Online Originals: ECU nursing student creates petition for UNC tuition refund

Online Originals

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) In the past two weeks, UNC-Chapel Hill, East Carolina University, and NC State made the decision to move undergraduates to remote learning.

This comes after COVID-19 clusters started to drastically rise on campuses.

Students were made to move off campus and switch to online classes.

A decision, they say they knew was coming.

ECU nursing student Ben Nelson says he found it extremely unfair.

“We knew what was going to happen when you put 20,000 students in a small environment. And the universities knew it too, that’s why they made a mandate…it’s just crazy to me”, says Nelson.

Nelson said now students are being asked to pay full tuition and fees for services and resources they can no longer use.

With help from student leadership and the ECU SGA president, Nelson created an online petition.

Nelson said it took him 3 days to draft the petition in the way he wanted it.

The petition hopes to drive UNC System leaders to recognize the financial burden they are putting on their students and reduce their tuition from full in-person fees to the online class fee.

He says the students shouldn’t have to be paying for these resources.

Back in July, the UNC System Board of Governors voted to mandate that all tuition and fees would be kept the same, including charges for athletic and student activities, regardless of if the coronavirus prevented schools from continuing in-person classes.

ECU and NC State have already released that they will be offering pro-rated refunds for on-campus housing, dining, and parking.

9 On Your Side reached out to Chapel Hill about their decision regarding refunds, they did not want to comment.

Nelson’s petition already has over 500 signatures.

Check out the petition HERE.

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