Penn State Tuition Adjustment
Penn State Tuition Adjustment
In early 2020, the coronavirus swept the nation, and by March, students were unable to return to campus, ending their school years behind walls of sadness and their computer screens. They were unable to see teachers and dear friends, denied graduations, the Blue and White game, Greek Life initiations, internships, and all that Penn State offers as the true "college experience." Despite it all, as many of you, and other officials and community members have expressed, they handled it well, battled obstacles that came their way, and truly fought for the common good.
Students even continued this sacrificing, positive spirit and goodwill when told they would be able to return to campus, but with a lot of new restrictions, such as limited or no common seating in the HUB and student buildings, no outside visitors to dorms, no large gatherings, no self-service buffets, and more. Additionally, many questions still remain unanswered, and uncertainty swirls as students wonder if they will be isolated, essentially enclosed in their rooms and living life as they did in quarantine, bereft of desperately needed social interaction.
So many are indescribably torn up by these things, but, they forge on, because, "We Are." However, though we are good and understanding people, what we are not is a group that should be taken advantage of.
Although students and community members have not been alerted of much, we are already aware that all classes of over 250 people will take place exclusively via the internet. Other classes in LionPath are rapidly changing to all-online formats, almost more quickly than the students can keep up with. From what many also know, those sections that have been left untouched will transition to at least hybrid style courses.
Were students told they would be returning to campus, just for the sake of charging them an on campus tuition rate? That is certainly how it feels to the majority of us.
In the persistent midst of a global pandemic, encompassing all that we have already relinquished for the greater good, it is absolutely inexcusable that students be charged full University Park tuition rates for their courses in the Fall 2020 semester. As per a prior statement, the university expresses that it does not plan to issue an adjusted tuition reduction, as it continues to "fulfill its educational mission." However, there is absolutely no doubt that, considering the circumstances, Penn State will not, and cannot, satisfy this mission to the fullest extent.
We, the student body, know that a World Campus tuition rate is $576 per credit, or a flat rate of $6,994 for more than 12 fully virtual credits. Accordingly, we deserve to be charged in the same manner for our fully virtual classes. In regards to hybrid courses, we, the students, should be charged a World Campus rate proportional to time spent online. For instance, if a course is half online, half in-classroom, students should expect to be charged a University Park tuition rate for half of the (shortened) semester, and a World Campus rate for the remaining weeks for an appropriate total.
As students are still paying for room and board, meals, fees, and miscellaneous expenses synonymous to past University Park rates, the aforementioned request is extraordinarily reasonable. Students understand that the university, its budget, and its staff, has encountered many obstacles and lost a lot; but so have they, and Penn State, from a moral standpoint, should be considerate of their loss too, as well as their humanity.
A multitude of students have already transferred, taken a leave of absence, or halted their educational journeys due to the financial impracticality of Penn State's insensitive decision. Despite Penn State attempting to benefit from monetary gain, these students leaving due to money-related hardships can and will easily yield an opposite to desired effect. Students understand that, ultimately, any college is a business, but even as impersonal customers (which students would like to feel more than,) those enrolled should be treated with proactive empathy, not taken advantage of or disregarded.
Penn State must seriously consider the implications that its current decisions will leave behind. As a school proud of its acceptance and trailblazing nature, the university should be one of the first institutions championing a rational and understanding tuition reduction, securing itself on the right side of what is quickly becoming unprecedented history.
Penn State has given to us, but we have also given so much to Penn State. Ultimately, we hope that the school which has created and fostered so much pride will do what is morally and ethically right: for its students, for its reputation, for its history, and for its legacy. Above all, we hope that our uniting phrase is more than just a chant, song, or call, and that, in dark times more than ever, we stand together, and We Are, Penn State.