The university also says it will reopen campus this fall.
Oakland University plans to freeze tuition costs for the upcoming Fall 2020 semester due to the coronavirus pandemic, President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz announced May 22.
This plan advocates for a zero percent tuition increase and will be presented to the Board of Trustees at their June 15 meeting, where they will vote on whether it will be implemented or not.
“We are thinking about our students and their families. Pretty much everybody is in the middle of some kind of economic hardship or experiencing some sort of budget shortfall,” Pescovitz told the Jewish News. “We’re aware of that, and as families and students are beginning to consider options for this fall, they need to be able to plan ahead.”
For the 2019-2020 school year, according to their website, the total cost of attending Oakland University was around $27,370 for freshmen and sophomores who were in-state residents but decided to live on campus.
Oakland University’s tuition includes a no-fee tuition pricing, meaning that there are no parking fees, no technology fees, no athletic fees, no online course fees and no lab fees. This no-fee tuition policy allows for students to know right away what their tuition cost will be and not be surprised by hidden fees.
“Tuition is one of those things that is obviously a major financial burden. Every year, in Oakland’s history, we’ve always had a tuition increase,” Pescovitz said. “We’re really thinking about our students’ budgets and our families’ budgets. Most of our students work, over 85% of our students are employed, but many of them have lost their jobs, just like many other families may have lost their jobs. We want to do whatever we can to help them.”
Oakland University has also been focusing on trying to get students the best possible financial aid packages to help aid the cost of attending college. Pescovitz told the JN that, on average, students have a third of their total tuition covered by grants, awards and scholarships.
“This year, I expect it to be significantly more than that, and part of that is because we were fortunate enough to receive funding from the CARES Act, the stimulus package which provides funding to higher education institutions to provide financial aid grants to qualifying students,” Pescovitz said. “We’re also distributing funds from the Oakland University COVID-19 Relief Fund to students to help with support that they require from experiences that they have dealt with from the COVID-19 crisis.”
The university is also beginning to work on a reopening plan to have students, faculty and staff safely return to campus this fall. The plan entails personal health assessments for students, enforcing social distancing, the wearing of masks throughout the whole campus and all cafeterias and eating facilities will be a grab-and-go style.
“For me, the health and safety of our campus, students, faculty and staff is even more important than education,” Pescovitz said. “Simply because we can’t educate our students if our campus is not safe. To me, ensuring that our campus is going to be as safe as possible, is of the utmost importance.”