Last week’s paper included an article entitled “UM expands online class programs.” This article noted the accessibility benefits that online classes provide, however, no mention was made to the glaring disparity between the price of online classes and in-person classes.
As an undergraduate trying to complete my degree early in order to obtain a master’s degree at the lowest cost possible, I opted to take classes this past Summer. I was initially excited upon discovering that I could take online classes for my major, which would set me up to graduate a full year early. Unfortunately, online classes cost an additional $2550 on top of $2000 per credit hour taken in the summer, a total of over $8000 for a single class.
The purpose of online classes, as explained in the article, is increased accessibility and opportunities for nontraditional students, those impacted by classes filling up quickly and students looking to get ahead on their degree. By having a single online class cost more than in-state tuition for a semester at a state school in Florida, it is clear that online classes at Miami provide neither accessibility nor convenience.
As noted in the Hurricane editorial last week, diversity, which the university prides itself on, “is about supporting a variety of backgrounds and experiences,” however, there is very little support from the university when it comes to online classes.
The purpose of integrating technology into the classroom is to make education available to more students at a lower cost with more successful outcomes. The current price of these classes is not enabling students to find academic success on their own terms, which should be the purpose of a university. Online classes require less of the university in terms of operating costs, yet cost the student one-third more.
As a result, I could not afford to take online classes and a number of the in-person classes were either not offered in my major this summer or were canceled because of low enrollment, leaving me with no options. I am certain I am not alone in my frustrations to find more accessibility in classes at Miami, and for now online classes are not a viable solution.
Sydney Knapp is a junior majoring in international studies and communication.
Featured image source: Flickr.com, @AlexisRobert