Montclair State University students are in for a real treat with the annual Board of Trustees’ (BOT) tuition hearing.
Student Services describes the hearing as “an open forum where students can share their concerns regarding proposed tuition, housing and fees for the 2023-2024 academic year. University leaders will share information that will help you understand how these decisions are made.”
What’s great about these is anyone is invited to attend and voice their concerns. However, there is nothing you can say to stop the raise of tuition costs.
Everyone knows that the more you pay for something, the nicer it is.
A five-star hotel that costs approximately $1,000 a night is arguably a better experience than a one-star motel. A $2,500 MacBook Pro is more likely higher quality than a $300 Chromebook.
So understandably, a raise in tuition is an annoyance but it should reap some benefits that would directly affect students.
However, Montclair State tuition has been raised almost every single year and we still have broken elevators, buildings without air conditioning and departments such as graphic design having their budgets cut.
On March 23, plans to raise tuition and what it would be used for was discussed by the BOT.
The director of auxiliary services, Jim Robinson, stated that dining prices will increase as the price of food is rising.
This makes perfect sense, but what doesn’t make sense is that Montclair State charges five dollars for a single can of Red Bull when they typically sell at Walmart for almost half the price. Is this the raise in food prices we’re talking about? Is raising the price of dining going to improve our meals that much? Or will they be the same dry burgers and chicken tenders from Sam’s?
Housing costs will also be rising. Are we getting new furniture? Are we going to install air conditioning in the buildings that don’t have it? Are we expanding the rooms? Probably not, so why raise housing costs?
Apparently, it’s to keep up with the costs of services, and we all know there were a lot of services to be done in some of the buildings such as Williams Hall. Other than that, what is the difference in the need for services that it has to be raised every year? Shouldn’t you have estimated those costs when you offered housing, then reevaluated in a couple of years and by then you should’ve had a good idea of how much services would cost?
If you didn’t already know housing prices were sketchy, take a look at the cost of a triple versus a double in Blanton.
A triple in Blanton costs $3,616.00 while a double, with another double room as suitemates, costs $4,475.00. Yes, a triple in Blanton is cheaper to live in because there are three roommates sharing the same amount of space meant for two people. However, the three roommates in total are paying the school $10,848 while the two roommates in the double are paying $8,950.
There is not enough of a drastic difference in the rooms for the cost of students living there to be almost $2,000 more.
So, how can we trust that the BOT has the students’ best interests in mind while they’re unfairly charging people more to live in a small space for three rather than two?
Kevin Andreano, the acting director of budget and planning, stated, “basically when we raise tuition, most of our tuition increase goes right into contractual obligations for our faculty and staff.”
Of course, we want the staff and faculty to make livable and comfortable wages for everything they do here. We truly could not operate without them and we are so thankful. However, you can see students’ frustration when tuition prices keep rising and we have very few benefits to it.
Parking permits for Montclair State cost $260 to $400. Not to mention, last year The Montclarion reported that “Montclair State University raked in over $1 million in parking tickets within the last three years, according to statistics.” So, why can’t a raise in tuition help alleviate the costs of parking on campus? Especially since parking is such a hassle and nowhere near luxurious enough to be costing so much money.
Tuition prices will increase, no one is surprised. We just ask you that if you’re going to make us fork over more and more money, make it worth it.