Should Tuition be Reduced for the Fall Semester?

By Nancy Sanchez-Diaz

Entertainment Editor

Students are evaluating tuition costs for the 2020-21 academic year following President Christopher Capuano’s announcement Friday of FDU’s decision to condense the fall semester. The semester is now slated to start one week early, Aug. 17, and end on Tuesday, Nov. 24 — two days before Thanksgiving.

Classes will be online for the first three weeks and then transition to face-to-face instruction beginning no later than Sept. 8, the day after Labor Day, Capuano said in an email on Friday, May 29.  

While Capuano said that the on-campus environment will reflect local, state and federal guidelines at the time, the fate of extracurricular activities, clubs and other on-campus activities remain uncertain. 

Many students think that the three-week remote-learning period, combined with the anticipated loss of extracurricular resources, will diminish this year’s college experience.

“Not everyone finds it easy to learn online,” freshman biochemistry major Jamia Baker said in a text message to The Equinox. “Personally, it won’t feel like I worked to my full potential (in the just-completed spring semester).”

Others have taken to Instagram to voice their concerns. 

“Tuition should be lowered since we won’t be provided with the resources that we pay for,” said one user (@678_999_8212) under an FDU post.   

Tuition costs are especially of great concern for students that are out of jobs and are experiencing economic difficulty. For the 2019-20 academic year, FDU lists tuition for undergraduate students at $41,154 and $54,822 for housing residents.   

In a Money article published on May 4, 2020, the economic disparities among college students are many. 

“With the restaurant and service industries taking such a severe hit in the pandemic, young people are likely disproportionately affected by the recent shutdown, as they’re more likely to work in those industries,” according to Money

On top of that, more than 13 million college students of an estimated 20-25 million in the U.S. were left out of the Federal stimulus checks issued two months ago, Money estimates. 

“They neither received $1,200 for themselves because their parents claimed them as dependents nor did their parents receive $500 for a dependent because they’re over 17 years old,” continued Money. 

Students without reliable housing are also concerned about the transition from remote learning to face-to-face interaction. 

“I feel like starting online classes early and then switching to regular classes will be a hassle,”  Baker continued in a text message to The Equinox. “Especially for the students that live outside of NJ.” 

For campus residents, the financial ladder to the fall starts with a housing deposit of $350 and an additional $200 tuition deposit.

“So we just paid the $550 to stay on campus and we’re not even going to be there for the first 3 weeks?” questioned another user (@believeinme_02) under the same FDU post.      

While on-campus conditions in the fall are too early to predict, students are calling on the financial costs to be addressed sooner rather than later, especially as the fall semester approaches. 

Photo from Kiplinger

Students concerned about money for tuition speak out.