Students without internet access could face challenges with online-only courses

(Melanie White | Collegian Media Group)

The K-State Student Union, Kansas State Libraries and the Manhattan Public Library are all temporarily closed due to COVID-19 concerns. By closing, students with limited internet access will be unable to use the free Wi-Fi provided by these entities to complete course work.

The university recommends contacting instructors, the Student Access Center or the Office of Student Life if students have problems or concerns about completing classes remotely.

Comcast and Charter both announced they will offer two months of free internet access to students and families who do not currently have internet services.

However, 27 percent of K-State’s student population live in rural areas that may have limited access to broadband internet. Additionally, some students may be unable to afford internet even if they live in an area with broadband.

Noah Ochsner, sophomore in agricultural communications and journalism, said this will affect some students abilities to complete online coursework.

“Absolutely I believe this is going to effect some students, unfortunately this is a situation none of us could have saw coming, and it’s really pointing out the fact that we do have an issue with broadband access right here in Kansas,” Ochsner said via email.

This also isn’t just going to affect students in rural regions, but also students who can’t afford access to reliable internet.

“Some students will be affected by this in ways we don’t even know yet, some live in areas where broadband internet doesn’t exist yet, some don’t have internet all together,” Ochsner continued. “But all I can say is this, you’ve got to be an advocate for yourself in this situation.”

He adds that although this was an unforeseen event, the university is doing its best to make adjustments.

“I hope solutions can be found for students who aren’t able to do course work remotely,” Ochsner said.

My name is Bailey Britton and I am the former editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Previously, I have been the assistant news editor and the managing editor. I have also interned for the Manhattan Mercury and the Colby Free Press. I grew up in Colby, Kansas, and I am a junior in journalism and English. Through the Collegian, I aim to provide the K-State community with quality news coverage while we learn to serve our campus.