News | June 10th, 2020
For Out-of-State and International Students a “Hybrid” Semester Feels Like a Raw Deal
By: Aiyana Ishmael
Florida A&M University released its proposed reopening plan for the fall semester, which will include a hybrid class method of online learning and selective in-person classes. But, many out-of-state and international students believe their financial support should be enhanced alongside the plan.
The 26 page reopening document details a phased plan for the university to bring back faculty, staff, athletes and then finally students— all in time for an on schedule start date of August 24, 2020.
Last night, FAMU hosted a virtual town hall meeting addressing their reopening plan. This was in hopes of helping students understand the upcoming procedures to open its doors safely amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The proposed plan was approved by FAMU’s Board of Trustees and must go through the Board of Governors mid-June.
“I would like to attend in the fall, but I have to consider what is best financially.”
Once the town hall ended, many students took to social media to voice their concerns. The outcry came from a majority of out-of-state and international students who feel as though their tuition should be reduced in light of COVID-19.
“I would like to attend in the fall, but I have to consider what is best financially,” Takayla Perry, a rising junior from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, said. “I do not think it would be smart to pay over $20k for tuition and fees to sit at home. Attending classes online at a school in my hometown will save me thousands.”
Tuition at FAMU for out-of-state students that live on campus costs over $34,000 and out-of-state students that live off campus pay around $33,000 to attend the university.
“It isn’t fair that I have to rely on my single mother to pay so much especially amidst a pandemic.”
During the virtual meeting, Dr. William Hudson, the Vice President of Student Affairs, states that the university is currently working on retrieving funds for out-of-state students. He goes on to explain that they will review the financial needs of each student individually.
“We are also looking to help all students— not just out of state students—financially because they are aware of this unique situation we’re in,” FAMU President Larry Robinson stated during the town hall.
“There are absolutely zero scholarship opportunities for international students at FAMU,” Talitha Cartwright, a rising senior from Nassau, Bahamas, said. “I was just recently denied for an out-of-state waiver because I did not have a FAFSA application completed. Even after I specifically told them that as an international student, I do not complete FAFSA.”
“I feel as though there needs to be some aid to help students,” she explains. “It isn’t fair that I have to rely on my single mother to pay so much especially amidst a pandemic. If they can’t reduce tuition costs for out-of-state then it would be fair if they could at least provide a grant for us that includes international students.”
“This plan affects out-of-state students tremendously.”
If famu doesn’t like out of state students they need to just say that because atp…
— Little Miss Toledo (@officialnykia) June 10, 2020
FAMU’s reopening plan includes guidelines that are meant to protect students, faculty, and staff from unwarranted exposure to the virus. The restrictions vary from specific shower and cafeteria times to an all virtual event lineup from organizations come the fall semester.
The novel coronavirus is disrupting students’ preferred idea of attending a university. For many students— especially out-of-state students— going to college means more than getting an education. It also means building a network and experiencing on-campus activities. Without those secondary features boosting the entire experience, paying over $30,000 a year doesn’t seem worth it.