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Barron: Penn State Won’t Refund Tuition for Period of Remote Instruction

by on March 19, 2020 1:49 PM

Penn State President Eric Barron told the university's Board of Trustees via conference call Thursday that Penn State does not plan to refund students’ tuition for the current period in which all instruction is taking place remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“There will be a lot of questions about a tuition refund,” Barron said. “But our position on that is not to refund the tuition; there are a number of reasons for that.”

Barron said the same faculty are meeting classes at the same time as they would in person and are “working hard to deliver an education and get people to the finish line where their credits count for the semester and they are able to graduate.”

Barron also said that the cost of conducting online education is higher for the university, citing that it must pay service fees to companies like Zoom and others that will be used to conduct classes and proctor exams.

“There are lots of costs associated with this that are extra whereas there is very little that we are saving because the employees are there,” Barron said.

He said that Penn State would keep employees “financially whole” during the virtual period.

Barron also noted that Penn State’s prorated housing and meal plan refunds would cause a $40 million hit to the university’s auxiliary funds.

 



Jim Davidson is a Penn State student and Onward State contributor.
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