With a lot of students asking for refunds for the services they can’t use due to COVID-19, I wanted to talk about tuition and other student fees in general.
A big one is the difference in tuition costs between in state and out of state students. Out of state students are overcharged in over to cover the in state students. The fees for things that students aren’t using cover the cost of running those things for the students that are using it (with the exception of right now since nobody is using anything).
People have talked about having the option of paying for only the things you will end up using. The sounds nice, but I think it adds further complications. Please take this with a grain of salt as I don’t actually know if this is how things would work.
Let’ s use the buses for example. If you don’t use the bus system (I walk to campus everyday normally) then you wouldn’t pay for it. This would increase the price for people that do pay for it. Assuming every student who does pay for the busy would pay an equal amount VT would have to know how many people are using the bus system in order to evenly split up the cost. Using the bus might then require your VT ID to actually be swiped to see if you payed for the bus. Or maybe you would get a special marker on your ID or something.
I think a flexible fee system would be better for students (especially those on financial support), but I don’t know how long it would take to implement and how many changes would have to occur for that to happen. There is also then the possibility of prices for certain services changing depending on how many people are using that service. Would there be a situation where someone would no longer want a service because it is too expensive due to too few people using it?