Make tuition cheaper for virtual learning


I know that this semester – scratch that, this whole year – has been hard for everyone, both students and faculty included.

I look back at where we were at the end of March when we first left campus, and I remember how some of us were optimistic that we would be back on campus after spring break.

First things first, I want to say that I know there are some things beyond our control. We can’t control how seriously other people are going to adhere to safety measures during a pandemic, and we can’t control how quickly a vaccine is made. I understand that right now, we are all going through the motions together.

Still, something about this semester doesn’t sit right with me.

A few days before classes began, I checked my schedule on LEONET. Sure enough, some of my classes had switched to a virtual or hybrid format. I knew this was going to happen, and while I definitely would not have signed up for a virtual class under normal circumstances, I do recognize that these aren’t normal circumstances.

That being said, I was not thrilled to see that one of the classes I signed up for was switched to 100% online. Now, I wasn’t going to have a class meeting of any kind for a subject that I knew I was going to struggle in.

Based on my curriculum and my schedule of other classes, I needed to get this credit out of the way this fall. None of the other sections were offered during a time that I could take them, so I knew I was just going to have to deal with this being an online class.

And I know that some people prefer online classes. Depending on your lifestyle, they can be more convenient, and if that works for you, great.

But me, I get easily distracted. I procrastinate. I can be lazy sometimes. Without the structure of having to physically attend class, not only are my grades slipping, but I’m losing interest in my education altogether.

That’s why I don’t sign up for online classes unless I absolutely have to, and I think it’s unfair that I was switched to a 100% online class at the last minute.

Personally, I don’t think I should be paying the same amount for my online classes as I do for my in-person or hybrid ones, especially when I’m taking them as a last resort. And I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Hannah Hernandez, a sophomore psychology major, was also frustrated by an online class because she feels that the instruction she’s getting is not the same quality as her other classes.

“I feel like tuition should definitely be cheaper if the online class is asynchronous,” said Hernandez. “I signed up for an in-person class that ended up being asynchronous, and the teacher doesn’t teach at all. They assign exercises in the textbook and we turn them in. The only communication that we’re given is through email which makes it harder to understand what they’re trying to explain. It’s an inconvenience to me and it’s not what I signed up for.”

A class without any interpersonal communication or interaction does not help me learn nearly as well as a class that actually meets. Even if I have to do it through Google Meet, it makes me so much more excited to learn something if I can see someone’s face as they teach or as we engage in some sort of classroom activity.

To me, the quality just isn’t there in online classes, and I don’t think I should be paying the same amount as I would for a schedule full of in-person classes.