Tuition On Rise, Club Funds Stay Small

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By ANA FOTA
News Co-Editor
Published: April 29, 2015

As students are packing their rooms and preparing for finals, not everyone is paying attention to the upcoming announcement of next year’s tuition cost. Fordham University is growing as is the cost of a Fordham degree. With all of the recent expansion and growth at Lincoln Center (LC) many are wondering why club budgets are not changing accordingly.

“It’s certainly on the foremost of everyone’s minds that we can’t just raise tuition without regard to the impact it has on students,” said the Dean of Students at LC, Keith Eldredge. “The biggest challenge we face at Fordham is being a tuition dependent school,” Eldredge said, which means that the majority of the revenue that the university uses comes from student’s tuition and fees, as opposed to heavily endowed universities which rely more on donations. Funding also comes from various faculty scholarships or grants. Scholarships that cover tuition will increase concomitantly with the fees, while limited scholarships, which offer students a certain amount of money, will remain the same, according to Eldredge. The percentage by which tuition increases varies every year. It has lowered considerably since 2008, as it is now closer to three percent while it used to be up to six or eight percent before.

Robert Howe, Special Adviser to the President and Senior Director of Communications is the spokesperson on tuition increase. In an email responding to a press request, he stated the following: “The University typically makes the official tuition announcement in May, and I can’t comment on it until after that’s happened, I’m afraid.”

“Every year the university has to budget all the added costs,” Eldredge stated, and “sometimes [the money] goes back towards paying for those constant expenses, like the electricity rates that go up every year.” The money all goes into a big “pot,” as he called it, and afterwards it is allocated to the different departments within the university.

Funding for the various student clubs on campus, for example, comes directly from the student activities fee that every student is charged with. Despite the increase in tuition, student activity fees and club budgets will not increase.

According to Collegefactual.com, from 2008 to 2018, tuition will have increased as much as $19,000. The cost in 2008 was $34,099 and in 2018 it is estimated to be $53,392. The current cost of tuition is $44,773, room and board not included. Despite the increase in tuition prices, the student fees will remain the same, at $732.

This is happening even though clubs have had trouble with budgeting this year. The tuition has increased consistently while the amount of fees students pay has stayed the same. As tuition increases the amount available for clubs does not increase. Larger enrolling classes create a larger budget for clubs.

The incoming freshman class this year was considerably larger than those before the McKeon residence building was opened, with 556 students in the class of 2018, as opposed to 449 students in the class of 2017, according to the Office of Undergraduate Admission. They are projecting the incoming freshman class of 2019 to consist of 610 students. With more students to collect the activities fee from, the budget has increased. However, so has the number of clubs on campus, with 11 new clubs added during the most recent school year, adding up to a grand total of 54 clubs on campus.

The Student Activities Budget Committee (SABC) is responsible for allocating funding for clubs. The clubs are still faced with budgeting issues and are having to cut funding for certain events on campus.

According to Leighton Magoon, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ‘17, president-elect of the United Student Government (USG) and current treasurer of the club, it is likely that the budget deficit will continue. “It’s wonderful that clubs have become more active, it’s helped shape the culture of our campus,” Magoon stated, “but unfortunately we don’t have an unlimited amount of money to supply these great events.” Another aspect that strained the activities budget this semester was the fact that a high number of students studied abroad, and therefore they did not pay the fee.