MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Southwest Tennessee Community College is returning to some virtual learning this week to give students and staff some relief at the pump.

Due to inflation nationwide and the surging gas prices, the school decided to move to Virtual Fridays for the summer session.

“It’s going to help all of us, ultimately get over this barrier, this unexpected inflation gate, if you will,” said Cory Major, Vice President of Student affairs.

Dr. David Rosenthal, Deputy Chief Information Officer at Southwest Tennessee Community College, lives in Fayette County.

He drives about 250 miles a week to the various campuses and said it’s getting expensive.

“Before we started to see the real spike, I was paying $25 to fill up my vehicle. I have a smaller car. Now, twice that at least,” said Rosenthal.

Rosenthal and Major said during the pandemic, the school got pretty good at virtual learning five days a week.

They hope Virtual Fridays will put more money in the pockets of students struggling with inflation and the record gas prices and keep them in school.

“We looked at the fact we have students who have to make a decision about buying groceries or buying gas,” said Major.

He said if the economy continues to worsen, they may consider more virtual learning in the fall.

The summer session runs from May 27 to August 12.