From the Editor: Rising tuition lowers student opportunities

Every dollar makes a difference for a college student. Well, in this case, every few thousand dollars makes a difference. The yearly tuition increases make nearly every student at a private college or university in the U.S. cringe.

Many private colleges have begun to address these nearly unaffordable tuition prices. A plethora of private schools are taking initiatives on this issue. Should Rider consider this as well?

According to the Huffington Post, public universities have been increasing their tuition prices, while almost the opposite has been happening at private institutions.

Roger Williams University, a private university in Bristol, Rhode Island, has frozen its tuition price for undergraduate students at $29,976 since 2012. Since the initial freeze in 2012, it has also expanded this to include its law school.

Private schools, like Rider, should look into similar options such as freezing or lowering tuition prices because, let’s face it, soon no one will be able to afford a private education anymore.

With Rider’s current deficit, this might not seem like the best thing to do at the moment, but maybe this could be a possible answer. A freeze would be very appealing to incoming freshmen and parents. Being able to share a low tuition price with students could increase enrollment and boost compensation for Rider.

If Rider were to implement a tuition freeze, it would generate a positive headline. With the recent Westminster decision and the program cuts last year, this could bring positive press back to Rider.

The Rider Advantage Grant is a helpful tool for students to utilize, as it covers $1,500 every school year after freshman year. However, while this is a good opportunity, Rider’s tuition has still increased every year. The scholarship may offset the payments for sophomore year, but those students are on the hook for increases during junior and senior year.

It is already evident that many families struggle to deal with the current private school tuition rates even with scholarships and grants, and it will only get worse in the future. Students are flooded with student loans and eventually the salaries earned after graduation will be directed toward those loans.

Some students argue for a private university education because of the close-knit community, classroom involvement, intimate class sizes, top-tier professors and merit scholarships, but they shouldn’t have to break the bank entirely for this experience. A freeze or cut to the ever–increasing tuition prices could hold some sort of promise for families.

Colleges throughout the country, both private and public, are choosing to follow through with freezing or slashing tuition prices. According to U.S. News, Utica College in upstate New York cut its tuition price by 42 percent, charging $19,996 for the 2016-17 school year. The private college is priced just over the state school’s tuition prices for residents of New York. In the suburbs of Philadelphia, Rosemont College decided to slash its tuition down by 43 percent at $18,500 for the 2017-18 school year.

Utica College and Rosemont College both have lower enrollments than Rider, and are pricing their education for competitive and financial reasons to benefit both the school and families wanting to attend.

Princeton University, one of the most renowned Ivy League universities in the world, is right down the road from us at Rider and the tuition difference is just $8,420. Rider University is on par in price with schools like Princeton, which just doesn’t seem right. An Ivy League university with a 6.5 percent acceptance rate should not be this close in price range to Rider. Yes, Rider provides a great education with high recognition for our programs, but we are all aware of the significant differences between the two schools.

According to College Board, the average tuition increase for private universities in 2014-15 was 3.7 percent. In the year 2030 with the present rate of private institutions increasing their tuition at 5 percent, the estimated tuition cost for four year private universities will be $92,869, CNBC reported. This is an absolute outrage. No student is able to afford education at that price, which is why something needs to be done.

Rider should follow in the footsteps of the private universities and colleges who have taken action in reducing tuition costs for incoming students. There are benefits that could end up being huge for Rider, as the ticket price is the number one factor for most families. Something needs to be done before an education is unaffordable for all families in America.

 

The weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News. This week’s editorial was written by the Assistant Opinion Editor, Hayley Fahey

 

Printed in the 4/19/17 issue.

 

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