Enrollment Numbers Down

By Tyler Williams

(TEANECK) – Enrollment of freshman and transfer students at FDU’s Metro campus declined by 221 – from 873 to 652 – students in the past year, according to FDU’s enrollment records.

“We are in a transition; there have been a lot of changes in leadership,” said Metro Campus Provost Robert Vodde.

Traci Banks, associate vice president of Admissions and Financial Aid is now overseeing the enrollment process on both FDU campuses – a job John Wexler, former vice president of enrollment had been doing.

Vodde also mentioned that the university is under scrutiny over its new pharmacy program and that they’re working with outside consulting on the issue.

Another aspect of FDU’s enrollment issue is a transition to new leadership as well as independent factors regarding students.

“There’s a new president and new university provost, fewer students, changing demographics, and changing factors,” said Vodde.

When asked if tuition is increasing due to declining enrollment, Vodde said that the budget determines the tuition, rather than enrollment determining it.

Vodde explained how the University Planning and Budgeting Committee establishes tuition.

“It’s a very deliberate process,” Vodde said.

Another factor in tuition is financial aid, which comes in the form of grants and scholarships.

“Affordability is really sensitive,” he said, stating how faculty and the Administration try to cater to the needs to students and parents.

“I know, as a parent, what it’s like to put children through college,” Vodde said.

According to FDU’s Financial Aid office, 2,722 total undergraduates received, on average, $20,324 in grant aid.

“We prepare our students on financial aid because we [FDU] care,” Vodde said.

According to the College Board in a comparison between the tuitions of FDU, Felician, and Georgian Court universities, FDU’s tuition is at least five thousand dollars more expensive than each of them.

“We want to make sure that FDU is accessible without compromising the quality of education,” Vodde said.

There is also an issue with declining foreign enrollment.

“Many international students can’t go to FDU because of visas in their home countries.  This usually happens with Indian students.”

There has been some speculation about visa citizenship scams in foreign countries. This is the assumption that was made for international students being unable to come to college in the United States.

Usually, one of the top reasons why the international students are unable to come to college in the United States is because the individual does not have all of the information required to determine if the applicant is eligible to receive a visa. Another reason is because the applicant does not qualify for the visa category for which he or she applied.

Also, it could be that the information reviewed indicates the applicant falls within the scope of one of the inadmissibility or ineligibility grounds of the law. An applicant’s current and/or past actions, such as drug or criminal activities, as examples, may make the applicant ineligible for a visa, according to the U.S. Department of State and Bureau of Consular Affairs.

In countries like India, there are citizenship scams that are present in forging visas. One of the fraud cases was a report where 10 Indian-Americans among 21 were arrested for visa fraud in the U.S.

“These defendants arranged to obtain visas by having individuals enroll to a fake university. Unfortunately for them, that fake university was run by undercover agents of the Department of Homeland Security,” said Paul J Fishman, US attorney of New Jersey, according to Economic Times.

However, an article on Slate.com said the United States’ Program for selling citizenship is a scam.

“If you want to find a real scam involving a country that sells citizenship to foreigners, you don’t need to look overseas,” Slate said.

“Here at home [United States] we do just that with a ludicrous program for ‘immigrant investors’,” they said.

“It’s the worst combination of bad economics, political cronyism, and unfairness—and it has been endorsed by saints of capitalism Warren Buffett and Bill Gates”, according to Slate.