GREEN BAY, WI. – Changes in class formats due to COVID-19 are causing widespread confusion at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. Classes having moved online to in-person and in-person to online have left many students troubled with campus fee changes that were non-present in past semesters, most present with online course fees and campus parking pass fees.
In past years students had an option when picking classes to choose their desired class in an online format if offered. This school year at Green Bay, things are different for the course fee, causing some confusion and resulting in dissatisfied students. Normally if a student chose to take an online class, there would be a $75 online course. Instead, online course fees have now been reduced from $75 to $37.50. “Distance Education fees cover the software, technology, student support, and faculty training necessary to deliver online and distance education. Usually, we charge $25 per credit for Distance Ed courses, but cut this in half ($12.50 per credit) for the fall to recognize the financial challenges that many students are facing and to accommodate students’ needs to take more online and distance ed courses during the pandemic.” said an Interm Provost Kathleen Burns when asked about online course fees. The following table, Online Course Additional Fee Changes, shows changes in online course fees that have been confusing students.
Students who signed up for Fall 2020 in-person classes last spring may have had their classes switched online to avoid in-person interaction with the COVID-19 pandemic. The problem with students’ classes being switched is rooted in the issue that students are now getting
charged an extra fee for having their classes online, even though the class or classes were supposed to be in-person classes. There are also some cases of the situations being the opposite way around. Some students have had classes that started online for the first few weeks of school that has now started meeting in person, but the students have already paid the online course fee for a class that is currently meeting in person because the deadline to pay a tuition of September 16th, 2020 has passed.
“It is confusing to see extra charges on my account when I am already paying for tuition and class. I am not sure why I would be charged an online fee when the classes I have were supposed to be in-person,” said Derrick Mazanz, an engineering student at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, who had his Anthro 100 class moved to the online format due to COVID-19.
Online course fees are not the only thing students are having problems with this semester. An issue with campus parking passes is also causing student confusion as some students have been opted-in by the university while others have been opted-out. According to Tony Decker, a University Police Sergeant, students whose classes are all internet-based are not charged the semester fee for parking and have been automatically opted-out. Similarly, students who have in-person meetings for classes, even though the course is labeled “online,” have also been automatically opted out. These changes have all been made to students’ accounts through SIS online by the university. In both cases where students have been opted-out by the university, students must go to the Bursar’s office and purchase a parking permit. The main issue students seem to be having with these circumstances is that students who must meet in-person for an initially labeled “online class” will need to pay both the online distance education course fee (average of $37.50 per course) as well as the parking pass fee (currently $76 for the semester
of Fall 2020). The table provided earlier, Online Course Additional Fee Changes, shows changes in these parking pass fees confusing students.
When asked about the student confusion over parking passes, a student billing office assistant with the bursar’s office provided a statement that may help clear things up on Wednesday, September 16th. “The deadline to post parking permits to SIS has passed. You will need to come to our office to purchase one. The cashier’s window is open from 7:45 am – 4:15 pm. You will want to bring a photo ID, license plate number, and cash or a check. Our parking permits are by the semester, not the whole academic year. For the Fall/Winter permit, it will be $76.”
Students confused about these new fee changes or any further questions about billing may contact the UWGB- Bursars Office by phone at 920-465-2224 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ryan Rickard, Logan Stae, Josh Yahr / September, 25