It looks like, for the first time in years, many universities across the U.S. will not be increasing college tuition for 2021. The C-19 pandemic took a huge financial toll on many families, and many colleges are responding in solidarity by freezing the rise in cost for the 2021-2022 academic year. Although this phenomenon is the case with many universities, some institutions, including most Ivy League colleges, are raising fees anyway.
Demands and complaints
It varies from case to case, but many students and parents have shown outrage at colleges increasing tuition while classes are still virtual. After more than a year of studying online, the consensus among students is that online college is just not the same. A College Pulse survey found that 90% of undergraduate students surveyed felt like college online should have been cheaper. So, with universities such as UPenn, Dartmouth, Brown, and others still hiking prices up anyway, students and parents are looking to hold them accountable.
Colleges in crisis
But the colleges seem to be in trouble as well. Many universities have been facing financial pitfalls of their own because of a decline in funding and applications. According to the WSJ, American universities “recorded their largest drop in cash inflows in decades this past academic year.” Regardless, schools that are still raising tuition, such as Yale and Cornell, have vowed to be extra generous with their financial aid.
Universities where classes will be online in the fall, such as Harvard, are in an even bigger dilemma. Forty-six percent of colleges plan to hold all or some of their classes online, but students feel like the gargantuan cost of college is not worth it for online classes. And they meant this sentiment, as academic institutions have seen a decrease in enrollment. So, with students and families remaining adamant on deserving cheaper fees for online classes—and with colleges already struggling financially—a compromise seems complicated but possible.
If you’re going to school in the fall, check this out.