Students at some of the world's leading business schools, including Kellogg School of Management, Insead and The Wharton School, have demanded refunds on their tuition payments amid online classes they said are not worth the exorbitantly high fees they paid to attend the schools in person, according to the Financial Times.
The classes have to take place online for now because of the coronavirus pandemic, but students at some schools said using Zoom or other such platforms just isn't the same as being on campus learning.
Smith Kachhy, a student at Insead, said the crisis had laid bare that the school clearly doesn't care about them, adding that the students weren't sure if they would even be able to find work with their expensive degrees after graduating due to the global turmoil that has left much of the world's usual institutions in a state of uncertainty.
As such, a petition at The Wharton School has around 900 signatures for refunds. Tuition costs there can be up to $160,000 for a two-year degree.
And at Stanford's Graduate School of Business, which can cost $150,000 for a two-year MBA program, a similar petition has been signed by 80 percent of the class. Kellogg and Insead have petitions as well.
Insead Dean Ilian Mihov said the school had been "flexible" on payment and admission deadlines, so things could continue during the pandemic. However, the school did not comment on "individual requests" for tuition refunds.
First-year Kellogg MBA student Vyasa Shastry said he and other students felt powerless against the increasing use of online lectures and said he wished the school would reduce tuition at the least. Kellogg said in a statement that it was "confident" that the value of its degrees would be the same as it always had been, despite the conditions in the rest of the world.
The cost of a full-time MBA degree is often very high as it is expected that MBA degrees often lead to high-paying jobs after graduation. Sometimes, the costs of the degree, with fee increases and living expenses, can be as high as $250,000.
Although students' attempts to reduce tuition may not have come to anything yet, colleges and universities have been waiving rent for businesses on their properties.