Partial Tuition Refund For Cornell Art Students With no Access to Facilities

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Undergraduate art students at Cornell need your help! We have lost so much of our education to the COVID-19 crisis, we have no access to studios or facilities that are essential to our work; we have no dark room and are expected to continue photography class, we have no printing presses and are expected to continue printmaking class, we have no wood-shop or metal-shop and we are expected to continue sculpture class, and the school is expecting us to pay as if we do. 

We have written a letter to the our Dean and Department for a partial refund of our tuition, to help us make the work we need, and most importantly support our families during this unbelievable time: 

Cornell Fine Arts Program,

The BFA students respectfully request a partial tuition refund on a pro-rata basis, in step with students of several fine arts programs such as Rhode Island School of Design, Yale MFA, Columbia MFA, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, the School of Visual Arts, and Maryland Institute College of Art. 

Having been cut off mid-semester, we request a 50% refund for the things we cannot access virtually, such as studios, exhibition spaces, and essential facilities. We have bought expensive materials for classes we now have no use for without access to necessary tools for the production process, like the acid bath, printmaking presses, the darkroom, the lighting studio (324), RAND woodshop, the ADMS Lab, Fabrication Shops, and more. With these things no longer in use, we deserve the money back that we provided for them.

According to a four-credit class at Cornell costs $5,840, so we are requesting $2,420 reimbursement for each studio enrollment.

Additional to financial loss is a loss in the quality of our work, having to make do in our homes. There is a safety risk without supervision or experienced guidance. 

Studio art is an experiential education; it requires physical presence, it is not fair to translate this education virtually and make us pay for what has been taken away from us. None of your students can afford to pay thousands of dollars for such a drastic compromise to our education. 

To uphold the integrity of its education, fulfill the requirements of its Fine Art program, and support its most vulnerable students during this devastating crisis, Cornell AAP must make the accommodations proposed in this letter. 

We have started a petition for support on We implore you to rise to the occasion.


Anonymous Cornell BFAs