All in for online: Students pay full price for online school during epidemic

Only a few weeks ago, college students were happily sitting in their dorm slaving away at an essay and cramming assignments for the next day. But everything changed quickly. When the coronavirus reached the U.S., students were given only a couple of days to pack their things and head home before any harm could come.

Students are now safe in their homes, but COVID-19 wasn’t their only threat. Several colleges, including Harvard, are continuing to have their students pay full price for boarding and “quarantine school,” rather than the original, cheaper online school price.

Personally, I don’t think that having students pay full price is the best solution to this problem. Not only is it unfair, but it is taking advantage of college students who are already in a difficult situation. Many argue that it’s still the same professors teaching, but this still doesn’t include the interactive and hands-on learning that colleges initially promised.

Not refunding college tuition is financially hurting students. People in college are having to pay for a completely different experience then they originally applied for. College students have a notorious reputation for being broke and adding to this expense doesn’t help.

According to the Ohio State University’s website, the cost for two years of online school is $20,244. Students that actually attend class on campus have to pay around $23,792 (including board) for one year.

This means that students who are doing online school because of the coronavirus have to pay around an extra $3,500 when they are essentially attending the same schooling as someone who is originally doing school online.

One major effect of students paying full price for online school is an increase in stress. For many, paying for college is not something that comes easy and it is already extremely stressful for students.

With students not even allowed to attend normal schooling but still having to pay full price, it is making their situation much worse. According to, excess stress in students can hurt their physical and mental health, while also hindering their performance.

Stress isn’t the only thing affecting performance though. Making classes online can often be very difficult, especially when the learning experience isn’t the same as it usually has been.

Overall, the changes made to colleges because of coronavirus have not benefited students. At this difficult time, schools should be lowering the price to make things fair and they should make more accommodations to make everything easier for students. A school’s ultimate goal should be to teach students, not to steal from them.


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