De Anza students disagree on cost of online learning


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Students disagree on whether online or in-person learning is better, considering both the teaching style and the financial cost of De Anza College.

Derek Dang, 21, communications major, said he prefers in-person learning because it is more hands-on, but he finds both imperfect.

“Doing online schoolwork gave me more time to study and really understand the coursework,” Dang said. “But I feel like being in class (with) other students gives me the concentration and also gives me the opportunity to ask for help.”

Poasa Vai, 20, graphic design major, said he prefers online learning because of the flexibility and less financial stress.

“I don’t have the hassle of having to make it to class on time,” Vai said. “I don’t drive, so typically I would take the bus, which was a struggle.”

If he overslept, Vai said he would have to take an expensive Uber ride, adding to the financial burden along with textbooks and class materials.

“I already know classes are going to be expensive, so that part doesn’t really phase me — it’s more of the books,” Vai said. “Sometimes the books are really expensive.”

Dang, though, said his greatest financial struggle is the tuition.

“Trying to be a full-time student is kind of hard (when you’re also) a full-time worker,” Dang said. “I have a little trouble with that, finding a balance between maintaining my grades while also being able to work to support myself and fund my own schooling.”

Still, Dang said he believes his investment in higher education is worth it.

“The burdens of finances are outweighed by what I feel like I could do in the future,” Dang said. “I’m willing to deal with it now just because I know (that) it’ll pay off.”

Some students — like Marina Trevino-Vasquez, a 21-year-old child development major — are eligible for financial aid through the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services program.

“I get a lot of help from being low-income,” Trevino-Vasquez said. “I don’t have to pay anything out of pocket, which is really good.”

Trevino-Vasquez said professors help her with expensive textbooks.

“My EOPS didn’t cover all of my books because some of my child development classes’ books are $100 or something,” Trevino-Vasquez said. “Most of our teachers either provide the pdf book or try to use cheap alternatives.”

De Anza’s campus reopening plan can be found here and financial aid resources here.