Expecting college students to pay full tuition for online classes is just another way the coronavirus has taken away the college experience.
With most universities and colleges operating remotely, the transition from in-person to online classes has been difficult.
It has been nearly a year since most American college students have stepped into a classroom. Although it seemed like a two-week vacation at first, many students are now facing the obstacles of attending school virtually.
Lack of motivation, technology issues and insufficient study locations are just some of the difficulties that no one foresaw. Then add full tuition and fees on top of that.
On campus, students are provided with resources, such as a quiet library to study, campus police department for safety, and the ability to visit their teachers during office hours for a more in-depth explanation on classwork.
“I feel I would be achieving a higher level of education if classes were on campus instead of online. College is very different from high school and having it online makes it more difficult and lessens my motivation,” says first-year Palomar student, Devyn Leslie.
I recognize that the staff at most universities and colleges are working hard to maintain this level of support, and it does not go unnoticed.
However, no virtual activity will ever compare to the sense of liveliness students and faculty feel when they walk throughout the buildings of Palomar College or any school.
I understand that going back to school in person heightens the risk of a spike in coronavirus cases and is not a feasible option for now. I am okay with that if it means keeping students and staff members safe, but college students are missing out on a very important time in their lives.
Colleges and universities across the country are losing millions of dollars, so it is no surprise why tuition rates have stayed the same or even raised at a handful of schools.
Senior writer Lee Gardener wrote in the The Chronicle of Higher Education that the California State University system lost $337 million last year and cannot afford the loss. Therefore, the administration does not plan to lower tuition for nearly half a million of their students.
I do realize that a small number of colleges are offering tuition breaks, such as Williams College at 15% or Princeton University at 10%. This is only a small handful of colleges that are choosing to provide a sense of relief for their students, but most California schools are not.
This last year has not been easy for anyone. I feel that schools should be providing more aid for tuition at a time when many families are struggling financially.
“I do not think Palomar and other colleges should be charging full tuition for online classes because you are not receiving the amount of education you would if you were actually in person on campus, therefore I don’t think it is fair to be paying for all of it when you aren’t receiving all of it,” Leslie said.
I urge my fellow college students to apply for FAFSA and as many scholarships as they can.
For details about the Palomar College scholarships, visit https://www.palomar.edu/fa/scholarships/.