College students push back against paying full tuition for distance learning
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – As many colleges return to school via distance learning for the Fall semester, students are pushing back against paying full tuition.
Rhode Island College will begin its semester in a predominately remote environment. Because of this, some students were surprised by their tuition bill.
“I just wasn’t expecting it to be as much as it was and more than last Fall semester,” said Alexis Desorcy, a senior at RIC.
On top of tuition, she also has to pay on-campus fees for things like the library and athletic center.
“For them to expect us to pay this much money for something we’re not even leaving the house for– I think it’s criminal,” said Desorcy.
She started an online petition calling on Governor Gina Raimondo to eliminate campus fees while classes are online. The petition has nearly 5,000 signatures.
RIC’s Fall tuition plus campus fees was originally $5,130. But the school made adjustments to be sensitive to the economic difficulties facing many of the students.
The school reduced the athletic fee by 75% and removed the fine arts fee, saving students $79. Tuition and fees for Fall 2020 are now $5,051, which is $262 more than Spring 2020.
A spokesperson for RIC released the following statement:
Despite increased costs of operations, as well as a general upward trend in tuition and fees among our peer institutions throughout the region, Rhode Island College has worked hard to remain among the best values for a four-year degree in the Northeast. The college has been thoughtful about how to limit these increases and reduce the burden on our students. Our adjusted tuition and fee rates reflect this consideration… Other fees, such as the library fee, have remained in place because the library will continue to operate and provide services to students both on and off campus. These facilities and supports on campus are a critical lifeline for many of our students who do not have an appropriate learning environment at home and need those services. These fees pay for the operations needed to keep these facilities available to students who might otherwise not be able to continue their studies.