General As more colleges stay online, students demand tuition cuts

tom_mai78101

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As more universities abandon plans to reopen and decide instead to keep classes online this fall, it’s leading to conflict between students who say they deserve tuition discounts and college leaders who insist remote learning is worth the full cost.

Disputes are flaring both at colleges that announced weeks ago they would stick with virtual instruction and at those that only recently lost hope of reopening their campuses. Among the latest schools facing pressure to lower tuition are Michigan State University and Ithaca College, which scrapped plans to reopen after seeing other colleges struggle to contain coronavirus outbreaks.

The scourge has killed more than 175,000 people in the United States. Worldwide, the confirmed death toll crossed 800,000 on Saturday, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, and cases passed 23 million.

In petitions started at dozens of universities, students arguing for reduced tuition say online classes fail to deliver the same experience they get on campus. Video lectures are stilted and awkward, they say, and there’s little personal connection with professors or classmates.

Many schools, however, respond that they have improved online classes since the spring. Some have instituted decreases of 10% or more, but many are holding firm on price.

At Michigan State, senior Tyler Weisner said the online classes he took last spring were less effective than what he gets on campus. Weisner, who started a petition to reduce tuition, said he’s also missing out on many of the benefits of college.


Read more here. (Associated Press)
 
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