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The campus of Georgetown University in May. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. universities and colleges are facing pressure from students to lower tuition rates amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Financial Times reports.

Why it matters: Some students argue that they should pay less if schools are only offering online classes, while many institutions are bracing for the pandemic's impact on their budgets.

Driving the news: Georgetown University announced this week that it will offer a 10% tuition discount to students who are not invited to live on campus, the Washington Post reports.

  • The university announced the discount after roughly 2,000 students signed a petition accusing the school of “ highway robbery” for maintaining its tuition fees at nearly $58,000.

Princeton University and Williams College in Massachusetts also issued tuition cuts, while other institutions, like Harvard University and Yale University, raised tuition for the upcoming academic year.

By the numbers: More than 90% of college students said they believe they should pay reduced tuition fees if schools are exclusively offering online classes, according to a College Pulse survey of 5,000 full-time undergraduate students across 215 universities.

  • 73% said online learning is less effective than in-person instruction to help students develop specific skills.

The big picture: Because of the pandemic, universities may see a drop in revenues from decreased enrollment, which could put many institutions over the edge, Axios' Erica Pandey reports.

  • Schools are also facing pressure from the Trump administration to fully reopen this fall.
  • On Friday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that new international students may not enter the U.S. this fall if their courses are entirely online.
  • Many universities rely on tuition from international students, and the directive could dissuade some foreign students from enrolling this coming semester.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 30, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Higher education expands its climate push

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.

Health care ruling saves Republicans from themselves

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Supreme Court saved the health care system from imploding Thursday by dismissing a Republican challenge to the Affordable Care Act. But it also saved the GOP itself from another round of intraparty chaos.

Why it matters: Most GOP lawmakers privately admit (and some will even say publicly) they don't want to deal with health care again. The issue generally isn't a good one for them with voters — as they learned the hard way after they failed to repeal the ACA in 2017.

7 hours ago - Economy & Business

Fed chief's second-term audition

Jerome Powell during a virtual news conference. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell faces a long, hot summer audition for a second term, with senators watching and weighing his response to potential signs of inflation.

Why it matters: The financial system's chief is one of the most powerful in the world. President Biden hasn’t given any public indication whether he’ll renominate Powell, but Democrats close to the administration say there's a chance he'll make an announcement by Labor Day — well before Powell’s term ends next February.