SGA investigates cost of online

Nicole Ely/The News Students taking online courses use computers across campus to complete class assignments and exams.
Nicole Ely/The News Students taking online courses use computers across campus to complete class assignments and exams.

Nicole Ely/The News
Students taking online courses use computers across campus to complete class assignments and exams.

More than 70 percent of seniors who participated in the senior survey reported taking at least one online course while at Murray State.

About 470 seniors completed the senior  survey. The survey is conducted annually by the Office of Institutional Research. 

Online classes are something many students are interested in, because of the flexible class schedule, but  students stray away because of the price.

Online courses at Murray State are $388 per hour for undergraduate students compared to traditional classes which cost $308 per hour for undergraduate students who are Kentucky residents.

Michael Dobbs, Student Government Association president, said SGA is actively investigating the prices of online classes.

He said SGA doesn’t have the power to directly change class prices, but it is able to bring students’ concerns to the attention of University officials.

SGA has already formed a small committee of interested members to look over online course costs.

“Depending on the work of the committee and what their findings are, it could be presented to key people in the administration for further information and clarification,” Dobbs said.

He said at that point SGA would discuss any future action they would like to take, depending on the interaction with administration. In coming weeks the committee will meet to review the pricing system at Murray State and compare it to other universities.

Online courses at the University of Louisville are 20 percent more expensive than at Murray State and online courses at Western Kentucky University are 16 percent more expensive.

Clint Combs, SGA senator and creator of the committee, said the comparison will give a better understanding of why administration is set on this pricing.

Haley Wyatt, freshman from Calvert City, Ky., said this price is ridiculous.

“All classes should be the same price, whether online or not,” Wyatt said.

For some majors, students pay for required courses only given online.

Nutrition 230 is a course requirement for the nursing program. Last semester it was only offered to students online.

Heather Raley, senior from Henderson, Ky., said this posed an issue for nursing students who had to pay the extra money to take an online course because no other choices were available to them.

Taylor Davis, senior from Metropolis, Ill., said she chose to pay the higher price to take a course online she didn’t want to sit through in person.

“I decided to take an online class because it was very similar to another required class,” Davis said.

The goal of the committee is not to change the prices of the classes, but to ensure the prices are fair and competitive with what other universities are offering. 

Story by Brittany Risko, Staff writer