As of July 2, over 5,000 Long Beach State students have signed a petition to reduce the cost of tuition for the fall 2020 semester since instruction will be delivered primarily remotely.
President Jane Close Conoley announced June 15 that at least the first part of the upcoming fall semester will be held online due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.
Fourth-year psychology major Alyssa Neal created the change.org petition that includes a proposed tuition of $2,913 instead of the current cost of $3,425 to accommodate for on-campus resources being inaccessible to students in the fall.
“I wanted to be proactive and create a petition that would explain what temporary modifications should be made for the fall 2020 tuition to accurately reflect the resources and facilities we as students would be able to utilize through remote instruction,” Neal said. “I am hoping that the CSULB administration hears the concerns of their students and makes the appropriate modifications needed to make tuition fair.”
The petition, which was created two months ago, includes a breakdown of tuition fees that Neal believes should be waived:
- Facility fee: $5
- Associated Students Inc. fee: $35
- Instructionally related activities fee: $25
- University Student Union fee: $201
- Student Excellence fee: $173
- Student Health Services fee: $75
The facility fee is a cost for the use of CSULB’s campus, which students will be unable to access when participating in virtual instruction.
Students will also be unable to make use of the University Student Union to access on-campus restaurants, entertainment and the gym, or ASI, which organizes on-campus events and activities. For the fall semester, students may have limited access to the health center to access on-campus medical attention.
Ryan Husted, fourth-year communications major, signed the petition in support of the proposed tuition cost.
“Students shouldn’t be paying for services that most if not all students are going to be able to participate in [such as] the rec center, the USU and other on-campus facilities,” Husted said. “I personally agree with not getting rid of tuition entirely since the school does need to make money, however I don’t think any student should be paying for stuff that they won’t be able to access.”
CSULB’s student excellence fee refers to funding for on-campus transportation as well as technology provided in places such as the library and Horn Center, and the instructionally related activities fee refers to funding for on-hands class activities such as labs.
Those who signed the petition feel that although these resources are beneficial for students, participating in online instruction will render these resources unnecessary in the fall.
Neal said she was expecting the university officials to make an announcement about a modified tuition cost to accommodate students who will be attending the fall semester from home.
“I understand that this is a situation that the school could not possibly have prepared for, so I understand that there are no guidelines for how to respond to it at all,” Neal said. “However, speaking for myself I have worked really hard for many years to put myself through school and I know there’s plenty of students just like me who would not only really appreciate but also really benefit from a lowered tuition, especially in these unprecedented times.”