Columbia University

Columbia University Students Wage Tuition Strike, Demand Pandemic Concessions

Over 1,000 students are withholding this semester's tuition as financial burdens grow

The view of the Columbia University Alma Mater statue and steps amid the COVID-19 pandemic on April 28, 2020 in New York City, United States. Normally, this area would be filled with students taking their graduation photos. COVID-19 has spread to most countries around the world, claiming over 213,000 lives with over 3 million cases.
Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

More than 1,000 Columbia University students are withholding this semester's tuition as they demand that the Ivy League school in New York City lower its cost amid financial burdens and the move to online classes prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, NBC News reports.

Students initiated the tuition strike last Friday, when payments for the semester were due. In a sweeping list of demands, students accused the school of demonstrating a "flagrant disregard for initiatives democratically supported within the community." The striking students are asking the school to lower tuition by at least 10 percent and to increase financial aid.

Tuition for undergraduates is $58,920 for an academic year, and the total costs eclipse $80,000 when fees, room and board, books and travel are factored in, the university estimates. Both undergraduate and graduate students are participating in the strike.

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