Nursing students urge Sac State to cover tuition for missed classes during pandemic
Students are looking for $ 1,850 in summer expenses
Sacramento State Nursing students sent a letter to Sac State President Robert Nelsen on Wednesday asking the university to pay their summer tuition worth $ 1,850 for courses the cohort was previously unable to take due to COVID-19.
“On behalf of the 80 students of the Fall 2021 Sacramento State Nursing Cohort, it is imperative for our education that our summer tuition is paid,” the letter read. “In March 2020, nursing students were expelled from our clinical placements and were unable to complete our courses within the timeframe established by the School of Nursing.
Hospitals that held clinical placements did not want students in hospitals due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, according to nursing students who wrote the letter, many nursing students from Sac State n have not been able to complete their clinical placements.
In order to attend classes this summer, each student will have to pay tuition fees “out of pocket,” the students wrote, saying this has impacted their ability to meet their nursing goals to graduate on time and support themselves. their needs and those of their children. families.
The Nursing Cohort asks Nelsen to help Sac State to help foot the bill for her summer school classes with some of the funds the school received under the Help, Relief and Care Act. economic stability of the coronavirus. Nelsen announced last week that the school would receive a $ 50 million in emergency relief funds for higher education (HEERF) of the CARES Act as part of the federal COVID-19 recovery.
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According to senior nurse Tiffany Poe, Nelsen responded to the letter from the cohort, stating that he will speak to them after spending time with lawyers, the business offices and the nursing department and that he is “extremely optimistic “that there will be a solution to the situation, although he said that” the legislation is complicated and not necessarily suitable for students or universities “.
Poe, one of the students who wrote the letter to Nelsen, said some of her cohort were withdrawing from the summer term due to lost income and costs.
“You have to go to school for an extra semester, you don’t have a license for an extra six months and you don’t join the job market for an extra six months, so that’s a really big impact,” said Poe.
Raven Kauba, a nursing major, said students in her cohort were already behind in their progress to graduate on time, and to catch up, they had to take summer courses, which are more expensive than the regular courses in the fall or spring.
“The main problem is that summer school fees are significantly more expensive and the financial aid that is supposed to be offered for the summer is not actually available,” Kauba said.
Additionally, the students wrote that while nursing students completed their intensive program, many worked in the university’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics. For this reason, the letter cites that due to the way the nursing program was involved in vaccinating students, the cohort was unable to work and pass their classes.
“Nursing students have given the community and the university so much time in terms of serving in immunization clinics,” Kauba said. “We do a lot of unpaid nursing school work.”
Kauba said that while the cohort understands that the state’s funding of the Sac of their summer tuition could affect the finances of the university, she believes that it is only fair to help affected students. by the pandemic.
“We understand that in a bureaucratic institution, students will have a hard time getting funding for something like this, but we also think it’s imperative that this be covered,” Kauba said. “It wasn’t fair to the students in my cohort who had to stop their semester and were never reimbursed for those tuition fees anyway.
Additionally, the letter from the cohort states that the School of Nursing even recommended that students not work during the program due to the heavy workload.
Problems related to clinical placements are not the only example of the School of Nursing affected by COVID-19. The program only accepted 40 students in 2020, 12% of all applicants. In the past, the School of Nursing admitted 80 students per semester, but due to the pandemic, the determined university school of nursing administrators there would be uncertainties as to whether students would even be able to meet the course requirements in May 2020.
“I really hope we can get a positive result and get some help for people who really can’t afford this now, and I think if we can just find a solution I think it would have an impact. really important, ”Poe said.
Nelsen told the State Hornet that the university is in communication with the students who sent the letter and is working on solutions.
“AWe are all well aware of the financial challenges facing our students due to academic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, ”Nelsen said via email. “[We] are optimistic that we have indeed found a way forward for our students.