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Students demand fee reduction after university goes online over coronavirus

Questions about refunds and travel assistance also continue to mount

Some 12,000 people have signed a petition demanding that UC San Diego officials reduce their fees in the wake of the decision to move spring quarter classes online over the coronavirus.

The petition comes as more students and parents across the nation are asking what the shift from on campus to online classes amid the coronavirus contaminant means for their wallets.

Questions regarding partial housing and meal plan refunds, as well as assistance with spur-of-the-moment travel plans as college students are asked to leave their dorms, have also increased.

As for the petition at UC San Diego, it was started by student Jessica Liang and “argues that the university should lower certain student fees that amount to $4,817.22 for in-state students and $14,735.22 for out of state students. The fees include tuition, transportation, student activities, and events,” the UCSD Guardian reports.

Liang explained to the student newspaper that since spring 2020 classes have moved online “I found a lot of UCSD students complained about that … they think it is not worth [it] to pay such high tuition for online classes.”

The issue has struck a nerve. Another UCSD student tweeted out her story as well:

Beyond UC San Diego, similar thoughts are playing out.

“I’m paying for in-person classes and it’s possible that half of this semester is going to be online,” UC Berkeley senior Sydney Ghoreishi told The College Fix this week. “Frustrating, but I’d rather not have corona. What I’d really like to see is some kind of refund.”

UC Berkeley has suspended most in-person classes through March 29.

Many universities across the nation have begun to post FAQs to handle the growing number of questions regarding what the switch to online means for tuition bills and possible refunds, and many answers remain forthcoming.

Boston.com reports that the many colleges in the area are handling the crisis in different ways, prompting one commenter to opine: “The universities should have to refund a full semester of both tuition and room and board or offer full credit for another semester. Students did not enroll for nor pay for online courses. For many students that is not possible – those in art, theater and music courses for instance. Then there are students taking courses with labs. It was the universities’ decision to over react and shut down, they should bear the cost of their decision.”

MORE: Some seniors frustrated, disappointed over losing final semester at college to coronavirus: ‘I hate this!’

IMAGE: Piotr Marcinski / Shutterstock

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.