The students in March 2020 offered what they saw as viable solutions to the pandemic-caused setbacks, among them, an additional fee- and tuition-free semester for first and second-year students, with those opting out compensated; an in-person core curriculum; financial support, including need-based scholarships of about $3,000 per month; partial tuition refunds for online studio classes; and uncompromised degree exhibitions.
In response to student concerns, the school launched a COVID-19 student relief fund in April 2020: need-based, first come, first serve financial assistance offered through SOA donors capped at $1,000, and a second round of assistance announced in July. In July, the university offered a third round of relief specifically devoted to studios for second-year students capped at $2,000. But at the time of interviewing, many students told Hyperallergic relief was delayed and disorganized, which compounded hardships, and some never received funding at all. Dean Carol Becker of the School of Arts told the publication that roughly one-quarter of the school’s 835 students had received aid totaling about $519,000 by November of last year and that more would be distributed in January 2021.
The students have clarified that their issues are with administration and not with faculty, a number of whom have expressed support for the students.
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