The New School: Aid Students with a Partial Tuition and Housing Refund

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As of today, 3.16.20  - 19:15 EST, Van Zandt [President] & Marshall [Provost] have declared that the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester at The New School will be conducted online. This was a difficult decision, and we appreciate The New School administration’s dedication to keeping us safe during this global COVID-19 pandemic.

While we are appreciative of the frequent updates from The New School, these emails fail to mention what the school plans to do in order to lessen this unforeseen financial burden on students across the university. We would like to formally request that The New School partially reimburse students for tuition and other associated fees for the Spring 2020 semester. This request is not unprecedented, as the university administration reached a similar solution following the Wet Lab fire of Spring 2018.

We understand that the recent turn of events has been just as unexpected for the university’s administration as it has been for students. However, this transition to distance learning means that for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, students will not be receiving the modes of instruction, access to campus resources, or living accommodations they initially paid for and have grown to rely on. Furthermore, the loss of the physical classroom space means a loss of networking and career opportunities for students.

Although we recognize the value and accessibility of distance learning methods and the role they play in our progressive institution, there are many classes at The New School, such as Parsons studios and other practice-based courses, that will be almost impossible to transition into the online space. Many students at this university rely on campus facilities and resources, such as printing labs, equipment checkout, recording booths, and practice rooms in order to complete their coursework. For these students and others who did not originally enroll in online classes, they are arguably now not receiving the same quality of education.

There is also a large segment of the New School student body that relies upon on-campus jobs for their primary income, and upon on-campus housing during the school year. These students are now out of work and/or displaced.

Lastly, due to the transition to distance learning and the closure of campus facilities, it will now cost less to run the university for the remainder of the semester. This means that the tuition and fees students initially paid are no longer accurate. For these reasons, we urge The New School’s administration to strongly consider providing students with partial reimbursement for the Spring 2020 semester.

Please comment below with any other pressing issues that our community is grappling with in this unprecedentedly stressful time.



As for the Parsons Graduating Class of 2020, there is a petition advocating for students having choices on how to complete their education. 

Click the link to sign to have options on how you want to complete your Thesis. 




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