(CBSDFW.COM) – By fall semester, the typical college experience may look different due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But the cost of tuition may not necessarily reflect those changes.
This fall, Cole Jackson is headed to the University of Texas at Austin.
But whether his classes take place online or on campus, his mother expects to pay the same amount.
“I’m not expecting a discount because of it,” said Heather Jackson. “But it is definitely going to look different. And something’s that’s not in person, it’s just not as productive as a class.”
While UT Austin has announced it will reduce tuition for the summer semester, details surrounding the fall semester are still unknown.
President Gregory Fenves stated the university will be announcing its fall plans in June.
Students statewide are waiting on similar guidance from other institutions.
Schools like the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University made headlines for freezing tuition rates for at least a year.
But education consultant Ibrahim Firat said tuition reductions seem unlikely, especially if schools experience a massive drop in enrollment. Lower enrollment typically leads lower revenue.
“As long as courses are offered online, are taught by professors, I don’t really expect discounts of any sort,” said Firat, the CEO of Firat Education.
But should students pay sticker price for tuition if they’re not getting the full college experience?
“That’s a question a lot of students and families are actively debating,” said Harrison Keller, the Texas Commissioner of Higher Education.
“There will be more than half a billion dollars available directly for students that has to go out the door before the end of this next academic year,” Keller said.
Keller said students affected by COVID-19 should contact their school’s financial aid office immediately for more information.