One positive impact of COVID-19 on higher ed: Colleges FINALLY halt tuition hikes

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple colleges and universities are halting tuition increases.

Some schools are even giving discounts on tuition and student fees.

For months, universities have been unable to lure students into paying tens of thousands of dollars per year in tuition by touting on campus lazy rivers, mini-golf, and luxury living quarters, leading many colleges to freeze tuition costs- at least temporarily.

Across the country, schools such as the University of South Carolina, University of Portland, and Butler University in Indianapolis all froze tuition as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Many of our current and incoming students and their families have been impacted financially by the pandemic, and it is my hope that, by freezing tuition, we can help ease their burden,” Butler University President James M. Danko said. “I am pleased that we can provide some stability to our students and their families during this very uncertain period.”

[Related: Ivy League hikes tuition for online courses amid global pandemic]

The Vermont State College System also announced a tuition freeze, a move that will impact more than 10,000 students.

“The ongoing public health pandemic has had a tremendous financial impact on students and their families,” VSCS Chancellor Sophie Zdatny said in a public statement. “The tuition freeze announced today is a critical investment in our commitment to our students. This means that all students – undergraduate, graduate, those continuing their education, and those taking just one or two classes will not see an increase in their tuition next year.”

Other new and continuing tuition freezes include the University of California-San Diego, the University of Nebraska, the University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois, along with other state and private schools. Purdue University celebrated its tenth straight year of frozen tuition, while the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama celebrated its third straight year.

[Related: Coalition aims to hold colleges accountable for ‘undelivered benefits’ amid shift to online learning]

Some schools went even further, offering discounted tuition rates to students for the 2020-2021 school year. Princeton University, Georgetown University, and American University all offered a discount of 10 percent on tuition, while the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announced a 30 percent student fee reduction.

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