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More Than 1,000 Sign Petition For Penn State To Grant Partial Tuition, Housing Refunds

Just more than 24 hours after Penn State announced it was holding all classes online for at least three weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, a Change.org petition asking the university to grant students partial tuition and housing refunds has gained more than 1,000 signatures at the time of writing.

The petition was created by sophomore Michael Cao shortly after the university’s announcement on Wednesday. It argues that in addition to not being able to live in dorms, students are not receiving the same quality of education they receive by paying more to attend the University Park campus as opposed to a Commonwealth or World campus offering.

No measure to issue refunds is in place yet, but for the time being, Penn State has indicated it would address concerns related to paying the semester bill or completing work-study programs should the virtual period extend beyond a “short-term disruption.”

“Penn State is essentially taking our money while blocking us from getting what we are paying for – essentially theft of our hard earned money,” Cao wrote in the petition’s description. “Many students struggle to pay off their student loan debt over their lifetime, and to see it squandered in this manner is something that none of us will stand for.”

Cao started a separate Change.org petition before the university introduced its suspension of in-person classes. This one urged Penn State to stay open to protect students during the outbreak. However, it gained only about 100 signatures.

The new petition calling for refunds is quickly gaining popularity. In the time it took to write this post, more than 100 more people signed the petition, and the number continues to grow.

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci was once Onward State’s managing editor and preferred walk-on honors student who majored in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected] All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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