Some International Students May Not Apply For The Transportation Access Fee Waiver

Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash

By Laura Antunez / Staff Writer

Although some fees have been waived to accommodate students who are no longer accessing on-campus services, most international students will not have their fees reduced, despite having the highest tuition rates at Florida International University coupled with being ineligible for federal aid. 

Maria Lago is just one of the international students hoping that the administration will grant her some kind of discount or credit. She, along with the rest of her family, are here on student visas from Curitiba, Brazil. 

“I think they should discount a lot more but I understand their dilemma,” she said.  

Although the rates are already high as a non-Florida resident, they are even higher in her home country of Brazil.

“The situation in Brazil is not good now. Imagine paying five or six times the regular amount for everything you buy in dollars,” she said.  

The tuition rates for non-Florida residents are almost three times as much as non-Florida residents. Along with this, international students often do not qualify for student aid. Students like Lago who cannot turn to their home country for education are essentially helpless to the prices imposed on them by the university.

Lago was hoping the fees would be lowered for her as well because she is essentially paying full price for services she will not have access to.

“I’m not going to use the parking, the computer, any computer labs. I’m not going to use the library or any other services like that,” she said.

The reason that Lago is unable to receive $50 credit from the Transportation Access Fee is that the fee waiver is due to the CARES Act funding from the government. Congress limits who is able to access this fund to citizens and non-citizens that generally have access to federal aid. 

As recently as April 22, 2020, FIU reached over $19 million for the government for student disbursement. 

Brian Levine, president of the Bayview Hall council at the Biscayne Bay Campus, said that ample funds are available. However, only approximately 16 percent of eligible students had applied and received a grant as of May 11.

“FIU is here for you in this challenging time,” said Levine in an Instagram video. 

He said that all students are encouraged to apply because the campus has funds it can award to students that qualify for CARES Act funding.

The CARES Act funds can be used for a wide variety of things, including food, housing, cost of materials, health and childcare. 

“I know many students at Bayview were greatly affected when we suddenly had to leave campus,” he said. “We wanted to make sure that [students] knew that this aid is available.”

Students can apply for additional funding at

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