by Jon Street
Mike Rowe took a swipe at the rising cost of college tuition during an interview Tuesday with Fox News, asking, “what are we paying for?”
Calling what students are paying to attend college courses “somewhere between egregious and obscene,” the host of “Dirty Jobs” said that he predicts “one of the silver linings” from the coronavirus pandemic will be Americans’ commitments “truly to learning” and that the crisis could “completely redefine” how people learn moving forward.
Rowe told viewers that just the week before, he watched an online lecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“The very same lecture you would pay an awful lot of money to sit through,” Rowe pointed out.
He then took aim at colleges with billion-dollar endowments, such as Harvard, which is wealthier than more than half of the world’s countries. He then pointed out that, despite having billions of dollars in the bank, colleges are so far refusing to issue students refunds after switching to online courses only.
“When you look at Harvard, and when you look at William and Mary and Brown and MIT and some of these schools with $40 billion endowments, who are not issuing refunds, by the way, for the canceled courses, you start to realize, what are we really paying for?” Rowe asked.
Virtually every college across the country has moved courses online for the remainder of the spring semester because of the coronavirus pandemic. As Campus Reform has reported, most colleges have said they will issue some form of refund for students’ room and board costs, but students who paid for in-person instruction through May and for academic resources available to them on campus will not receive tuition refunds, even though colleges asked them or in some cases forced them to move home, which, for some students, is another state or even another country.
Watch the interview:
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Jon Street is the Managing Editor of CampusReform.org.
Photo “Mike Rowe” by Campus Reform.