Dallas' Paul Quinn College announced Thursday it will only offer online classes in the fall in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will drop tuition by roughly $2,300 to make up for the lack of in-person instruction.
"We, after going through our analysis, felt it was the best thing for us to do in terms of our ability to keep our students and staff safe," Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell said. "Which we identified as our number one priority bar none."
In making the decision the college said it followed a model that prioritized the health and safety of its students while considering feedback from health experts.
Sorrell said he sees this as no more challenging than having students on campuses and the problems that could bring.
"At the end of the day, the challenge is getting people to believe in their
ability to learn differently than they've learned before and that's a challenge we'll happily accept," Sorrell said.
The college also said that there would be neither fall sports nor a traditional homecoming celebration and that they would request exceptions to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics 10-term rule for athletic eligibility formal of its athletes who are enrolled full-time during the fall and spring semesters. It said that based on their initial conversation and that the same exceptions were granted in the spring.
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A decision on winter and spring sports will be determined later, as will a decision on classes for the spring 2021 semester.
Because the fall semester will be completely online, the school will be providing Wi-Fi hotspots and laptops to every student who is enrolled full-time and has the need.
Tuition for the upcoming fall semester will drop from $8,321 to $5,996.
"We are going to charge you tuition," Sorrell said. "We are going to charge you a technology fee, which makes sense because we are going to expand the use of technology. And because we know so many of our students need to maintain access to healthcare we are going to charge you for your telehealth. That's it."
The college cut fees for things like meal plans and on-campus activities to reduce the cost for students.
Among other changes are a new honors program, a new website and the creation of an eSports team with a formal announcement expected soon.
A decision on the spring 2021 semester is expected in November.