College students request refunds for the spring semester

By: Ebonee Burrell | Editor in Chief

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many universities shifted to remote learning for the remainder of the spring semester making it difficult for students to adjust to online instruction. College students have not been in favor of the decisions that have been made regarding their education. 

On March 19, the Univerisity of South Alabama closed its doors and announced the transition to online learning for the remainder of the school year. Professors are now using video conferencing apps like Zoom or recording lectures through Panopto to continue class instruction. However, students are requesting that they should be issued a refund for fees, housing, and meal plans. 

According to an article from forbes.com, college students have sued Liberty University, Arizona State University, The University of Miami, and many more claiming they are not getting what they paid for, which is face-to-face lectures at higher tuition rates. 

This is a concern from students across the country, including here at South.

“I definitely think students are being cheated out of what they are paying. Part of our tuition and fees is the ‘and fees’ part so we’re still being charged but part of that is our ability to go to the rec center, our ability to go to the student center, the library, we’re also paying for all of those things and we’re not able to go there right now so I feel like we should be refunded for some of those,” said Sarah Patterson, communications student.

The University sent this statement in response to concerns of issuing a refund to students: 

The University has moved all courses to an online delivery method to ensure both the safety and health of the campus community, as well as the continued ability of our students to complete their coursework and make progress towards their degrees. In doing so, the University continues to incur the expense of faculty and staff salaries, as well as the technology and infrastructure needed to successfully continue to deliver coursework. Because classes, grading, and support services are continuing, the University cannot issue refunds for tuition or fees.

Because of the lack of resources, nursing student Amy Herrman believes that online instruction doesn’t quite work for everyone. 

“I think that students are not getting the same education online, as they are in class because the professors aren’t there to break it down to help you understand. We’re having to teach ourselves and some of us aren’t the best teachers,” Herman said. 

South Alabama has extended remote learning through the summer semester. It is unclear whether the same decision will be made for the fall. More information regarding updates on the pandemic can be found on South’s website.