CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A group of Texas A&M University Corpus Christi students started a petition asking the university to lower it's tuition and fees during the coronavirus pandemic.
"I'm just a college student trying to get my degree as well," organizer of the petition Carlos Vela said.
Vela is a pre-med student at TAMUCC. Like many other students, he came from a low socio-economic background.
"I came from a small town, Ingleside, with a single mom who worked two or three jobs paycheck to paycheck," Vela said.
He said COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way, especially students already struggling to pay their tuition.
"The deadline is August 11 which is coming relatively quickly," Vela said.
After talking to some of his friends, he decided to start the petition asking for the university to lower its tuition costs and fees based on what he said is the lack of accessibility to many resources and amenities typically provided by the campus since many classes will be online.
"All we're asking in this moment is to look back and re-evaluate and just ask yourself again 'are you seeing the bigger picture?," Vela said. "Are you looking into other place? Where can we shift things around?"
As of Friday night the petition had more than 1,500 signatures.
3News asked for a response from the university. Officials sent us the following statement:
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi's quality of instruction has not changed, and student services remain available. The University does not plan to change tuition rates but has a variety of resources to help students with a financial need, including the Islander Guarantee program. This program covers tuition and fees for students whose adjusted family gross income is $60,000 or less. The University also has used CARES Act funding and other private funding to assist students who have additional needs at this time. In addition, we offer a program that freezes tuition and fees for undergraduate resident students for four years, and nearly 99% of our students take advantage of this program.