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More Than 2,000 Sign Petition Requesting Penn State Lower Tuition For Online Courses

Nearly 2,500 people have signed a Change.org petition asking Penn State to lower tuition rates for courses moved online this fall.

Launched by senior supply chain and information systems major Brandon Sheaffer, the petition asserts it’s “only fair” for Penn State to lower tuition for courses moved online. Although he understands moving classes to Zoom will help keeps students safe, Sheaffer, and hundreds more, believe adjusting tuition is necessary.

To do so, Sheaffer suggests Penn State should use World Campus tuition rates for classes moved “entirely online.” Currently, in-person University Park rates sit between $900 and $1,600 per credit, while World Campus courses are down at around $576 to $617 per credit.

“Penn State owes it to all students to discount the tuition rate as they themselves acknowledge the difference in quality of education based on the differences in their pricing structures of in-person versus online,” Sheaffer wrote.

Sheaffer estimates students whose classes are solely online could save more than $3,000 through lowering tuition to World Campus rates. Although he admits to not having “all the answers,” he hopes the petition will start a university-wide conversation and make Penn State “recognize what is happening.”

“In instances where classes are moved entirely online, a tuition freeze for the 2020-21 academic year is not enough,” Sheaffer wrote.

Earlier this year, Penn State announced it would freeze all students’ tuition rates for the 2020-2021 academic year. The university also lowered tuition rates for summer session courses.

To date, Penn State hasn’t suggested it might lower tuition rates for online courses this fall. The university didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the petition or adjusting tuition rates.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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