Columbia university students threaten to withhold ‘exorbitant’ tuition next semester citing hardship amid pandemic

More than 1,400 Columbia University students are threatening non fee of college charges next semester, claiming the “exorbitant” charges are growing their monetary hardship amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a signed petition, the students referred to as on the varsity authorities to “alleviate the economic burden on students” by lowering the price of attendance by 10% whereas additionally growing monetary assist by 10%.

The students are additionally asking the varsity authorities to substitute the varsity’s work-study program so students will “automatically” be provided that portion of their monetary assist somewhat than paying it off by “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.

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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 without doubt one of the most costly universities within the nation.

The college authorities instructed FOX Business that undergraduate tuition this 12 months was frozen in response to the pandemic and stays at $58,920 for the 2020–2021 tutorial 12 months.

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.

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“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, mentioned.

A spokesperson for the Columbia University reportedly mentioned that the varsity “has remained targeted on preserving the well being and security of our neighborhood, fulfilling our dedication to anti-racism, offering the schooling sought by our students, and persevering with the scientific and different analysis wanted to overcome society’s severe challenges.”

This demand would change undergraduates’ tuition charge from the beforehand introduced $13,571 to $8,143 and graduates’ from $14,364 to $8,619, in accordance to the petition. This is predicated on the tuition introduced for the 2020-21 tutorial 12 months earlier than the rollback.

“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.”

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Since the pandemic, students have written many petitions askimg for tuition reimbursement or a future discount in class charges. However, college officers say they’re doing what they will to assist.

In July this 12 months, Columbia College Chicago additionally 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 charge 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.”

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