More than 1,400 Columbia University students are threatening non-payment of college charges next semester, claiming the “exorbitant” charges are growing their monetary hardship amid the coronavirus pandemic
In a signed petition, the students known as on the college authorities to “alleviate the economic burden on students” by lowering the price of attendance by 10% whereas additionally growing monetary help by 10%.
The students are additionally asking the college authorities to change the college’s work-study program so students will “automatically” be on condition that portion of their monetary help relatively than paying it off by way of “work-study, summer jobs, or other means.”
“We are calling for 1) the cost of attendance (including tuition, fees, and room & board) to be reduced by at least 10%, 2) financial aid to be increased by at least 10%, and 3) the “student responsibility” to be replaced by grants”, the organizers wrote in the petition.
“By replacing the “student responsibility” with grants, we mean that students will automatically be given this portion of their financial aid as a grant, rather than having to pay through work-study, summer jobs, or other means”, they wrote.
The organizers acknowledged that their present college charges of over $30,000 per semester, “constitute a significant source of financial hardship during this economic depression,” including that the Ivy League college in New York City is likely one of the costliest universities within the nation.
The college authorities advised FOX Business that undergraduate tuition this yr was frozen in response to the pandemic and stays at $58,920 for the 2020–2021 educational yr.
Still, students argued the “financial burden posed by high school fees and student debt” is larger than ever earlier than due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent financial recession.
“We are calling for a tuition reduction partly because of the challenges, equity issues, and diminished educational quality entailed by remote classes,” organizers wrote.
“The mission of our tuition strike is to make Columbia work for the needs of its students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the surrounding community,” Townesend Nelson, one of many petition’s organizers, stated.
A spokesperson for the Columbia University reportedly stated that the college “has remained targeted on preserving the well being and security of our group, fulfilling our dedication to anti-racism, offering the training sought by our students, and persevering with the scientific and different analysis wanted to overcome society’s critical challenges.”
Since the pandemic, students have written many petitions askimg for tuition reimbursement or a future discount in class charges.
In July this yr, Columbia College Chicago signed a petition calling for “a 40% negotiable discount to the projected tuition or a temporary freeze until a solid discount can be instituted.”
This demand would change undergraduates’ tuition price from the beforehand introduced $13,571 to $8,143 and graduates’ from $14,364 to $8,619, in accordance to the petition.
“We understand that these are confusing times … we are facing an economic downturn,” the petition states. “A lot of aspects of how to go about higher education is up in the air. The students that make this college [what it is] every year deserve relief in these times more than ever.”