Concerns grow as summer and fall registration has started, with spring finals week in the near distance.
Students are dealing with the dilemmas of opting for a pass/fail grade, COVID-19, network connection during an exam, unemployment and whether the fall semester will move online. Of all these problems, there is one more added to the students’ anxiety list: tuition fees.
The unemployment rate in the U.S has been soaring. Nonessential workers around the world have stopped working. Stay-at-home orders are being implemented worldwide. The international workforce has come to a halt.
Colleges across the U.S have offered pass/fail grading systems in recognition of the difficulties that come with studying at home. But this offer is only a remedy to a symptom of a greater cause. They should tackle the root cause and get rid of one of students’ preoccupations: tuition payment.
One of the root causes of poor performance by students is stress, and I would argue mainly financial stress. UTA could lighten the financial burden that students face. And that, in the bigger picture, would help students greatly.
By reducing tuition fees, students will have one less thing to worry about and will be able to focus more on learning and job hunting.
A deduction in tuition payment is only reasonable as students will receive a meager learning experience. Because even though we could depend on technology, and classes could be carried out online, much of our innate learning abilities still rely on in-person interaction and the environment that comes with it.
Without the classroom environment, students have not been able to absorb information adequately and to access resources easily. So much learning experience has been taken away by having classes online.
Furthermore, UTA should not charge its students with fees associated with the MAC, the central library and other resources UTA used to provide as they are physically inaccessible.
First-generation college students are having trouble coming up with payments and have lost their jobs alongside their family members as most are considered nonessential workers.
On-campus employment is the only avenue an international student has to work legally in the U.S. Many of them who earn their living expenses and/or pay college tuition through their on-campus jobs also lost their source of income as campus shut down.
During this pandemic, unemployment is one of the biggest concerns in every household. The majority of the world depends on their daily earnings to survive, and now they are left surviving without a job or income.
Some workers might not be essential for the workforce, but some are the sole, essential provider for their families. Because after all, students are not only students, some are also parents, caretakers and breadwinners.