Several years ago when I began my educational journey, I knew that the cost of college fees and attendance would always be the highest ticket item I would ever purchase in my life and the most rewarding.
Knowing what lay ahead of me I tailored my lifestyle to balance family, work, and school life. Meeting the financial obligations of all three areas seemed to be easily done with strong organizational and time management skills.
After successfully completing an associate of arts degree without grants, or financial aid, I decided to wait on continuing to a bachelors degree (and eventually a graduate degree) until I had saved enough to cover costs over and beyond what financial aid would offer.
It was at this crossroad that my family status changed to single parent and I realized my education would remain on hold for many years until I was financially eligible for higher education.
The promise of online education
However, finding online educational sources opened up a window of opportunity which didn’t exist while I was sitting at the crossroads working full time for many years.
I was told that online would allow flexibility to work around the full-time schedule and at a reduced cost due to the student paying for internet, electricity (being at home vs. classroom), and not having to participate in the on-campus programs nor utilizing student services. Being online for me meant I could work during my lunch hour then get back online right after dinner.
The fee barrier
However, that dream was cut short when a menu of fees were established and approved to offset university education expenses. With over $500 required in new fees per class per semester, my future education was now in jeopardy.
As a single parent, and living on a fixed income, my education budget was not prepared for the exorbitant fees such as: special class fee, I-course fee, recreation, and student program fees (on campus services).
More importantly, not one university department notified students of the new fee billing system.