Tuition Hearing at MSU

Montclair State University recently hosted a meeting to discuss rising tuition rates in accordance with lack of state funding.

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MSU speaks about tuition rates.

With multiple consecutive years of raising tuition, Montclair State University hosted a student-based tuition hearing to answer any questions students may have in regards to tuition and any possible aid. With New Jersey being the lowest state in the nation to support higher education, state funding does not provide state universities with the opportunity to lower their tuition.

“With an annual undergraduate student tuition rate of $8,346 for Fiscal Year 2015, Montclair State University is charging 36.4 percent less than the most expensive New Jersey senior public institution,” according to the Montclair State University Fiscal Year 2016 Tuition and Fees Hearing. In order to appease student complaints, Montclair State University President Susan Cole gave all attending students a pamphlet which contained information regarding state tuition at Montclair State versus tuition at other State Universities in New Jersey.

MSU is cheaper than other state colleges with tuition (strictly tuition without added fees) under $10,000 per year. Calculating tuition alone, with about 17,500 students in attendance, the amount of money Montclair State receives in tuition alone is $146,055,000. About $146 million a year comes from tuition alone, excluding any added fees by the University.

MSU has an adjunct to full time professor ratio of 3:2. With 60 percent of Montclair State’s professors being adjuncts, there was debate about whether or not the raise in tuition would create a rise in full time professors. It has been statistically proven by different research articles, which can be found on and to say the least, that universities with a greater adjunct than full time staff tend to have a less of an educational experience than schools where full time professors outweigh adjuncts. Reason being for this is the idea that adjuncts are part time professors their office hours are limited and adjunct professors tend to have more than one job which splits their attention to many more places than just the university classroom.

When a student asked President Cole for a breakdown of tuition, she stated, “the number one thing tuition goes towards is instruction.” She then continued to explain the departments in which tuition is paid for. With the economic status of New Jersey taking a downturn, one would assume that tuition would lower as well but this is not the case. As explained by President Cole, the price of running a university is still on the rise.

Montclair State University’s science labs have state of the art equipment, their music department has beautiful performance rooms and they have increased the number of undergraduate graduation rates. Montclair State has come far in a 10 year range. With the addition of the Red Hawk Deck, NJ Transit, Car Park and The Heights, Montclair State has made successful improvements to give their commuters and residents a more successful college experience.

The board of trustees are given no choice but to raise tuition due to the New Jersey budget for higher education being at an all time low. Summing up part of what President Susan Cole stated, if students want to lower tuition, they must take it up with Trenton to give more state funding for state universities.

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