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Stockton Students Frustrated With Tuition Increase

Graduates see the college as getting to be "too expensive."

One student was outraged by the increase, an alumni thought the school was getting to be too expensive and another recent graduate recognizes that it’s still among the cheaper schools one can attend.

announced it was raising tuition by 3 percent at its Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday afternoon, July 11, and by Wednesday night, Andrew Wilsley’s felt like his head was ready to explode.

Wilsley, a junior from Ocean City majoring in theater, has seen tuition escalate nearly $1,000 since he enrolled at Stockton two years ago.

“I didn’t expect an increase again right away,” Wilsey said. “They just increased it last year. I hope they’re not going to do it again, but it seems like this is going to become a year-round thing.”

Last year, the college raised tuition by 5 percent.

Within the state for the 2012-13 academic year, undergraduate tuition for a full time student will increase by $115.75, from $3,858.34 to $3,974.09, the college said.

The college announced that educational and general fees will increase $50.58 from $1,686.05 to $1,736.63. Housing rates are expected to increase an average of 2.75 percent and meal plans will increase 2 percent, college officials said.

For an incoming freshman, the total cost of tuition, fees room and board will increase 2.56 percent, from $22,159.60 to $22,726.22.

In May, the school announced housing and meal plan rates would increase. Housing rates will escalate between 2 and 3 percent for each of the five housing units and the , which began students this school year.

Meal plans will see a 2.1 percent increase as of Aug. 31. The highest increase will be for the Seaview plan, at $800, up to $1,633.

Wilsey already works one full-time job and one part-time job in the summer to pay for college as it is. He takes 16 credits during the school year thanks to Stockton’s flat rate tuition for students taking anywhere between 12 and 20 credits, but because of this, he is unable to work in the fall and spring.  He also doesn’t take courses in the summer.

On the other hand, he will graduate in three-and-a-half years.

“I have no money to pay for it right now, and now, I need to find a way to pay for even more somehow,” Wilsey said.

One recent graduate who was on campus on Thursday, July 12, praised the flat tuition rate and said Stockton was still “one of the cheaper schools.” Another said that for the cost of going to Stockton, a university becomes an option for prospective students.

“It’s getting too expensive,” said Jessica Aponte, 25, who recently graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Religion. “I transferred from another school. I was here for three years and I’m $25,000 in debt because of it.”

She said Stockton’s tuition is comparable to that of a normal university.

“But it’s not a university,” she added.

In the middle of July, Stockton’s campus is not littered with students, and many of those on campus had yet to hear about the tuition increase. Some parents were there with their recent high school graduates for orientation. They had yet to hear about the increase, and felt they weren’t in a position to comment.

Sharmaine Paez, an 18-year-old soon-to-be sophomore majoring in psychology, also felt she wasn’t in a position to comment because she’s attending Stockton on scholarships and grants. However, she has a lot of friends on Facebook.

“I see a lot of people complaining,” Paez said. “A lof of people are frustrated.”

Cindy Nevitt July 15, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Sixteen credits per semester, or four classes, works out to four years to earn a degree. Andrew has taken five or six classes (some only one- or two-credit classes) for 19 and 20 credits per semester to get on the three-and-a-half-year track. After four semesters, he has 76 credits instead of the typical 64. Taking summer classes at Stockton's 15% discount isn't a bargain compared to taking free classes spring and fall under the school's flat tuition policy. Working 60+ hours per week in summer to earn the money to pay for classes is the smarter thing to do. During the school year, Andrew drives a visually-impaired professor to Stockton and works 8 hours a week on stage crew to try earn the gas money it takes to commute 200+ miles per week. This is what is necessary to "afford" one of NJ's most reasonably priced colleges. Ironic that this tuition increase story appears at the same time as one on how Stockton's new center to make public education accessible is published.

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