The $18,000 Question
There's going to be a lot of attention to this issue very soon. I’m writing this blog to present some of my views on the issue, and hopefully get a lot of your views in response. The New York Times is planning to write some kind of story on this issue, and I think that when Tulane announces their official position, there’s going to be a lot of controversy. The issue at hand: the tuition money and whether we will see it again or not.. To some, it sounds ridiculous for rich kids to worry about their money when there are people who lost everything. But there are tons of people at Tulane who need their money very badly. Contrary to popular belief, there aren't very many people who can drop $18,000 without asking a question or two. I want to the focus on this site to still be regarding uptown and any information that I get, however I’m foreseeing a big fight over this in the next couple of weeks and I want everyone’s opinion.
The Chronicle of Higher Learning, in this interview, said 'Tulane plans to keep tuition revenue that it has already received from its students for the fall. (and quoted Scott Cowen as saying) "That allows us to have some source of revenue this fall, while we are closed."' I do not think this is Tulane’s definitive policy. I think, and hope, the policy will be flexible. There will be exceptions to it. There will be people who appeal it. There will people who “strongly dislike it.”
Let’s look at both sides. Tulane needs the money, there’s no doubt about it. They might have $600 million in the bank, maybe more, but that doesn’t mean they are supposed to spend it. They have a specific budget and have probably gone 10 times over it (in terms of extra unanticipated expenses that will not be covered by insurance). They have to pay their staff, faculty, expenses, new insurance premiums, and all sorts of other stuff. Without our money, Tulane could be hit pretty hard. But the implications are bigger than that. Tulane is the largest employer in
However, should it be the case that we pay full tuition for a university that is sub Tulane? Should we have to pay money to go to a school that doesn’t have half as good professors as Tulane does? Well, maybe the question is, are we still Tulane students? If we are Tulane students, “visiting” another university, then essentially we aren’t going to any other university, we are still attending Tulane. It seems that the biggest issue would be for people who don’t attend classes. Is there any justification for Tulane to keep some of the money of the many students who opt to work this semester? (there’s no way they won’t give most of it back) What about part time students? Is there any justification for Tulane to keep the money of part time students?
The final word is that Tulane does not have bad intentions. They aren’t going to do anything without substantial justification. They will be understanding, they will be accommodating. Let’s NOT judge them until we heard the final policy. Let’s wait to see what they’ve got to say before we jump to any conclusions.