New Changes in Distance Learning Fees Could Raise Costs for BC’s Online Students

Dayna Verlinsky // The Watchdog

On March 22, Bellevue College announced there would be changes associated with their distance learning fees. These changes will be implemented in the Summer 2024 quarter. This won’t have an effect on fully in-person students, but for hybrid and online students, it could mean a greater expense.

In the past, BC has held a fee of $10.50 per credit with a cap at $105 per student each quarter. Post pandemic, Bellevue College has seen a major rise in enrollment in online classes over in person ones, with 43% of classes being totally online in the Winter 2024 quarter and 32% being hybrid. These distance learning fees go towards services and support for online learning as well as necessary software, such as Canvas.

Starting this summer quarter, the distance learning fee will be lowered by 24% to $8 per online credit, and a $4.50 fee per hybrid credit will be instituted. Although fees for online classes may decrease, the $105 cap will be removed, possibly counteracting this. For students taking more than 13 online credits per quarter, fees will now exceed $105. To put this in perspective, full-time students at BC must be enrolled in 12 or more credits, and many full-time students take around 15 credits per quarter.

According to Communications Manager Yves Martin, these changes are due to student complaints about revenue from distance learning fees supporting students across all learning modalities. For example, distance-learning fees support BC’s Canvas subscription, but hybrid and in-person classes use this software as well. The Academic Affairs Office has instituted this fee change to try to correct this discrepancy. Online and hybrid students could potentially see an increase in fees due to these changes, but the revenue is directed towards online support services for students. Online resources for students continue to evolve with the expansion of online and hybrid learning and currently include services such as online tutoring through the Academic Success Center as well as online counseling services, IT help, and more. For a list of services offered by BC, you can visit their Online Services Page.

To learn more about the recent changes in fees, please visit the Bellevue College FYI or visit the Description of Fees page on the BC website.


Description of Fees page:

Online Services page:

Dayna Verlinsky // The Watchdog