Coronavirus Tuition Refunds

253 petitions

This petition won 1 month ago

Petition to Vermont State Senate, Vermont State House, Bernie Sanders, Patrick J. Leahy, Peter Welch, Phil Scott, Alison Clarkson, Peter D. Anthony, Selene Colburn, Barbara Rachelson, Jill Krowinski, Marcia Lawrence Gardner, Anthony Pollina, Brian Collamore, Catherine "Kitty" Toll, Christopher A Pearson, Kesha Ram, Phil Baruth, Sarah Copeland Hanzas, Tim Ashe, Becca Balint, Diana Gonzalez, Dick Sears, Jr., Jeanette K. White, John Rodgers, Sam Young, Carol Ode, Charlie Kimbell, Vermont State College Board of Trustees, Jeb Spaulding

Securing the Future of the Vermont State Colleges

As we move forward through the COVID-19 crisis we are seeing more and more businesses and communities being impacted negatively by this. The Vermont State Colleges System is no exception to this! This is the true test of the colleges within the system financially. Each of the four institutions that comprise the VSCS is key to the communities they surround and play an important role in the Vermont economy. Without them, this could cause irreversible damage to local economies within the state. Today we are asking for your support to pressure the Governor’s office as well as the State Legislature to give the State College System the financial support that it critically needs and deserves. The system is facing a deficit upwards of $8.5 Million for this year, which will have real and damaging implications. We are proposing that the state give the system enough money to compensate for the deficit and increase the yearly state appropriation from covering only 18% of the system’s cost to requesting an additional $25 million on top of the current appropriation. The system has been long plagued by state appropriation shortfalls from the state which has led the schools to struggle.  Northern Vermont University-Lyndon, Northern Vermont University-Johnson, Castleton University, Vermont Tech, and Community College of Vermont employ over 1,800 people in every county across the state and provides an education to over 11,000 students, 83% of whom are Vermont residents. Reviving the VSCS is key in reviving rural Vermont and providing not only Vermonters but people from all over this country with the essential skills needed in today’s economy. Northern Vermont University alone contributes about $113 million to the economy. Downsizing even one campus will have significant and long-term impacts on the surrounding communities.   A little about myself. My name is Patrick Wickstrom and I currently attend Northern Vermont University - Lyndon studying both Atmospheric and Climate Change Science. I also serve as the Financial Controller for our Student Government Association, am a Resident Assistant, captain of the Men’s Tennis Team, and a very active member of this campus and its community. My story starts at a young age when I learned I had a passion for weather and growing up in North Texas with our severe weather only grew that passion. When I was about 11 or 12 years old, I learned about a school called Lyndon State College, now Northern Vermont University, and fell in love with it. It was always my dream to attend Lyndon because of the quality of its Atmospheric Sciences Department. As it came time to apply to college, I only applied to one school, Lyndon. I could’ve applied and gone to Texas A&M, Texas Tech, University of Louisiana Monroe, but instead, I chose Lyndon. I knew that going to a smaller school far from home was the right choice for me. When I finally arrived in January of 2019, it was everything I thought it would be. I have made some of the best friends of my life, made connections with faculty and staff that I wouldn’t have elsewhere, and been given opportunities of a lifetime.  I even stayed in the summer of 2019 to work at Mountainview Country Club because I fell in love with the state of Vermont so much. Going to school at NVU - Lyndon has been the best decision of my life and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Supporting our school and the VSC helps students like me reach their goals and brings people to the great state of Vermont, which helps support its economy.

Patrick Wickstrom
47,805 supporters
Started 8 months ago

Petition to President of Fairleigh Dickinson University Christopher A. Capuano, Debra V. Jones President Chair of Board of Governors, Fairleigh Dickinson Uiniversity, Senate President Deirdre Collier, State Director at The Office of the Secretary of Higher Education Errol Bruce


Due to COVID-19, Fairleigh Dickinson University has decided on a hybrid learning system which like many other universities involves a remote learning system in order to prevent the spread of the virus. This alternative learning style results in a shortage of our complete learning experience in the Fall of 2020 by three weeks. Although these necessary precautions will help better the health of our students and assist us on the path to recovery from this pandemic, remote learning does not substitute for our in-class learning experience along with other on-campus services. As we look into other alternatives for our education we must also take into consideration what is at loss for each student and try to accommodate these needs.  It is not just for students to be forced to pay tuition at full price with the reduction of an annual 3% tuition rate when we will be losing the opportunity to utilize resources we normally would while being on campus. Freezing the tuition rate does not account for the loss of time and educational experience from the Fall semester. We should not be paying the full tuition price if not receiving all the benefits that are involved with the cost, such as computer lab access, fast speed internet connection, dining hall expenses, campus life organizations and most importantly face-to-face learning. As a student, my online learning experience in the Spring of 2020, did not nearly scratch the surface of the infinite learning opportunities that would have been granted to me as an on-campus student. We are all facing extreme financial hardships brought upon us by the pandemic.  I urge you all to help change this financial decision that affects each and every one of our students at Fairleigh Dickinson University. We cannot rebuild when not given the chance to take a breath, give our students and families a break, financially, for the betterment of our overall academic success.  Please sign and share this petition with your peers, families, and other public platforms to help prevent this extra burden on our lives. 

Stephanie Barbosa
1,568 supporters
Update posted 8 months ago

Petition to Columbia University, Columbia College, Suzanne B. Goldberg, Ira Katznelson, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of General Studies, Barnard

Partial Tuition Reimbursement at Columbia University

On March 12, 2020, faced with the ongoing spread of the Coronavirus in New York City and beyond, Columbia University announced their decision to move all classes to Zoom, an online video communications and conferencing tool. While we recognize and sympathize with the difficult position that the Coronavirus has put Columbia University in, this transition to online classes represents a notable reduction in educational and instructional quality, which we fear will negatively affect our educational and professional outcomes moving forward. Further, we fear that the quality of education we will be receiving will not be commensurate with costly tuition payments made in January of this year. In addition to a reduction in educational quality, other unintended consequences of the Coronavirus, including cancelled talks on campus, networking events, and reduced face-to-face time with professors and colleagues, threaten to negatively affect our short and long-term professional outcomes. This is a particularly worrying prospect for those of us graduating in 2020, as we will likely find ourselves graduating into a recession (which, as the 2008 crisis demonstrated, can have a lifelong negative impact on earnings). With this in mind, we call upon the University to address the reduction of educational quality that the transition to online classes represents, as well as the negative professional impacts of reduced networking opportunities and cancelled campus events, by providing students with a partial tuition reimbursement. We note that the University has a sizable endowment at their disposal and could use some of these funds to help protect their students (who themselves represent future donors) during these trying times. Thank you for your reading and sharing.

B Felix
8,491 supporters