Michigan State University To Lower Tuition Rates Due To Covid-19

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On May 27, 2020 Michigan State University distributed an email stating the decision to hold in-person, hybrid, or online classes for the fall semester. Although the option was given to professors to choose their own method of teaching, by June 29, 2020 most students have completely transitioned to online classes. The Board of Trustees has determined the tuition will be frozen for the academic year of 2020-2021. 

While the Spartan Community understands the severity of the conditions surrounding the pandemic, there are many concerns from students and their families that have still not been addressed:

The price of tuition has not been dropped despite the switch to remote learning. The Board of Trustees demands students to pay the flat rate tuition for classes that were once in person. These online classes hold a far less value compared to those that were once in a classroom. The students and peers of Michigan State University presume the degree has now been devalued and deemed not equivalent to the tuition rates that the university is imposing.

Not only do these concerns affect the whole student body at MSU, but it only adds onto the many concerns of out-of-state/international students: 

According to MSU’s student demographics of the 2019-2020 academic year, twenty-three percent of students reside outside the state of Michigan. The costs of the tuition for these students vary from $50,000-$60,000. Since switching to remote learning, these students can learn from home. This means out-of-state and international students are paying an extra $25,000-$27,000 for an online education. Many out-of-state students feel that they can get a degree of the same value of MSU from other varying online colleges. University of Phoenix, for example, costs a mere $10,000-$15,000 a year. Visit here to view more detailed costs. 

President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. acknowledges the decision of some students to not return to campus, by stating, "We recognize that some students may choose not to return to campus for health or other reasons, and we will endeavor to provide an enhanced selection of remote classes that allow them to begin or continue progress toward their Michigan State University degree." However, MSU has failed to give students ample time to transfer to alternative institutions. The final decision regarding MSU's return was declared on June 29th, 2020.  Many students now feel forced to attend Michigan State University or drop out; since they are not being able to choose what would best benefit their academic and financial circumstances. The amount of time taken to come up with a solution regarding classes, took time away from students who were aiming to transfer. 

The Spartan Community is distraught over the events that have taken place. However, the University should not put this problem onto the students. MSU has "taken pride" in caring about the community, but their actions do not reflect this belief. 

We are calling for the University to take accountability and find alternative revenues to fund these changes (funds from donors, funds from negotiating large sums for new coaches/staff, funds from parking tickets of students/families, etc.) Michigan State University has the revenue to help students, but uses the money to change the public institute into a "prestigious" university. This petition is being used to call on Michigan State University to ensure that they are helping rather than benefiting from the Spartan Community. 

We expect better from Michigan State University.