Texas colleges are taking courses online more and more while tuition rates are holding steady. Is that fair?

COVID - 19 may have dramatically ramped up the use of online courses but, they were around to some degree before the pandemic and it looks like they're here to stay.

Students expect a lot from college. An education of course but, also sporting events,  and social activities like homecoming and pledge weeks, etc. (Keggers!!) Missing out on those things was unexpected and unfortunate for students in 2020 but, if colleges keep moving things online, those activities may never return. While they may not be entirely educational in nature, they are important and, in some cases, why students chose a particular college in the first place.

On to the really important part ... money vs. learning. Tuition pays for more than having an instructor; it also covers the use of labs, buildings, grounds, parking, tutoring, certain facilities, etc. I could go on but, you get the picture. The more college goes online, the less those things will actually be available to students. Not to mention that learning online is not the same as the classroom experience.

  • There is less opportunity to question things and/or compare and contrast the differing viewpoints of instructors and classmates.
  • One on one time with instructors is important and online courses don't really allow for that.
  • Some things are best learned "hands-on". Medical studies of course but, engineering and architectural studies ... just to name a couple ... require holding and experiencing things with instructors and colleagues nearby to explain.
  • Finally, studies show that many can't learn as well, (or at all), via online courses.

There's much more but, you get the picture. Now, two questions: Should tuition rates be dropped, bit by bit, for every online action taken? There is talk of some colleges going completely online. If that happens, should tuition be done away with completely also?

About 100, (known), lawsuits have been filed over this issue and more are surely coming. What do you think?