Columbia University Students Stage Tuition Strike

Angered over increased financial burdens, a move to online classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and what they call a “flagrant disregard for initiatives democratically supported within the community,” more than 1,000 Columbia University students have gone on tuition strike, refusing to make required payments that were due to the school last week. 

According to NBC News reporter Ben Kesslen, students at the New York City Ivy League school have made a sweeping list of demands and are “asking the school to lower tuition by at least 10% and to increase financial aid.” Kesslen said the protesting students have also asked the school to “end its expansion into and gentrification of West Harlem, defund its university police force and bargain in good faith with campus unions.”

Students are especially incensed that while the tuition at the school hasn’t changed despite the ongoing financial crisis the coronavirus has placed on the country, Columbia’s reported endowment — which is estimated at more than $11 billion — continues to grow. Kesslen said the university is reported to have made more than $300 million in gains amidst the ongoing pandemic.

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