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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.

3 hours ago - World

Defense Sec. Austin stresses U.S. commitment to Israel's security amid growing Iran tensions

Issei Kato/Reuters/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrived for his first visit in Jerusalem amid nuclear talks in Vienna and growing tensions between Israel and Iran.

Why it matters: Austin met his counterpart Benny Gantz and will meet later with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss Iran and regional security issues.

"I was horrified": Leaders respond to footage of Black and Latino Army officer threatened at traffic stop

An Army officer is suing two Virginia police officers after he said they drew their guns and pepper-sprayed him during a traffic stop in December.

Why it matters: Footage of the incident has drawn widespread criticism from leaders and groups in the state. Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino, is heard saying “I’m honestly afraid to get out," to which a police officer responds “Yeah, you should be," in a video from a body-worn camera.