Graduating Seniors Say College Plans Now Disrupted By Virus

There is a lot of frustration for high school seniors as they debate next steps for college during the pandemic, as some universities may still require full tuition despite moving to online learning.

Kelly Keady is a senior at Los Gatos High School and was excited to start at NYU in the fall, but is now being told classes will be entirely remote. 

“They’re pretty much committing to charging full tuition for online school,” says Keady. “So for private school like NYU it’d be $27,000 for a semester of online classes.”

And while she weighed the possibility of deferring until the spring when in-person education will hopefully resume, she says she’s now been told that won’t be possible.

“They’re saying no, you have to either commit to online or essentially find another school or defer a whole year,” says Keady.

That put students in the difficult position of deciding whether or not they are willing to pay full price for what may only be a partial experience, particularly for first year students for whom the on-campus experience is just as much about moving away from home and socializing with their peers as it is about education.

“I as a parent am not willing to pay for it if it’s going to be online,” says her father Peter Keady. “It’s just not the same value, I’m sorry… I’m not paying. She’s not going, I’m not doing it.”

While most universities are still formalizing plans for the fall semester, many are anticipating a reduced on campus experience and fewer students in dormitories. 

UC officials have said regardless of whether in-person classes are able to resume in the fall, tuition will not decrease or be refunded if students are still receiving instruction.