Topic

Tuition Refunds

273 petitions

Started 2 days ago

Petition to Georgetown University School of Medicine (GUSOM) Administration and Affiliates, Board of Directors, John DeGioia, PhD, President of the University, Robert Groves, PhD, Executive Vice President and Provost, David Green, MBA, Chief Financial Officer, Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and Executive Dean of the S, Diana M. Kassar, Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Administration at the School of Medicine

Partial Tuition Refund for GUSOM Students Due to COVID-19

The transition to a virtual/hybrid learning environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly lowered the quality of our medical education. Yet the expectation to pay full tuition and fees, along with a tuition increase for the upcoming year, has not considered the current financial hardships students face because of the pandemic. In the interest of fairness, we request the following: A Tuition Freeze & Partial Tuition Discount A Reduction in Non-Tuition Fees Prioritization of Marginalized Students When Distributing the COVID-19 Fund  Financial Transparency in Tuition and Fee Determination and Allocation GUSOM is among the most selective and expensive medical schools in the nation with a Cost of Attendance (COA) near $100,000 per year. Many of us chose to pay for a more expensive school, as opposed to attending in-state options, because of the prestigious, high quality, and mission driven education the Georgetown name promises. GUSOM is rooted in the Jesuit tradition of cura personalis, a philosophy we are proud of that encompasses our holistic education. However, with the transition to virtual/hybrid learning, our ability to properly learn how to care for the whole person has been reduced if not completely eliminated. This has undermined the essence and quality of our medical education in the following ways: Limited Training in Knowledge, Skill, and Value-Related Competencies: As stated on GUSOM’s website, students are expected to achieve competencies in the three domains listed above. However, even in the hybrid curriculum, there are significant limitations associated with  Ambulatory Care, Community-Based Learning, shadowing opportunities, communication workshops, in-person patient panels, the early clinical experiences that make GUSOM unique, which makes achieving these competencies inaccessible. Additionally, factors outside of students’ control such as changes in financial status or having an impaired immunity system have prevented many from perceiving the hybrid curriculum option as a real choice. Reduction of Research Opportunities: Student involvement in research, particularly clinical research involving direct patient contact, has been significantly decreased due to cancellation of numerous projects and the elimination of vital funding for the MedStar and Dean’s research scholarship programs. No Access to Facilities: Students no longer have physical access to facilities including the libraries, learning society rooms, student lounge, exercise facilities, and other spaces that contribute to personal well-being and academic growth. It is critical for medicine to be taught in a collaborative environment; in the lack of physical access, there are critical elements to our education that is lacking - tangible and intangible, academic and social.  Decreased Collaboration and GU Community Engagement: Related to the point above, decreased interaction with our peers and faculty has resulted in lost opportunities to learn from our classmates and develop our personal and professional relationships. Students cannot explore specialties of interest through direct, in-person interactions with clerkship directors, residents and alumni. Hands-on collaboration through small groups and team-based learning (TBL) workshops has also been eliminated. Lastly, it is also much more difficult to participate in interest groups, learning societies, and other student organizations over Zoom. An online environment does not facilitate the same opportunity to connect meaningfully, learn from others and solve problems effectively.  Reducing or eliminating these opportunities, without a proportional reduction in our tuition and fees, fails to acknowledge overall changes in our medical education that have undermined the value of a Georgetown education. To resolve this inequity, the specifics of our requests are detailed below: 1. TUITION FREEZE & PARTIAL TUITION REDUCTION: A reversal of this year’s tuition increase and an additional 10-15% percent reduction of our tuition for the 2020-2021 school year.In reducing or freezing tuition, Georgetown would be joining many other universities including Princeton University, Temple University, Thomas Jefferson University, Rowan University, Spelman College, and Williams College, who have acknowledged the impact of COVID-19 and of the switch to a virtual learning environment. 2. REDUCED NON-TUITION FEESOur annual cost of attendance includes $4,869.50 in fees. Most of these fees are in exchange for components of our educational experience that we can no longer access due to the pandemic.These include: Yates Field House Membership ($210 per semester): We request a full refund of this fee as Yates is currently closed. A precedent for refunding this fee has been established in Spring 2020 and should be continued for the AY 2020-2021 school year. Library Fee ($1,916 per semester): We request a partial reduction of the Dahlgren Memorial Library (DML) fee commensurate with our reduced access to the library’s resources and to the library itself. Students still have access to electronic resources and online library support. However, access to study rooms, books, equipment, and in-person staff have been eliminated. Additionally, tentative plans in the event of library reopening include reduced access. Technology Fee ($1,575 per semester): We request a partial reduction of this fee. This fee covers costs associated with the delivery of an online curriculum and access to the anatomy laboratory; the latter is currently limited. *Please note that charging this fee is discriminatory to students who are immunocompromised or otherwise did not have a real choice between the virtual and hybrid curricula options. Facility Fee ($1,168 per semester): We request a full reduction of this fee. Students have no access to these facilities and therefore the fee should be prorated when access is restored. 3. PRIORITIZATION OF MARGINALIZED STUDENTS WHEN DISTRIBUTING THE COVID-19 FUND We recognize and appreciate that Georgetown has established a COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund in an attempt to address the financial obstacles faced as a direct consequence of the pandemic. We request that priority in distribution of these funds be given to low-income, non-citizen, neurodivergent and immunocompromised students, as they are more likely to experience disruptions in their education due to both direct and indirect impacts (e.g. exacerbation of mental illness) of the pandemic. Other universities, such as the University of Michigan, have already approved additional financial support for students in need, beyond the provisions of the CARES Act. 4. FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY  To facilitate further reduction in students’ financial stress, we request clear and regular communication with regards to the determination and allocation of our tuition and fees. We ask for the following: An easily accessible overview of GUSOM’s financial planning process. Other private institutions, such as the Rochester Institute of Technology, are publishing about their process using student input.  Improved announcements about changes in the university’s financial status during the pandemic. We request these updates clarify school-specific impacts on tuition, fees, aid packages, and grant/scholarship availability. Detail on how tuition and fees are allocated and utilized within the budget to facilitate our virtual/hybrid learning plan for the 2020-2021 year. An avenue to offer feedback and contribute to improvements regarding financial transparency.  Our hope is that these requests offer multiple opportunities for GUSOM’s administration and affiliates to work together to address the unique academic and financial concerns faced by students at this time. Signed,   

GUSOM Students
203 supporters
Started 6 days ago

Petition to Mercy College, Tim Hall, Latimer Williams, Miriam Ford, Deborah Hunt, Susan Moscou, Mercy College Board of Trustees

Mercy College: Eliminate Tuition & Fee Increases for Nursing Students

Mercy College has decided to increase the fees that they charge nursing students effective Fall 2020. We currently have a weekly meeting with nursing administration and students consistently express that this increase is a significant financial burden. They also detail their current trials as a result of changes in their income or frustrations with virtual learning and/or the out of pocket expenses that are associated with it. Administration has made it clear that there will be no accommodation for students who are unable to pay for these additional fees. These fees are said to cover items that we do not have access to. We are paying for software that we don’t use. We are paying for labs that have been inaccessible for months.  Our class size has grown and our resources are limited in comparison to the amount of students that share them. We are missing out on opportunities to perform hands on skills that we need to know as nurses. This pandemic is stressful and it has adversely impacted so many of us. Administration has heard countless stories of the struggles that the students are experiencing. As students, we are asking that they take the current state of the world into account and not increase our tuition/fees at a time where we are financially and mentally overwhelmed. 

Mercy Nursing Student
374 supporters