By Justin Rimpi
Just as certain as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, the tuition at Fairleigh Dickinson University will go up every fall.
Seniors at FDU have seen their tuition, dorm, and meal plan go up once again as it has every fall they’ve been enrolled here.
“The university does its best to control costs within the bounds of what we can control,” Metropolitan Campus Executive Steve Nelson told The Equinox. “However, there are many costs for which we have no control. We are not immune to rate increases in costs such as insurance, utilities, and the vendors we use to assist us in serving our students.”
Tuition for this school year is $41,154. Tuition for the 2016-2017 school year was $36,976. 2017-2018 was $38,418, tuition for last year was $39,686.
The Class of ‘20 has had to pay an extra $4,500 over the past three years just in tuition increases.
The tuition and fees portion of attending FDU includes things like a wellness fee, technology fee and a new student fee. Students that live on campus are obligated to purchase a meal plan along with their residence status. Both have increased steadily since 2016.
The Office of Financial Aid says they do not adjust a student’s financial aid package to the substantial tuition hikes, that have taken place the last three summers.
This can push a student into a corner financially because it can become difficult to budget for tuition increases at a school that is already the ninth-most expensive school in the Garden State, according to collegetuitioncompare.com.
The option to purchase health insurance for uninsured students costs another $1,500.
“I hate it, [the tuition increase],” junior Puja Sengupta said. “Out of my three years at FDU, I’ve never taken out so many loans. One of the main reasons why I came to FDU is because of the scholarship and not paying so much. This year’s tuition has especially been difficult because of financial issues and I tried to appeal it to financial aid but they declined. I don’t think that it’s fair because I thought I was going to be debt free for undergraduate before going to medical school.”
FDU is a private school, so it is understandable that tuition will be pricey, but at what point does the price become a drawback that will repel future Knights or cause students to transfer to another institution of higher learning?
“Tuition money first goes to cover the costs like salaries and campus improvements,” Nelson said. “Any leftover funds are reinvested into the campus to enhance our living and learning communities and to fund and expand campus programming. Funds are also applied towards larger-scale projects such as the new footbridge, campus perimeter, and digital monument sign beautification project.”
Options for students fed up with having to pay more and more money every school year can be: reassessing one’s scholarship package on a year-by-year basis or by offering more scholarships to existing students like a Returning Student grant.
“I have definitely witnessed the tuition hike but I have been fortunate enough to not be too affected by them,” Hannah Farrow, junior and SGA Parliamentarian said. “However, I feel that this negatively affects other students who aren’t as fortunate as myself. I think more scholarship opportunities should be available to possibly help offset the tuition increase.”
The tuition issue is not one that will go away very soon, and something must be done to make FDU more affordable.
Chart by Justin Rimpi