While university discounts may not be offered at many institutions despite the sudden shift to online learning and hardship faced by students due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, there are some institutions that are offering them.
Some colleges and universities are offering discounts and scholarships based on individual cases. For example, the National University in San Diego is giving tuition discounts to those who are in dire need of financial aid. National University president David Andrews told US News & World Report that there are multiple ways that students can receive a discount, and the goal is to reduce the overall expenses for students by 25%.
Ken Redd, senior director of research and policy analysis at the National Association of College and University Business Officers, said, “A discount in the most classical sense is cutting the price for a particular set of students, like athletes and first-generation students, populations schools are trying to attract. When everybody gets the discount it’s really more of a price cut or price reduction.”
He also pointed out that even before the pandemic, tuition discounts were increasingly offered to reduce the burden of paying for hefty tuition fees. The annual NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study showed that the 2019-2020 tuition discount rate was approximately 53% for first-time, full-time, first-year students and about 48% for all undergraduates, both at record highs.
Redd said, “I suspect that that trend will continue even more with a pandemic upon us. We won’t have data until the fall when school starts, but nonetheless it’s obvious that between the tuition discounts and broad-based price reductions, we expect to see a substantial increase in the use of grant aid to support undergraduate students.”
As online learning continues this fall, students are calling for university discounts and refunds as they will not be able to utilise resources and campus facilities. International students, in particular, are asking for fee reductions as they will not be receiving the study abroad experience they had planned for. Here are some universities in the US that have announced significant discounts and scholarships for students this year, as compiled by US News & World Report.
Shreya Patel, a junior at this university in New Jersey, started an online petition when she found out that she will not receive a refund when the university announced that classes will be held online for the rest of the year. Her petition garnered close to 31,000 signatures.
Patel told CNN, “It just doesn’t make sense to be paying such a high amount for something that’s not being used to the full advantage.” Although tuition fees remain the same, the university agreed to reduce campus fees by 15%.
Clark Atlanta University
This university in Atlanta, Georgia has dropped tuition fees by 10% and reducing mandatory fees, according to multiple reports by Washington Post, CNN and US News & World Report.
Johns Hopkins University
This private university in Baltimore, Maryland is offering a one-time 10% fee reduction for freshmen undergraduate students. Students can view the updated fees which include the discount on the official website.
Southern New Hampshire University
At this university, which is adopting hybrid learning this fall, incoming freshmen will receive full-tuition scholarships for the first year while everyone else gets a 61% discount. The scholarships will be available to 1,050 freshmen on a first-come, first-served basis, and won’t include the cost of room and board.
This college in Massachusettes is reducing the cost of attendance by 15%, by waiving activities and residential house fees (previously set at US$310), and offering an 11.4% tuition fee reduction. Room and board costs for those who will be on campus will also be lowered. Students attending Williams College have the choice of remote learning or in-person classes for the fall semester.
Paul Quinn College
According to a letter by William R. Harvey, the President of the College, “Because of the financial burden that the pandemic has had on students and parents, the university will reduce tuition and comprehensive fees by 15% for the fall 2020 semester. This means that the total cost for the fall 2020 semester for 10 to 17 undergraduate hours will be US$12,519, a savings of US$2,187. The reduced rate will be reflected in each student’s tuition bill.”
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