Students call for a reduction in fall semester fees

Illustration by Monique | The Signal

No matter the differences a student body holds, there’s always something that ties the class together: money. How much students pay for their education and the facilities offered by the university is a concern for many, and that’s especially true today. 

Due to the pandemic, the traditional college experience is a thing of the past for the upcoming fall semester. With almost all instruction moving online, an array of limitations placed on the recreation center and the strong likelihood of there not being a 2020-2021 football season, many question why student fees are the same as the 2019 fall semester. 

Along with tuition, students are subjected to pay several fees that make up their overall semester bill. Some of these include a recreation fee ($38), a transportation fee ($57), the activity fee ($85) and an athletic fee ($275). 

The fact that there has not been a reduction or a statement issued by the university about a change in costs has left students confused, disappointed and wanting answers. 

When interviewing students on the issue, many said that there should be some sort of price reduction. 

Francesca Vranesevich is a junior at the Atlanta campus and firmly believes something needs to be done to lower costs.

“I think it’s ridiculous that we are paying the same amount,” she said. “There is a high chance that we won’t even be able to attend any games, and there’s no point for transportation fees if barely anyone is attending class in person. I wish that they would give us a discount of some sort.”

Not many students are sold on the concept of paying the same fees as they did in past semesters with all that has changed. Many are asking why they should pay the same amount for a completely different experience.

Ariel Barrientos, another junior at the Atlanta campus, is one of the many students who believes you get what you pay for.

“I feel it’s not necessary to be asking people to pay, especially if we’re not getting the full amount of things we’re paying for,” he said.

For some, a reduction in fees is not enough. Students like sophomore Nader Mansour believe that they should be seeing a reduction in their tuition costs as well.  

“I am very annoyed by it, and I think that it’s a waste of money. I also believe that tuition should be decreased as well,” he said. “Why am I paying full tuition for all online classes?” 

The university has not issued a statement involving any future plans in a fee reduction. 

Students are united in their views on these issues: Many do not believe in paying the same amount they paid last year, and not many feel like they should. 

With so much new territory for education in this unfamiliar time, there’s still a lot more that needs figuring out. Although students can understand the fact that this is a confusing time, they still expect to be compensated for this “new normal” and believe they deserve to hear directly from the university concerning their plan of action. 

Barrientos realizes the uncertainty of these times but does not see it as an excuse.

“I really do understand that this is uncharted territory for many of us, and we’re all trying to figure out what the right steps moving forward are,” he said. “However, the university needs to recognize and appreciate the student body’s concerns and come up with a plan for this semester amid the pandemic.”