On April 27, an email was sent to the Seton Hall community stating that the tuition for full-time undergraduate students at Seton Hall for the 2018-2019 academic year will total $19,950 per semester.
The full cost for next school year “represents an increase of $750 per semester, or approximately 3.9 percent,” the email said. Last year’s increase was 3.5 percent, according to Dr. Karen Boroff, interim provost of the school. Room and board rates will also rise by approximately 3 percent.
The Board of Regents came to this decision after considering a number of accomplishments and “many other ways in which Seton Hall is improving and serving the needs of students.” These include the opening of Bethany Hall and the addition to the University Center, as well as the three new programs that were added to the academic curriculum and several enhanced student life activities.
Boroff commented on the tuition increases in an email.
“The entire University community takes its stewardship responsibilities most seriously,” she said. “We spend many hours deliberating on how we spend our resources, whether these are resources of time or treasure or talent. Considering the many facets required to advance the University — from our faculty to our administrators and staff…these facets and more combined to form the tuition rate.”
Boroff mentioned other factors that go into determining the cost of tuition at Seton Hall.
“Some aspects of what we have to fund at a University have automatic price increases or unanticipated price changes that any organization has to absorb — these include software cost increases, energy prices, and electronic data base collections, as examples,” she said.
Boroff said that this increase was something that many stakeholders, administrators, faculty and student representatives had a say in, and that they believe that this increase accurately represents the cost of attending Seton Hall.
“Seton Hall University is truly an excellent place to pursue one’s collegiate experience as well as to develop one’s professional life,” she said. “The modest increase helps us maintain our excellence.”
Julian Chiarieri, a sophomore biology major, said that he was surprised by the increase.
“While tuition increases every year, this year it is an increase of 3.9 percent,” he said. “That is more than what was expected and makes me wish we could see how or where our money is going directly.”
Chiarieri said that he thinks the money that will come from the increase should be spent on upgrading and sustaining Seton Hall’s current infrastructure, instead of buildings such as the Welcome Center which “does not hold any classes.”
“While the university has a right to raise tuition to whatever it sees fit, the students also have a right to be upset,” he said. “That feeling of being upset, however, should be used to further the conversation on what the tuition should be and how it should be handled further, between the students and the faculty.”
Nkili Cooper, a sophomore history major, is unhappy about the increase.
“Personally, I think this increase is absolutely ridiculous, and students have a right to be upset over the fact that they’re not getting their money’s worth,” she said. “My room looks like it hasn’t been updated in 20 years. I don’t mind paying a little extra each year, but this hike is too significant not to raise a few eyebrows.”
Cooper added that the university should consider its current students when making these decisions.
“I am a student, and while I appreciate all of the subpar additions that they’re making to this already expensive school, I’m starting to think that this University isn’t worth what it costs to attend.”
Isabel Soisson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.