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Tampa students say no to unfair summer tuition fees

By staff

Tampa students say no to unfair summer tuition fees

Tampa, Fl – On April 21 Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) had its most recent email-in for the University of South Florida (USF) to end unnecessary summer tuition fees. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person classes and certain activities at the USF are canceled for the summer semester. Instead of canceling additional tuition fees, USF is planning to charge them at a reduced rate. One of the fees Tampa Bay SDS demands be removed is the distance learning fee, which is a fee per credit hour of online courses. Tampa Bay SDS demands USF remove these unfair fees entirely for summer tuition due to the extra costs that they add to students during the pandemic.

USF administrators responded to the email-in by emphasizing spring semester refunds and said they would reassess the fees in a few weeks, despite summer semester starting during that time. In addition to this response, USF has not publicized the $34.8 million dollars they are receiving under the CARES Act, half of which is required to help students. USF has not released a plan on how to distribute these funds.

USF’s behavior is alarming, considering many college students do not qualify for the $1200 government stipend and are not receiving any additional aid during the pandemic. The office of financial aid opened applications for students to receive aid if they demonstrate need, but many students have been turned down despite being laid off from jobs.

“USF can play a decisive role in ensuring students can still make ends meet by giving refunds and not charging extra fees over summer. Other schools have already done this so it's past due for USF to do the right thing,” said Eithne Silva, member of Tampa Bay SDS.

Tampa Bay SDS will continue demanding USF help its students by canceling these fees and will continue hosting actions to have these demands met despite the pandemic.

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