By Joergen Ostensen
This academic year, Fordham University increased its undergraduate tuition by 3.33 percent, according to Bob Howe, assistant vice president for communications.
Howe said virtually all universities are consistently increasing their tuitions to account for inflation. According to Howe, this year’s increase is lower than previous years, when Fordham was annually increasing its tuition by 3.75 percent.
Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university, announced the increase this past May in a university-wide letter. In the letter, McShane said the slightly lower increase resulted from concerns that the cost of higher education is getting too high.
“The University and its Board of Trustees are concerned, like many of you, about the cost of a college education, and are doing what we can to rein in the cost,” McShane said in the letter.
In the letter, McShane said that the decision to lower the tuition increase would not affect the academic experience of students.
“We commit a tremendous number of resources to your education because you are worthy of no less; because our mission demands no less,” the letter said.
According to McShane, the university depends on tuition to provide students with small class sizes, internship programs and career outcomes, as well as the library.
Howe said the first part of Fordham’s specific reasons to consistently increase tuition is to update campus facilities.
Fordham is currently in the process of improving Collins Hall and the McGinley Center.
Last year, Marco Valera, vice president of Facilities Management, told The Fordham Ram that the university was investing between three and four millions dollars into improvements to Collins. The improvements to Collins are necessary in part because the building is not wheelchair accessible. Built in 1904, Collins is exempt from compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Howe said the university is continuing its commitment to raising money for scholarships.
He said the university has raised $140 million toward its $175 million goal for Faith & Hope: The Campaign for Financial Aid. According to Howe, the campaign has created 139 new scholarships since it began.
Howe also said the university is trying to make its budget more efficient, citing its new Voluntary Separation Program that was initially offered to administrators in May.
As the The Ram reported last year, the tuition increases from the last few years remain substantially lower than they were during the recession.