SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- The Missouri State Board of Governors are working to level the cost of online and seated classes to avoid students having to pay more for online classes.
MSU has been looking to change classes’ costs since the rise of virtual classes due to COVID-19.
Students say they shouldn’t have to pay more for what they say is the safer, yet less effective option.
“You never get the same level of teaching whenever you’re not in person,” says Adrianna Webb, a Sophomore at Missouri State.
“It takes away from the learning aspect of it when you’re asking students to pay more,” Gracie Huels, a Sophomore at Missouri State.
“I think that’s going to be a big factor in whether I’m choosing the classes here next year or not,” says Webb.
Right now, an undergraduate, three-credit-hour online course at MSU costs at least $200 more than a seated class. President Clif Smart says that’s likely been the biggest complaint from students this fall. So, he brought up a possible change to the board of governors.
“As more and more of our classes have an online component, 2/3 of our classes are either fully or partially online this year. We began to relook at this and say, given the state of the world, would it be simpler and more fair to create one price.,” says Smart.
Clif says there is a concern on how to keep the costs fair to those taking online courses, but not paying the extra fee to use on-campus resources.
“There’s a whole slew of things that all add up to about $550 a semester. So if you’re a totally online student, you’re not paying that. If you’re a partially online student, you may be paying a piece of that. So if we go to one tuition rate, we’ve got to reevaluate how we manage that student fee and what piece of it gets charged to our online students,” says Smart.
Some students feel those on-campus resources are not worth the money with the new COVID-19 guidelines.
“The library hours are really shortened; there’s not enough space to do stuff…It can be frustrating to try to use these resources that we’re paying so much for if they’re not really available,” says Webb.
Smart says he realizes things have changed; he hopes the one price will fit all students.
“This ought to take price out of the consideration, and we don’t think it will cause most of our students to pay more, it essentially will be a wash,” says Smart.
President Smart hopes to present the proposal in February next year and implement the changes next fall. It will require approval by a state board to raise fees more than the state typically allows for inflation.