Tuition Proposal Meeting: June 29th

The Board of Trustees and President Henderson will decide on tuition.

Ivana Estime

The tuition and fee resolution meeting will be held on Monday, June 29th at 6pm.  A public tuition hearing was held in late April to discuss possible proposals to increase tuition. This was discussed between moderator Virginia Melendez, Board of Trustees, Chairman Rafael Perez, President Sue Henderson and all that have attended the meeting.

The current tuition is at $6,206 and there are proposals to increase it by 2% to $6,246, 3% to $6,307, 4% to $6,369, or 5% to $6,430. Concerns were brought up about the working class students who may have trouble paying tuition. Economics Professor Dr. Ivan Steinberg says, “I understand that state appropriations have been significantly reduced. Also understand we have a lot of working class students, immigrants.” Steinberg had advocated for students borrowing money at very low interest rates.

Perez addresses the situation: “We are fully aware of the impact this is having on our students of all backgrounds, clearly this is going to be a very difficult period going forward. We are going to look very carefully at the budget and see how we can keep the tuition as low as possible.” President Henderson assures that “…Students who [have] full Pell and Tag grants receive money left over, this would be true after the increase. We would implement more scholarships and we would receive more Pell grants from the state if we increased.” Henderson continues, “We won’t make a clear decision on this until we know what the state is going to do.”

Barabra Hildner, english professor and president of the American Federation of Teachers Local 1839 says, “We usually make the decision around the end of June.” President Henderson says, “$24.2 million dollars in state aid is what we generally receive.” Nevin Perkins, a junior majoring in English, minoring in African American studies, and the Op/Ed Editor at The Gothic Times asks for, “transparency on who is eligible for financial aid and who is not to determine what percentage of students would be most impacted by increase.”

Henderson says, “Sixty percent of our students are Pell eligible but not all of them get full Pell, depending on families economic status. Thirty percent of our students get “everything” and that they are “attempting to raise 50k for scholarships for students next year already at 25,000.” President of the Student Government Association, Ricky Cruz says, “Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students do not receive federal aid” and mentions the “First Aid Care Package that came out specifically left out Dreamers.”

It is said that, “Senator Menendez is working with [NJ State Senator Cory] Booker to get DACA students aid.” The University is attempting to work with the foundation to raise money specifically. President Henderson urges the community to continue to connect the University to students in need of resources. 

The moderator of the meeting, Melendez says more details about the upcoming meeting will be shared to students “as the date approaches.”