UNITED STATES—The cost of a college education is expensive. If you’re a parent and sending more than one student to school the cost is even higher. With that said, I want to talk a bit about something that has many people upset including myself. Should the cost of tuition be the same for in-person instruction compared to online courses? Think about that for a second because it is indeed a valid point people. I do recall as an undergraduate taking 2-3 courses online and this was when the university I was attending just started to play with the notion of online classes.

It was not something that was potent on the campus and there was a bit of a hybrid mix. Some in-person instruction and a little bit online. In recent years, that has vastly changed, to where a ton of courses are now offered online and it raises the question that if the students are practically teaching themselves should they pay the same tuition rate especially when its vastly different than in-person. My answer to that question is hell no! I will say this and I’ve said it a million times. There are certain subject matters that require more hands on instruction to better understand the material. You cannot rely on an online tutorial as a method for students to grasp the information being taught.

For example, when it comes to math, statistics or anything involving science or rational, I absolutely think you need in-person instruction. You need to SEE things, understand the formula and navigate how it’s completed to grasp the concept. For me just reading math and instructions in a book never helps, I have to see to understand what needs to be done to properly solve a problem and I think that holds true for most students. Are there some courses where you can absolutely teach everything online? Absolutely, but just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should constantly rely on it.

That is transpiring with many universities across the nation simply because they are short staffed when it comes to professors and graduate assistants. When it comes to graduate students (many who teach a lot of recitation classes and some courses at the undergraduate level) it’s a result of the school not wanting to pay more. I mean you’re charging all this money for a 3 to 4 credit course; you can pay the people teaching these courses a bit more money people. C’mon share the wealth. Hell, half of the professors who are tenured rarely teach, the TA is doing all the work and this person collects a hefty check simply because they’re tenured give me a break.

If I’m not getting the full experience of what it feels like to be in the classroom setting learning, which has been the case because of COVID-19, I should not be paying $2k for a class online when I’m taking the course from my home. Hello, the university is NOT paying for my internet service, computer or any other goods needed to complete the course. It’s not the same if I was actually sitting in a seat in a lecture hall people. If anything the price of those online courses should be sliced in half, if not more.

Will the big time universities actually consider such a decrease in tuition rates? Of course not, they’re going to find a way to justify things even though it’s clear they’re making a killing on tuition income and not doing more to assist students who are issuing complaints about the new form of teaching, learning or pedagogy as some people coin it.

They say the cost of education is a key to success. Do I believe that? I don’t know, I think education does open up the doors for more opportunities, but I cannot say one leads to the other because there have been plenty of successful people who don’t have a college degree, a graduate degree or PHD people. It all depends on the person, but for those who are seeking a higher education the cost should not be so high that you’re going into massive debt as a result.

To gain knowledge and most of that knowledge you’re gaining is by work you’re doing, not the professor who is getting paid to instruct you. So what’s fair there America? Exactly, there is nothing fair about it at all.

Written By Zoe Mitchell