The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

Ysabel Cordova-Elias

NKU reinstates online course fees, students weigh in

October 10, 2022

Back in March of 2020, NKU shut its doors because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing all students to take their courses online for the rest of the semester. Because of this, NKU phased out charging online course fees for students. This continued for the 2021-2022 school year, but starting this fall online courses will have an attached fee again. 

The newly reinstated online class fee is $35 per credit hour, making a three-credit hour course $105, more than taking it in person. For students taking multiple online courses, this price tag can add up. 

Matt Cecil, provost and executive vice president for student affairs, explained the reinstatement of online class fees is due to not having as much public funding at the federal level this year. 

“Unfortunately, while we may wish that we could continue those dollars, those federal dollars are gone this year,” Cecil said. 

Cecil also explained what this online fee covers, stating how this covers some of the university’s resources costs. 

“The online fee covers costs for things like the learning management system and library services that are kind of over and above the direct instructional costs for those kinds of programs,” Cecil said.

Cecil explained that these costs are standard across neighboring universities, like Eastern Kentucky University, where they charge special fees for online courses as well. 

“This online fee though, as I said, is a pretty standard thing across the country. We don’t love to charge students any fee, but we do have to cover our costs,” Cecil said. 

Thu Le, a third-year finance major, is taking three courses online this semester. Le explained that most of her time at NKU has been spent taking a lot of classes online, making it more comfortable for her. Le also stated that taking classes online has given her more flexibility with working a full-time job outside of school. 

“I have to admit that I am used to taking online classes, so this semester I chose to take most of my classes online. Since I am working full time also, I feel more comfortable and I feel like online classes give me flexibility with my job,” Le said. 

However, Le said that when she saw the added course fees she was a little shocked. 

“When I saw it I was a little shocked. During COVID-19, these fees were waived, and I was taking lots of online classes. So, I was a little shocked when I received the fee, but I still had to choose online classes because of my work and other things I have scheduled,” Le said. 

Other students like Jamie Collins, a senior library informatics major, explained that online classes are the best option for her with other time-consuming life commitments. 

“I have a thousand things going on, so online [classes] is the best format for me because I can schedule things whether it’s early in the morning, later at night or while my kids are at school. Stuff like that, so that’s the best way for me to do it.”

Collins explained how online class fees could be a game changer for those paying for school out of pocket. 

“I mean, it’s not gonna break the bank, but I do think that it could be a game changer if that person is paying out of pocket,” Collins said. 

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