle Powell, Staff Writer

 It is no surprise that the outbreak of COVID-19 has put massive amounts of stress and anxiety on a wide range of people. Some adults are fearful of losing their jobs, small businesses are getting shut down indefinitely, and many people are scared for the health and safety of themselves and their loved ones. While this is certainly a stressful time for our world, college students are not exempt from stresses related to quarantine.

   Around the middle of March, nearly every school nationwide was shut down because of coronavirus concerns, and colleges soon followed. While students began learning from home, many argued that they should not be required to pay full tuition. If students are not on-campus, and therefore are not receiving the full college experience, it is unreasonable to expect students to still pay full tuition, especially after the way that some colleges went about kicking students out of their dorms.

   When college campuses shut down mid-March, students were promptly kicked out of their dorms with little to no warning. Chaos ensued as these students scrambled to grab their belongings and catch the next flights to their hometowns. UCHS Alumna Kayli Sandoval said, “I attend San Diego State and we did not receive our first email regarding action for COVID-19 until March 10…. On March 17, all students who lived on campus were given a one day notice to leave — with the exception of certain circumstances. We received the email around 12 pm and had until the next day at 7 pm to leave.”

   If students are not attending school in person, why should they be required to pay the same tuition fees? According to the Chicago Tribune, “Students aim to make the case that colleges should refund a portion of tuition this year because of unexpected changes spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. Some argue that lectures delivered through Zoom are not as valuable as learning in person, while others say universities should be doing more to accommodate families hurting financially” (chicagotribune.com).

   Students all across the nation agree that remote learning is simply not the same experience as having face-to-face instruction. Sandoval claimed, “I wish we didn’t have to pay the full tuition as we learn via Zoom and Blackboard…. I don’t think the online education I am receiving is worth the money I am paying.” It simply does not make sense for students to be forced to pay the price of a full college experience while not even allowed on campus.

   Aside from classes being extremely different now, students do not have access to their library or dining halls, and many seniors this year are going without a traditional graduation ceremony. Greek life and all sporting events for the rest of the year have been cancelled, which is no doubt saddening hundreds of thousands of students. Still having to pay a non-reduced tuition fee is completely unfair. Especially for students in private schools, or for students paying out of state tuition, tuition fees can rack up to and exceed fifty thousand dollars for watching a lecture through a computer screen.

  Although many colleges have refunded housing and meal plan fees, they have not let up on tuition fees. Despite protests from students, colleges are arguing that tuition is their main source of income and how they remain functional. According to Mr. Robert Kelchen, a Seton Hall University Professor, “A lot of colleges simply can’t afford to give [tuition] refunds…. They don’t have the extra money to do that when they are still paying their employees.” Without the tuition fees, universities would not be able to function. However, many people are arguing that since students are not actually on campus, they should at least get some reduction in their tuition.

   The COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting our world in countless ways. Many are fearful and anxious for the future, and hoping that the curve flattens out sooner rather than later. Though students are still fighting for tuition reductions, it is important that they try to make the most of their time at home, and reach out to teachers and professors for additional help during these stressful times.