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Opinion: International students are concerned about their tuition

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Inslee announced that colleges and universities would transition to online operations starting from April 13th through May 4th, 2020. However at that time, Seattle Colleges (North, Central, and South campuses) noted that “students, faculty, and staff should prepare for online and alternative modes (of instruction and service provision) throughout the entire quarter.” This has led international students to be concerned about their tuition fees. 

Since COVID-19 has already impacted many residents of Seattle, as well as businesses and restaurants, students are concerned about their tuition fees and their academic goals. Generally, international students have higher tuitions than domestic students. According to the Seattle Central College website, International Students enrolling in Intensive and Advanced English Programs pay at least $3,150 per quarter. College Bridge, High School Completion and all College-Level programs cost at least $3,190 excluding other fees. But the tuition costs for residents are around $1,500 per 15 credits. Also, as stated in the Seattle Central College Handbook, mandatory fees such as computer lab fees, technology fees, internet, and student activity fees are included in the student’s tuition. But due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the mandatory fees should be subtracted from the tuition, because no one will be able to access these facilities. 

From a survey I created, out of 24 responses results showed that 66.7% of student’s tuition is around $3500-$4,000, 12.5% of the students paid more than $4000, and 20.8% of students paid around $3000-$3500. 62.5% of the students I asked preferred in-person classes rather than online classes. According to one anonymous respondent, “I find that online classes are much harder to concentrate on since you can get easily distracted and sidetracked from your notes. On the other hand, I do like hybrid classes where it’s easy to access your assignments and have everything planned out. Classes, in my opinion, should be in-person and the assignments and projects online. It’s a good mix when executed correctly.”

President Sheila Edwards Lange originally stated that remote operations are scheduled to end on April 27th, 2020, but courses that start online are expected to remain online for the remainder of the quarter. Since it was announced that Spring quarter would be conducted remotely, most students are concerned about their tuition. Labs and faculty services remain uncertain. “What I have noticed, the tuition of international students has always been higher than U.S. residents. Paying over four grand for online classes. “What I have noticed, the tuition of international students has always been higher than U.S. residents. Paying over four grand for online classes. Student Activity fees and computer lab access should be reduced from tuition.” Another anonymous response stated,”I think it’s unfair, reducing the resources or materials consumed by the school. Our tuition has no reason to say the same.” 

Due to this stressful outbreak, the colleges are trying the best they can to provide for students so they can reach their goals online, but students are still concerned if they are actually receiving the college’s best.

Edited on 4/15/20 to clarify the use of the term “faculty fees” as “student activity fees” and remove language about MAC funding.


Smile Tongkaw

A young STEM student aspired for Mechanical Engineering and a staff writer at the Collegian. She's interested in design, machines, and the advancement of technology. Her dream is to use her design and technology skills to achieve a significant role in a dominantly male field. She enjoys playing video games, cooking, and mostly spending her time studying.

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