- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 20 April 2016
- Written by RICHARD FELICETTI | ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR & JASMINE RAMOS | CO-POLITICS EDITOR
For the 2016-2017 academic school year, tuition for full-time undergraduate MU students will increase 4.95 percent. This increase now makes the total cost for tuition and fees, excluding room and board, $35,014. Tara Peters, Associate Vice President of the Marketing and Communications Department said, “Even with this year’s increase, Monmouth’s tuition remains in the lower half among private colleges and universities in New Jersey, meaning that more than half of the private colleges and universities in the state have higher tuition costs.”
Monmouth University’s financial aid department could not be reached for comment.
According to CollegeCalc, a website that ranks schools in order based off of their current tuition reported by the U.S. Department of Education, the University lands in 9th most expensive colleges in New Jersey by in state tuition. Based off of the tuition of the 2014/2015 school year, it fell under schools such as Seton Hall and Drew University, whose tuition was $44,232 that year.
One of the main investments with the tuition raise is an increase in full time faculty and staff. Peters explained, “For 2016-17 we are adding 22 new full-time faculty positions and nine support staff positions to enhance student learning.” In addition, the University has also created several senior administrative positions. According to the University website, over the last two years there have been more than 50 new tenure-track and full-time positions, with the support of two new deans.
“I think that it’s excessive. We are paying through the roof for our education here already and I believe that an increase in tuition is unnecessary. I think that the committees in charge of this need to put themselves in the shoes of the students and realize it is impractical to ask for so much more from us,” said Caroline Shanahan, a sophomore nursing student. “The administration should look for ways to cut costs rather than having increases on a yearly basis.”
The tuition rise also is linked to the strategic plan that has been placed for the improvement of the University. Peters said, “President Brown outlined a bold new vision for Monmouth that is rooted in a commitment to transformative learning aimed at enhancing students’ education and outcomes.”
“Annual tuition increases are not ‘automatic,’ but rather tied to strategic goals and so continuous improvement for the University is often connected to a need for additional funding,” Peters continued.
Many of these strategic initiatives have already taken place, as shown on the State of the University 2016 address. Many clubs have reached high accomplishments, such as the university moot court team advanced in to the American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Championship Tournament. The University has also been able to host several events, such as filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller accepting the first Monmouth Award for Communication Excellence Award, and welcoming New Jersey’s first female attorney general as our Public Servant in Residence for the 2015-16 year.
“I think the tuition increase can create a real burden on some students. Yearly inflation means that a tuition increase is pretty much a guarantee, though,” said Joshua Manning, a junior business student. “I think a lot of people would feel better if their scholarships were increased by the same percentage.”
Andrew Betro, a sophomore psychology student, was less than satisfied with the recent tuition increase.
“I mean obviously as a student who has to pay more money as a result I’m not going to be happy about it. If there were a good reason to raise tuition that the school could give us then maybe I wouldn’t be as mad because I know where the money would be going. But personally I don’t see a reason, or a good reason at least, to the tuition increasing. We got a new catering service for the dining hall but the food is the same quality we had last year so it doesn’t make sense,” said Betro.
“The renovations could be seen as a reason but that money should have been accounted for in the budget without the plan to raise tuition. And they’re behind schedule anyway and have been nothing but an inconvenience for students with no visible benefits. I just don’t see significance of raising my bill when I’m not benefiting or at least seeing a difference on campus,” Betro added.
When asked whether the rise in tuition had any connection to the recent construction plans on campus, Peters said, “Many construction projects on campus, including Pozycki Hall and Rechnitz Hall, for example, are primarily funded through private giving.” According to the University website, gifts and pledges totaled more than $14.5 million in 2015. This is also the third year in a row that alumni contributions have surpassed $10 million.
However, new housing options for on-campus students are not in effect in the near future. “We continue to explore ways to meet the housing need but there are no current plans for new housing,” Peters said.
IMAGE TAKEN from Monmouth.edu