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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.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Peloton's wild ride and possible buyers

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Peloton is having a bumpy ride, and has become a source of fascination among even those who've never invested or clipped in.

Driving the news: On Monday, a hedge fund with less than a 5% stake in Peloton called for CEO John Foley to be fired and for the connected fitness company to consider seeking a strategic buyer. Shares gained nearly 10% on the news, but remained down 16.2% for the year and off 80% their December 2020 peak.

Scoop: Republicans probe NBC over Beijing Olympics coverage

Photo: Oscar del Pozo/AFP via Getty Images

Republican leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have sent a letter to NBC Universal executives voicing concerns about "the extent of influence the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) may have over NBCUniversal’s coverage of the games."

Why it matters: The human rights abuses committed by the CCP have been the subject of intense scrutiny ahead of this year's Winter Games in Beijing. Activists last year sent a letter to NBC executives urging the network to cancel plans to cover the Olympics.