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[Slashdot] - Calls By College Students For Tuition Refunds Are Growing Louder

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Long-time Slashdot reader jyosim writes: Students want their money back since their classes have moved online. Or they want partial refunds, and their calls have been getting louder. "Petition movements at more than 200 campuses are calling for partial refunds of tuition, typically asking for 50 percent back," reports EdSurge. "And some student protesters are now even filing class-action lawsuits to try to force colleges to return part of the tuition money." Whether colleges should give back money depends on how you think about what colleges are selling. Is it a straight service like any other, so if students get less they should pay less? Is the most important thing simply getting into college, in which case the degree is the main thing, and students are still getting that? Or are colleges responsible for social mobility and helping students during this time by reducing tuition? And is online education even worse than, say, sitting in the back of a large lecture hall with 300 students? "I don't think we know enough about how much students were learning under the face-to-face model to calculate what an alleged loss might be under this new model," EdSurge is told by a University of Pennsylvania professor who studies higher education. "He adds there has been a 'longstanding reluctance to try to figure out how much people learn,' and therefore 'it's quite difficult, if not impossible, to figure out what sort of drop off there might've been with the introduction of online.'"

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