As many UC Santa Barbara students parted ways with the campus for a remote spring quarter, some have been calling for tuition to be lowered in light of their lack of access to on-campus services — but the University of California has announced it has “no expectation” of implementing tuition reductions.
In a March 25 letter from Paul Jenny, the interim chief financial officer of the UC, campuses “retain the authority to provide exceptions” to student fees, but they will not be required to “change their policies or practices related to the assessment or refund of these charges.”
Tuition is set at a UC-wide level, and individual campuses do not have the authority to change it, according to Katya Armistead, assistant vice chancellor and dean of student life. Campuses do have the authority to reimburse or alter student services fees, which go towards campus infrastructure, building maintenance, teacher salaries and aid that is returned to students.
However, “a lot of student fees are established fees whether you need the service or not,” Miles Ashlock, acting associate dean and director of the Office of Student Life, said.
“You pay for that service so that the door can be open to you if you ever need it. And even as we transfer to online, there will be very few services where the door is closed.”
Jenny’s letter echoed Ashlock and Armistead’s points, stating that “many of the costs that campus-based fees are intended to cover will continue.” Campus infrastructure, for example, will still require maintenance and upkeep with or without students, he said in the letter.
Mandatory charges, which include tuition, the student services fee, the nonresident supplemental tuition and professional degree supplemental tuition “will continue to help cover the faculty’s delivery of instruction, other educational costs, and the cost of student services,” Jenny said.
Some students have continued to express frustration that their respective UC campuses have not offered a reduction for certain campus fees that cannot be replaced by online services.
Yasamin Salari, a third-year political science major at UCSB, created a Change.org petition urging the university to refund students for services they would no longer have access to, such as “the transit system fee of $13.3, UCEN expansion fee of $20.2, events center fee of $12, recreation center fee of $70.04,” according to the petition.
“Although I understand these are extraordinary and unforeseen circumstances, I want to address and ensure that the education we are receiving is reflected in our tuition costs. Many of the services we pay through our tuition every quarter will be limited, many of which will not be used by most students who will not be on campus,” Salari said in the petition.
Armistead said that Student Affairs is aware of students’ concerns and encourages those facing financial hardships to visit Basic Needs Resources either on campus or online to receive financial or CalFresh assistance, borrow a free Chromebook or access mental health resources.
All basic needs resources are deemed essential functions and are still open on campus, according to Armistead. A map of what is open across campus can be viewed here.
While this article presents two sides, the author has failed to do their own research or offer critique. When students are unable to attend classes because professors are unfamiliar with the software, how are students benefiting from tuition based services (i.e.instruction). When students cannot login repeatedly because of “server” issues, again, how are they getting the benefits of their tuition? Additionally, Jenny’s statement contradicts Armistead’s. Jenny has given, or according to this article, maintains that each campus has the authority to refund some fees. Sign the petition that Salari has started at petition dot org. Every student deserves to be… Read more »
The school is stealing our money and not offering services or even opening buildings that they are asking us to pay for.
I have a class where the professor will not respond to emails posted no lectures and is asking for readings and written assignments while they DONOT TEACH.
THIS IS THEFT AND WROONG
What does it mean/imply for fees to be adjusted downward adjusted to meet the lessened quality of the courses you opt to take? Is this like wanting to pay less for a food item because it is partially spoiled but you intend to eat it anyway? If the courses are inferior and (a) you care about the quality of your education, and (b) do not want your academic accomplishments to be identified as partly spoiled in virtue of a price decrease, then what exactly is your goal? It clearly is not educational. If the product is, in your estimation, inferior,… Read more »
Student pay feed directly for things like rec center and the U cen which are fully closed to students. We should not pay student fees for services we can’t use. My goal is to not pay more money for less service and have a refund of student fees. everyone you don’t agree with is a conservative. You are a narrow minded simple person who should stay in your lane, I’m thinking Dora the explorer would be perfect for you level of nuance and discourse You don’t understand what you are speaking about student fees are different from tuition. Try learning… Read more »
Thanks for the logical non-sequitur. Address my concerns? Apparently that would be unheard of here. The comment I responded to — “I have a class where the professor will not respond to emails posted no lectures and is asking for readings and written assignments while they DONOT TEACH.” What does that have to do with service fees? It is a clear (assuming a clear minded receiver) remark about tuition value (which you distinguish in your informed post from service fees). Are you unable to focus on your own remarks long enough to maintain coherence? Or are you content to avoid… Read more »
Let me guess a liberal arts professor? You show an amazing lack of intelligence and ability to understand basic concepts . It is terrifying that you are a professor. Both the quality of education is sub par and not up to ethical teaching standards not worth the money but people are stuck attending school. also student still fees = theft at this point with no student services being offered. You show no level of understanding even the comment you responded to you only responded to part of it skipping the relevant parts about services and buildings. If you had reading… Read more »
If you are a professor why are you here on the student paper critiquing students just to be a snarky jerk. If the students are lacking in education its most likely the professors fault doing a bad job. Maybe you should try harder to teach and not to knock poor students being taken advantage of while your 6 figure salary is safe. It’s easy in an ivory tower to look down on others
Sorry — my mistake attempting to inject a rational consideration of the confusion expressed by posters re the adjustment of dollar value and its implications for educational considerations and quality. You are right, however. Trying to make a reasoned suggestion (which, if seen otherwise, could be met with reasoned counter-argument as opposed to personal slurs) is a fool’s task in the present context. I like students and teaching (I consider it my primary contribution to the UC) and felt that suggesting (an apparently) non-considered perspective on the educational implications of the voiced concerns over “getting what we paid for” might… Read more »
Professors like you are the problem looking down on the students you teach your comments show no empathy or sympathy for the student plight. You have your job protection and are willing to take advantage of the students to ensure your 6 figure salary and many expanded benefits due to covid. But the students deserve nothing.
Just keep taking more from us students and ask what else can we do for you.
What an entitled and privileged response. For many if not most of us we are stuck here. If we stop taking classes loans are due and who can get a job in this economy? Oh Yeah you have a guaranteed one. This late and rushed there are no real options. Your offer of is you don’t like it here go to liberty is the same thing as saying you don’t like some thing in this country we move to another country. Why try and change injustice or problems? You show a lack of understand real life situations and the realities… Read more »