Reduce TRU Course Fees Due to Online Structure & COVID-19

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We, the students of Thompson Rivers University, request the administrative bodies of TRU to reduce the course fee for in-person classes to match the fee of online classes, based on the following: 

  1. Due to COVID-19, all previously in-person classes are now administered over online platforms;
  2. Students are charged in-person class fees, which are higher, for courses that are being administered online; 
  3. Students should not be compelled to pay additional fees for in-person resources that are not being provided;
  4. Due to uncertainty caused by the pandemic students are facing financial distress and hardship;

On March 16th, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, TRU administration transitioned all in-person classes to online platforms. This policy is in effect for all classes issued in the Summer semester and subsequently, if the lockdown is continued, through the Fall semester.

As per the tuition fee description provided by the university, fees for online courses are lower than in-person courses. For instance, domestic students pay $143.75/credit for in-person classes and $119.18/credit for online classes.* Comparatively, international students pay $592.25/credit for in-person classes and $389.11/credit for online classes.* Based on these values, in-person classes cost around 17% more for domestic students and 34% more for international students than online classes.

Tuition for in-person courses is higher than online courses because it covers non-academic costs such as: face-to-face interaction with professors, access to facilities on campus (labs, study spaces, libraries etc…), hands on learning experiences, and multiple other resources. But due to the lockdown of campus the university is no longer able to offer these resources. As a result, the administration should reduce the cost of all previously in-person classes to the fee of standard online classes.

During this time many students have been temporarily laid off from their workplace, have unwell or vulnerable family members to care for, are unable to travel back to their home country, and must incur the additional unforeseen costs associated with the pandemic. The decrease in tuition will help students through this unprecedented time of mental, physical, and financial distress.

We are confident that the university will heed to our request and relieve students of the excess and unnecessary financial burden. 

*evaluation is based on an approximation for general undergraduate courses and is subject to change depending on the course, faculty, program, and other factors

Join us in requesting that this issue be raised in the next TRUSU Board of Directors meeting so that they can persuade university authorities to reduce fees and have fair tuition.

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