Many colleges in and out of New Jersey have already announced their plans for the fall semester, and most of them include some type of remote learning. For example, Rutgers is planning for a fall 2020 semester that will combine mostly remotely delivered courses with a limited number of in-person classes.

Will Rutgers be giving any kind of a discount on its tuition this semester? Or will any of the other colleges for that matter? While some schools have agreed to return student activity fees and the like, these have amounted to mere pennies in comparison to the thousands of dollars parents are shelling out for the full college experience. I think it’s time for our colleges and universities to do more to alleviate the tuition burden parents have right now.

As a mother of a community college student, I will tell you that remote learning is completely different from in-person classes. And not only that, for some kids, including mine, the model is unsustainable. My son has decided to take a gap semester, and possibly a gap year, because for him, remote learning turned out to be unsuccessful. As a kid who had a 3.8 GPA before all of this started, he is now heading downhill.

The college that he goes to, anticipating the difficulty for some students,changed to a pass/fail system when remote learning was instituted so as not to disturb otherwise pristine GPAs. It was as if the school itself was admitting that remote learning was sub-par. Then why should anyone pay full price for it? While I know the gap semester is not possible for every student out there, I wonder how parents are so willing to continue to pay the full tuition that they have always paid when the cost normally includes activities, social life, in-face interaction and access to professors, and just the FULL college experience. None of these schools can pretend that they’re offering the full college experience so why are they continuing to charge full tuition? And will you continue to pay it?

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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