High Education Costs During Pandemic

Students On Whether High Education Costs Are Justified

More stories from Griffin Marti


Isaiah Rainwater

Many students, like Isaiah Rainwater and his family pictured here, take the opportunities to do in person campus tours. In this photo, the family was visiting University of Minnesota, one of the many campuses to recently return to its in person classes and tours.

With spring being just around the corner, there is one dominant issue at the forefront of many student’s minds at this time of year; preparation for college. Deciding whether or not to pursue higher education is often one of the most difficult financial decisions that many students will make, often because the cost of attendance is extremely high usually resulting in the need for student loans. However, with largescale changes to how the education system operates as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many students feel unsure about whether it is worth paying a large sum of money, only to receive online classes which are often simpler and watered down. 

Students often rely on college websites like the University of Minnesota’s official website to get important updates regarding covid-19 information.

In an interview, New Ulm High School student Isaiah Rainwater explains his decision that he made when selecting a university to attend. In reference to cost, he said:

“I plan on majoring in computer sciences, so even if there is going to be another switch to distance learning, I will be mostly spending time on my computer either way. So for me, the price is still worth it.”

Isaiah went on to explain that his work as a developing computer scientist is able to operate very well in a remote learning environment since a large majority of the work that he does is already done online. While Isaiah feels that the cost of attendance is worth it for him, many other students who plan to major in more in-person subjects like biology, psychology, or other human-based studies, feel much less obligated to pursue higher-level education only to get their classes and university experience cut short due to the pandemic. In an interview with New Ulm High School student Jacob Luepke, Jacob said:

“I should not have to pay large amounts of money to attend some online classes.”

Jacob explained in his interview that he might plan on studying to be a mechanic, which involves a lot of hands-on learning which can not easily be achieved with online schooling. He also explains that he does not enjoy or learn well in the online format. He is not alone in his sentiment, since a majority of colleges across the nation have reported lower numbers of student admissions. Unlike Jacob, New Ulm High School student William Larson feels that the cost of attending university will be worth it since recent vaccine developments and lowering cases of people sick with Covid-19 have lead many schools and campuses to slowly begin opening up again. This reopening is evident for many universities, including Mankato State University, which offers in-person classes and even in-person tours according to the school’s website. Similar developments have also occurred in the University of Minnesota, which has also returned many of its classes to in-person learning. In the end, only time will tell whether or not these developments fully make the cost of attendance worth a large amount of money required to attend.