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How Does Online Class Impact University Student Fees?



As universities prepare for reopening, students are starting to pay both tuition and fees.

“What people don’t realize is that there are additional and different expenses related to online instruction," Robert Wagner said.

Wagner is the vice president of academic and instructional services at Utah State University. When it comes to the costs of the resources that school fees cover, he said the overall cost is very similar, but fee revenue is being applied to online learning rather than in person. 

“You’re taking what was traditionally done in a face to face experience and you’re translating that into the digital world, and that takes digital infrastructure in order to provide that teaching and learning experience," he said.

According to Wagner, examples of digital infrastructure that are important to the university includes having a good medium for student communication online, effectively administering exams, and accommodating disabilities in a digital environment. 

Wagner said although many courses previously conducted online exams or included digital elements, it takes resources to provide those opportunities for every course. 

Come fall semester, he said some classes will choose to do hybrid adjustments to online classes and will provide face-to-face learning while following proper safety guidelines. 

“We are giving students options while trying to as much as possible minimize the risk of COVID-19 for our students and for our faculty," he said.