College students ask for COVID discounts this fall

Full-time fees for part-time campus learning
Posted at 4:43 AM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 07:10:27-04

College is going to look very different this fall, with many classes being held remotely and many students barely setting foot on campus.

That leaves a growing number of parents asking: "Why don't we get a discount?"

David Utz of Alexandria, Kentucky, is one of them. He has two children in college this fall, both at Northern Kentucky University.

As he was preparing to write out a big check, he wondered why he is still paying so much, given the way the pandemic has changed on-campus life.

Utz has to buy each of his children a parking permit at $150 per semester, which comes to $300 just for the fall term. And he has to pay a rec center fee of $192 per student.

The problem, he said, is that his two kids will be learning from home most of the time.

"Jeremy only has one class in school that he has to show up for," he said, "and my daughter Jessica has only two classes."

Parents pressuring schools for discounts

With tuition at many schools still at an all-time high, many parents are starting to wonder why they need to pay full-time fees for what's going to amount to part-time on-campus learning.

CNBC says 93% of students think they should get a discount for online study this fall.

And some area colleges are starting to lower fees:

  • The University of Cincinnati has announced a 15% discount in campus life fees this year.
  • Miami University in Oxford is not charging housing fees for the six weeks school will be delayed this fall.

Utz thinks students should get at least a fee discount this year.

"I think it should be pro-rated," he said. "If you are going to do one class, they should do the parking pass for one day a week or whatever you are going to do."

A spokesman for NKU, Atley Smedley, tells us the school has announced a tuition and parking fee freeze for the 2020-2021 school year due to the pandemic.

He said the university is also distributing extra grant aid to students, and is waiving the online class fee, which in normal years would be a surcharge (full statement below).

But with costs up and enrollment down this fall, many colleges are not in a position to hand out more money.

As always, don't waste your money.


“We have taken many steps to ensure the cost of an NKU education reflects our current environment, and the pandemic and resulting economic impact influenced our decisions for the 2020-21 academic year, including freezing our undergraduate tuition rates and parking rates. We have also waived online fees for classes for the Fall 2020 semester. To preserve our workforce, we implemented salary cuts and furloughs from the top down. NKU’s net tuition price remains among the lowest in the state and region."

"NKU was awarded emergency cash relief from the Department of Education’s CARES Act to support students and the university during the COVID-19 outbreak. Since we began disbursing CARES grant aid on May 13th, we have awarded $2,103,600 to 2,300 students. Before the CARES act funds were available, NKU established the Student Emergency Fund to help our students who were adversely affected by the pandemic. The Student Emergency Fund now covers the students who do not qualify for the CARES act funds. We have distributed more than $73,000 to 248 students and referred 388 applications to CARES assistance."

Meal Plans, Parking and Campus Recreation Center fees:

· All students living in University Housing, with limited exceptions, are required to have a meal plan. Commuter students currently do not have a mandatory meal plan for the fall 2020 semester. FUEL NKU, the on-campus food pantry, has stayed open through the summer with carry-out options for students who face food insecurity.

· Students have three options for purchasing a parking permit to select the one that works best for their schedule.

· Full Academic Year Pass: $256.00

· Semester Pass: $150.00

· Students may attend class without purchasing a standard parking pass and use the “Pay as You Go” method. Any of the three garages can be used with hourly rate ($2.75) or purchase a daily rate ($8.75) for the times they are on campus. The daily maximum rate is $9.25.

· The Campus Recreation Center (CRC) fees are mandatory based on a 2011 Student Government Association resolution, with a maximum $192 per semester. Our CRC is currently open, with adjusted operating hours, to all students and the campus community.”


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