Refund CUNY students for loss of college experience



Faeyah Muhammad

Since the start of the  COVID-19 pandemic, Baruch College students have  for CUNY to implement substantial reductions in their tuition. Yet for the last year and more, nothing has changed.

Now as Baruch tries to transition back into a pre-COVID-19 life, it is plain to see that students are not receiving the promised high-quality education.. As a result, tuition should be refunded at least partially to every CUNY student attending college during the peak months of the pandemic.

Recently, CUNY launched the CUNY Comeback Program, which canceled outstanding tuition and fees from spring 2020 to spring 2021 semesters for around 50,000 qualifying students. Although this was a relief to many, there are still some questions students raise regarding refunds and their tuition.

As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the lives of CUNY students drastically.

They went from attending in-person classes,  on-campus tutoring, clubs, networking events and more to being quarantined and completely disconnected from the world. Now they face completely different lesson plans, a new style of learning and a complete disconnect from their social lives.

To add to the stress, the workload they received from  professors seemingly doubled in quantity and complexity, and they were still required to pay full tuition even though roughly 9.6 million people in the United States lost their jobs due to the pandemic, according to the Pew Research Center.

Ultimately on top of the lack of access to educational resources and a school community, many students were also affected directly by the pandemic in personal and financial aspects.

Baruch students are in a position where they lost so much of the college experience that they take out loans and pay thousands of dollars for.

By fall 2020, the number of undergraduate students in CUNY colleges and programs fell by 7%, as reported by The New York Post.

This substantial drop further shows that many students were and still are dissatisfied with the online education experience. Evidently, they were not given adequate resources to fully comprehend online school.

Even CUNY professors and staff who worked for the university throughout major parts of their lives were short-sighted and had to change entire lesson plans, deal with lost coursework and learn how to navigate technology in a way they hadn’t before —all this without any firm foundation of training for neither the professors nor students, not to mention the lack of support from any bigger body such as the federal government.

Hopefully, with the implementation of the CUNY Comeback Program, more programs will be introduced to help students who don’t benefit from any sort of financial aid.