While many Cal Poly students are working through their fourth week of classes, some students have opted to take academic leave this quarter. 

Apart from some on-campus housing and meal plan fees, Cal Poly students are paying the same amount for online classes as they would be for in-person classes. Some students believe that tuition is too high for the resources available online.

Business administration sophomore Steven Mather has taken online classes before at community college, and said that he is taking this quarter off because he doesn’t want to go back to online learning. 

“I didn’t see a value in reliving what I wanted to get away from,” Mather said. 

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Video by Lauren Brown

COVID-19 has forced students and teachers to move to online platforms, prompting labs and discussions to be facilitated all online. 

“It lacked a lot of soul. There weren’t in-person discussions and as real as it is in a physical classroom…having experienced [online learning] and then transitioning to in-person classes, my immediate reaction is ‘I’m not going back,’” said Mather. 

While the period to drop classes for a tuition refund has passed, it is unclear whether students will be refunded for on-campus facility expenses. Some students are saying if classes move online in the fall, they too will take academic leave. 

“It’s more worth it to me and my parents that I maybe get a little behind in school, but that’s okay because I will be getting the full education that I am paying for,” music freshman Ellie Baisch said. 

Baisch is from Chicago and pays out-of-state tuition. She said that if classes go online in the fall, she will take the quarter off because she is at a crucial phase in her music degree.

“If it’s not going to be in-person, and out-of-state tuition is so expensive, I don’t want to waste my education,” Baisch said. 

Cal Poly has not announced whether Fall 2020 will be in an online format.

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