'My college experience was taken away from me': Students sound off on remote learning.

Speaking with Campus Reform, students noted the financial, emotional, and academic challenges posed by remote learning.

'If I wanted to learn online, I would have saved my money and applied to an online school outright,' one student said.

Weeks after multiple colleges and universities started 2022 with remote instruction, students are criticizing the recent move. They argue online classes do not provide the academic and general college experience they expected. 

Campus Reform spoke with Sara R., a student at Rutgers University and member of that school’s Turning Point USA group., Sara, who requested that her last name be withheld from publication, described the emotional and financial burdens of remote learning.

”My anxiety was at an all-time high after Rutgers University forced us into remote learning for a year and a half,” Sara said. 

She continued, “It felt wrong to pay $9,000 a year for Rutgers University tuition and have my college education and experience be substituted for classes on a laptop,” she continued. “Rutgers also refused to give us a refund or any kind of financial adjustment as a result of being forcibly placed online.”

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”My college experience was taken away from me,” Sara stated, saying, “my classes got harder because we didn’t have important human interaction with our professors, and our professors also gave us harder assignments.”

Ultimately, Sara said that, “I did not get the college experience I paid for.”

A Jan. 13 opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal argues that universities that have recently gone back online may be in breach of their contracts. 

 ”Some schools with similar residential and online degree programs steeply discount their online offerings. Basic contract-law principles would require universities to refund students for the difference between standard and online tuition, Max Schanzenbach and Nadav Shoked write. 

Both authors are law professors at Northwestern University. 

Campus Reform also spoke to Turning Point USA student at Pace University, Richard G., who said, “If I wanted to learn online, I would have saved my money and applied to an online school outright.”

Richard, who also requested that his last name not be used, noted the challenges he and his peers face as a result of the move to remote learning.

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”Online learning has been a huge challenge for me, and all my classmates,” Richard said. “It was hard to adapt to the sudden change when we were first were forced online.”

Richard also said he was “being deprived of the full college experience,” as well as, “the opportunity to truly learn and master my field of study.”

”It’s hard for students to stay focused, staring at their computer screen for hours,” Richard continued. “Being deprived of the connection with classmates and interaction professors has been an irretrievable loss for me.”

Campus Reform reached out to Rutgers University and Pace University for comment; this article will be updated accordingly. 

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