By: Rebecca Panico on Sept. 8, 2015
University officials voted to increase tuition and fees for the 2015-16 academic school year by 3 percent, up $337 from the previous year, following suit with rising costs at some nearby public universities.
Yearly tuition and fees at Kean for an in-state, full-time student who commutes now amounts to $11,580, up from $11,243 last year.
The Board of Trustees (BOT), Kean’s final governing body, voted to increase tuition on June 29, pointing to a decline in state support and estimated rising costs for insurance and utilities.
In a statement on July 28, Executive Vice President Philip Connelly called the BOT’s decision a “strategic investment in Kean Online and Allied Health programs” which are “needed to keep Kean competitive for years to come.”
The increase will also help reorganize several academic administrative units on campus to “reduce overhead and improve student services,” his statement continued.
Since 2006, Kean’s tuition has steadily increased each year, with its largest spike taking place in 2008 with an 8 percent increase. In 2006, yearly tuition for an in-state, full-time commuter was $5,242, or less than half of what it is now nine years later.
Isaiah Rivera, a criminal justice major, noticed this year’s hike when he got a notice from the university saying he had to pay more for the upcoming semester. Rivera started attending Kean in 2013, he said, because he thought the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) would cover all expenses, but soon realized otherwise. He now commutes rather than dorms to cut costs.
“But it ain’t fair for more students to have to struggle,” said Rivera, 21, and a junior at Kean. “They don’t have to put more stress on people.”
Talia Velez, a 19-year-old sophomore psychology major, said she didn’t know much about the increase since her parents handled most of her school finances. Her parents hadn’t mentioned anything to her about the additional costs either, she said.
“It was the most inexpensive school,” said Velez when asked why she and her family chose Kean in 2012.