Many household name universities have announced that due to the Fall 2020 school semester term predominantly being online with virtual instruction,tuition costs will be reduced. This measure has been adopted in hopes to relieve students of financial burdens as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting job security for many. Students attending universities such as Georgetown University are fortunate enough to receive comprehensive services and options that make up for the lack of certainty the fall semester will bring.
While colleges and universities across our nation have been pressured to decrease tuition costs by parents, students, and lawmakers, a small minority of institutions proceeded to acquiesce to their pleas. Queens College, however, has not followed suit. They have yet to release a statement regarding the possibility of any tuition breaks in the near future. As the Fall semester is swiftly approaching, we as students deserve the utmost transparency and consideration. In a time where existential circumstances have gravely affected people’s financial situation, one must consider that full tuition may be excessive and unpayable for many students.
This past week, QC President Frank Wu sent out an email regarding the finalized agenda for the fall 2020 academic term, citing that 99% of classes will be conducted online. Given that practically all courses will be conducted online, it would make sense to offer some sort of financial relief for students that are not planning to actively use on-campus resources. One particular word that consistently came to mind whilst reading the email was “ambiguity”. The President’s message felt vague and non comforting. Preventing ambiguity and uncertainty should be of primordial importance to the administration before relaying messages about tuition and other relevant college activities
It is within the best interest of Queens College to consider financial breaks for undergraduate students given the current crisis affecting our world today. Many families are unemployed, making it difficult for payments to be made in full. Additionally, oftentimes graduate students feel neglected, hence it’s important to consider their needs and lower their tuition as well.
A few different plans are being carried out by Gallaudet University, Georgetown University, and the Catholic University, giving students the option of either having their tuition reduced by ten to twenty percent or offering lower rates on student activity fees. They are also facilitating student payments.
One possible suggestion for Queens College to ameliorate the heavy costs would be to offer three different levels of payment options in accordance with financial needs. For example, tuition costs could be lowered from increments of 11, 15, and 20 percent, meaning those with less financial need would pay 11% less than the full tuition, while those with significant financial needs will pay 20-30 percent less than the total. These plans would assure Queens College doesn’t suffer any astronomical losses either. Another considerable option would be to keep the in-full tuition while eradicating activity fees for those students who will not access technological resources, science labs, art rooms, and music rooms.
As a student body, we are the driving force behind this marvelous institution. It is only fair that QC gives back to its community of driven, dedicated, and unique students during these uncertain times. As a college, we should strive for a collaborative effort towards success.