School in 2020 is looking different for everyone. From K-12 to the college level, almost all schooling is done through Zoom and other online means. This online-only interaction paved way for a conversation on the costs of a college education.
Colleges, despite almost only teaching through online means this year, are still demanding the same tuition that students would be paying for education in a physical classroom.
That is a big deal, especially for students paying for their school through student loans. According to Investopedia, in 2019 about 54% of college attendees take on debt to pay for their college education. And according to Value Penguin, the average student loan debt in 2019 was $32,731.
Students that want a better education for themselves shouldn’t have to swim in tens of thousands of dollars in debt in order to get it.
College is supposed to be more than just an education. College is a time in life where students get to experience things and meet new people. For some it is meeting people in the class, meeting someone in the library, the café, sporting events, clubs, networking, etc. All the things that are a part of the college culture.
If all that is taken away, what is college truly? It’s not a fun experience that students can eventually tell their children about when they’re older and trying to decide where they want to go to school. Take everything fun away from college, and it is basically a chore.
It is hard to have a college lifestyle from a bedroom listening to a lecture via zoom. It’s hard to make friendships over Zoom’s sea of black screens and random names. The college experience is even harder to be had when students cannot walk around their campus as it’s closed due to COVID-19.
Yet universities still think it’s okay to charge full tuition for the year despite the fact that students are not even going to be there to enjoy it.
Fullerton College should be a front runner for school and cut their tuition. They could be the lead domino in a domino effect of schools cutting their tuition. It may help Fullerton College in the long road, obtaining more registered students which may lead to more funding from the state.
Students pay big money to go to these PAC-12, Big 10, and SEC schools because of the college experience they will have, and the networks and friendships they will build. Take all that away, and what are these schools really giving other than an absurd amount of debt for an education that can be achieved for a fraction of the cost?
Even if tuition is cut for the entire 2020-2021 school year, students shouldn’t go into debt to just sit in their room and listen to a professor speak over their air pods or computer speaker.
It is nowhere near morally right to charge students for the full price of a college experience when they are not going to get anything near that.