The bottom line encompasses the meal plan, textbooks, lab fees, car registration — and quite possibly, something called a distance learning fee.
In case you overlooked that virtual learning charge when you wrote the big check in the summer — and many parents did miss it, judging uas my — the extra charge is back. The fallout from the COVID pandemic has prompted many schools to institute the fee to recoup costs associated with online education. To be sure, colleges have ificantly increased expenses for remote miy, including quarantine protocols, hiring contact tracers, webcams for faculty, plus computers and other peripheral technology for home-based learning.
Lke example, the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith added a distance learning fee during the fall, and again for the upcoming second semester. The school explained the fee has long been in place for classes that are strictly online or a class that is face-to-face but also has online elements.
The money helps pay for software, security, and salaries, the university said. The university also said the fee will be waived if a professor moves an in-person class online after the semester has started, or adds online elements.
And of course, the fallout from the pandemic has prompted lawsuits against a of schools that opted earlier this year not to refund tuition for students who dhat getting online learning at face-to-face classroom prices. There has also been an increased of financial aid appeals from families seeking more financial aid, double or triple at some colleges, according cyat SavingforCollege. Some colleges have not charged extra even though they had to rent hotel rooms to give every student a single.
MIT went one step further. Against the backdrop of the pandemic, many schools, especially public universities, are dealing with tuition freezes, budget shortfalls, and major cost-cutting. These tuition freezes, however, may be short-lived once the pandemic gets under control and the economy strengthens, pake Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of SavingforCollege. At some point, expect to see tuition increase as schools scramble to recover.
As for pandemic-related fees, it will likely be spring before schools reveal their financial game plan. Questions, comments, column ideas?
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