Many international students are beginning to question the amount they pay in fees during COVID, more so since so many courses have been moved online. In a matter of days, the 2020 fall semester is set to begin at Sheridan College.

Making matters worse, some returning international students are seeing tuition fees increase while fees for domestic students are reduced.

If one compares what an international and a domestic student enrolled in the Honours Bachelor of Illustration program for 2020-2021 pays, the international student is billed over $12,000 in tuition fees per semester while the domestic student pays just $3,720 a semester.

Last fall the domestic student’s tuition fee was the same and the international student paid $11,722.
Both students pay more than $1,000 in additional program fees, ancillary costs and charges each semester.

According to media reports, the fee structure was made by the provincial government. The tuition fee for international students was raised by three per cent, while reduced for domestic students by 10 per cent. These changes were frozen for the 2020-2021 school year.

Meanwhile it isn’t that the more entitled domestic student is happy with the decreases in their education costs, especially in light of the switch to online instruction. They would rather education be free as proposed by at least one political party.

Taking a gap year to slack off or work full-time isn’t a great option for students who are trying to avoid paying so much for an online program, as they risk losing their seat in a program.

An online student petition was created and directed at the Ontario legislative assembly demanding changes to fee structure during the pandemic as classes are being conducted online.

It must also be remembered that one of the reasons the number of international students have been increased is to help keep colleges and universities in good financial health. Reducing their fees would mean taxpayers could inadvertently end up subsidizing international students.

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