By Mike Byrne
Fordham’s tuition continues its upward trend for another year. The university set the tuition at $47,850, a 3.75 percent increase from last year for full-time students who are attending Fordham’s Rose Hill campus, Lincoln Center campus and Gabelli School of Business during the 2016-2017 academic year.
During the 2015-2016 academic year, Fordham charged full-time students $46,120. This was also a 3.75 percent increase from the year before, when the university charged full-time students $44,450.
Other universities are also following the trend. New York University, which charged $47,750 in 2015-2016, raised tuition by 2.75 percent to $49,062 for the 2016-2017 academic year, according to the university’s website.
Boston University students also saw an increase in tuition price. The $48,436 tuition rate for 2015-2016 was raised to $49,176 for the 2016-2017 year, which is a 1.53 percent increase, according to the university’s website.
According to the US Inflation Calculator, the average inflation rate for 2015 was 0.13 percent, and the average inflation rate for 2016, so far, is 1.03 percent.
Joseph Cammarosano, professor Emeritus of economics at Fordham, commented on the factors causing the national trend of increasing tuition. Cammarosano said that costs of certain aspects of universities are on the rise, such as health services, career counseling, athletics, housing, recruitment, labor contracts and information systems.
CollegeBoard has not published the average tuition rate for the 2016-2017 academic year, but did report the average tuition rate for private, non-profit universities during the 2015-2016 academic year was $32,405. This is 42.32 percent less than what Fordham University charged during that year. CollegeBoard does not differentiate between the tuition rates of urban and rural schools.
Fordham’s tuition rate for the 2007-2008 academic year was $31,800. Since then, the tuition has increased by 50.47 percent.
Nicholas Milowski, Fordham’s vice president of Finance, commented on this year’s tuition rate increase. “(Tuition) rates are established by considering a number of factors that revolve around affordability for our students and their families, our mission and the costs of operating in a very expensive metropolitan area,” Milowski said.
A 2015 press release from Fordham comments on the tuition rate of the university. “As a New York City institution, tuition and room and board is naturally higher at Fordham because of the higher cost of everything in the city, including providing a living wage to faculty and staff, real estate, food and thousands of durable and expendable goods,” the release said. “Though Fordham benefactors have been very generous in supporting scholarships and financial aid, the University’s endowment is small compared to many peer institutions, limiting the degree to which we can offset tuition costs with financial aid; our modest endowment means more of our operating costs must come from tuition.”
Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university, also commented on the tuition rate in the press release. “We know that a Fordham education is more expensive than those at some of our peer institutions: more expensive for students and their families, and more expensive for us to deliver. Of course we wish it were otherwise. That said, we do everything in our power both to hold down costs and to offset them with financial aid,” McShane wrote.
Mark Naison, professor of African and African American studies, commented on Fordham’s tuition increase. “I think this rise in tuition is a huge obstacle to attracting students from working class and poor families to Fordham, especially students from the Bronx,” Naison said. “It is especially devastating for a school which does not have a large enough endowment to support need based scholarships for all who apply… I think we need to have some real institutional soul searching in terms of what our mission is here. And sacrifices might have to be made…Everyone here signed off on Fordham’s march to becoming a predominantly upper middle class school and everyone is going to have to decide who foots the bill if we go back to what Fordham was when I came here- a center of educational opportunity for upwardly mobile immigrants and children from families of modest means.”
Lili Huang, FCRH ’19, also commented on how higher tuitions affect current and prospective students. “I think that the consistent increase of tuition is making it so that college is becoming even less attainable for middle and lower class families, forcing students to take out an outrageous number of loans, which in turn puts students in a vicious cycle of debt. This cycle of deficit almost nullifies the need to go to college because job prospects are so bleak after graduation.”