College students want online-only tuition lowered

Students say career planning and textbook costs are higher priorities than online learning
By: | June 25, 2020
A majority of students don't think online learning should be a top priority at their colleges and universities, a recent survey found. (GettyImages/Hill Street Studios)A majority of students don't think online learning should be a top priority at their colleges and universities, a recent survey found. (GettyImages/Hill Street Studios)

While most college students say their institution has responded well to the coronavirus, a majority don’t want to pay full tuition if all of their classes will be online in the 2020-21 school year, a new survey has found.

Most of the students surveyed said that their colleges and universities should not make online learning a priority, according to the report by College Pulse, a higher ed marketing research firm.

Rather, 60% of students want new programs for helping them identify internships and job opportunities, and nearly as many no longer want to buy expensive textbooks. Yet, more than six in 10 said their schools could improve online learning with better technology.

Students also rated getting more help choosing their majors and having more faculty mentoring opportunities as more important than improved online learning, the survey found.


More from UB: 6 snapshots of how colleges and universities plan to reopen safely


Yet, students who had taken an online class were more likely to say it was successful, the survey also found.

“College students are savvy consumers and most understand the limits of online learning,” the report says. “By almost every metric, students say that online education is not as effective as traditional in-person teaching,”

COVID economy leads to program cuts

In another concerning financial development, colleges and universities have been cutting programs in recent weeks in the face of financial challenges the began before this spring but have become more severe during the pandemic.


More from UB: What do students think of online learning? 2 surveys shed some light.


The University of Alaska has cut 39 academic programs, including sociology, creative writing, chemistry and environmental science, CNBC reported.

Elmira College in New York will eliminate classical studies, economics, music, philosophy and religion, and Spanish and Hispanic studies, among other subjects. The school intends to cut athletic teams and staff as well, according to CNBC,

And the University of Akron in Ohio has frozen hiring and made academic and athletic cuts. “The pandemic has weakened us to an extent requiring immediate and decisive action,” President Gary Miller said in a video message, according to CNBC.


UB’s coronavirus page offers complete coverage of the impacts on higher ed.


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