Students raise concerns about full cost of tuition during a pandemic


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Ariel Lopez, Assistant A&E Editor

This story was updated on Oct. 1 to include the student petition to lower CSUSM tuition.

Despite not being able to use most of the on-campus facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CSUSM students are still required to pay the full cost of tuition, much to the dismay of many students. 

Over 850 individuals have signed a petition on asking for CSUSM’s tuition to be lowered.

CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White sent out an email to students and staff on Sept. 10, announcing that the CSU system will continue to learn remotely for spring 2021. With that in mind, students would have paid their full tuition without even having stepped foot on campus for an entire year.

This raises some questions: should students pay the full cost of tuition, regardless of whether they are on campus or not? What would the benefits be if we reduce tuition? What would the disadvantages be if we do reduce tuition cost?

Students are not using resources on campus like they would have if they were in person, as they are being provided an education that is fully online. 

It would make sense to reduce the cost, since many students aren’t able to take advantage of the on-campus facilities like they would if they were actually present. However, this topic isn’t as black and white as it seems.

Reducing the cost of tuition might be more complicated. Reducing the cost while the semester has already started seems like it might be too late, but we don’t know about spring semester’s tuition and fees. 

Brendan Hartsook, a student here at CSUSM, said, “I don’t think students should pay full price, but I don’t think it should be cut down drastically either. At the end of the day, all I’m paying for right now is the classes and that’s it. I’m not using the school’s cafeteria, parking lot, library or anything so why pay full tuition when here aren’t resources being used?”

“There’s been online schools that cost cheaper long before the pandemic … Even if it’s more expensive, I get it, you’re paying for an education,” said Hartsook.

Personally, I don’t think the cost of tuition should be cut drastically. However, if we aren’t using on-campus resources, I don’t see the point of continuing to pay full price. However, if we move more of these resources online, maybe it would make sense to not cut the cost.

We shouldn’t forget about faculty and staff, who are stressed about this issue as well since they had to move all of their lectures online, especially since some of them have never taught online before. Faculty and staff are struggling with this transition, but are working hard and diligently to provide students a worthwhile education. 

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California