Monmouth University’s tuition will increase to 3.78 percent compared to last year, which was 3.69 percent, a total increase of 0.09 percent. This increase is effective May 15 and was announced by University President Patrick Leahy, Ed.D., via email on Tuesday, March 21.
Tuition and other fees continue to increase yearly, though Leahy has made it a point to keep the percentage under 4 percent and attributes that to controlling the operating costs.
“This year, rising costs have again impacted every area of our campus operations—from attracting and retaining outstanding faculty to maintaining residence halls and classrooms to providing on-campus healthcare and food service. These increased costs have a direct impact on our maintenance and operations, including salaries, building maintenance, and budgets for clubs,” Leahy wrote in an email.
Leahy also said that considering the state of the global economy, he believes their team did a good job of keeping the increase in tuition below the 12-month national inflation rate of 6.4 percent at the end of January.
“We recommended to the Board of Trustees—and the trustees fully endorsed—a 3.75 percent tuition increase as the least disruptive option for our new and continuing students and families. Various fee increases push the total blended increase to 3.78 percent,” he explained.
Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President of Student Life and Leadership Engagement, began, “The reason for tuition rising is for many reasons, such as paying the salaries of our professors and advisors, paying the grounds people to make our campus so beautiful, increasing budgets for such things as health services, counseling services, and security on campus.”
She acknowledged the financial insecurity of some students and related it to the recent rise in grocery prices. People may not necessarily agree or want food inflation by five percent to eight percent; nevertheless, it still occurs as it is necessary for the times.
“There is always the possibility that we don’t have to raise tuition, but that depends on the world around us; I would certainly hope in the future that we can make the percentage less or not at all,” emphasized Nagy.
While those in charge of the decision believe the tuition change is necessary to compensate faculty and staff and increase school budgets, students may feel differently about this change.
Angelica Alayon, a junior business student, said, “I wasn’t expecting to see an increase anytime soon. There was already an increase last year, so I was betting on the increase to happen in three to four years.”
Alayon also said how she hopes the tuition increase will go toward building upgrades, such as in Bey Hall.
“I think there are a lot of business students who would appreciate having more computers in Bey Hall to get homework or work done,” elaborated Alayon.
Ulric Quow, a junior business student, remarked, “The tuition increase is expected. The yearly email talking about a less than four percent increase in tuition is unnecessary and practically salt in the wound. I did the math by not choosing four and instead going with last year’s increase of 3.69 percent; you have saved us a total of $95.”
Quow wishes for the tuition increase to be shown in multiple areas, like upgrades to the gym and dorms/apartments, but doubts it will ever come to reality.
Elizabeth O’Brien, Director of the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program, said that she believes the University does what is necessary to continue operating and serving students in the best way possible.
“There have been several initiatives to increase financial aid funding to support more students and offer larger aid packages. Because of these initiatives, I hope there is not a negative impact on current or future scholars—in EOF or otherwise—if and when there are tuition increases,” said O’Brien.
Robert H. Scott III, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Economics, Finance, and Real Estate, commented, “I don’t like to see prices go up for students— I want Monmouth to be affordance and accessible. One model for increasing price transparency is where freshman is told what tuition will be their first year, and it remains locked for four years.”
The change in tuition also calls into question how prospective students view Monmouth.
“There is a possibility that due to the increase of tuition that it will scare incoming freshmen, but we do our best to offer scholarships, and there is financial and government aid depending on someone’s financial situation,” responded Nagy.
“Incoming freshmen may feel that the high tuition means the school has better programs and facilities. On the other hand, freshmen could also feel like the higher tuition is not worth the money and can turn away to attend a university that is cheaper but offer similar benefits to Monmouth University,” said Alayon.
Quow believes Monmouth’s reputation helps secure the University’s first-year enrollment. “When I decided to first come here, I was offered $7,000 in grants while tuition was $40,000. Rider University offered me $26,000 in grants while still having a $40,000 tuition at the time, and I still chose this place,” said Quow.
“I think freshmen looking at a private university in NJ know that it’s an expensive proposition. Price-conscious families have less expensive options, so I think if the current price doesn’t turn them away, then a 3.78 percent increase probably won’t surprise them either,” added Scott.
While there is concern about the rise in tuition, Nagy emphasized that education is an investment for students, and that a degree helps them secure a high-paying job in the long run. “Once you attain a degree, that is something that no one can take away from you,” she said.