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COVID-19 Impact on Tuition Costs

Story by Ellen Boland, Jackson Garrett, Hannah Hanford and Jordyn Capra

SAN MARCOS–Palomar College officials have decided tuition costs and fees will remain the same despite students’ inability to access campus facilities and programs during the Spring 2021 semester.

Due to COVID-19, California State and University of California campuses have also decided they will not reduce tuition. Representatives from both UCs and CSUs say they feel their online classes are worth the full tuition and therefore no reduction in cost is necessary.

Palomar College officials have decided they will not be reducing tuition or cutting out any enrollment fees. One fee in particular that has been in question is the health fee. It is a $21 fee paid by every student at the beginning of each semester.

Palomar Student Alex Cadenas stated, “I think that it’s wrong because the teachers aren’t there half of the time and we are pretty much doing all the work, and some classes I take are so basic and simple it shouldn’t be $200.”

He added, “The financial aid should give us more money for our struggles with online classes.”

Julie Lanthier Bandy, Palomar’s Director of Public Affairs, said, “The $21 health fee will remain in effect as students continue to have access to our medical staff and behavioral health counseling teams in this remote environment from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.”

While students are not able to receive COVID-19 testing at these facilities, they are able to receive telehealth help through phone and video appointments.

Enrollment at Palomar College has seen a dip since the beginning of COVID-19, particularly for Fall 2020. This drop could be due to students’ ability to pay for classes during this difficult time. Even though enrollment is down, Palomar has no plans to reduce overall tuition.

“Similarly, there are no planned reductions in tuition fees. Despite the limited access to campus, all of our faculty and staff continue to work full-time to educate and serve our students,” Lanthier Bandy said.

Although Palomar will not be reducing tuition costs, it will offer additional services at no cost to students to help them through the pandemic.

“Our health promotions team continues to host virtual workshops for students, in collaboration with community partners and our health services providers,” Lanthier Bandy added. “These workshops feature a variety of topics associated with the key aspects of maintaining a healthy mind and body during these challenging times.”

Any students who are interested in accessing these workshops and finding out more about the programs offered can do so at the Health Services website.

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